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Why doesn't the new MacBook Pro have 32 GB of RAM?

For some, Apple failed to put the "Pro" in MacBook Pro, and it started with the limitations on RAM: 16 GB tops. Why no option for anything more? Why not 32 GB?

A MacRumors reader wrote Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, and asked. The reply:

To put more than 16GB of fast RAM into a notebook design at this time would require a memory system that consumes much more power and wouldn't be efficient enough for a notebook.

There's been some speculation about what Schiller was talking about, one of the more educated guesses has been well encapsulated on Reddit:

The true reason behind the lack of 32gb or ddr4 is intel. Skylake does not support LPDDR4 (LP for low power) ram. Kabylake is set to include support, but only for the U category of chips. So no LPDDR4 support for mobile until 2018 I think.

So, even if Apple used Kabylake instead — which, because of the specifics and integration Apple requires, is months away from being ready for primetime — it wouldn't support the memory Apple needs for the power efficiency they want in the new MacBooks Pro.

When I asked on Twitter how many pros really needed more than 16 GB of RAM, the answers were as extreme as you'd imagine. Most pros outside of video pros seem OK with 16GB. Video pros do not.

See the replies here:

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Why not throw power efficiency out the window and make a 15-inch MacBook Pro variant for video pros that can support the big, hot, and hungry workarounds needed to get 32 GB or more into a notebook, the way they made a 13-inch variant without a Touch Bar and with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports?

That, to me, is the more interesting question. Did they try, and determine it was a terrible product? Did they not think it would have sufficient market to exist? Do they plan to address the needs of high end video professionals, who do require more RAM, with a different or future product? Or do they think the higher speed SSD architecture, memory compression, and swapping will hold enough of them that they can wait for LPDDR4?

It's one of a dozen gambles Apple makes with every version of every product — that if they can't or won't do everything, what can and will they do to address the needs of the most amount of customers? (i.e. sell the most products.)

Make the right call and, even if some customers are apoplectic that their specific needs haven't been met, the product is still extremely successful. Make the wrong call and it's typically a painful six months to a year before they can course correct.

We'll get to the ports and other aspects soon, but for now — what are you thoughts on the new MacBooks Pro and their RAM limits? Would you have wanted a version with 32 GB or more, regardless of what it took to make it? And how well do you think it would have sold?

