Unveiling the Space Black M3 Max MacBook Pro: A Gamer’s Delight or Professional Powerhouse?

M3 Max MacBook Pro

Introduction

In the ever-evolving world of technology, Apple has once again captured our attention with the latest creation—the Space Black M3 Max MacBook Pro. We delve into the intricacies of this new laptop, highlighting its revamped color and the groundbreaking M3 family of chips. Let’s explore the details and insights shared in this review.

M3 Max MacBook Pro

The Aesthetics of Space Black

The journey kicks off with an enthusiastic overview of the laptop’s exterior. We couldn’t help but notice the design elements that made previous Apple laptops great are retained—the plethora of ports, including the beloved MagSafe, the high-quality build, and the vivid display. However, the real showstopper is the introduction of the Space Black color, which, despite our initial expectations, turns out to be a darker iteration of the classic Space Gray.

We were particularly intrigued by Apple’s new anodization process for the aluminum, claiming to make it extra fingerprint-resistant. While it does offer an improvement, it falls slightly short of the anticipated deep black tone. We appreciate its darker appearance but note that it may not fully live up to the “Space Black” moniker.

Under the Hood: The M3 Max Chip

Transitioning from aesthetics to performance, let’s dive into the M3 family of chips. The M3 Max, built on a three-nanometer process, boasts improvements over its predecessor, the M2. We focused our attention on the top-tier M3 Max variant, highlighting the increased GPU core count and expanded memory capacity.

The CPU improvements align with Apple’s claims of a 20-30% boost in performance, with a surprisingly significant leap in single-core performance. On the GPU front, the M3 Max competes admirably, reaching the level of the M1 Ultra and comparable to mainstream GPUs like the AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RTX 3070.

 M3 Max MacBook Pro

Gaming on a Mac?

Our exploration took an unexpected turn as we delved into the prospect of gaming on the MacBook Pro. Acknowledging historical limitations due to game availability, we are optimistic about the newfound gaming capabilities. Highlighting a game named “Lies of P” that utilizes hardware-accelerated ray tracing, we commend the gaming experience on the MacBook Pro, albeit expressing personal disinterest in this particular game.

The MacBook Pro’s gaming potential raises questions about the evolving landscape of Mac gaming. While it may not compete with dedicated gaming PCs, we suggest that the M3 Max’s capabilities open up possibilities for gamers on the Mac platform.

M3 Max MacBook Pro

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade

Our journey concludes with a personal reflection on the Space Black M3 Max MacBook Pro. Initially enticed by the combination of the new color and chip, we ultimately decide to stick with the M1 Max MacBook Pro, citing that the improvements may not be substantial for current users of the M2 or M1 series.

The conclusion highlights the M3 Max as a commendable upgrade for those with older machines or different-tier MacBooks. We express contentment with the existing M1 Max, leaving room for future upgrades that might align more closely with personal preferences.

Final Thoughts

The Space Black M3 Max MacBook Pro, with its darker aesthetics and enhanced performance, brings notable improvements to the MacBook lineup. While the gaming capabilities add an unexpected dimension, the decision to upgrade hinges on individual needs and the current MacBook model owned. As technology continues to advance, Apple’s commitment to innovation ensures that every MacBook release is met with anticipation and scrutiny from users and tech enthusiasts alike.

Technical Specifications

Year introduced: 2023

Finish

  • Space Black
  • Silver

Chip

Apple M3 Pro chip

  • 11-core CPU with 5 performance cores and 6 efficiency cores, 12-core CPU with 6 performance cores and 6 efficiency cores
  • 14-core GPU, 18-core GPU
  • Hardware-accelerated ray tracing
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 150GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Media Engine
    • Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW
    • Video decode engine
    • Video encode engine
    • ProRes encode and decode engine
    • AV1 decode
  • Configurable to:
    • M3 Pro with 12-core CPU and 18-core GPU, M3 Max with 14-core CPU and 30-core GPU (300GB/s memory bandwidth), or M3 Max with 16-core CPU and 40-core GPU (400GB/s memory bandwidth)

Apple M3 Max chip

  • 14-core CPU with 10 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
  • 30-core GPU
  • Hardware-accelerated ray tracing
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 300GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Media Engine
    • Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW
    • Video decode engine
    • Two video encode engines
    • Two ProRes encode and decode engines
    • AV1 decode
  • Configurable to:
    • M3 Max with 16-core CPU and 40-core GPU (400GB/s memory bandwidth)

Display

Liquid Retina XDR display

  • 14.2-inch (diagonal) Liquid Retina XDR display;1 3024×1964 native resolution at 254 pixels per inch

XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range)

  • 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
  • XDR brightness: 1,000 nits sustained full-screen, 1,600 nits peak2 (HDR content only)
  • SDR brightness: 600 nits

Colour

  • 1 billion colours
  • Wide colour (P3)
  • True Tone technology

Refresh rates

  • ProMotion technology for adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz
  • Fixed refresh rates: 47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz, 60.00Hz

Memory

Apple M3 Pro chip

  • 18GB unified memory
    Configurable to 36GB (M3 Pro or M3 Max with 14-core CPU) or 96GB (M3 Max with 14-core CPU) or 48GB, 64GB or 128GB (M3 Max with 16-core CPU)

Apple M3 Max chip

  • 36GB unified memory
    Configurable to 96GB (M3 Max with 14-core CPU) or 48GB, 64GB or 128GB (M3 Max with 16-core CPU)

Battery and Power3

  • Up to 18 hours Apple TV app movie playback
  • Up to 12 hours wireless web
  • 72.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery3
  • 70W USB‑C Power Adapter (included with M3 Pro with 11-core CPU)
  • 96W USB‑C Power Adapter (included with M3 Pro with 12-core CPU and M3 Max, configurable with M3 Pro with 11-core CPU)
  • USB‑C to MagSafe 3 Cable
  • Fast-charge capable with 96W USB‑C Power Adapter

Storage

Apple M3 Pro chip

  • 512GB SSD
    Configurable to 1TB, 2TB or 4TB; 8TB (M3 Max only)

Apple M3 Max chip

  • 1TB SSD
    Configurable to 2TB, 4TB or 8TB

Charging and Expansion

  • SDXC card slot
  • HDMI port
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • MagSafe 3 port
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports with support for:
    • Charging
    • DisplayPort
    • Thunderbolt 4 (up to 40Gb/s)
    • USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s)

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