Apple’s "Scary Fast" Event Recap
Today Apple held their "Scary Fast" event. The event was a short one at 30 minutes and it focused on just one family of items, the Mac. Specifically, there were two products that Apple focused on, the MacBook Pro and the iMac.
Before introducing the hardware products, Apple unveiled their new family of chips, the M3. They did not introduce just one chip, instead they introduced three, the M3, the M3 Pro, and the M3 Max. These chips utilize the latest 3-nanometer technology, which can hold up to 2 billion transistors in the width of a single human hair. All of these transistors means that the chips are up to 2.5x faster, when compared to the equivalent M1 product.
The M3 family has a few new features called Dynamic Caching, Ray Tracing, and Mesh Shading. Dynamic Caching is a technique that allows the hardware to allocate the proper amount of memory for each task. This can mean that more of the graphics processing unit will be utilized. Hardware accelerated Ray Tracing allows for more realistic shadows and lighting in any app, but it is particularly useful with games, like Myst.
According to Apple, the M3 is up to 50% faster than M1, and significantly faster if you are coming from an Intel-based Mac. The Neural Engine is up to 60% faster than than M1, and up to 15% faster than the M2.
Today Apple unveiled new M3-powered 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with an M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max. There is a new color option for the MacBook Pro, Space Black. The Space Black model is reserved for the M3 Pro and M3 Max 14-inch model, and all 16-inch models, which only come with the M3 Pro and M3 Max.
For the 14-inch M3 Mac, it comes with an 8-Core CPU and 10-Core GPU. The base model comes with 512GB of storage, and can be configured up to 24GB of memory and 2TB of storage. Because of the M3, the entry level price for the 14-inch MacBook Pro is now $1599.
The M3 Pro comes in two flavors.. There is an 11-core CPU and 14-Core GPU model that has 18GB of unified memory and 512GB of storage. This model starts at $1999.. The second is a 12-Core CPU and 18-Core GPU model with 18GB of unified memory and comes with 1TB of storage. This model starts $2399.
The 14-inch M3 Max MacBook Pro has a 14-core CPU and 30-Core GPU. It comes with 36GB of unified memory and includes a 1TB SSD. This can be configured a 16-core GPU, 40-Core GPU, and up to 128GB of memory and 8TB of storage. The starting price for this model is $3199.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro only comes in M3 Pro and M3 Max models. The M3 Pro can be a 12-core GPU, 18-Core GPU, and either 18GB of memory or 36GB of memory. The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with 512GB of storage. The prices for each of these is $2499 and $2899. Either model can be configured with a 14-core CPU and 30-Core GPU SOC, or a 16-Core CPU and 40-Core GPU SOC. The amount of storage depends on the SOC, but possibly up to 128GB of unified memory and 8TB of storage. The New M3 Max can support up to 128GB of memory, this is an increase from the previous 96GB of memory.
You can order any of the MacBook Pro configurations today. The M3 and M3 Pro machines will arrive next week, but the M3 Max MacBook Pros will ship later in November. The last thing to note about the MacBook Pro is that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with TouchBar is no longer available.
Along with the MacBook Pros, Apple updated the 24-inch iMac. It still comes in the same 7 color options, with Orange, Pink, and Purple being reserved for the higher-end configurations. There are two configuration models, the 8-Core CPU, 8-Core GPU model and the 8-Core CPU and 10-Core GPU model.
The pricing remains the same, starting at $1299. You can configure a 24-inch iMac with up to 24GB of unified memory and 2TB of storage. This is higher than the 16GB unified memory limit with the M1 iMac. The M3 iMac does include Wi-Fi 6E and BlueTooth 5.3.
As mentioned above, the event video was short, 30 minutes. But that is not a problem. Apple leaned heavily into the Halloween theme. If you watch the video you will see a number of things, like skeletons, bats, fog, and even some candy corn.
The new MacBook Pros are good updates if you have an M1 MacBook Pro, and are great if you have an Intel-based machine. The M1 iMac update is a solid update to the iMac. Not much has changed, beyond the processor on the iMac. You can order any of the models today with delivery starting next week for the M3 and M3 Pro, and later in November for the M3 Max MacBook Pros.