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

83 Comments
  • I personally think 8GB is perfect for the average joe who likes having lots of iMore tabs open and who plays the odd game here and there. 16GB can be for the people who do some 1080p video editing or using Final Cut Pro. The 32GB of RAM is like the 256GB storage option on the iPhone. its really nice but the majority of people would never fill or use it all.
  • I agree. I think there are a lot of shouty folk on the internet that have just latched on to this as some shortcoming they can make a great big fuss about.
  • And those people could buy an Air for less than a Pro. They had 8GB of RAM too. Using battery excuses for a MacBook Pro is laughable. It's not a MacBook Air. Battery Life shouldn't be the priority, capability and power should.
  • But at the end of the day it is a MacBook, a machine that's designed to be portable. If you're doing work and your battery dies in an hour or two then it might as well be permanently tethered to the wall
  • The new reality for offices are flex workplaces where everyone uses laptops plugged in all day. The mbp gets used a lot in that sort of environment and battery life is almost irrelevant.
  • Then it's the wrong device for the job, they should be using a desktop Mac machine
  • Maybe I wasn't clear. By flex workplaces I mean a workspace that you only use for one day and then vacate completely. I work in the facilities software market, and the direction is towards open plan offices with flex reserved workspaces. You walk in with your laptop, sit down at any available spot, book it for the day, and then at the end of the day pack up everything and leave. Employers love it because they don't have to provide 100% of employees with desks, which drives down costs. Desktop computers are rapidly disappearing from offices.
  • As long as you don't deal with data of any real size. Then again, among my computers, 2 of which are MAcs, I have a 5 year old PC workstation with 128Gb of ram and it still smokes them all.
  • What is "data of any real size"?
  • This is not supposed to be for the average joe. I have 16GB in my 2015 MacBook Pro and it's pretty ok. Except I frequently run Parallels and could always use more RAM for that. For me it's not a deal breaker - the fact that I bought one a year and a half ago is. But if I'm bumping my head into the RAM ceiling, I can't imagine what people who do video for a living are thinking, especially with the absurdly overpriced "Mac Pro" apparently dying on the vine.
  • I've got 16GB of RAM and ran plenty of heavy applications along with a VM and have not reached it yet.. 16GB of RAM is a lot and more than enough for the majority of Pro users. Also, if you're a Google Chrome user, that'll be using a lot of RAM especially with lots of tabs open. The RAM usage in Chrome is currently excessive and a lot of people run Chrome at the same time as other power hungry applications as they have something on a web page as a point of reference or are browsing the Internet at the same time. Apparently an update soon will fix the Chrome RAM issues, we shall see
  • 16GB is just enough for those of us who use adobe cc, 32gb is far better. I know of plenty of creators in the video world who were waiting for the new mac and have already now decided to go to windows to build the system THEY want for £1000 less than paying the apple tax. The only real reason to stay with apple now is if you want to use their software although if you chose your new notebook carefully you can run a hackintosh and get the best of both worlds. In 2-3 years 16GB will be useless as the software expands with the capabilities of windows machines.
  • I've used Adobe CC, and I still didn't require 32GB of RAM. Do you have an excess of applications open in the background or Google Chrome with 50 tabs open? You really shouldn't need that much.
  • 32GB is a must for a pro. no matter what. if you work on a big screen and video adding and auto CAD just the big thing.
  • Not really, that's a very blanket statement which certainly doesn't apply to most people, otherwise the MacBook Pro definitely would've come with a 32GB option
  • Do you use After Effects or Premiere? Because 16GB is not enough for those (if you want to work seamlessly).
  • Danny, whats an excess of applications? I've just done a quick count of about 30 tabs per window, 4 windows, photoshop, webstorm IDE, particle dev ide, onenote, powerpoint, word, excel, email, xcode, spotify, and a few miscellaneous apps like calendar and photos. It's not too bad, 13.63Gb mem used, 2.3 cached, 8Gb swap.
    So I'd easily and happily get into 32Gb territory, less disk swapping etc.
    I used to build servers that would run entirely off their ram (aside from log file output) after doing a PXE boot from SAN so I know a bit about the performance trade.
    I want a computer that can provide the experience I'm after!
  • It's important to note that if the power is on, 100% of the system RAM is powered; there’s no sleep mode for unused RAM. This is a significant reason why older iPhones and iPads always seemed RAM-constrained, the power hit is big and real. This may sound crazy, but Apple might be taking less heat on this if the entry-level MBPs had only 8GB — the higher-end models would look like more of an upgrade. Perception is everything.
