MacBook Pro M3 Max just tipped with 40 GPU cores and 48GB of RAM

MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 sitting on a patio table
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple may not have officially revealed its M3 chip yet, but a new report suggests the tech giant has already begun testing on an even more powerful version of the silicon.

According to Bloomberg — which has seen third-party logs from a Mac app developer — the M3 Max chip could be the monster processor at the heart of the most powerful MacBook Pro Apple has released to date. 

Apple is said to be testing multiple configurations for its next MacBook Pro (currently codenamed ‘J514’), so the core counts below aren’t necessarily final.

Apple M3 Max chip: Rumored specs 

The rumored M3 Max chip is said to include 16 processing cores and up to 40 graphics cores. For context, its predecessor the M2 Max had 12 CPU cores and 38 GPU cores. 

The central processor of the M3 Max reportedly features 12 high-performance cores (compared to the 8 P-cores of its predecessor), which will mainly be used for the most demanding tasks you can throw at a MacBook Pro, like video editing and gaming. 

The latest silicon will also feature four efficiency cores to take on less demanding daily computing tasks. For reference, the M2 Max chip has only four efficiency cores. 

Bloomberg also reports the M3 Max-powered MacBook Pro will release next year, and that the version the company is currently testing uses 48GB of memory. This would mark a significant upgrade over the MacBook Pro with M2 Max, which starts with 32GB of unified memory.

Regardless, the M3 Max could be the flagship piece of silicon for Apple going forward. The next chipset down, the M3 Pro, is set to have 12 CPU cores, 18 GPU cores and 36GB of memory.

The M3 Max-powered MacBook Pro could have 48GB of memory, up from 32GB on the previous M2 Max chip.

Both processors will allegedly use TSMC’s advanced 3nm process node, which would make future M3 MacBooks far more powerful and efficient than previous generations of Apple laptops that used TSMC’s 5-nanometer tech. So you should expect longer battery life as well. 

At a time when overall MacBook sales are lurching — in spite of great products like this year’s MacBook Air 15-inch — the Cupertino-based company must be hoping the allure of the M3 chipest's power can entice high-end consumers. Currently, it’s expected the first M3 MacBooks will launch in October.

Even as a lifelong user of some of the best Windows laptops, the concept of a new Macbook Pro with 16 CPU cores and up to 40 GPU cores is one my wallet could find hard to resist.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.