Apple M3 vs Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)

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CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple M3 CPU1 vs CPU2 Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
Apple M3 Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)

CPU comparison

Apple M3 or Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) - which processor is faster? In this comparison we look at the differences and analyze which of these two CPUs is better. We compare the technical data and benchmark results.

The Apple M3 has 8 cores with 8 threads and clocks with a maximum frequency of 4.06 GHz. Up to 24 GB of memory is supported in 2 memory channels. The Apple M3 was released in Q4/2023.

The Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) has 10 cores with 10 threads and clocks with a maximum frequency of 3.50 GHz. The CPU supports up to 32 GB of memory in 2 memory channels. The Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) was released in Q1/2023.
Apple M series (25) Family Apple M series (25)
Apple M3 (6) CPU group Apple M2 (8)
3 Generation 2
M3 Architecture M2
Mobile Segment Mobile
Apple M2 Predecessor Apple M1 Pro (10-CPU 14-GPU)
Apple M4 Successor Apple M3 Pro (11-CPU 14-GPU)

CPU Cores and Base Frequency

The Apple M3 has 8 CPU cores and can calculate 8 threads in parallel. The clock frequency of the Apple M3 is 0.70 GHz (4.06 GHz) while the Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) has 10 CPU cores and 10 threads can calculate simultaneously. The clock frequency of the Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) is at 0.66 GHz (3.50 GHz).

Apple M3 Characteristic Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
8 Cores 10
8 Threads 10
hybrid (big.LITTLE) Core architecture hybrid (big.LITTLE)
No Hyperthreading No
No Overclocking ? No
0.70 GHz (4.06 GHz)
4x P-Core
A-Core 0.66 GHz (3.50 GHz)
6x Avalanche
0.74 GHz (2.75 GHz)
4x E-Core
B-Core 0.60 GHz (2.42 GHz)
4x Blizzard

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Processors with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors. Algorithms for ML improve their performance the more data they have collected via software. ML tasks can be processed up to 10,000 times faster than with a classic processor.

Apple M3 Characteristic Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
Apple Neural Engine AI hardware Apple Neural Engine
16 Neural cores @ 35 TOPS AI specifications 16 Neural cores @ 15.8 TOPS

Internal Graphics

The Apple M3 or Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) has integrated graphics, called iGPU for short. The iGPU uses the system's main memory as graphics memory and sits on the processor's die.

Apple M3 (10 Core) GPU Apple M2 Pro (16 Core)
0.39 GHz GPU frequency 0.45 GHz
1.40 GHz GPU (Turbo) 1.40 GHz
3 GPU Generation 2
3 nm Technology 5 nm
2 Max. displays 3
160 Compute units 256
1280 Shader 2048
Yes Hardware Raytracing No
No Frame Generation No
24 GB Max. GPU Memory 32 GB
-- DirectX Version --

Hardware codec support

A photo or video codec that is accelerated in hardware can greatly accelerate the working speed of a processor and extend the battery life of notebooks or smartphones when playing videos.

Apple M3 (10 Core) GPU Apple M2 Pro (16 Core)
Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (8 bit) Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (10 bit) Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec h264 Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec VP9 Decode / Encode
Decode Codec VP8 Decode
Decode Codec AV1 No
Decode Codec AVC Decode
Decode Codec VC-1 Decode
Decode / Encode Codec JPEG Decode / Encode

Memory & PCIe

The Apple M3 can use up to 24 GB of memory in 2 memory channels. The maximum memory bandwidth is 102.4 GB/s. The Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) supports up to 32 GB of memory in 2 memory channels and achieves a memory bandwidth of up to 102.4 GB/s.

Apple M3 Characteristic Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
LPDDR5-6400 Memory LPDDR5-6400
24 GB Max. Memory 32 GB
2 (Dual Channel) Memory channels 2 (Dual Channel)
102.4 GB/s Max. Bandwidth 102.4 GB/s
No ECC No
20.00 MB L2 Cache 28.00 MB
-- L3 Cache --
4.0 PCIe version 4.0
-- PCIe lanes --
-- PCIe Bandwidth --

Thermal Management

The thermal design power (TDP for short) of the Apple M3 is 22 W, while the Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) has a TDP of 30 W. The TDP specifies the necessary cooling solution that is required to cool the processor sufficiently.

Apple M3 Characteristic Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
22 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) 30 W
-- TDP (PL2) --
-- TDP up --
15 W TDP down --
100 °C Tjunction max. 100 °C

Technical details

The Apple M3 is manufactured in 3 nm and has 20.00 MB cache. The Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) is manufactured in 5 nm and has a 28.00 MB cache.

Apple M3 Characteristic Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
3 nm Technology 5 nm
Chiplet Chip design Chiplet
Armv8-A (64 bit) Instruction set (ISA) Armv8.5-A (64 bit)
Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation ISA extensions Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation
-- Socket --
Apple Virtualization Framework Virtualization Apple Virtualization Framework
Yes AES-NI Yes
macOS, iPadOS Operating systems macOS, iPadOS
Q4/2023 Release date Q1/2023
-- Release price --
show more data show more data


Rate these processors

Here you can rate the Apple M3 to help other visitors make their purchasing decisions. The average rating is 4.9 stars (1236 ratings). Rate now:
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Average performance in benchmarks

⌀ Single core performance in 4 CPU benchmarks
Apple M3 (100%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) (87%)
⌀ Multi core performance in 5 CPU benchmarks
Apple M3 (88%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) (100%)

