Apple M3 Chip vs. M2: Is It Worth the Upgrade?

Apple unveiled M3 chips on October 30th, 2023, and claimed that there is a qualitative upgrade compared to the M2 and M1 chips. Here, you will learn everything you are interested in about the Apple M3 chip vs. M2, including the features, performance, and more. Now, let’s dive into the details.

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Jane Zhou

Updated on Jan 26, 2024

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On October 30, 2023, Apple introduced the M3 chip family, including the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. It is the third-generation custom silicon chip for the Mac device, bringing significant improvements over the M2 chip and M1 chip. If you want to learn more information about the Apple M3 chip and the differences between the Apple M3 chip and Apple M2,  here is your destination. Now, continue reading to find out the differences and decide if it is time to upgrade your Mac device.  

Apple M3 Chip Family: A Brief Introduction

Apple announced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max by the end of October 2023. It claimed that these three chips will increase performance and unleash new capabilities because of its groundbreaking technologies.

Apple M3 chip

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The M3 family of chips uses the industry-leading 3-nanometer process technology, which means there will be more transistors packed into a smaller space that will improve your Mac's speed and efficiency and be beneficial for improving professional apps and gaming performance.

These M3 chips are used in the latest Mac devices, including 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 24-inch iMac.

Helpful content? Do share your experience with others seeking Apple M3 vs. Apple M2.


Apple M3 Chip vs. Apple M2 Chip: What Are The Differences

After a basic idea about the Apple M3 family of chips, let's move to the new stunning features of the M1 chip and the differences between M3 and M2.

Fabrication Process and Transistors

First of all, let's talk about the transistors of M3 and M2 chips. Apple M3 is the first chip that uses a 3nm process, which means the M3 chip will pack in 25 billion transistors. Like the A17 Pro inside the iPhone 15 Pro, it will improve the efficiency. However, the M2 and M1 use a 5nm node, which is 5 billion less than M3.


The M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max's CPUs are receiving improvements over the previous M-series chips, like M2 and M1. Similar to the M2 chips, the base M3 includes an eight-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores, but it performs better than M2. According to Apple's statement, its performance cores are up to 30 percent faster than those in the M2 family and 50 percent faster than the M1 family.

So, your daily tasks will be faster than ever while allowing the system to maximize battery life. 

M3 chip cpu

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The M3 family of chips uses a next-generation GPU, which is faster and more efficient than the M2 and M1 chips. Unlike the traditional GPU, it 

features in a new technology called Dynamic Caching that can allocate the use of local memory in hardware in real-time so that it's not starving or over-allocating to either one. Besides, it also brings new rendering features like hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading to Mac, which allows apps to create extremely realistic and physically accurate images.

According to the statistics, M3 has up to 35% faster graphics performance than ‌M2 at the same power level. The new GPU will help realize more visually complex scenes in games and graphics-intensive apps. To some degree, your Mac, based on an M3 chip, will perform perfectly in game playing and recording.

Media Engine

Both Apple M1 and M2 have dedicated video encode and decode engines for hardware-accelerated H.264 and HEVC. Today, the M3 chip adds a new popular video codec called AV1 that provides more efficient and better video experiences from streaming services compared to the M2 and M1 chips.

M3 vs. M2


Like the Apple M2 chip, the basic M3 chip supports up to 24GB of unified memory and one external display. For the M3 Pro, it supports up to 36GB of unified memory, and 128 GB for the M3 Max.

More New Features in the Apple M3 Chip

  • Built with an Enhanced Neural Engine that will accelerate powerful machine learning models.
  • Provide an advanced media engine, making it easy to decode H.264, HEVC, ProRes, ProRes RAW, and AVI.
  • Help achieve the longest battery life on Macs

Bonus: Promote Your Efficiency on Mac Based on M3

As you can see, the Apple M3 chip improves the performance of professional apps and gaming playing, which means you can use complete any video content editing and recording on the Mac based on M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max.

As for capturing your Mac screen, you first need to find an excellent Mac screen recorder that can run perfectly on your device. Here, we want to introduce EaseUS RecExperts.

EaseUS RecExperts for Mac

This tool is compatible with almost all Mac device models, including the M1, M2, and M3-based Macs. Providing a wide range of features, it makes any recording tasks easier, such as recording gameplay, streaming videos, and so on. Most importantly, the recorded video files will keep HD, 4K, and even 8K quality! Now, you can try this tool to simplify your tasks on M3 Macs!

Apple M3 vs. Apple M2 FAQs

1. How much faster will the M3 chip be?

The M3 chip has an 8-core CPU, and it is up to 30 percent faster than the M2 and 50 percent faster than the M1 family.

2. Which Apple M chip is better?

Obviously, the Apple M3 family of chips is the best. The newer processor's cores are slightly more powerful and notably more efficient than the M1's cores. 

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