April 21, 2024

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Should you buy the M2 MacBook Pro or wait for the M3?

Should you buy the M2 MacBook Pro or wait for the M3?

It’s been more than a year since the M2 was announced, as the chip first appeared in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air. With the M3 chip on the horizon, you might be wondering if you’d be better off waiting or buying one of the current MacBook Pros?

While there’s nothing official about the M3 MacBook Pro yet, there have been plenty of reports about what we can expect from the next-gen laptops.

M2 MacBook Pro today

the The M2 MacBook Pro is currently available in three sizes: 13-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch. Of course, you might be wrong in thinking of the difference as only these sizes. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, in particular, doesn’t have the same M2 Pro and M2 Max options that larger laptops do. It also uses an older design, doesn’t have the small LED screen, has a lower-resolution webcam, and significantly fewer ports. For the most part, it’s a laptop no one should be buying — so we’ll put it aside and pretend it doesn’t exist.

However, the current 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are great. Its performance is excellent, especially considering how quiet the systems are and how long the battery life is. They use some of the best deals on the market as well.

But remember: the M2 MacBook Pro is nearly identical to the M1 models. The redesigned chassis came in the first generation launched in 2021, and the biggest benefits are found in those mobile devices. Even the performance difference between M1 and M2 is not as significant as you think. In other words, it’s still a great buy today, especially if you can find one on sale.

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If you don’t require the absolute highest performance, I’d really recommend sticking with a used or refurbished M1 MacBook Pro, with either the M1 Pro or M1 Max. It’s a better deal for the money.

If you’re hoping for a significant jump in performance, the M3 might be worth the wait.

Why the M3 could be such a big deal

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

As mentioned earlier, the M2 wasn’t quite as big of a jump in performance over the M1 as some of us had hoped. the reason is Because it is built on the same 5nm TSMC node as the M1. The basic configuration is different, yes, and the clock speeds are higher. So while the performance was better, it also resulted in a much hotter system.

On the other hand, the M3 looks like it will be the real next step for Apple Silicon. It’s been reported to have moved to TSMC’s 3nm process (aka N3E), which means a real bump in transistor count and efficiency. We don’t know much more than that, but you can expect a meaningful performance boost. We’ll have to wait and see if Apple has more tricks up its sleeve for these MacBook Pros, but you can at least take that extra performance to the bank.

The M3 MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch) likely won’t launch until at least Spring 2024, and it could be after. So while I think these MacBook Pros are worth the wait, it may take longer than you can delay buying.

If you’re upgrading from an older Intel-based MacBook, or some older computers in general, you’ll be amazed at how fast and efficient the M1 MacBook Pro can be. So unless you’re comfortable with waiting six months or even a full year, I’d recommend picking one up sooner rather than later.

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