M3 Pro MacBook Pro could be much more powerful, but it won't launch in 2023

 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

Nobody would ever accuse the current M2 Pro MacBook Pro of being slow, but that doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement. A new report aims to shed some light on what that improvement might look like.

The M2 Pro already beats at the heart of what is probably the best Mac for creatives who don't need to go the whole hog for the M2 Max, but it's said that Apple is already testing what comes next — and it has more cores than ever before.

How many more cores? Only a couple, but that's better than none, right? As for when the chip will debut, that's another story entirely.

More cores, more waiting.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, writing in his weekly Power On newsletter, reports that App Store entries shared with him show that Apple is already testing the new chip inside a MacBook Pro running a beta version of macOS 14. That chip has 12 CPU cores, up from the previous 10, as well as 18 GPU cores — again, an increase of two of the M2 Pro.

Gurman also believes that the new M3 Pro will have an upper limit of 36GB of memory based on the machine that is now being tested.

Interestingly, the two extra CPU cores are of the power-efficient variety, meaning that they'll be used when the MacBook Pro isn't being tasked fully.

This is also thought to be the base model as well, suggesting that there could be higher specced M3 Pro for those who want a little extra horsepower without going to the M3 Max. That chip is expected to offer up to 14 CPU cores and as many as 40 graphics cores, making it a powerhouse in every sense of the word.

All of this will be made possible by a new 3nm manufacturing process, while a release window of "next year" is all we have to go on for now. Macs running the standard M3 chip could arrive later in 2023, however.

All of this comes as another M2-powered Mac is on the horizon. Apple is expected to announce the 15-inch MacBook Air at WWDC in June with the M2 chip making another appearance there. There had been some rumors that it would use the first M3 chip - but that now isn't thought to be the case after all.