M3 Macs are on the way, and we just got a glimpse of the true power house that is M3 Max. While everyone is excited, I’m thinking one thing: it’s truly a waste to see how much graphical power this new chip is set to produce, and see Apple not really caring about gaming.
As reported by Mark Gurman, there will be at least one monstrous version of the 16-inch MacBook Pro that packs an M3 Max with 40 GPU cores. I’m quietly confident that would eat up so many current AAA games without breaking a sweat!
What’s in the M3 Max?
According to Gurman, this move to a 3nm process in M3 is going to bring some huge upgrades to the Max-armed MacBook Pro. Codenamed J514, sources familiar to the matter have spotted Apple Silicon with a 16-core CPU and a whopping 40-core GPU — four more CPU and two more GPU cores than the maxed out M2 Max.
This would contribute to a healthy boost in power, which will be further aided by the 12 high-performance/four efficiency core split of the CPU. On top of that, Bloomberg is also reporting that the new MacBook Pro will come with a new memory configuration: 48GB of RAM.
Currently on the M2 Max options, you can choose from 32GB, 64GB, and 96GB. We’re not entirely sure whether this will be the new base option for M3 Max, or an interesting middle ground spec, but it’s certainly exciting for those who rely on heavy multitasking.
Predicting the M3 launch schedule
This will be towards the end of a long line of M3 systems, so let’s take a look at the predicted launch schedule:
- October 2023: M3 MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. Testing seems to have begun on these systems. There is a chance we could see an updated iMac with this chip too.
- March - June 2024: 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros. No specific details have been given on a launch window for the new M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros. Add to that the fact that the launches of the past two versions have been all over the place (October 2021 for M1 Pro/Max, and January 2023 for M2 Pro/Max), and the question of when becomes more confusing. My spider sense is suggesting a WWDC 2024 launch.
It’s a travesty that Apple is packing its MacBooks with so much graphical power while seemingly still not caring about gaming. I'll say this until the cows come home — people would rather prefer to do everything on one machine, rather than buy a laptop and then a gaming system (such as me and my M2 Pro MacBook Pro + Steam Deck combination).
Of course, some movements are being made in the right direction, such as the Game Porting Toolkit in macOS Sonoma. But like the other small signals we’ve seen over the past couple of years (Resident Evil Village and Death Stranding being ported over to the Mac), could this just be lip service? I hope not.
Of course, this additional graphical prowess will greatly benefit prosumer use cases like video editing and animation. However, hopefully, we see this as the start of bigger and better things for MacBook gaming.
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Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.