On October 31, 2023, Apple unveiled its new range of 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, equipped with M3, M3 Pro or M3 Max chips. What mainly distinguishes these models from their predecessors is the MacBook Pro 14 M2 Pro, also released in 2023. If you’re considering buying a new MacBook for your office, dive into our comparison to choose between the M2 Pro and M3 Pro. From tech specs to design and performance to battery life, we’ll look at every facet of these laptops to help you make an informed decision.
As their names suggest, the primary distinction between the two 14-inch MacBook Pros lies in their processors: the M3 Pro is equipped with the Apple M3 Pro chip, while the older model incorporates the Apple M2 Pro chip. Although both chips start with a 12-core CPU, the M3 Pro sports an 18-core GPU, one fewer than the M2 Pro’s 19 cores.
Nonetheless, Apple claims that the M3 Pro offers faster and more efficient performance compared to the M2 Pro. Notable graphics improvements are also introduced to the M3 Pro, making it more suitable for gamers and creatives. The main one is Dynamic Caching which allocates local memory usage in real time. Other features include hardware acceleration of Mesh shading and Ray tracing.
It is undeniable that the 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 Pro outperforms the M2 Pro in performance. A significant development also concerns RAM; the 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 Pro now runs up to 128 GB of RAM, compared to 32 GB for the M2 Pro. When it comes to storage, both models offer a capacity of up to 8TB.
Design And Screen
Beyond the bullet points, almost everything else remains unchanged. So, no upgrades are made to the screen and design. Both the M2 Pro and M3 offer a 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with skinny bezels, a resolution of 3024 x 1964 pixels and mini LED backlighting. Overall brightness is 1,000 nits, with peaks of 1,600 nits for HDR content. Built-in True Tone technology on both MacBooks adjusts the color and intensity of the screen based on ambient light.
They also benefit from ProMotion technology, allowing you to dynamically switch from 24 to 120 Hz depending on the uses and content displayed on the screen. This will enable you to enjoy perfect fluidity in all your tasks. Regarding the design, both models have a premium appearance, with quality materials, rounded lines and an impeccable finish.
The backlit Magic Keyboard provides pleasant, responsive typing, and Touch ID integration allows for fingerprint unlocking. The dimensions are identical for the M2 Pro and the M3 Pro: 312.6 x 221.2 x 15.5 mm. But the M3 Pro is slightly heavier, weighing 1.61 kg compared to 1.60 kilograms of the M2 Pro.
Audio And Camera
There are no differences to report regarding audio and camera. Both the M2 Pro and M3 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro feature an audio system consisting of six high-fidelity speakers, ensuring a satisfying sound experience for your ears. They support spatial audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos, as well as when using AirPods.
Additionally, both computers are equipped with three studio-quality microphones for crisp audio recordings. Video calls are provided by a 1080p FaceTime HD Webcam located at the top of the screen, housed in the notch. Video quality is excellent in bright light and quite acceptable in low light.
Battery capacities differ between the two 14-inch MacBook Pros. The M3 Pro has a 72.4 Wh built-in lithium-polymer battery, compared to the M2 Pro’s 70 Wh. Despite this difference, Apple guarantees the same autonomy with 12 hours of wireless web browsing and 18 hours of video playback for both models. So you can stay away from a power outlet throughout a working day, especially for less power-intensive tasks.
Both devices come with a 96W USB-C power adapter for fast charging. You can get a 50% charge in less than 30 minutes, and complete control takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Connectivity and Ports . As Pro models, the M2 Pro and M3 Pro have very high-end and diverse connectivity.
In addition to the MagSafe port and the 3.5 mm jack, they integrate 3 Thunderbolt 4 ports (up to 40 Gbit/s) in USB-C format and are compatible with charging, an HDMI socket and an SDXC card reader. Apple laptops abandoned USB-A ports a long time ago. On the wireless connection side, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 are present, offering much higher speeds.
Finally, let’s talk about the base prices of these two laptops. The MacBook Pro M2 Pro was initially priced at 2,399 euros when it was released in early 2023. The 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 Pro, for its part, was priced at 2,499 euros when it was released in October 2023. Thus, a significant price difference of 100 euros separates these two models.
At first glance, the 14-inch MacBook Pro M2 Pro and M3 Pro look very similar. Their design and display are identical. But do they suit the exact needs? As we reviewed previously, the new M3Pro chip offers 20% faster performance than the M2 Pro. It is, therefore, the best option if you need to deal with more complex and resource-intensive tasks.
Additionally, this template incorporates other additional graphics features that will help you in your content creations, such as dynamic cache management, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and hardware-accelerated mesh shading.
On the other hand, if your workload doesn’t require considerable processing power, the M2 Pro remains a viable option. It offers a more economical alternative to the M3 Pro while maintaining practically equivalent characteristics. So, your choice between these two models will largely depend on the intensity of your performance needs.