Published in PC Hardware

Apple shows off new chips in old laptop

by on31 October 2023

Entry level hardware for the price of an expensive computer

Fruity cargo cult Apple’s "Scary Fast" event turned out to be pushing an over-priced “entry-level” laptop with one of its over-hyped M3 in-house chips on board.

Scary Fast, frightening in the same way that Michael Jackson’s “thriller” was if you knew the backstory, featured a refreshed 24-inch iMac, entry-level MacBook Pro that ditches the much-hated but still strangely praised Touch Bar.

Even Apple could not get too excited about the old MacBook Pro it was peddling, so the Tame Apple Press focused on the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips, which Apple says mark the "first personal computer chips" made using a more efficient 3-nanometer process.

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In addition to an unspecified performance CPU, the chips have an updated GPU that supports ray tracing, mesh shading, and Dynamic Caching.

Apple claims its M3 chips manage up to 128GB of unified memory, but given the price of Apple’s “extra RAM” on a Macbook, you would need to be a card-carrying member of the Illuminati to afford it.  When you had made your purchase, you would discover that you had just put 128GB of RAM in an basic PC and be classed as too thick to be a member of the Illuminati and have to return your membership card and owl.

The most powerful M3 Max chip will have 92 billion transistors, a 40-core GPU, and a 16-core CPU.

The new 24-inch iMac is getting an M3-flavored upgrade that Apple says offers two times faster performance than its M1-equipped predecessor, which was a mobile phone chip, so we are really comparing Apples with Lemons here.

Along with the new chip, the refreshed iMac features a 4.5K Retina display with more than 1 billion colours, support for Wi-Fi 6E, and a 1080p webcam.

The iMac also offers up to 24GB of unified memory and comes in seven colours: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. Also, colour-matched accessories come with the iMac, but they still feature Lightning connectors.

 The 24-inch iMac costs $1,299 with an eight-core CPU or $1,499 with a 10-core chip. You can preorder it starting today, with availability beginning on 7 November.

Alongside the M3 Pro and M3 Max-equipped MacBook Pro models, Apple is releasing a cheaper 14-inch MacBook Pro that comes with the base M3 chip and starts at $1,599. T

The device replaces the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip that Apple released last year and offers a non-specific performance “up to 60 per cent faster.”

The much-hated Touch Bar model is discontinued, so it's back to physical keys -- not that many people used the touch bar or physical keys.

This entry-level model, though, features a meagre 8GB of RAM and comes in just silver and space grey variations -- black is exclusive to the higher-end MacBook Pros, so you can fool yourself that you have bought something even more expensive. The device is available to preorder today and officially launches on 7 November.

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Last modified on 31 October 2023
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