  • I have an 2011 MBP 13' with 8GB of RAM and it's still plenty. I use my MBP mostly for work, with multiple browsers, tabs open, couple different VoIP soft phones, IM programs (slack, rocket.chat, Messenger), Adobe Brackets, iTerm2, open and I haven't had any issues. While I understand that some people require more RAM, they are probably in the minority. Everyone accuses Apple of being money hungry, I'm sure if they could charge $400 bucks for a 32GB RAM upgrade they would love to do it, however they probably don't think a big enough portion of their users require that much.
  • +1
  • yes me and when you make your money with it...
  • scientist needs more RAM (genomic/sequence) and Apple will lose big $ with us...
  • Scientists are more trained to resolve RAM issues than average users who would be in the position to resolve their battery issues with an unneeded excess RAM. There are lots of open-source command line scientific utilities that would shine under low memory conditions but such solutions don't exist for battery issues. Science is essentially command-line based and you have to train yourself on shell scripting.
  • "Scientists are more trained to resolve RAM issues than average users who would be in the position to resolve their battery issues with an unneeded excess RAM" This argument is moot. We are not asking to release only 32GB laptops. What we want here is the choice of a 32GB version. An average users that choses a 32GB MacBook, instead of a 16GB one is at fault and shouldn't complain about the short battery life. He could just by the model with less RAM and encounter no battery issues at all. However Scientist do not have that choice. They are forced to buy a 16GB model and find a way to deal with RAM issues.
  • I have 8 GB of RAM in my MacBook and it works for me. I would think that is the case for most users; however, I can understand the frustration of heavy video users. Wow, 16 GB would be fine for me! I sense that Apple wants s good experience for most users and adding max RAM would not necessarily do it.
  • You are right, they target the average users. But the product is meant to target professionals...
  • 32 GB is the minimum for me. 4K video adding takes forever... now i am sitting here and have to buy a windows computer. if apple has no interest in there hardware just sell the license and someone else will do it
  • The main issue is that RAM is the worst component to be weak on. A low-end CPU only slows things down a bit; a small drive can be added to externally; a non-retina screen isn’t the end of the world etc; but a lack of RAM means that there are some things that you just cannot do with your machine. And that set of things is only going to get bigger as time goes on. Most users do not need more than 16Gb of RAM (at the moment). However there are also plenty of users that do, and that number will grow over time. Not just video professionals but people who use virtual machines; data analysis professionals; some developers etc. If Apple really can’t provide more than 16Gb until 2018 then they are going to be haemorrhaging creative and power users over the next couple of years. This is a shame because a lot of those people are long-time Apple fans who were loyal to the company even when it was going through difficult periods.
  • Except the same RAM limitation exists for all laptops of the same class. This isn't limited to Apple. SB/SP4 has the same 16GB max. The XPS 15 Touch uses DDR4 instead that Skylake CPUs do support (not LP version), and it has worse battery life, almost half of what rMBP can do. Apple is choosing to maintain 10H battery life by using LPDDR3 while improving the size. They could've gone with 32GB DDR4 in a thicker chassis but the market has shown they would prefer lighter laptops.
  • That is exactly the problem. Apple could make a laptop with more power and less battery life but they choose not to, which means that they no longer offer a product comparable to the MacBook Pros of old. They are a big enough company to produce such a laptop, but they choose not to. I’d imagine it is partly because they do not like to offer too many models to choose from, and partly because the existence of such a laptop may take the gloss off the less powerful product that they expect to make the most profit. Either way it means less choice for the user.
  • They've already shown that by killing off MBP 17" model when they said it wasn't selling enough to continue doing it despite the fact that most of my devs at that time had 17" models. They've just killed off Cinema Displays as well, they've killed off xServ, and so on. Apple hinted at this when they removed Computers from their name, they're simply a consumer electronics company, not a laptop maker for the professionals.
  • They are a laptop maker for professionals and maybe people still and will continue to use MacBook Pros for professional use. MacBook Pro has the word "Pro" in its name, and for as long as it does, Apple is still making products for professionals. Also, as much as "most of your devs" bought 17" MacBook Pros, they still didn't sell many in terms of the majority. Apple didn't look at your particular office and think "actually, if this group of people are using them, we must keep supplying them!"
  • If the laptops had less battery life they wouldn't be laptops. Remember that this is a portable machine and needs to have the battery life to satisfy that definition. When they're able to put 32GB on a laptop without severe detriment to the battery life, they will, I assure you of that
  • Video editing with 4K footage is fine with 16GB of RAM, hence why Final Cut Pro can edit 4K footage and Apple advertises the MacBook Pro as being able to do this.
