May 18, 2024

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Apple M4 MacBook Pro lineup: What to expect

Apple M4 MacBook Pro lineup: What to expect

Apple plans to update the MacBook Pro with M4 chips starting in late 2024, and this guide rounds up everything we know about Apple's M4 MacBook Pro plans.

M4 update

Apple built the M3 chip using a new 3nm process, and we don't expect a change in the node for the M4. It will also be a 3nm chip, but Apple supplier TSMC can provide updates that make it more efficient and faster.

It is rumored that the new AI capabilities will include Apple's upcoming products, so the M4 will focus on AI. Apple wants to improve the performance of its AI functions, and rumors suggest that the M4 (and the A18 chips for iPhones) will feature an upgraded neural engine with “significantly” more cores.

All M3 chips have a 16-core Neural Engine, and Apple hasn't increased the Neural Engine cores for several years.

The entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro

With the launch of the M3 chip last year, Apple abandoned the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It's been replaced by the 14-inch MacBook Pro, which Apple now offers with three different chip options.

The entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro has an M3 chip and a starting price of $1,599, and this is the model that will get the standard M4 chip. The current M3 chip has an 8-core CPU and up to a 10-core GPU, and the M4 chip could be similar.

High-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models

For customers who want a more “pro” machine, the high-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are scheduled to be updated with the M4 Pro and M4 Max chips, which are more powerful versions of the faster M4 chip.

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The current M3 Pro has up to 12 CPU cores and up to 18 GPU cores, while the M3 Max has up to 16 CPU cores and up to 40 GPU cores. CPU and GPU improvements for the M4 Pro and M4 Max are not yet known.

Design changes?

There are no rumors of a MacBook Pro design change at the moment, and we're not quite ready for that. Apple last updated the MacBook Pro design in 2021 with the move to Apple silicon. In recent history, Apple has redesigned the MacBook in 2012, 2016, and 2021, so following this pattern, we'll see the next design tweak in 2025 or 2026.

This year's M series refresh will likely be limited to the MacBook Pro's internals.

Lunch date

according to BloombergAccording to Mark Gurman, the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro could get the M4 chip in late 2024, while the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh timeline is estimated at late 2024 to early 2025.

We could see the M4, M4 Pro, and M4 Max versions appear all at once like the M3 chipset, or Apple could spread them out over several months.

The M3 MacBook Pro models were introduced in October 2023, so the update around October 2024 would come one year later.