Space Black M3 Max MacBook Pro Review: Improved Performance But Hard to Justify Upgrading


The new Space Black color looks nice but isn't as dark as expected. The M3 Max chip delivers good improvements in CPU and GPU performance over M2, but still isn't on par with dedicated gaming GPUs. For most people with M1 or M2 MacBooks already, the upgrade likely isn't worth it yet. Gaming performance is better but game selection on Mac is still limited.

Timestamped Highlights

🖤 The Space Black color looks darker gray than true black, with some fingerprint resistance but not completely immune
👍 The M3 chip brings respectable CPU gains over M2, with bigger jumps in single-core speed which helps daily use
🎮 The M3 Max GPU matches an RTX 3070 card, allowing for smooth 4K gaming but with limited Mac game selection
❓ Most popular games still aren't on Mac, so hard to justify buying one just for gaming
🚫 For those with M2 Pro/Max already, M3 isn't a big enough upgrade to be worth it
🤷 Still an excellent laptop with great build, display, speakers and battery, but not a must-have upgrade

Key Insights

The Good - Faster Performance: The M3 chip brings very solid CPU and GPU gains over already fast M2 silicon
The Bad - Space Gray, not Black: The new color looked truly black in marketing but ends up just a bit darker gray
Potential for Gaming: The GPU can now handle intensive games well, but selection still lacking on Mac
Hard to Justify for Recent Buyers: Unless needing more GPU power for work, existing M2 owners likely won't benefit much
Long-Term Potential: Future macOS updates and apps leveraging new graphics features could make the M3 more compelling over time
Still an Excellent Laptop: All the previous design wins like battery, ports, display, build remain as good as ever
Not Worth it...Yet: The upgrade ticks a lot of boxes on paper, but real-world use doesn't warrant it for many Pro users.
This blog is a summary of a YouTube video "Space Black M3 Max MacBook Pro Review: We Can Game Now?! - YouTube" by Marques Brownlee