Previously, if you wanted to play PC games, you had to buy a Windows PC (you could even build a Linux PC if you were brave). You might have wanted to buy a Mac, but you can’t play games on a Mac, right? Well, judging by Apple’s “Scary Fast” event today, that’s no longer true. For the first time, Apple focused much of its promotional energy on positioning its latest Mac as a gaming powerhouse.
Apple’s M3 processor powers the new MacBook Pro and 24-inch iMac. You can read all about the processor in the previous link. Basically, the 3nm build and new ultra-powerful GPU means you have enough power to play the most demanding games.
Of course, for a Mac to be considered a truly viable gaming PC, it needs support from developers. But Apple has taken the time to pick up some games that run on the Mac, including Baldur’s Gate 3, which runs natively on Apple silicon. Could this be the first significant step for the company to become a gaming PC company rather than just a productivity PC company?
If you want to know this, you need a machine with an M3. Here’s what’s available so far.
The new M3-powered MacBook Pro comes in two sizes: 14-inch and 16-inch. A new color, Space Black, is also available.
Other than the color change and processor upgrade, everything else is pretty much the same. There are no new ports or other design changes. Yes, there’s still a display notch.
However, there is a new starting price. The previous 14-inch MacBook Pro was powered by his M2 Pro processor, which cost him $1,999. The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 starts at $1,599, making it a little more affordable at the expense of performance. Unfortunately (and this is where his Mac fans will be upset), his $1,599 model doesn’t come in space black. To get that new color, you’ll have to spend at least $1,999 on the M3 Pro model with 512GB of internal storage. The only 14-inch model with M3 Max costs $3,199.
Meanwhile, all 16-inch MacBook Pros have a Space Black option. However, it only costs as much as the 16-inch M3 Pro, so prices start at his hefty $2,499. If you opt for the top-of-the-line M3 Max model, you’ll spend an astonishing $3,999.
All M3 and M3 Pro models in both sizes are available for pre-order now for delivery on November 7th. All M3 Max models in both sizes are available for pre-order now, with shipping expected in late November.
24 inch iMac
Like the new MacBook Pro, the updated 24-inch iMac is very similar to previous models except for the new silicon. However, thanks to new silicon, it now supports up to 24 GB of unified memory. This is a nice perk since previous models with the M1 processor only supported up to 8GB of unified memory. But confusingly, Apple has yet to offer an iMac with this much integrated memory. At least for now, all options have a cap of 8GB.
Additionally, the lowest-end 24-inch iMac with M3 power has a lower-grade GPU. The lowest-end iMac only has an 8-core GPU, unlike the 10-core GPU that even the lowest-end M3 MacBook Pro has. We don’t know why Apple did this, but we’re guessing it was to cut costs and make the iMac more affordable.
Speaking of being able to afford an iMac, you’ll need to pay at least $1,299 for an iMac with that 8-core GPU. If you want the largest model with a full 10-core GPU, 512 GB of internal storage, and 8 GB of unified memory, you’ll need to pay $1,699.
All configurations of the new 24-inch iMac are available for pre-order now and will ship on November 7th.