Apple Unveils M3 MacBook Air Here’s 5 Major Changes

The MacBook Air update that we’ve been waiting for ever since we got the disappointing M2 Chip is finally arriving. In this article, I will share the five changes that will make it the most powerful M3 MacBook Air we’ve ever had while being super thin, sleek, and perfectly silent.

1. Wi-Fi 6E Update

The first update is something that most reviewers don’t even focus on, but it’s a shame because it makes a big, real rule difference, and that is WiFi 6E, but not for the reason that you might think the M2 MacBook Air uses Wi-Fi 6 the same thing as the M1’s and even the older Intel MacBooks.

Apple has been using this same old tech for so long, so it was weird that the M2 Airs were still stuck with it when the $599 M2 Mac Mini was updated to Wi-Fi 6E. Now, it is true that most people don’t have Wi-Fi 6E routers, but you don’t need to have one to benefit from this upgrade because, with it, even if you’re using an older router, the M3 MacBook Air’s maximum bandwidth doubles from 12200 megabits per second up to 2400, and with it, the range is also improved.

Real Word Wi-Fi Download Speed
MBPS – higher is better
M2 MacBook Air 663
Speed paying for1200
Real Word Wi-Fi Download Speed
MBPS – higher is better
M2 MacBook Air 663
M3 Mac (Wi-Fi 6 router)1159

Now I pay for 12200 megabit per second internet, but with the M2 a, I could only get about half of that speed (663). When I was near my router in the living room with a Wi-Fi 6E Mac, I got 1159, so almost twice the speed. And actually, if you don’t have really fast internet, you’ll still get benefits because in my front yard I would only get an unusable 4 megabit per second with dropouts.

Real Word Wi-Fi Download Speed
MBPS – higher is better
M2 MacBook Air 4
M3 Mac (Wi-Fi 6 router)15

But now it is more than three times faster at 15 with a solid signal. That is because the M3 air will also get 760MHz channels or 1480MHz channels, which means less interference from your neighbor’s networks, so if you have areas of your house with bad signals or slow speeds, that will be a big improvement.

2. Performance

Unfortunately, we are not going to get any upgrades to the base amount of RAM because even the $1600 14-inch MacBook Pro only comes with 8 GB. Now, thankfully, even though the RAM is the same and the storage is the same (256 GB) as the M2, Apple has been improving on their mistake with the base storage that we got with the slower M2, even though the M1 was fast.

Blackmagic SSD Speed Test – Write
(MB/s – higher is better)
M2 MacBook Air 1,372
M3 iMac2,374

Now we’re not sure exactly what the speeds will be or if Apple will use two again because they’re trying to cut costs, but I’ve seen the M3 IMAX get 2374 right compared to about 1400. Of course, if you upgrade to 512GB, then you will get about 3,000, so that is a worth-while update.

3. CPU Performance

Chips(score – higher is better)
M33,138
M22,632
M12,363
Geekbench 6 single-core CPU

Now, I think that most people would say that for regular tasks, even the M2 is good enough, but the M3 series are very impressive chips at single-core speeds. The difference is the biggest that we have seen in many years.

Chips(score – higher is better)
M311,889
M29,785
M18,596
Geekbench 6 multi-core CPU

And yes, you can feel it when using the new machines, and the difference in multicore is really big, hitting 11,889 in Geekbench 6 over 38% faster than the M1 and about 21 1.2% faster than the M2, and the M2 was only about a 12% increase from the M1.

Intel chips(score – higher is better)
Intel 15″ MacBook Pro5,959
Intel 16″ MacBook6,225
Geekbench 6 multi-core CPU

Now I remember back in the Intel days when a new Intel chip was only 5 or maybe 8% faster in the previous generation, so these are really impressive improvements.

Chips(score – higher is better)
M3 $109911,889
M1 Max $350012,236
Geekbench 6 multi-core CPU

What blows even more is that comparing the new cheap M3 MacBook Air to the M1 Max MacBook Pro that costs $3,500, it’s only ever so slightly behind in multi-core CPU performance while being so thin and light and less than a third of the cost, and of course in single-core performance, it actually beats out that 16-in machine. This is where the real performance and value start to shine, and if we look at real-world tough tasks like working on high-resolution raw images in Lightroom and then exporting them, the M3 Mac has 16 gigs of RAM.

Chips(min.sec – lower is better)
M3 $10991:03
M2 Pro1:36
Lightroom Classic 50x 42MP Raw Images

Now beats out a $2,000 M2 Pro MacBook Pro by a good amount, even comparing it to a beastly M2 Max, which has been out for only a year and costs $3,500 M3 Air is closer to it than the M2 Pro, which was beaten by only 17 seconds. That is impressive.

4. Graphic Technology

Number four is new graphics technology. If we look at the RAW graphics compute performance between the M2 and M3 models with the same core counts, the performance gain is very minimal, pretty much negligible, but with these chips, Apple focused on new technologies to make real-world improvements for gaming performance. The difference starts to improve at 18%, but let’s be honest, how many people use their Maxs to game? The real improvement is with programs that can use the new racing hardware for compute, and thankfully more and more are starting to use it along with other new compute improvements.

Chips(min.sec – lower is faster)
m2 101:58
m1 7c2:28
Blender 4.0 BMW Render

 For example, in Blender, we saw a decent gain between M1 and M2, mostly because of the extra graphics course, but with M3, even with the same core count, we have more than a 2X speed improvement, which is crazy.

Chips(min.sec – lower is faster)
M3 10c0:43
M2 10c1:58
M1 7c2:28
Blender 4.0 BMW Render

Comparing the M1 Max in a tougher test, the cheap M3 is now just a few seconds behind the M1 Max, which was a crazy powerhouse designed for this specific task and released just a few years ago, and now this level of performance is possible for such a low price.

Chips(min.sec – lower is better)
Apple M3 10c1:36
$3500 M1 Mxax1:56
Figma Web Design – 12 Layer 4x export

 Looking at the Figma web design, the new M3 actually beats out the M1 Max, taking 1 minute and 36 seconds instead of a minute 56. Another improvement that is mind-boggling is that Apple has done a really good job making real-world improvements with this new chip, even if some benchmarks might not show it off, all while being super efficient with the new 3 nanometer design, which you can only get with Apple products.

5. Battery Life

Number five: battery life If you look at the regular specs on Apple’s website, the M3 lineup chips that have come out don’t look that impressive, and that is because they are already quoting battery life based on very minimal power usage cases like watching videos or simple web browsing.

But if you paid attention to Apple’s keynote, they showed off just how impressive it is when you’re actually using it. comparing the M3 to M1 chips, you get the same sea performance and half the power requirements as M1, and if you watched our M2 videos, you would know that it was not that much better than M1.

Now, this is super impressive because most of the time when you’re working on something, you are not maxing out your CPU, and no, we have even more CPU performance. You might need even less of it while doing the task quicker, and with rate tracing being used, we have found that it actually uses about half the power while being twice as fast, so the same thing goes for graphics.

Computing performance: you get the same performance at half the power as well, which means that you’ll be getting two, three, or even four more hours of real-world battery life for mixed tasks. Putting it into the low power mode, the M3 MacBook Air is going to be getting about the same performance as the M2 at full power while using way less battery life, so that’s going to give you shockingly good battery life but also have no heat buildup in the MacBook, which also means no throttling.

So even though on the outside, the M3 MacBook Airs will be the same internally they are on a whole other level with performance efficiency and connectivity.

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