Apple MacBook Pro 16 M3 Max review: the most power for the most money

Apple MacBook Pro 16 M3 Max
Apple MacBook Pro 16 M3 Max

Apple has recently launched its new generation of MacBook Pro laptops, featuring the M3 chip, which is the successor to the M2 chip that debuted earlier this year. The M3 chip comes in two variants: the M3 Pro and the M3 Max. The M3 Pro is designed for general users who need a balance of performance and efficiency, while the M3 Max is aimed at professional users who demand the highest level of performance and graphics.

The M3 Max is the star of the show, as it boasts a whopping 16 CPU cores, 40 GPU cores, and up to 128 GB of memory. It also supports up to 8 TB of SSD storage, which is twice as much as the previous generation. The M3 Max is available in both the 14-inch and the 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but in this review, we will focus on the 16-inch version, which is the most powerful and expensive laptop that Apple has ever made.

Design and display

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip has a sleek and sturdy design, with an aluminum chassis that comes in two colors: silver and space black. The space black color is new for the MacBook Pro line, and it looks stunning and elegant. The laptop weighs 4.8 pounds and measures 0.66 by 14 by 9.8 inches, which is slightly thicker and heavier than the previous generation, but still relatively portable for a workstation laptop.

The laptop features a 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, which is a mini-LED panel that offers a resolution of 3456 by 2234 pixels, a brightness of up to 1600 nits, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. The display supports ProMotion, which automatically adjusts the refresh rate depending on the content, and True Tone, which adapts the color temperature to the ambient light. The display also covers the P3 wide color gamut and supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The display is simply stunning, with vivid colors, sharp details, and excellent viewing angles. It is ideal for creative professionals who work with high-resolution and high-dynamic-range content.

Ports and connectivity

One of the biggest changes in the new MacBook Pro models is the return of the ports that were missing in the previous generation. The 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip has three Thunderbolt 4 ports, which support USB 4, DisplayPort, and Power Delivery. It also has an HDMI 2.0 port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a full-size SDXC card slot. The laptop also comes with a MagSafe 3 power connector, which is a magnetic charger that can detach easily if someone trips over the cable. The laptop supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 for wireless connectivity.

Performance and graphics

The main attraction of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip is its performance and graphics. The M3 Max chip is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) that integrates the CPU, the GPU, the memory, and the neural engine on a single chip. The CPU has 16 cores, which are divided into 10 performance cores and 6 efficiency cores. The performance cores can handle intensive tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming, while the efficiency cores can handle lighter tasks such as web browsing, email, and music playback. The CPU can also switch between the cores depending on the workload, to optimize the performance and the battery life.

The GPU has 40 cores, which can deliver up to 64 teraflops of graphics performance. The GPU can handle demanding graphics tasks such as 8K video editing, 3D animation, and ray tracing. The GPU also supports Metal, which is Apple’s graphics framework that allows developers to optimize their apps for the M3 chip. The GPU can also drive up to two external displays at up to 6K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate.

The memory has up to 128 GB of capacity, which is the highest amount of memory ever offered in a MacBook Pro. The memory is unified, which means that the CPU and the GPU can access the same pool of memory, without having to copy data between them. This reduces the latency and increases the bandwidth, resulting in faster and smoother performance. The memory also has a 400 GB/s memory bandwidth, which is twice as fast as the previous generation.

The neural engine has 32 cores, which can deliver up to 64 tera operations per second (TOPS) of machine learning performance. The neural engine can handle tasks such as face recognition, natural language processing, and image processing, using Apple’s Core ML framework. The neural engine can also accelerate apps that use artificial intelligence, such as Siri, Photos, and FaceTime.

The SSD storage has up to 8 TB of capacity, which is also the highest amount of storage ever offered in a MacBook Pro. The SSD storage is fast and reliable, with a read speed of up to 7.4 GB/s and a write speed of up to 6.9 GB/s. The SSD storage also supports encryption and data protection, using Apple’s T2 security chip.