  • The lack of RAM is not the end of the world because all the operation of the computer is totally Virtual Memory based. That means even if you put plenty of RAM into your computer the operating system will not give it haphazardly to your application. Especially in the case of OS X, your application's RAM and CPU usage is strictly policed by the operating system. Can you allocate a desired amount of RAM to your application? No way. So why do you want to put more RAM into the computer since the operating system will not give it to you? The operating system allocates to your application only the amount of ****requested virtual memory**** This is not necessarily the raw RAM. RAM is the operating system's property, not yours. You own the hardware of your machine, but you don't own the RAM usage of it. The operating system can put you into the RAM or write you to the disk. You have no control on that. This is why your PC dealer will suggest to you to upgrade the hard disk to a faster one or to a SSD at first place. Because the outcome of the RAM upgrade is totally unpredictable. This is totally at the operating system's discretion. All of these also mean that your application will run ***regardless of the amount of installed RAM***. The claim that the application would not run or not even load due to the lack of RAM is a big lie. It will run maybe with an agonizing slowness but it will absolutely run. The operating system sets aside or kills your application only if it doesn't respect the strict Virtual Memory usage rules or performs nasty things with the memory. Otherwise there are no barriers to an application's execution in somewhat expectable peace.
  • Sure, if you only use apps that don't need a lot of memory then having lots of unused RAM will make no difference to speed, and may reduce battery life. But if your apps need lots of memory then not having enough RAM means the app will probably run very slowly. If it can run at all. The virtual memory techniques used by MacOS are very clever, and the latest SSDs are very fast, but there’s no substitute for plenty of RAM when running some heavyweight apps.
  • This is also why Microsoft has put only 16GB of RAM into the Surface Book. Since they are essentially an operating system developer, the secrets of the RAM usage is at their discretion. And second, they are honest and they don't fool their customers by stuffing 32GB ***desktop RAM*** into a notebook enclosure like other PC makers do.
  • There is nothing dishonest about putting desktop components in a laptop. It is the best way to get a powerful laptop. The downsides are size and battery life, but there are a lot of people who are fine with that compromise. Many people bring their laptops to work and effectively use them as a desktop that they can take home. Even more people use their laptop when commuting, so battery isn’t an issue, and a few ounces of weight or millimetres of thickness are insignificant. All day battery life and ultimate thinness are less important to a lot of people than how capable the laptop is at running the apps they need. I admit that they are a minority, but they are generally professional users, which is slightly ironic given the name of the product.
  • If you put 32 GB of desktop RAM in such a small enclosure that thing will burn eventually under heavy usage. Junkyards are full of burnt motherboards. The fan systems in desktop cases are not without reason. If you put a desktop class RAM in a notebook you must also put a desktop class fan system in it. RAM continuously draws power, it has no idle, no parking like a hard disk. The processor shutting itself is not a rescue because heat doesn't need to go in flames to destroy a computer, there are myriads of ways for that.
  • MacBook Pros used to run standard DDR3 without any issues. My ancient 17" MacBook Pro is still going strong despite me upgrading the RAM when I bought it (back in the days when MacBook RAM was user upgradeable). DDR4 generates less heat, and Apple made a big thing about how clever their latest thermal technology is, so if they could fit 16Gb of DDR3 in a MacBook Pro 6 years ago, then I am sure that 32Gb is easily feasible nowadays without frying anything. Although they may have to make it a few millimetres thicker...
  • I once had a direct personal experience with the heat issue: 2011 Macbook Pro 15" using the same DDR3, was reaching 203° F / 95° C under heavy load and you'd have heard of its GPU issue caused by loosened lead-free solder. Apple after three years, launched a replacement that ended last year and I used that occasion to buy a 2015 Retina 15". Last year's Retina 15" reaches a maximum of 147° F / 64° C, and I am very glad to be able to use it without a cooler underneath. So my humble suggestion is, beware of fire hazard if you intend to buy a 32GB notebook with desktop RAM inside. DDR3 and DDR4 low voltage are for server farms, not for today's notebook.
  • well several manufacturers have been doing it, and it doesn't fry their computers... Why can't Apple?
  • Surface Book is not targeted at the engineering part of the market. They make licensing of Windows available to other manufacturers to cover that segment of the market and they deliver machines like the Thinkpad P series, Dell Precision Workstation series etc. devices which have the power that is desired. The issue with the Mac lineup now is that Apple is abandoning that demographic. There are no suitable laptops for that market and since they've also abandoned the Mac Pro there are no Suitable desktops either. While many are working within the constraints now when one is spending 3k on a new laptop one doesn't want it ceiling in terms of power to be the floor of what is needed today.
