Apple took the wraps off of its latest computer chips on Monday alongside its new Mac lineup. The new M3 SoC family includes the regular M3, the M3 Pro, and the M3 Max, all of which are going to feature on the 2023 lineup of MacBooks and iMacs.
New Neural Engine
Other than usual performance and efficiency upgrades, the new M3 chips also put great emphasis on AI capabilities and gaming output. Apple claims that the M3 series has up to a 60% faster neural engine compared to the M1 family from 3 years ago.
The unified memory architecture provides a significant advantage in the realm of AI. This is because the AI transformer models commonly employed demand substantial memory resources. The unified memory model enables the use of transformer models with billions of parameters on an M3 MacBook Pro.
In simpler words, a MacBook Pro running the new M3 Max chip should make an AI developer’s work a lot easier and less time-consuming than before. That being said, it is going to be more useful on the enterprise side of things since more and more companies are looking for machines that can run AI models locally or run AI-intensive software.
Since AI-related tasks also tend to draw a lot of GPU power, Apple has also made notable upgrades to the graphics side of things. The new M3 chips feature a new GPU microarchitecture that enables novel features like dynamic caching. In contrast to traditional methods where software assigns a fixed amount of local GPU memory, dynamic caching empowers the system to allocate memory based on the immediate requirements of the compiler to efficiently complete tasks.
Since dynamic caching allows the GPU to use its resources more efficiently, it helps deliver better performance for not just AI tasks, but software processing and gaming as well. There is also hardware-accelerated mesh shading which allows graphical software to process more visually complex scenes better than before.
As mentioned earlier, the Apple M3 chips are going to feature on the new MacBook lineup which is going on sale next week. The M3 and M3 Pro will feature on the 14″ MacBook Pro while the flagship M3 Max will grace the 16″ MacBook Pro. All three chips will also be available on the new 24″ M3 iMac later this year.