Apple M3
General information
LaunchedOctober 30, 2023; 7 months ago (2023-10-30)
Marketed byApple Inc.
Designed byApple Inc.
Common manufacturer
Max. CPU clock rate4.05 GHz (performance cores)[1]
L1 cachePerformance cores
192+128 KiB per core
Efficiency cores
128+64 KiB per core
L2 cachePerformance cores
M3 and M3 Pro: 16 MiB
M3 Max: 32 MiB
Efficiency cores
M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max: 4 MiB
Architecture and classification
ApplicationDesktop (iMac) and notebook (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro)
Technology node3 nm (N3)
Instruction setARMv8.6-A[2]
Physical specifications
  • 25–92 billion
  • 8–16 (4–12 high-performance and 4–6 high-efficiency)
Memory (RAM)
  • LPDDR5-6400 memory (8–128 GB)
GPUApple-designed integrated graphics (8–40 core)
Products, models, variants
PredecessorApple M2
SuccessorApple M4

Apple M3 is a series of ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc., part of the Apple silicon series, as a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) for its Mac desktops and notebooks. Released in late 2023, it is the third generation of ARM architecture intended for Apple's Mac computers after switching from Intel Core to Apple silicon, succeeding the Apple M2.


Apple announced the M3 on October 30, 2023, at its Halloween-themed Scary Fast online event,[3] along with models of the iMac and the MacBook Pro using the M3.[4][5][6]


The M3 series is Apple's first 3 nm design for desktops and notebooks. It is manufactured by TSMC.[7][8]



The redesigned GPU includes features like Dynamic Caching, Mesh Shading, and hardware-accelerated ray tracing.[9]

The Dynamic Caching technology allocates local memory in real time. Unlike conventional approaches, Dynamic Caching ensures that only the precise amount of memory required for a task is used, thereby optimizing memory usage and potentially enhancing performance and efficiency. This is particularly beneficial for graphics-intensive tasks, where dynamic memory allocation can be critical.[10]

Supported codecs on the M3 include 8K H.264, 8K H.265 (8/10bit, up to 4:4:4), 8K Apple ProRes, VP9, JPEG and AV1 decoding.[11]


The M3 contains dedicated neural network hardware in a 16-core Neural Engine capable of executing over 18 trillion operations per second, which is slower than the A17 Pro's 35 TOPS NPU seen in the iPhone 15 Pro series.


Apple specifically targeted AI development and workloads, both with the Neural Engine and with the increased maximum memory (128 GiB) of the M3 Max, allowing AI models with high numbers of parameters. Apple claims a 15% performance improvement for AI workloads on the M3 (compared to the previous generation M2). [12]


The M3's Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) is similar to the M2 generation; M3 SoCs use 6,400 MT/s LPDDR5 SDRAM. As with prior M series SoCs, this serves as both RAM and video RAM. The M3 has 8 memory controllers, the M3 Pro has 12 and the M3 Max has 32. Each controller is 16-bits wide and is capable of accessing up to 4 GiB of memory.[13]

The M3 Pro and 14-core M3 Max have lower memory bandwidth than the M1/M2 Pro and M1/M2 Max respectively. The M3 Pro has a 192-bit memory bus where the M1 and M2 Pro had a 256-bit bus, resulting in only 150 GB/sec bandwidth versus 200 GB/sec for its predecessors. The 14-core M3 Max only enables 24 out of the 32 controllers, therefore it has 300 GB/sec vs. the 400 GB/sec for all models of the M1 and M2 Max, while the 16-core M3 Max has the same 400 GB/sec as the prior M1 and M2 Max models.[14]

Other features

Other components include an image signal processor (ISP), a PCI Express storage controller, a Secure Enclave, and a USB4 controller that includes Thunderbolt 4 support.

Products that use the Apple M3 series


M3 Pro

M3 Max


The table below shows the various SoCs.[6]

Variant CPU GPU NPU LPDDR5-6400 memory Transistor
P-cores[a] E-cores[b] Cores[c] EU ALU Cores Performance Controllers[d] Bandwidth
A17 Pro 2 4 6 96 768 16 35 TOPS 4 51.2 GB/s 19 billion 8
M3 4 8 128 1024 18 TOPS 8 102.4 GB/s 25 billion 20
10 160 1280
M3 Pro 5 6 14 224 1792 12 153.6 GB/s 37 billion 27
6 18 288 2304
M3 Max 10 4 30 480 3840 24 307.2 GB/s 92 billion 78
12 40 640 5120 32 409.6 GB/s
  1. ^ Performance Cores
  2. ^ Efficiency cores
  3. ^ Each GPU core has 16 execution units (EUs) and 128 arithmetic logic units (ALUs)
  4. ^ Each LPDDR5-6400 memory controller contains a 16-bit memory channel and can access up to 4GiB of memory.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Apple M3 CPUs hit 4.05 GHz, challenge Raptor lake in Geekbench", Tom’s Hardware
  2. ^ "llvm-project/llvm/include/llvm/TargetParser/AArch64TargetParser.h at main · llvm/llvm-project". GitHub. November 30, 2023. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  3. ^ Jason Cross (October 24, 2023). "Apple announces 'Scary fast' event for Halloween Eve night". Mac World.
  4. ^ "Apple 'Scary Fast' Mac launch event: the 4 biggest announcements". The Verge. October 30, 2023. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  5. ^ Gurman, Mark (October 30, 2023). "Apple Unveils New Laptops, iMac and Trio of More Powerful Chips". BNN Bloomberg.
  6. ^ a b Andrew Cunningham (October 31, 2023). "Apple introduces new M3 chip lineup, starting with the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max". Ars Technica.
  7. ^ Yifan Yu (October 31, 2023). "Apple unveils new M3 processors as Arm PC chips gain traction". Nikkei.
  8. ^ Monica Chen, Rodney Chan (November 1, 2023). "TSMC expected to enjoy double-digit sequential increase in 4Q23 revenues". DigiTimes.
  9. ^ "Explore GPU advancements in M3 and A17 Pro - Tech Talks - Videos". Apple Developer. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  10. ^ Roston, Brittany (October 31, 2023). "Apple Reveals 3nm M3 Chipset Family, With Pro And Max Available Right Out Of The Gate". SlashGear. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  11. ^ Warren, Tom (October 31, 2023). "Apple's new M3 chips have big GPU upgrades focused on gaming and pro apps". The Verge. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  12. ^ Mehrotra, Shikhar (November 20, 2023). "M3 vs. M2: How Does Apple's New Silicon Compare to Its Predecessor?". How-To Geek. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Ryan. "Apple Announces M3 SoC Family: M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max Make Their Marks". Anand tech. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  14. ^ Tim Hardwick (October 31, 2023). "Apple M3 Pro Chip Has 25% Less Memory Bandwidth Than M1/M2 Pro". Mac Rumors.