  • This is straightforwardly untrue. I regularly run into instances where macOS starts 'pausing' applications because I've run out of system memory- even times when I don't have VMs running. This is on a MacBook Pro with 16 gigs of RAM and 256 Gig SSD. These apps are not in any sense 'running'- they are frozen and doing nothing until I clear up memory by quitting apps and freeing up RAM.
  • What version of macOS are you on? That seems like very odd behavior unless you're opening a ridiculous amount of applications.
  • you don't need ridiculous amount of applications, You just need few RAM hungry software...
  • The problem with Apple's excuse is that battery life is too vague of an answer. They could've just said Skylake CPUs doesn't support LPDDR4 and there's no 16GB LPDDR4 sticks just yet. This is true. However, Apple could stick with the same design they had before, add more battery cells (more weight) and use DDR4 sticks instead. Instead, now you have a thicker chassis that would only target like 5% of the market that wants 32GB support. Who's going to pay $600 more to upgrade to 16GBx2? Apple chose to compromise for better battery life while decreasing the volume that would work for 95% users, using LPDDR3 instead, which maxes out at 16GB. The other problem is, they've increased the base price by 500$. If they've remained the same, then it wouldn't be such a bigger deal than usual IMO.
  • I put 16GB in my late 2012 Mac mini shortly after buying it mainly since I was using Parallels with Windows often running at the same time and I wanted a good bit of RAM I could split between MacOS and Windows in the VM. I don't run that way anymore, so I'm typically using less than 20% of my RAM these days. I never even get close to the mid point of 8GB. This is even with Intel's video using 1 . 5 GB of ram for video also. I'm not a pro though so I really don't understand why someone would need 32GB on a laptop. I could see a desktop but a laptop? I know I'm just running the 2.5ghz i5 that was out in late 2012 also. If I was running a true quad core i7, I guess I would be using more RAM or could put it to better use.
  • I'm confused at why this has become something that people have been talking about since the release of the new MBP. I maxed out a MBP in 2014 and 32gb of wasn't an option. I think that 16gb has been the max for some time now.
  • 1. Because this is the first redesign of rMBP since 2012 and people were hoping that Apple would upgrade the specs to be more flexible and more future-proofing, not focus on the weight/thinness. They were expecting actual professional workstations, not regular laptops.
    2. Since you can no longer upgrade RAM or SSDs, the option you pick now matters for the lifespan of the laptop, meaning that 16GB may be enough for now, it may not be in 2, 3 or 4 years.
    3. Skylake is the first chipset to support 32GB but only with regular DDR4 sticks, not the LP version that Apple wants to use.
    4., It won't be until Cannonlake in first half of 2018 that LPDDR4 would be supported. People don't want to wait another two years if Apple could've added it now with DDR4 sticks if they've decided to keep the same chassis design with more battery. Apple chose to focus on weight, not performance.
    5. Prices are increased by 500$.
  • In 2, 3 or 4 years, 4K is still going to be the standard for Video, which means editing video in 2, 3 or 4 years will still use the same amount of RAM. Even stuff like VMs, app development, it's really unlikely that the RAM usage is going to increase that much even in 4 years time. I guess I can't see into the future but I think 16GB of RAM will be fine for people for a long time. Apple just has to make sure their OS upgrades don't start eating more RAM
  • We often run multiple virtual machines or high-speed signal processing, both of which would perform much better with 32GB RAM. I was really hoping Apple would come out with something like the new Razer Blade Pro, 17" display, 32GB RAM, GTX 1080 GPU. Apple chose to optimize size and weight, and sacrificed "Pro" features, in my opinion. Options 32 or 64 GB RAM in the same size/weight as my 2015 MBP would have been compelling. I see no reason to "upgrade" to their new offerings.
  • That new 17" Razer Pro is an absolute beast. The first time in years I have seriously considered jumping the Mac ship. The trouble is...all of my essential software is Mac.
  • davee3db: Right on the money, agree on it all. Apparently there is no reason to have the word "Pro" in the name any more.
    My 9550 XPS with 1TB PCI-E SSD (Toshiba) and 32GB DDR4-2400 has great battery life considering its capability. And the 3840x2160 display makes my 2015 mbp display look faded and aged in comparison. And it cost $900 less!
  • I tend of have many apps open, and also use Lightroom/ Photoshop with plug ins that probably could take advantage of RAM upgrade from 8 to 16 (though 16 should be plenty for me). My question is how much of a performance upgrade can be expected, balanced against potential battery loss from extra 8 of RAM (I frequently use laptop on battery only). I've not seen any concrete information on this anywhere- any thoughts on this appreciated!
  • I am an iOS developer, and my computer is never anywhere close to maxing out its 16GB of RAM. A faster SSD and processor will be great for me.
  • I have a friend who is a software developer and needs 32GB. He bought a used MacBook Pro (with 4th gen i5) and put that in. I personally am happy with 8GB on my SB, and 16GB on my personal PC.