The performance and graphics of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip are simply astounding, as it can handle any task that you throw at it, without breaking a sweat. The laptop can rival the Mac Pro, which is Apple’s most powerful desktop computer, in some CPU tasks. The laptop can also outperform most Windows laptops, even those with high-end Intel or AMD processors and Nvidia or AMD graphics cards. The laptop can run multiple apps simultaneously, without any lag or slowdown. The laptop can also run Windows 10 and Linux, using Apple’s Boot Camp or virtualization software, such as Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion.

Battery life and heat

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip has a 100-watt-hour battery, which is the largest battery that is allowed on a laptop by the FAA. The battery can last up to 22 hours of wireless web browsing, or up to 18 hours of video playback, according to Apple. In our tests, the battery lasted for 17 hours and 11 minutes of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, which is an impressive result for a laptop of this size and power. The battery can also be charged quickly, using the 140-watt MagSafe 3 power adapter, which can provide up to 50% of charge in 30 minutes.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip has a fanless design, which means that it does not have any moving parts that can generate noise or dust. The laptop relies on a passive cooling system, which uses a vapor chamber and a heat sink to dissipate the heat from the chip. The laptop also uses software algorithms to manage the power and the temperature, by adjusting the clock speed and the voltage of the chip. The laptop can run cool and quiet, even under heavy load, without compromising the performance or the battery life. The laptop can also run hotter and louder, if you enable the High Power Mode, which boosts the performance and the fan speed, at the expense of the battery life and the noise level.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip has a full-size backlit keyboard, which has a scissor mechanism that provides a comfortable and responsive typing experience. The keyboard also has a Touch Bar, which is a touch-sensitive strip that replaces the function keys and displays context-specific controls and shortcuts. The keyboard also has a physical Escape key, a Touch ID sensor, and a dedicated Siri button. The keyboard also supports keyboard shortcuts, gestures, and voice commands, for easy and convenient navigation and control.

The laptop has a large Force Touch trackpad, which has a smooth and glassy surface that supports multi-touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom, swipe, and tap. The trackpad also has a haptic feedback system, which simulates the click sensation and sound, without actually moving. The trackpad also has a pressure-sensitive feature, which allows you to perform different actions depending on how hard you press, such as previewing a file, opening a link, or accessing a menu.

The laptop has a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, which has a wide-angle lens and a larger sensor that can capture more light and detail. The camera also has an image signal processor, which can enhance the color, contrast, and exposure of the video. The camera also supports FaceTime, which is Apple’s video calling app that allows you to make high-quality video calls with up to 32 people. The camera also supports Center Stage, which is a feature that automatically pans and zooms the video to keep you in the center of the frame, even if you move around.

macOS Sonoma

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip runs on macOS Sonoma, which is the latest version of Apple’s operating system for Mac computers. macOS Sonoma has a sleek and intuitive user interface, which has a dark mode, a dynamic wallpaper, and a customizable dock. macOS Sonoma also has a rich and diverse app ecosystem, which includes Apple’s own apps, such as Safari, Mail, Messages, Photos, Music, Podcasts, TV, News, Books, Maps, Notes, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, and more. macOS Sonoma also supports third-party apps, which are available from

The M3 chips are the first personal computer chips built using the industry-leading 3-nanometer process technology, and feature a next-generation GPU, a faster CPU and Neural Engine, and support for more unified memory. In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about the M3 MacBook, and help you decide whether it is the right choice for you.

Is M3 MacBook coming out?

Yes, the M3 MacBook is already available for purchase from Apple and other retailers. The M3 MacBook refers to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models that come with the M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max chips. These models were announced on October 30, 2023, and started shipping on November 10, 2023. You can choose from different configurations of the M3 MacBook, depending on your needs and budget.

Is M3 Max better than M3 Pro?

