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Apple’s next-gen M3 Pro chip could pack even more CPU and GPU cores

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The wait for the Apple M3 processor could be shorter than expected.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly started internal testing Macs with its M3 chips. At least one of the variants could feature a 12-core CPU, 18-core GPU, and 36GB system memory.

The next-generation Apple silicon is still a few months away from release. Rumors suggest it could debut at the end of this year or early 2024.

More CPU and GPU cores are always better

In the latest edition of the Power On newsletterBloomberg’s Mark Gurman spilled some beans on the M3 chip. Based on data from an app developer, Apple is testing at least one M3 Pro variant with a 12-core CPU running the upcoming macOS 14.0. An 18-core GPU and 36GB of system memory are also a part of the chip.

This is presumably the entry-level M3 Pro chip that could power Apple’s next high-end MacBook Pro and other Macs.

Out of the 12 CPU cores, there are six high-performance and six efficiency cores. For comparison, the M2 Pro packs a similar number of high-performance cores and two fewer low-power cores. It also packs a 16-core GPU, two less than the upcoming M3 Pro.

Apple made a similar bump in the CPU and GPU cores from M1 Pro to M2 Pro. The company is seemingly planning to increase the system memory by 4GB to 36GB as well. Current M2 Pro-based Macs ship with 32GB memory.

Thanks to the bump in CPU and GPU cores, the M3 Pro should bring a noticeable performance boost. And this is without taking into account the architectural or clock speed improvements.

Apple will reportedly fabricate the M3 on TSMC’s 3nm node, making it denser and more power efficient.

M3 Macs are not coming anytime soon

Despite Apple internally testing M3-powered Macs, they are unlikely to launch anytime soon. Reportedly, the first M3 Macs could arrive by the end of 2023 or in Q1 2024.

For now, rumors suggest Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Air could debut at WWDC23, packing the M2 chip.

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