Lukas Pistrol Logo

Lukas Pistrol

Apple M3 & why I won't upgrade

Yesterday Apple announced their new lineup of their M-series Apple Silicon chips in an exactly 30 minutes long keynote. As expected everything gets faster, faster, and again ... faster.

Apple M3-Series chips

While the stats look pretty awesome on paper and I'm pretty sure the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max are great chips with massive performance, I really don't feel the slightest urge to upgrade my current Mac mini M1. Let me tell you why:

Current situation

Currently I'm using a Mac mini M1 with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. Even though I wish I had a little more storage at times – especially when having multiple versions of Xcode installed – with a little house keeping from time to time I achieve about 100-150 GB of free storage on my machine.

Regarding the Memory I have to say I'm definitely glad to have the 16 GB and if they had 24 GB or even 32 GB available back then, I'd taken that configuration for sure. However in a real-world scenario 16 GB is plenty for what I do. Mainly multiple dev-tools like Xcode, VSCode, ... and occasionally some photo editing using Lightroom and Photoshop as well as design tools like Figma.

The compute performance is also pretty good as well and everything runs smoothly. Of course build times could be faster but waiting the odd 30 seconds to a minute every once in a while when doing a clean build is definitely bearable. I usually get up and get myself something to during during that time.


Now, the M3 has some considerable performance improvements compared to the M1 but to be honest I just don't need that boost in performance anyway. Especially at a price point of 2000 € for the base model MacBook Pro.

Speaking of the base model MacBook Pro: Imagine spending 2k on a new MacBook and all you get is 8 (!) GB of RAM. This is just ridiculous in 2023. At least they bumped the SSD to 512 GB to start with. All in all way to expensive for a base model.

Something that is pretty weird as well is that in the keynote Apple compared the M3-series chips to the M1-series chips. Yes, the graphs also showed the M2-series chip's performance but they didn't bother to mention it at all. Probably a marketing thing to make the M3-series look even better. However on their website they compare it to an Intel i7 chip (no mention which generation) which is even more weird.

Apple comparing M3 to Intel Core i7


All in all I'm pretty happy with my current setup and I don't see any reason to upgrade to the M3-series. I'm pretty sure the M3-series is a great chip and if you're in the market for a new Mac, you should definitely consider it. However if you already have an M1- or M2-series Mac, I don't see any reason to upgrade except you really need the extra performance.

Another article you might like: