Upgrade to the M3 Max MacBook Pro

Recently I’ve been debating about upgrading from my M1 Pro MacBook Pro to the M3 Pro. First, Apple has made some big improvements in the Apple Silicon line. The biggest being switching from 5 nanometer manufacturing to 3 nanometer. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but consider this. That “small” jump allows the chip to be 35% power efficiency while providing faster and more efficiency compute. In simple terms: less power, more horsepower.

The other week, I ordered a 14″ Space Black M3 Pro MacBook Pro (base model). This is basically the same specs as my M1 Pro MacBook Pro. The only changes between M1/M2 and M3 are that there have been some performance core and efficiency core changes, memory bandwidth changes, and the switch to 3nm manufacturing. Overall, I was really happy with it. But there wasn’t much of a difference between the M1 Pro and M3 Pro. So I decided I was just going to stick with the M1 Pro. But then after talking with some friends, I then decided the best course of action would be to make the jump to M3 Max. The M3 Max, in benchmarks, has the same horsepower as the M2 Ultra. The M3 Max also brings me back to the specs of my old i7 2020 MacBook Pro – 1 TB storage, 36 GB of RAM. The only difference is there are 4 extra gigs of memory compared to my i7.

Over the weekend I decided to return the M3 Pro, trade in my M2 MBA, and go for the M3 Max, also in Space Black. Space Black is a really nice color and it’s what Space Grey should have been, in my opinion. If you put the Space Grey Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard next to it, the colors match up really well. Also, it seems odd saying it, but the M3 Max MacBook Pro is also the best Windows laptop I have ever owned. Windows 11 boots in like 2 seconds under Parallels, and it’s just so snappy. I also used to use Parallels on my 2020 i7 MBP but Windows 10 never ran that snappy – and that’s also when you consider that since the M3 is ARM, Windows 11 is also ARM and x86-64 instructions have to be translated. Even then, the several Windows-only apps I’ve installed have been snappy. Even faster than if I installed them on bare metal Windows.

I’m hoping that by “going big” on this one, it’ll last me a good five years. Especially now that there are enough Apple Silicon generations to know what kind of performance we’re going to see between generations (and it’s about 30%) and how the different bins line up (like how I mentioned that the M3 Max has the benchmark scores of last year’s M2 Ultra, this is basically what we’re going to see – M3 Ultra is going to be the M4 Max; the M3 Max is going to be the M4 Pro; the M3 Pro is going to be the M4.). My M1 quickly turned into my favorite laptop, so I have no doubts this will also quickly turn into my favorite laptop.

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