Cinebench 2024 (Single-Core)

The Cinebench 2024 benchmark is based on the Redshift rendering engine, which is also used in Maxon's 3D program Cinema 4D. The benchmark runs are each 10 minutes long to test whether the processor is limited by its heat generation.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
137 (100%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
122 (89%)

Cinebench 2024 (Multi-Core)

The Multi-Core test of the Cinebench 2024 benchmark uses all cpu cores to render using the Redshift rendering engine, which is also used in Maxons Cinema 4D. The benchmark run is 10 minutes long to test whether the processor is limited by its heat generation.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
659 (84%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
782 (100%)

Cinebench R23 (Single-Core)

Cinebench R23 is the successor of Cinebench R20 and is also based on the Cinema 4 Suite. Cinema 4 is a worldwide used software to create 3D forms. The single-core test only uses one CPU core, the amount of cores or hyperthreading ability doesn't count.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
1965 (100%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
1695 (86%)

Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core)

Cinebench R23 is the successor of Cinebench R20 and is also based on the Cinema 4 Suite. Cinema 4 is a worldwide used software to create 3D forms. The multi-core test involves all CPU cores and taks a big advantage of hyperthreading.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
10437 (86%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
12125 (100%)

Geekbench 5, 64bit (Single-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The single-core test only uses one CPU core, the amount of cores or hyperthreading ability doesn't count.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
2150 (100%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
1874 (87%)

Geekbench 5, 64bit (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The multi-core test involves all CPU cores and taks a big advantage of hyperthreading.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
10450 (85%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
12224 (100%)

Geekbench 6 (Single-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The single-core benchmark only evaluates the performance of the fastest CPU core, the number of CPU cores in a processor is irrelevant here.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
3125 (100%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
2689 (86%)

Geekbench 6 (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The multi-core benchmark evaluates the performance of all of the processor's CPU cores. Virtual thread improvements such as AMD SMT or Intel's Hyper-Threading have a positive impact on the benchmark result.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
11863 (98%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
12084 (100%)

iGPU - FP32 Performance (Single-precision GFLOPS)

The theoretical computing performance of the internal graphics unit of the processor with simple accuracy (32 bit) in GFLOPS. GFLOPS indicates how many billion floating point operations the iGPU can perform per second.
Apple M3 Apple M3
Apple M3 (10 Core) @ 1.40 GHz
3550 (63%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
Apple M2 Pro (16 Core) @ 1.40 GHz
5680 (100%)

Estimated results for PassMark CPU Mark

Some of the CPUs listed below have been benchmarked by CPU-monkey. However the majority of CPUs have not been tested and the results have been estimated by a CPU-monkey’s secret proprietary formula. As such they do not accurately reflect the actual Passmark CPU mark values and are not endorsed by PassMark Software Pty Ltd.
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
18951 (88%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 3.50 GHz
21532 (100%)

CPU performance per watt (efficiency)

Efficiency of the processor under full load in the Cinebench R23 (multi-core) benchmark. The benchmark result is divided by the average energy required (CPU package power in watts). The higher the value, the more efficient the CPU is under full load.
Apple M3 Apple M3
10,437 CB R23 MC @ 22 W
474 (100%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
12,125 CB R23 MC @ 30 W
404 (85%)

Performance for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Processors with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors. The performance is given in the number (trillions) of arithmetic operations per second (TOPS).
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 0.70 GHz
35 (100%)
Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU) Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
10C 10T @ 0.66 GHz
15.8 (45%)

Devices using this processor

Apple M3 Apple M2 Pro (10-CPU 16-GPU)
Apple iMac 24 (2023) Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023)
Apple mac mini (2023)

Comparison of the two processors

In this CPU comparison we look at the Apple M3 and the Apple M2 Pro with 10 CPU cores and 16 iGPU cores. Like its predecessors (Apple M1 and Apple M2), the Apple M3 again relies on 8 CPU cores, which are available in a hybrid core design. 4 fast P-cores are replaced by another 4 E-cores, which are smaller and slower but work more efficiently.

The structure of the Apple M2 Pro with 10 CPU cores is quite similar. It has 6 large P-cores which are also complemented by 4 economical E-cores. The clock frequency here is up to 3.5 GHz, the Apple M3 achieves a slightly higher clock frequency of 4.06 GHz.

As is typical for Apple, both processors cannot be overclocked and can only process one thread per CPU core at the same time. Both processors also have hardware-accelerated AI, which reaches 35 TOPS in the Apple M3. The Apple M2 Pro (10 CPU 16 GPU) also has 16 AI cores, but these can only calculate just under 16 TOPS.

The processors' integrated graphics cards differ primarily in the number of execution units and texture shaders; the graphics frequency is identical at 1.4 GHz for both processors. The iGPU of the Apple M3 has a theoretical computing power of 3.55 TFLOPS, that of the Apple M2 Pro even achieves 5.68 TFLOPS.

This means that both graphics solutions are quite fast and would even be suitable for some computer games. However, macOS' game support is very limited, so you don't have a very large selection of computer games here.

Apple was able to further increase the efficiency of the newer Apple M3 compared to the Apple M2 Pro. Under full load, the Apple M3 achieved 474 points (10,437 Cinebench R23 multi-core points with a CPU package power of 22 watts). The Apple M2 Pro has 12,125 CB R23 points with 30 watts of CPU package power, which results in a score of 404.

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