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M3 Ultra could have up to 80 graphics cores

Apple's M3 Ultra chip will probably have 80 graphics cores available to users, a report proposes, with what could be the last remaining M3-generation chip expected to be massively powerful.

The Apple Silicon lineup in M1 and M2 established a pattern for the chip families, with the Ultra edition effectively offering twice the core counts and other elements of the Max version. This is because Apple effectively connected two Max chips with an interconnect and called them the M1 Ultra and M2 Ultra.

In Sunday's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman latches on to to the doubling mechanic in discussing what could end up being the M3 Ultra.

Gurman starts with the proposal that the M3 Ultra could have "a whopping 80 graphics cores." That is before explaining that the generations of Apple Silicon have a baseline version, a "Pro" with more CPU and GPU cores, a Max with double the graphics cores, and the Ultra that doubles both types of cores compared to the Max.

For M2, the Pro had up to 12 CPU cores and 19 graphics cores, the M2 Max had 12 CPU cores and 38 graphics cores, and the M2 Ultra went up to 24 CPU cores and 76 graphics cores.

However, "Apple deviated a bit from that approach with the new M3 line," Gurman writes. The M3 Max included more CPU cores as well as a doubling of GPU cores.

"This has implications for the M3 Ultra, which Apple hasn't announced yet," it is proposed. If continues doubling CPU and graphics cores for the Ultra, the Mac chip could end up with 32 CPU cores and 80 graphics cores.

Similarly, if memory is updated again, it's probable that Apple could include a configuration option for 256 gigabytes.

Gurman believes that the details of the Ultra edition will be known within months as testing commences, and that a launch will happen sometime in 2024.