Hardware

Apple’s October Scary Fast Event: Everything revealed about the new MacBook Pro, iMac and M3 chips

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2023 M3 iMac Spec Rundown
Image Credits: Test for Testing /

Apple’s October event had some exciting product announcements — but don’t worry, there was nothing too spooky. Last week, the company announced a surprise “Scary Fast” event, prompting speculation that Apple would reveal new chips to power a new lineup of Macs.

As our resident Apple expert Brian Heater wrote, a new 24-inch iMac and a MacBook Pro refresh would be the most likely new announcements to expect from the October event, and he was exactly right. Apple’s new M3 chip lineup was the focal point of the event, powering each of the devices Apple showcased in their half-hour prerecorded event that had some seasonally appropriate fog, bats and ominous choir music…but no big surprises for those closely following the rumor mill.

The event kicked off at the uncharacteristically late time of 8pm ET / 5pm PT, so you might have missed out on the reveals while putting the finishing touches on your Halloween decorating or watching Monday Night Football. No judgment; we’ve put together everything that was revealed at the event all in one spot.

New M3 chips

Apple M3 Chips
Credit: Apple

The “scary fast” part of the Apple event, as expected, are the new M3 chips. Apple has announced M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max, which will be included in Apple’s new 24-inch iMac and MacBook Pros.

This time around, Apple has placed an emphasis on graphical horsepower, with hardware-accelerated ray tracing, mesh shading and Dynamic Caching, which Apple claims “dramatically increases the average utilization of the GPU” by allotting the exact amount of local memory to given tasks. These new chips were frequently benchmarked against their M1 predecessor, with Apple claiming the M3 renders at 2.5x the speed of the M1 and its CPU is 30% faster than the M1.

Check out the full rundown of the three M3 chips right here.

New MacBook Pro models

Apple MacBook Pro 2023 Update in Space Black Color
Credit: Apple

Yes, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros come with upgraded internals, but the first thing you might notice is the new color: Space Black. Beneath that color, you’ll find that new line of M3 chips. The 14-inch MacBook Pro can contain any of the trio, while the 16-inch model will only come with the M3 Pro or M3 Max chips.

As we’ve noted, the M3 chips packed into both models are putting an emphasis on getting the most out of the new GPU, though Apple also boasts that both form factors’ battery can last 22 hours on a single charge.

Both are available for preorder tonight, with the 14-inch MacBook Pro starting at $1,599 and going to $1,999 with the M3 Pro. The baseline 16-inch MacBook Pro goes for $2,499 and the pricing for the M3 Max chip upgrade for both models has yet to be disclosed.

And that space black color is exciting news for any Mac fan still pining for the 2006 MacBook, whose dark tone hadn’t been replicated in the MacBook iterations that followed, even those Midnight MacBook Airs.

Check out the full rundown on the new MacBook Pros here.

New M3 iMac

2023 M3 iMac Spec Rundown
Credit: Apple
Image Credits: Test for Testing /

Apple’s iMac line is getting a colorful refresh, with an added M3 chip to add horsepower to the palette change. Apple is sticking with the 24-inch form factor, and upgrading the screen with a 4.5K retina display, 1080p FaceTime camera and a six-speaker system supporting Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio. The new iMac will be available for preorder with green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue and silver options starting tonight.

The $1,299 baseline comes with an 8-core GPU and 8-core CPU, with a $1,499 version upgrading you to a 256 SSD.

For more info about what else is new in the M3 iMac, head here.

Farewell to the Touch Bar

Apple's Discontinued Touch Bar in its First Reveal
Credit: Apple

The new line of MacBook Pros marks the end of the Touch Bar, which never really found its footing. The announcement of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro effectively replaces the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the last Apple product to carry the Touch Bar keyboard after the company released 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros in 2021 without it.

A sneaky iPhone showcase

You may not have noticed it, but at the very end of the event, Apple dropped a quick note on the stream: “This event was shot on iPhone and edited on Mac.” It’s a bit of a victory lap, but as our other Apple expert Darrell Etherington notes, it’s a pretty impressive flex for Apple to shoot its half-hour hardware showcase entirely on a phone.

Apple posted a video after the reveals solely about its production process for the October event.

Recap the full Scary Fast event

If you want to just dive right in and experience the October event all over again or for the first time, you can catch the entire archive via the YouTube embed below right on Apple’s website.

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