Apple’s M3 chips bring ray tracing to Macs

By admin
There’s nothing truly spooky about

Apple
ORG

‘s new

M3
PRODUCT

chips — except, perhaps, for how scared they’ll make

Intel
ORG

,

AMD
ORG

and

Qualcomm
ORG

. During its "

Scary Fast"
WORK_OF_ART


Halloween Eve
DATE

product event (at

8PM
TIME


Eastern Apple
ORG

, really?) the company officially debuted its new

M3
ORG

,

M3
ORG


Pro
PRODUCT

and

M3
ORG


Max
PRODUCT

chips. As featured in

tonight
TIME

‘s

Apple
ORG

event, the

M3
ORG

series will be featured in the revamped

MacBook Pro
PRODUCT


14-inch
QUANTITY

and

16-inch
QUANTITY

, as well as the

24-inch
QUANTITY

iMac, which never got an M2 refresh.


Apple
ORG

is mainly positioning the

M3
ORG

chips as major upgrades over its

M1
PRODUCT

hardware — if you bought an

M2
PRODUCT

system, you’re probably not itching for a replacement just yet. The

M3
ORG

‘s

GPU
ORG

is the biggest leap forward, delivering new features like hardware-accelerated raytracing and mesh shading, which will enable more realistic lighting and better geometry handling.

Apple
ORG

claims the

M3
ORG

‘s

GPU
ORG

is

1.8
CARDINAL

times faster than the

M2
PRODUCT

and

2.5
CARDINAL

times faster than the

M1
PRODUCT

in "Pro apps" — as usual, the company didn’t reveal its testing criteria. You can also expect better power efficiency, as the

M3
ORG

‘s

GPU
ORG

can hit the

M1
PRODUCT

‘s performance level while using

half
CARDINAL

the power.

Here’s how

Apple
ORG

‘s new hardware breaks down: The plain

M3
ORG

features an

8-core
QUANTITY


CPU
ORG

(made up of

four
CARDINAL

performance cores and

four
CARDINAL

efficiency cores) and a

10
CARDINAL

-core

GPU
ORG

.

Apple
ORG

claims it’s

up to 35 percent
PERCENT

faster than the

M1
PRODUCT

, and it can also support up to 24GB of unified

RAM
ORG

. The

M3
ORG

Pro ups the ante with a

12
CARDINAL

-core CPU (

six
CARDINAL

performance,

six
CARDINAL

efficiency) and an

18
CARDINAL

-core

GPU
ORG

. It can squeeze in up to

36GB
QUANTITY

of memory, and

Apple
ORG

says that it’s single-threaded performance is

up to 30 percent
PERCENT

faster than

the M1 Pro
PRODUCT

.


Apple
ORG

And then there’s the

M3
ORG


Max
PRODUCT

, featuring a

16
CARDINAL

-core CPU (

12
CARDINAL

performance,

four
CARDINAL

efficiency), a

40
CARDINAL

-core

GPU
ORG

and support for up to 128GB of

RAM
ORG

.

Apple
ORG

claims it’s

up to 80 percent
PERCENT

faster than

the M1 Max
PRODUCT

. It also sports

two
CARDINAL

ProRes engines to satisfy even the most demanding video professionals.

The

M3
ORG

chips are also notable for being the

first
ORDINAL

PC chips built on a

3 nanometer
QUANTITY

process, rather than the

M1
PRODUCT

and

M2
ORG

‘s

5nm
QUANTITY

process. The increased transistor density helps with power efficiency, as well as providing better overall performance. According to

Apple
ORG

, the

M3
ORG

‘s performance cores are

15 percent
PERCENT

faster than the

M2
ORG

‘s, while the efficiency cores are

30 percent
PERCENT

faster.

Given that

Apple
ORG

just debuted the

3nm A17 Pro
QUANTITY

for the iPhone

15
CARDINAL

and

15
CARDINAL

Pro, it’s not too surprising that the

M3
ORG

has been similarly shrunken down. In comparison,

AMD
ORG

debuted its

4nm Ryzen 7040
QUANTITY

chip

this year
DATE

, and

Intel
ORG

plans to launch its

Core Ultra Meteor Lake
PRODUCT

laptop chips in

December
DATE

, which is built on the "

Intel
ORG

4" platform (using a

7nm
QUANTITY

process). The differences between architectures, some of which rely on newer tech like 3D stacking, makes it difficult to directly compare processing node sizes. But for now,

Apple
ORG

can lord its

3nm
QUANTITY

figure over the rest of the PC world.

When it comes to other upgrades,

Apple
ORG

says the

M3
ORG

‘s Neural Engine, which handles AI tasks, is

up to 60 percent
PERCENT

faster than

M1
PRODUCT

chips. The

M3
ORG

also sport a media engine with hardware acceleration for H.264, HEVC, ProRes (both standard and

RAW
ORG

). That engine also finally supports AV1 video decoding, which should make streaming AV1 content more power efficient.

Like most chip makers, it makes sense for

Apple
ORG

to follow up a major release like the

M1
PRODUCT

with a minor refresh like the

M2
PRODUCT

. The

M3
ORG

needs to prove itself to be the substantial upgrade over the

M1
PRODUCT

that

Apple
ORG

claims. And with the addition of ray tracing and better graphics, it may finally make

Macs
ORG

more enticing for developers and gamers alike. (Just in time for major titles like

Death Stranding and Resident Evil Village
WORK_OF_ART

to hit

the App Store
ORG

.)

Follow all of the news from

Apple
ORG

’s "

Scary Fast
WORK_OF_ART

"

October
DATE

event right here.