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In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that Apple is testing what he believes is a Mac mini powered by an M3 Apple silicon chip. Gurman says an M3-powered Mac has started showing up in developer logs for third-party apps.
Gurman says the Mac that is showing up carries a “Mac 15,12” model identifier and boasts eight CPU cores, split evenly between efficiency cores and performance cores, plus 10 GPU cores and 24GB of RAM.
The Mac mini is said to be running macOS Sonoma 14.1, which when released will be the first full-point update for Apple’s upcoming macOS 14 operating system for the Mac.
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Since the Mac in question has specifications similar to Apple’s base M2 Mac mini, Gurman believes the M3 Mac Apple is testing is a next-generation Mac mini.
Gurman said that he expects to see the first M3 Macs unveiled as early as October. However, he does not expect to see the M3 Mac mini to be released as one of the early models.
The M3 chip will likely use TSMC’s 3nm fabrication process, which should result in significant performance and power efficiency boosts over the current 5nm-based M2 chip that is used in existing Macs.
M3 Max for the MacBook Pro
Gurman also wrote for Bloomberg today that Apple is also testing its next-generation M3 Max chip, which will replace the M2 Max chip in the next-generation of MacBook Pro models expected to be released in 2024.
References to the M3 Max have also been found in developer test logs. The M3 Max is said to have a 16-core CPU — 12 high-performance cores and four efficiency cores — and a 40-core GPU. This is compared to the M2 Max chip currently being used, which features a 12-core CPU and 38-core GPU.
While the test machine boasts 48GB RAM, there should be higher memory options available when the new M3 Max-powered MacBook Pros go on the market. The current MacBook Pro can be configured with up to 96GB of RAM.
Apple’s M3 Max chip is also expected to use TSMC’s new 3-nanometer fabrication process, which should provide significant speed and efficiency improvements over the M2 Max. The logs show the chip is currently powering an unreleased MacBook Pro with the codename “J514.”
In addition to the M3 Max, Apple will also offer an M3 Pro chip that’s expected to boast a 12-core CPU and an 18-core GPU.
Gurman expects to see the release of the first round of M3-powered Macs sometime in October. However, he expects to see only 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models using the standard M3 chip at that time. The M3 Max-powered 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are expected to debut in 2024.
In April, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote that his sources told him that Apple’s next-generation M3 chip will begin mass production during the second half of 2023. Kuo said that M3 chip production will begin “slightly ahead” of production of the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]