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Don't buy the new MacBook Pro 14 M3 as long as the old MBP 14 M2 Pro is still on sale

Apple MacBook Pro 14 2023 M3
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2023 M3
The MacBook Pro 14 M3 is Apple's new base model in the Pro lineup starting at $1599, but there are some areas where the new laptop is worse compared to the previous MBP 14 with the M2 Pro. If you upgrade the M3 to 16 GB RAM, it is actually more expensive right now, so go ahead and buy the old one as long as you can.

Apple launched its new MacBook Pro models and the old MacBook Pro 13 with the Touch Bar does not get an update with M3, instead there is a new entry-level model of the MacBook Pro 14 with the new base M3 SoC. The starting price is now $1599, which means it is the most affordable MacBook Pro 14 yet, but you only get 8 GB RAM. The M3 SoC offers better single-core performance and increased efficiency, which we already talked about in our comprehensive analysis article. Apple also managed to increase the battery runtime and the maximum SDR brightness is now 600 nits instead of 500 nits.

This obviously sounds good, but there are also some drawbacks compared to the more expensive MacBook Pro 14 models as well as the old MacBook Pro 14 with the M2 Pro. The single-core performance of the new M3 is much better, but the multi-core performance is still lower compared to the M2 Pro, which is also the case for the graphics performance. Apple also reduced the cooling capabilities of the new base model since there is only one instead of two fans.

There are more limitations in terms of connectivity. The two USB-C 4.0 ports on the left side only support Thunderbolt 3 instead of Thunderbolt 4, but the lack of the third USB-C port on the right side is actually the bigger limitation in practice. The performance of the SSD is also limited to PCIe 3.0 speeds, but this is also not a deal breaker for light workloads. The new base model MBP 14 M3 basically targets customers that need a device for everyday stuff and are happy with the performance of the MacBook Air, but want a better screen.

This is also completely fine, but this brings us to the old base model MacBook Pro 14 with the M2 Pro, which is already equipped with 16 GB RAM and still on sale for $1600-$1800 (MBP 14 M3 with 16 GB RAM cots $1799) and it is just the better overall package. So if you are shopping for a base model MacBook Pro 14, we recommend you get the old M2 Pro model as long as you can. Please see our comprehensive reviews for more information about the two devices:


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 11 > Don't buy the new MacBook Pro 14 M3 as long as the old MBP 14 M2 Pro is still on sale
Andreas Osthoff, 2023-11-12 (Update: 2023-11-12)