(CNN) — Apple’s MacBook Pro line and colorful iMacs just got faster.
At an event livestreamed on Monday evening, the company unveiled its next generation of custom processors – the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Pro Max – and with them a handful of new computers.
The event’s slogan – “scary fast” – was an apparent reference to the unveiling of the next-generation silicon chip series, as well as the Halloween holiday Tuesday. At the start of the recorded presentation, CEO Tim Cook appeared dressed all in black in a dimly lit location at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, standing in front of what appeared to be a smoke machine.
While the idea of a new processor may not sound particularly sexy, it will serve as the backbone for Apple’s latest products, enabling faster speeds and more features than ever before. For example, Apple says M3 speeds are now up to 2.5 times faster than the M1 chip family and core processing performance is up to 50% faster. The chips are based on 3-nanometer technology that can support advanced graphics and artificial intelligence.
“It will bring a whole new level of graphics to the Mac,” an Apple executive said during the event. “They are the most advanced chips ever built for a personal computer.”
During the presentation, Apple demonstrated how an M3 device can perform analysis for complex tasks such as DNA/RNA sequencing, which can help detect early-stage cancers or prevent pandemics, from anywhere in the world.
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops will feature the M3 Pro and M3 Pro Max chips. Although the models look the same as their predecessors, they will be available in the new Space Black color, replacing Space Gray. The MacBook Pro option with the M3 Pro Max processor has up to 8TB of storage, 128GB of memory and is about 11 times faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro range, according to Apple.
The models also promise a battery life of 22 hours and a display that is 25% brighter than the previous version. The 14-inch MacBook starts at $1,599; The 16-inch laptop starts at $2,499.
Apple is now expanding its 24-inch iMac series to include M3 chips. The model still features the same 4.5K Retina display as before and is available in up to seven colors. However, the company says it is now twice as fast as the first-generation M1 iMac. The new M3-powered iMac starts at $1,299 and starts shipping next week.
In recent years, the advancement of Apple Silicon – the company’s custom silicon chip – has become a major storyline for Apple, culminating in the move away from Intel chips. The impressive performance of the chips in terms of processing, thermal efficiency and battery life is also causing a stir.
The new products come at a time when the company is gaining significant ground in the traditional PC and laptop market. At the same time, Mac sales have declined this year due to weaker demand, excess inventory and a worsening macroeconomic climate.
Last month, Apple introduced its iPhone 15 devices with a slimmer design, a more advanced main camera system, a customizable action button and USB-C charging.
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