• Global community
    • Language:
      • Deutsch
      • English
      • Español
      • Français
      • Português
  • 日本語コミュニティ
    Dedicated community for Japanese speakers
  • 한국 커뮤니티
    Dedicated community for Korean speakers
Exit
3

MacBook Pro M3 vs M3 Pro

Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I am trying to decide between a new MacBook Pro with an M3 chip or an M3 Pro chip. 

I can get both for the same price. The only difference between them, other than the chip itself  is the M3 I am considering has 24GB of memory vs 18 GB on the M3 Pro.

I am an amateur photographer and therefore not a heavy Lightroom Classic user.

Should I go with the faster chip or the increased memory?

Is there any advantage either way?

Any opinions/information will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you.

TOPICS
macOS

Views

7.5K

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 2 Correct answers

LEGEND , Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

AN M3 is not overkill when considering longevity. Its nice to have a computer that will last 6-8 years instead of needing replacement in 2-3.

Votes

Translate

Translate
Community Expert , Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

An M2 Air with 24GB should run Lightroom Classic and Photoshop well for most general editing.

 

What would challenge that configuration are:

  • Adding many masks to a single image in Lightroom Classic, especially AI masks 
  • Merging many images into a panorama 
  • Editing Photoshop documents with very large pixel dimensions and many layers and masks 
  • Keeping both Lightroom Classic and Photoshop open at the same time, especially when working with tasks like those above 
  • Keeping many other applications o
...

Votes

Translate

Translate
LEGEND ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

There are other differences besides RAM capacity, such as number of cores (performance), external display support, number of Thunderbolt ports, and battery life.

https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/compare/

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

True.  I am just wondering if the differences would be apparent, especially since I generally will not be using it heavily.

I like the idea of the faster chip, but wonder if the memory difference would be an issue, or will the extra speed offset it.

Thank you!

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

If you don’t use Lightroom Classic heavily, either model will do. I use Lightroom Classic heavily with what is now an older M1 Pro MacBook Pro, and that’s still great. If I was making your decision, I would favor the one with more memory, because in the long run that might help you more than a few extra cores.

 

In another post you said M2 Macs are no longer available. Apple might not be selling them new, but they still have some in their Apple Refurbished section at a nice discount if one of the configurations will meet your needs. Also, M2 Macs will continue to be available from other retailers such as B&H and Costco until their stocks run out.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I thought about a refurbished M2, but I am going with the M3. 

I have an older iMac (9 years!) and am actually looking forward to having the latest model.

It will feel like going from 4 cylinder to a V8. lol!

I am leaning toward the M3. I also think I would rather have the extra memory vs the faster chip.

Thank you! 

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I am an amateur photographer and therefore not a heavy Lightroom Classic user.

 

An M3 Mac seems like overkill, unless you have other applications that would benefit from this chip.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I was all set to order an M2 Mac, but they are no longer available. Since the M3s are about the same price, I decided to go with one of them.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Well, I don't really know what Apple is selling, but if they sell some lower end machines, and you're not a heavy LrC user, the lower end machines seem to make more sense to me as they will be cheaper. (Unless as I said, you have other applications that would benefit from an M3 chip)

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Apple sells a mix of M1, M2, and now M3 machines new. Memory and storage would be more important than chip differences. Buy whichever model works for your needs (iMac, Mac Studio, mini, or portable) and it comes with whichever chip they currently use.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

AN M3 is not overkill when considering longevity. Its nice to have a computer that will last 6-8 years instead of needing replacement in 2-3.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

It depends on what it’s being compared to.

 

An M3 is not overkill if someone is currently using an Intel Mac, because the Intel Mac is definitely not going to go another 6 years, and the M3 will.

 

But if someone is thinking about an M3 and currently has an M1 or M2, the differences between that and an M3 are minor enough that all three are likely to go another 6 years. So for an amateur, especially on a budget, the M3 is not at all necessary (could be overkill), and they would get just as much service life out of an M1 Pro/Max/Ultra or M2 that is on sale or refurbished.

 

In fact, if someone has a serious concern about longevity, M1/M2 vs M3 is not the biggest factor at all. The real factor is whether the Mac was configured with a reasonable amount of memory and storage at purchase time, because they can’t be upgraded later. The CPU and GPU differences between M1 and M3 are much less of a longevity factor.

 

For example, if someone goes out today and buys an M1 maxed out with 16GB memory and 1TB storage, that is more likely to go 6-8 years with Creative Cloud than someone who buys an M3 today with 8GB memory and the base 512GB storage.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I always advocate for buying as much RAM as possible. And as I said, you decide which computer you want first, and it comes with whatever chip is inside. Storage is not really a factor, because storage prices will keep dropping and Thunderbolt 4 is plenty fast enough for expansion. RAM can't be upgraded later.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks. Would a MacBook Air with 24GB of memory run Lightroom and Photoshop without a problem?

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

An M2 Air with 24GB should run Lightroom Classic and Photoshop well for most general editing.

 

What would challenge that configuration are:

  • Adding many masks to a single image in Lightroom Classic, especially AI masks 
  • Merging many images into a panorama 
  • Editing Photoshop documents with very large pixel dimensions and many layers and masks 
  • Keeping both Lightroom Classic and Photoshop open at the same time, especially when working with tasks like those above 
  • Keeping many other applications open too 

 

If you think you’ll do those a lot, 32GB or more might be a better idea, which would push you past the Air to the Pro.

 

That is not necessarily a complete list, just things I notice on my own.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 10, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you! That's a big help. 

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Advocate ,
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 10, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Ai Masks are actually not problematic to process for LrC, they do take time to be computed/recomputed but a M2 Air with 24Gb will unlikely have problems with them.

 

My 2017 Windows Dell XPS 9560 with 4GB GPU didn't have problems with Ai Masks, and it sucks pales compared to a M2 Air.

.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 10, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you!

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 10, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yes, an M2 Air with 24Gb is fine. I have an M1 mini with 16GB of RAM and 256GB internal SSD and it handles Photoshop and LrC with no problems. I do have a number of hard drives plugged in because I have close to half a million photos but that's just me.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 10, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks!

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Advocate ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I would go for the 24GB M3

LrC is very memory hungry.

 

Consider also that Camera Raw in LrC will not/never use more than 50% of the cores of your Mackbook.

 

.

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

 

As I mentioned above I am upgrading from a 9 year old iMac, so either will seem like a sports car!

I am leaning toward the 24gb model though.

Thanks!

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Beginner ,
Feb 01, 2024 Feb 01, 2024

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

Votes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines