The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are the best laptops Apple sells, even though they have older M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Apple introduced the M2 chip in the 13-inch MacBook Pro in June, so we know the next generation of the larger, more powerful, MacBook Pro models is on the way. There was hope that the updates would arrive in the fall of 2022, but those rumors didn’t pan out. Instead, it now looks like the update to the 14-inch MacBook Pro and its 16-inch sibling will come in 2023. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming release.
14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Buy now or wait?
You might be wondering whether to take advantage of the ongoing sales and buy yourself a new MacBook Pro right now or if you’d be better off waiting for Apple to update the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Normally, with new Macs in the pipeline, we’d be advising that buyers wait. However, things are a little different right now. Even after the holiday sales, deals are looking great, with hundreds of dollars in savings on many configurations, and we are anticipating that prices for the next generation of MacBooks could skyrocket outside the U.S. following price rises for the whole range of iPads in October.
14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Release date
Hopes that the new MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and Max chips would arrive in the fall of 2022 have been dashed, despite months of speculation that they would launch at a fall event. In an October report, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote that the new MacBook Pro “probably won’t launch until early next year”. In a December PowerOn newsletter, Gurman reiterated that the “14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are arriving early next year with M2 Pro and M2 Max options.”
The new MacBook Pros could arrive as an update to Apple’s website in February or March or as part of a larger spring event that could see the launch of several new Macs, including a Mac mini refresh and a new Mac Pro.
14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Price
Even though Apple raised the price of the entry-level MacBook Air by $200 with the M2 redesign, we don’t anticipate any major changes to Apple’s pricing structure in the U.S. However, we do expect to see some price rises in some parts of the world in line with inflation–and the global price rise following the introduction of the new iPad models does make this look likely.
If Apple raises prices by 15 percent overseas–which was the lowest percentage rise for iPads in October–U.K. shoppers could be paying these prices:
14-inch MacBook Pro, 512GB: £2,184
14-inch MacBook Pro, 1TB: £2,759
16-inch MacBook Pro, 512GB: £2,759
16-inch MacBook Pro, 1TB/M1 Pro: £2,989
16-inch MacBook Pro, 1TB/M1 Max: £3,794
New 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Design
Apple made some huge changes to the MacBook Pro in 2021, with the launch of a new 14-inch model and a new display with thinner bezels and ProMotion, along with the removal of the Touch Bar and the addition of a slew of ports. Unsurprisingly, the 2023 MacBook Pro is expected to “stay roughly the same” on the outside. Most recently, AppleLeaksPro claimed that the upcoming M2 MacBook Pro will be “worth the wait” despite a lack of “design or I/O changes.”
14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro: Specs
While the outside of the MacBook Pro will look the same, the inside will be different. Based on the M2 and the M1 variants that Apple launched in 2021, we estimate that the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips will offer the following:
M2 Pro: Up to 12-core CPU, up to 20-core GPU, up to 48GB RAM
M2 Max: Up to 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, up to 96GB RAM
As Apple gears up to launch the new MacBook Pro models, scores that could relate to the processor inside one have appeared on Geekbench. The so-called “Mac14,6” gains a Geekbench 5 score of 14,888 multi-core performance (up from an earlier score of 13,855). Currently, a MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chip scores 12,154 for multicore on Geekbench 5.
Those scores are for an M2 Max processor with 12 cores, which correlates with predictions from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman who claimed that his sources indicated that the M2 Max would have 12 CPU cores.
Two extra CPU cores are not the only change that could spell a faster CPU. There had been suggestions that Apple would start using the new 3nm process for the M3 chips when they arrive, probably in 2023, but some reports suggested that this new process could be used for the M2 Pro and other variants. The 3nm process should allow even higher transistor density among other things. According to DigiTimes in June 2022, Apple has “booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors.” TSMC began volume production of 3nm chips in early 2023, so it’s possible that the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are the first to use the new process.
Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted in August 2022: “Given TSMC’s guidance that the 3nm will contribute revenue starting in 1H23, processors of 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models may still adopt the 5nm advanced node.” However, that was working under the assumption that the update would arrive in 2022.
If the M2 Pro, Max, and Ultra chips are built using this 3nm process the gap between the M2 and these other variants will be bigger than ever and the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Studio, high-end Mac mini, and Mac Pro could offer even bigger speed boosts than those seen with the M2 compared to the M1.
Gurman also suggests a maximum of 38 GPU cores, six more than the M1 Max offers. As with the M2 chip, the M2 Pro and M2 Max will focus “on the graphics side,” according to Gurman. In the case of the M2 in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple delivered a graphics boost from 8- to 10-cores. For the M2 Pro and M2 Max, this could translate to a move from 14 cores and 16 cores to 18 cores and 20 cores for the M2 Pro and 24 cores and 32 cores to 30 cores and 38 cores for the M2 Max.
As mentioned above, Geekbench benchmarks have appeared for what seems to be a new MacBook Pro and those results indicate that we could see up to 96GB RAM inside–up from a 64GB maximum with the M1 Max.
It’s no surprise that the new MacBook Pro models will offer more RAM. Apple upped the RAM in the M2 MacBooks from a maximum of 16GB in the M1 to 24GB in the M2. We had already predicted that a similar increase could theoretically mean we see up to 48GB RAM in the Pro and 96GB RAM in the Max.
Additionally, a report by Macrumors claimed the new MacBook Pro will feature “very high-bandwidth, high-speed RAM,” which could mean that the new models use LPDDR5X RAM, which would bring 300GB/s (M2 Pro) and 600 GB/s (M2 Max) 300GB/s memory bandwidth. The current models deliver 200GB/s and 400GB/s, respectively.
LeaksApplePro claimed on Twitter in November 2022 that the new MacBook Pro models will offer “better battery life” but didn’t elaborate further. The battery life of the 14-inch MacBook Pro is 17 hours while the 16-inch offers 21 hours, which is already the best battery life ever offered in a Mac laptop. Any gains in the battery life could be down to improvements in the processor. LeaksApplePro also notes that there will be “less heat,” which could be related to a more efficient processor and better battery life.