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Apple just launched gaming computers (at least, that's what it wants you to think)
In the past, if you wanted to play PC games, you needed to buy a Windows PC (or build a Linux PC if you were brave). Although you might have loved to buy a Mac, you can’t game on them, right? Well, judging from Apple’s “Scary Fast” event today, that isn’t true anymore. For the first time, Apple focused much of its promotional energy on positioning its newest Macs as gaming powerhouses.
Apple’s M3 processors power the new MacBook Pro and 24-inch iMac. You can read all about the processors at the previous link. Essentially, with their 3nm builds and new super-powered GPU, there’s more than enough power there to play the most demanding of games.
Of course, for a Mac to be seen as a truly viable gaming PC, it needs support from developers. But Apple took time to highlight more than a few games running on Macs, including Baldur’s Gate 3, which runs natively on Apple silicon. Could this be the first significant step the company makes towards becoming not just a productivity PC company but a gaming PC company?
If you want to find out, you’ll need an M3-powered machine. Below, you’ll find what’s available so far.
The new M3-powered MacBook Pro comes in two sizes: 14-inch and 16-inch. It also comes in a new color: Space Black.
Outside of the change in color and the upgraded processor, everything else is pretty much the same. It doesn’t have any new ports or other design changes — yes, it still has a display notch, too.
It does have a new starting price, though. Since the previous 14-inch MacBook Pro started with an M2 Pro processor, it landed at $1,999. The M3-powered 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,599, which gives it a bit more affordability at the expense of performance. Unfortunately (and this is where Mac fans will get mad), this $1,599 model does not come in Space Black. To get that new color, you’ll need to spend at least $1,999 on the M3 Pro model with 512GB of internal storage. The sole 14-inch model with an M3 Max costs $3,199.
Meanwhile, all 16-inch MacBook Pros have a Space Black option. However, you can only go as low as the M3 Pro on the 16-incher, so it starts at a hefty $2,499. If you go for the top-of-the-line M3 Max model, you’ll spend a jaw-dropping $3,999.
All M3 and M3 Pro models of both sizes are available to pre-order now for a delivery date of November 7. All M3 Max models in both sizes are available to pre-order now but will not be shipped until later in November.
As with the new MacBook Pros, the updated 24-inch iMac is very similar to the previous model outside of its new silicon. Because of the new silicon, though, it now supports up to 24GB of unified memory. The previous model with an M1 processor only supported up to 8GB of unified memory, so this is a nice perk. Confusingly, though, Apple is not yet offering an iMac with this much unified memory. All the options cap out at 8GB, at least for now.
Also, the lowest-end 24-inch iMac with M3 power has a lower-grade GPU. Unlike the 10-core GPU you’ll find in even the lowest-end M3 MacBook Pro, the lowest-end iMac only has an 8-core GPU. We’re not sure why Apple did this — we’re guessing to cut costs and make the iMac more affordable.
Speaking of affording an iMac, you’ll need to pony up at least $1,299 for one with that 8-core GPU. If you want the maxed-out model with the full 10-core GPU, 512GB of internal storage, and 8GB of unified memory, you’ll need $1,699.
All configurations of the new 24-inch iMac are available for pre-order now and ship on November 7.