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Maxim Saplin
Maxim Saplin

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All {M3 MacBook Pro} configs: Ranking by Compute/RAM/SSD per $

It's been almost a week since new M3 MacBook Pro have been released. There's plenty of reviews on YouTube discussing the new black colour, counting CPU cores and testing performance.

Though in this video the author has shared a Google Spreadsheet with specs and prices for all 83 configurations available for purchase. Some of the specs included RAM and SSD sizes, Geekbench CPU score.

"What is the value for a buck?" popped in my head. Right away I cloned the spreadsheet and started playing with formulas. Here's my take on value for money in different categories:

Category Inches Proc P Cores E Cores RAM SSD Geekbench6 multi core score Price
Best compute/$ 14 M3 4 4 8 512 11763 $1,599
Best RAM/$ 14 M3 Max 12 4 128 512 21215 $4,499
Best SSD/$ 14 M3 Max 10 4 36 8192 18519 $5,399
Best everything/$ 14 M3 Max 10 4 96 8192 18519 $6,199
Most expensive 16 M3 Max 12 4 128 8192 21215 $7,199
  • For the best "compute", "RAM" and "SSD" I divided Geekbench multicore score, RAM amount and SSD size (correspondignly) by the model price and sorted with largest value at the top.
    • I.e. Best RAM/$ was the model that scored 7.35 MB/$ and was at the top of the list.
  • For the "Best in everything" I used an aggregate score that first normalised each of the 3 columns (CPU, RAM, SSD) and then averaged them and divided by price.

Here's the spreadsheet


  • This is more of a thought experiment rather than a holistic testing
  • More is better is valid for RAM and SSD, while for 14" vs 16" might not be the case
    • E.g. I am writing this article on 14" MBP and value it's compact size more
  • There's a review that suggests that 8GB M3 base model is significantly inferior to bigger models even in CPU department as soon as you start multitasking and consume some of the RAM

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