The M3 Max is the most powerful chip in the M3 family, and it is better than the M3 Pro in terms of performance and features. The M3 Max has 12 CPU cores, 38 GPU cores, and up to 128GB of unified memory, while the M3 Pro has 10 CPU cores, 16 GPU cores, and up to 36GB of unified memory. The M3 Max also has an advanced media engine that supports AV1 decode, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and mesh shading. The M3 Max is designed for the most demanding workflows, such as rendering 3D content, developing transformer models, and editing 8K video and beyond.

Is MacBook Core M3 good?

The MacBook Core M3 is the base model of the M3 MacBook, and it is good for everyday tasks, multitasking, and light content creation. The MacBook Core M3 has 8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores, and up to 24GB of unified memory. It can run multiple apps, speed through thousands of photos, and effortlessly edit 4K video. The MacBook Core M3 is also more efficient and faster than the M2 chip in the previous MacBook models.

How much RAM is M3 Max?

The M3 Max supports up to 128GB of unified memory, which is the highest amount of RAM ever available on a MacBook. Unified memory is faster and more efficient than traditional RAM, as it allows the CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine to share data quickly and seamlessly. With 128GB of unified memory, the M3 Max can handle complex and large-scale applications, such as manipulating gigapixel panoramas, compiling millions of lines of code, and tackling post-production of 8K video and beyond.

Is M3 better than M2?

The M3 is better than the M2 in every aspect, as it is built using a more advanced process technology, and features a more powerful GPU, CPU, and Neural Engine. The M3 is the first personal computer chip built using the 3-nanometer process technology, which allows more transistors to be packed into a smaller space, and improves speed and efficiency. The M3 also has a next-generation GPU that introduces Dynamic Caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and mesh shading, and delivers up to 2.5x faster rendering speeds than the M2. The M3 also has faster CPU and Neural Engine cores, and supports more unified memory.

Is M3 Pro worth it?

The M3 Pro is worth it if you need more performance and memory than the M3, but not as much as the M3 Max. The M3 Pro is ideal for professional users who work with demanding apps and workflows, such as manipulating large images, editing multiple streams of 8K video, and developing complex apps and games. The M3 Pro offers a balance between power and efficiency, and supports up to two external displays.

Is Core M3 better than i7?

The Core M3 is better than the i7 in terms of performance, power efficiency, and integration. The Core M3 is a custom-designed chip by Apple, while the i7 is a generic chip by Intel. The Core M3 has 8 CPU cores, while the i7 has 4 or 6 CPU cores. The Core M3 also has a more advanced GPU, a faster Neural Engine, and more unified memory than the i7. The Core M3 is also more power efficient, as it consumes less energy and generates less heat than the i7. The Core M3 is also more integrated, as it combines the CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, memory, and other components on a single chip, while the i7 requires separate chips and components.

Is M3 chip better than M1?

The M3 chip is better than the M1 chip in terms of performance, features, and memory. The M3 chip is the successor of the M1 chip, and it is built using a more advanced process technology, and features a more powerful GPU, CPU, and Neural Engine. The M3 chip also introduces new features, such as Dynamic Caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and mesh shading, and supports AV1 decode. The M3 chip also supports more unified memory than the M1 chip, up to 128GB for the M3 Max.

Is M3 Max overkill?

The M3 Max is not overkill if you need the ultimate performance and capability for your work or hobby. The M3 Max is the most advanced chip ever built for a personal computer, and it powers the most extreme workflows, such as rendering intricate 3D content, developing transformer models with billions of parameters, and tackling post-production of 8K video and beyond. The M3 Max is also future-proof, as it supports up to four external displays, and can handle any app or game that you throw at it.


The M3 MacBook is a remarkable achievement of Apple silicon, and it offers a range of options for different users and needs. Whether you choose the M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max, you will get a fast, efficient, and integrated experience that is unmatched by any other personal computer. The M3 MacBook is the best MacBook ever made, and it is worth considering if you are looking for a new laptop.

Leave a Comment