According to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is beginning to test its next generation of silicon: the M3. With testing underway, Gurman reports that he expects Apple to launch Macs with the M3 chip to launch later in 2023 or early in 2024. He notes that work has begun on M3 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac.
With that late 2023/early 2024 timeframe, it will be interesting to see whether or not these M3 Macs feature the current Thunderbolt 4, or if they will be among the first Macs to feature Thunderbolt 5 ports. Thunderbolt 5 is expected to launch in early 2024 and reportedly has bi-directional speeds twice as fast as Thunderbolt 4 with up to 80GBps. However, Intel has said Thunderbolt 5 will also be able to dynamically increase bandwidth up to 120Gbps for driving external displays.
With each generation of Apple Silicon, Apple has released no fewer than three variants of the chip: a base model, Pro, and Max version. (The M1 series also has an Ultra variant.) As pointed out by Benjamin Mayo at 9to5Mac, Gurman cites a source that says the base M3 Pro chip has 12 CPU cores, 18 GPU cores, and supports up to 36GB of RAM. That would give the M3 Pro two more CPU cores and two more GPU cores than the M2 Pro along with 4GB more RAM.
According to Gurman’s report, those two extra CPU cores in the M3 Pro would be efficiency cores. While the M2 Pro had six performance cores and four efficiency cores, the M3 Pro will have six performance cores and six efficiency cores.
With WWDC coming up in just a few weeks, Apple is not expected to mention these M3 Macs. Instead, the company is rumored to launch a new 15-inch Air powered by the M2.