Apple’s new M3 Pro chip for the MacBook Pro lineup has been making headlines since its announcement. It promises improved performance and efficiency compared to its predecessors. However, a recent benchmark result suggests that the M3 Pro chip offers only marginal improvements over the previous M2 Pro chip.
The benchmark result, spotted by Vadim Yuryev, co-host of the YouTube channel Max Tech, shows that the M3 Pro chip with a 12-core CPU offers slightly faster CPU performance than the M2 Pro chip. The result, obtained from Geekbench 6, indicates that the M3 Pro chip has a single-core score of 3,035 and a multi-core score of 15,173.
In terms of single-core performance, the M3 Pro chip is up to 14% faster than the M2 Pro chip. However, in terms of multi-core performance for demanding tasks and workflows, the M3 Pro chip is only about 6% faster. These numbers suggest that the performance gains achieved by the M3 Pro chip are not significant compared to its predecessor.
One possible explanation for this is that the M3 Pro chip has six high-performance cores and six efficiency cores, whereas the M2 Pro chip has eight high-performance cores and four efficiency cores. Despite being manufactured with TSMC’s more advanced 3nm process (compared to 5nm for the M2 Pro chip), the M3 Pro chip’s decreased number of high-performance cores affects its overall performance. Additionally, the M3 Pro chip has 25% less memory bandwidth and one fewer GPU core compared to the M2 Pro chip.
Apple’s decision to limit the number of high-performance cores in the M3 Pro chip creates a greater differentiation between the M3 Pro and the M3 Max, which has up to 12 high-performance cores. While this enhances the market positioning of the M3 Max, it also leaves the M3 Pro chip with only marginal improvements over its predecessor.
It is worth noting that the M3 Pro chip is still a significant upgrade for users transitioning from an Intel-based Mac. It offers up to 20% faster performance than the M1 Pro chip, which is a decent improvement in itself. However, compared to the M2 Pro chip, the M3 Pro chip falls short in terms of significant performance gains.
Ultimately, benchmark results are just one indicator of a chip’s performance, and real-world usage can vary. So while the benchmark suggests that the M3 Pro chip may not provide a substantial leap in performance compared to the M2 Pro chip, users should consider other factors such as overall system optimization and software compatibility when evaluating the new MacBook Pro models.
The new MacBook Pro lineup, including the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips, is available for order now. M3 and M3 Pro configurations will start arriving for customers and launch in stores on November 7, while M3 Max configurations are set to roll out later in November.