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Apple targeting designers, musicians with revamped Mac lineup and new chips

Apple has introduced new MacBook Pro and iMac computers and three new chips to power them, with the company saying it had redesigned its graphics processing units.

Company introduces new MacBook Pro, iMac computers with new chips

An older white man with grey hair stands in front of a modern building.

Apple has introduced new MacBook Pro and iMac computers and three new chips to power them, with the company saying it had redesigned its graphics processing units (GPU), a key part of the chip where Nvidia dominates the market.

The new computers and the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips were unveiled at an online event on Monday heavily focused on professional users.

Apple aimed the new machines squarely at designers, musicians and software developers, at one point highlighting the way its memory can be used by artificial intelligence researchers, whose chatbots and other creations are often constrained by how much data can be held in the computer's memory.

In Canada, the 14-inch MacBook Pro laptop will start at $2,099 and a 16-inch version starts at $3,299. The new iMac desktop with the M3 family of chips starts at $1,699. Some will be available next week, while others will not ship until later in November.

Apple has seen a revitalization in its Mac business, roughly doubling its market share to nearly 11 per cent since 2020, when it parted ways with Intel and started using its own custom-designed chips as the brains of the machines, according to preliminary data from IDC.

The Mac hit $40.18 billion US in revenue for its fiscal 2022, or about 11 per cent of Apple's revenue. While that was up 14 per cent from the previous fiscal year, sales this year have slowed along with the rest of the PC industry, which has suffered a post-pandemic slump.

Improved battery life

As part of the focus on business users on Monday, Apple showed off a new secure screen-sharing feature that would let users access their machines from remote locations.

The company's custom chips, which use design technology from Arm Holdings, have given its Macs better battery life and, for some tasks, better performance than machines using Microsoft's Windows operating system.

A person uses an Apple laptop inside a ferry on a rainy day.

Unlike other laptop makers that might combine a central processor unit (CPU) from Intel with a GPU from Nvidia, Apple has combined both parts in its Apple silicon chips, which the company claims gives it better performance than its rivals.

Apple's shakeup of the market has spurred Qualcomm to redouble its efforts to make Arm-based chips for Windows, announcing plans last week to release a chip that is both faster and more energy efficient than some Apple offerings. Reuters last week reported that Nvidia also plans to jump into the PC market as early as 2025.

Apple said the new chips would be the first for laptops and desktops that use 3-nanometer manufacturing technology, which will give the chips better performance for each watt of electricity used.

Apple did not name who is making the chips, but analysts believe it is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which uses the same technology to make chips for the top-end iPhone 15 models.

Throughout the event, Apple executives compared the performance of the new MacBooks and iMac machines to older Apple machines with chips from Intel, playing up how much speed customers would notice by upgrading to devices with Apple's own chips.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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