The Apple M3 Chip: As we near the end of the year, my thoughts turn to 2023 and the possibilities of what the silicon wizards at Apple may be working on in stealth mode.
With the introduction of the M1 chip, Apple has exceeded our expectations for MacBook performance in 2020, making the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines into lightweight, efficient workhorses that consume almost no energy. Given that 2022 was a year of growth and development for Apple’s M-series CPUs, anticipation for 2023 is understandable.
After all, Apple followed up its groundbreaking M1 chip with the even more powerful M2 in this year, proving that it wasn’t a fluke. New 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 and MacBook Air M2 computers include M2 CPUs, which aren’t quite as powerful as the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips available in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021 but make up for it in power efficiency.
Advanced levels of power savings and performance
Modern MacBooks have excellent battery life, which isn’t as flashy as, say, unified memory or Apple’s Neural Engine (which excels at machine learning jobs and does nice things like boosting how you look on your webcam), but it’s a major selling point for the product.
It appears that the M-series CPUs are largely responsible for the excellent battery life of Apple’s notebooks. In fact, the M2 chip allowed the MacBook Pro M2 to have the longest battery life I’ve ever seen in an ultraportable, clocking in at over 18 hours in our battery test.
So, as 2023 approaches, I can’t help but speculate as to which piece of Apple Silicon will power Macs (and maybe iPads). Being a lifelong Windows user, I find it a little embarrassing to admit. To be honest, before MacBooks began selling with Apple’s chips inside, I didn’t think much of them while I wasn’t on the clock as Tom’s Guide’s computing editor and couldn’t afford to be partial to any company.
When we benchmarked the 2021 MacBook Pros with the M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs, I knew I had to reevaluate my previous bias against Apple’s notebooks.
This was in part due to Apple’s superb redesign of the 2021 MacBook Pros, which included the addition of high-quality webcams and fantastic port arrays that solved all my problems with the machines’ forerunners. But the main reason was that Apple showed it could be a serious competitor in the laptop processor market. There has always been stiff competition between Intel and AMD CPUs, but it seems like Intel has stepped up its game in laptop CPU performance ever since the introduction of the M1 chip.
Naturally, I can’t attribute 100% of the phenomenal improvements in laptop speed I’ve witnessed over the past few years to Apple. Despite the increased competition sparked by the M-series chips, I believe that Intel’s laptop chips have improved largely because the company moved to a hybrid architecture with the release of its 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs at the beginning of this year (meaning the chip has “performance” cores and “efficiency” cores and can dynamically use them as needed, saving power when possible).
Intel’s 2020 Lakefield central processing units were an attempt at a hybrid design, but they didn’t do well in the market. The M-series ASICs from Apple is also based on a hybrid design, which I believe contributes to their excellent performance and long battery life under optimum conditions.
Is Intel’s decision to retry the hybrid design with the Raptor Lake processors a response to Apple’s M-series chips? In short, I wouldn’t know. I can say that the M-series CPUs have blown me away with their performance, and that’s coming from someone who has been critical of Apple’s business tactics and goods. To be honest, I’m less curious about the next MacBook Pro design (please get rid of the Touch Bar for good) or if Apple will finally release the rumored OLED MacBooks and iPads in the coming years than I am about what’s next for Apple’s laptop CPUs.
Just what to anticipate
Talking of leaks and rumors, there has been a lot of chatter this year about the potential arrival of new, improved MacBooks from Apple in 2023, equipped with the latest M-series processors.
For instance, despite initial plans to appear in the second half of 2022, a new MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max CPUs is now slated to come next year. Mark Gurman, a Bloomberg reporter and self-proclaimed “Apple whisperer,” has hinted that not only will we see a refurbished Mac mini with the latest M2 CPUs next year, but also a prospective Mac Pro M2 desktop to replace the old Mac Pros, the last Macs now available with Intel chips inside.
Whatever Apple sends out next year in the way of hardware will, of course, be challenged by Intel’s 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs and AMD’s own Ryzen 7000 laptop CPUs, making 2023 an intriguing year for chipheads. Tom’s Guide will be on the ground in Las Vegas for the first week of January 2023 to bring you all the latest and greatest developments from CES.
When compared to other silicon, why is Apple so crucial?
Apple has a lot more say over how effectively macOS and Mac hardware work together because they design the silicon themselves. Without getting into the specifics of the new M1 processor, the enhanced optimization in macOS should result in noticeable performance and reliability boosts.
In 2023, do you expect Apple to release a new Mac?
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg predicted in his newsletter on October 30 that Apple “probably won’t launch until early next year” with their next-generation MacBook Pro. In Gurman’s estimation, freedom will be his in March of 2023. Gurman, like many Apple observers, anticipated that the next-generation MacBooks will debut in late 2022.
Is an M3 chip in the works?
Apple’s “M3” series of silicon chips, due out in 2023, will be the first to utilize the most recent iteration of TSMC’s chip manufacturing process.
How far can we expect Apple’s chip technology to advance?
In June 2022, Apple introduced the M2, the successor to the M1 Apple silicon chip. Here, you’ll learn more about the M2 chip’s advantages, from enhanced performance to new functionality.
So, what can we expect from Apple in 2023?
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has just confirmed rumors that Apple will sell a 15-inch MacBook Air in 2023. Word on the street has claimed that the MacBook Air will have a screen size comparable to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but will be significantly thinner and lighter.
Is an M3 due in 2023 realistic?
The 2023 BMW M3 is a sight to behold, with its sleek design and focus on performance. Upfront. Be the center of attention with a sculpted hood, optional Icon Adaptive LED headlights, and a frameless, vertical kidney grille. Lightweight.
What is Apple’s fastest processor?
The A16 Bionic processor in the iPhone 14 Pro is, unsurprisingly, the most powerful. The iPhone 13 offers greater graphics performance than the iPhone 13 Pro while having the same A15 Bionic CPU as the iPhone 14.
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