  • What area of software development requires 32GB? That seems a bit crazy to me
  • Most of the people I work with daily. When I want to load up a set of docker containers for a distributed data processing pipeline and store I hit 16GB quickly. 32GB would be really nice. 32GB and 64GB options are available from other companies and have been for a year.
  • video adding
  • The apple of old would have had intel adapt their roadmap to accomodate them. Maybe the real story here is the waning relationship between intel and apple?
  • First the iPhone 7 shortcomings, now the MacBook Pro? Hmmmm... Premium devices should not have workarounds (dongles) or lack of features that far too many folks want.
  • My work laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad, has a 3rd gen i7 with 32GB of RAM. It's a workhorse that can run any program or multiple VMs, and even after years of service, still gets around 4-5 hours of battery life. Intel's Ark site says these processors have been tested with, and can easily handle, 32GB of LPDDR3 RAM. So, I doubt Apple's sincerity that they are protecting their customers from poor battery life.
  • Really, unless a person is working with something on the order of AutoCAD I cant see the point of having more than 16GB of RAM. Even for most games 16GB is more than enough to run it. So unless the software you are using is extremely resource hungry, more than 16GB is a waste of money.
  • I'm assuming you've never edited 4K video before?
  • The new MacBook Pros are advertized as being able to edit 4K footage. That's because they can, and very easily with 16GB of RAM
  • The new MBPs may be advertised as "4K ready" but they will render it at a crawl. Especially when reasonably basic video effects are applied to the timeline. Let's not even talk about Nuke Studio... And any serious audio application, with chains of VST plug-ins running on a number of channels will suffer with only 16GB. No question about it.
  • just try to render videos. 32GB min for me. at least 32 otherwise its way to long
  • VMs!
  • You are using your laptop wrong.
  • In effect, except someone professional users, more than 8/16 GB of RAM are not fundamental to average users IMO. True enough though, the MacBook Pro is designed for Pro uses, and thus it should be able provide a 32GB RAM option
  • Working with large data sets in r requires a lot of ram since all data is hosted in-memory. Very disappointing.
  • And why isn't 64GB an option. Other manufacturers are making developer laptops with these options and have been for a year. I see a lot of people, ignorantly, asking why we need this much memory. Some people need it and trying to convince them they don't or making silly comments about how they might better use their computers is ridiculous. This was just a mistake. the macbook pro should be a mobile workstation that matches or exceeds what is available from competitors on the day it's released.
  • The new apple laptop are junk and are over price I have I pro pad that is better than any thing Sent from the iMore App
  • Frequently running 3 OS at once, MacOS (i.e. UNIX), and two under VM. Dealing with some pretty big 3D data - so the more RAM the better. I am currently hitting memory limits and I want those to go away. This is often in the field - no luxury of a desktop 'desk queen'. To be honest I can wait until next year if Apple also restores the SD socket and introduces a USB.3.0 'legacy' port. Otherwise I am currently using the last Apple laptop I will ever own. Really don't know what Apple was smoking in introducing the 2016 spec. - does it ever actually ask users what they do for a living? Cutting the price on adapters is not solving the fundamental problem - it has lost tounch with reality and if it wants to stay in computers (and, tbh, maybe it doesn't?) it needs to ground itself fast.
  • Agree completely. My beautiful 2012 17" MBP, which I maxed out to 16GB with a 1TB drive, just died last week. But I'm having it repaired and sitting tight for 6 months, hoping someone at Apple, with more common sense than pride, decides to address the tsunami of complaints about their new range of gimmick-laden toys which they laughably labeled "Pro". The trouble, of course, is that Apple are incredibly reluctant to admit any missteps. Too high on their own supply. But I'm hoping all the same.
  • Working in both film and audio, I can say unequivocally that 32GB is an absolute must for Pro users in these fields. And anyone who can squeak by on 16GB right now...will be complaining bitterly two years into the future, as inevitable updates of their essential software become more processor hungry. Guaranteed.
  • I run various VMs on my Core i7 Mid-2012 MBP with 16GB for a variety of testing and self-training uses, including performance testing, security. I also run Win10 when I need a Windows app. This is a great machine, but it dogs out badly with more than 1 VM and a bunch of browser tabs open. I really need 32GB, and am very disappointed with the new MBPs. I won't buy one unless there's a 32GB version at a reasonable price. I'd rather buy a 2nd one used, upgrade it to 1TB SSD and 16GB like this one, and live with the double weight and space, than waste a lot of money on a similarly limited new product. Apple can do better for its high end users. I like the idea of a sub-model with 32GB, lower battery life, no Touch Bar, and a moderate price like $2500.
  • If we want to develop I think more and more we have to go to iMac with 32 Gigs of memory max or Mac Pro with 64 Gigs of memory max. One problem with the Mac Pro though is they support 4k video but they don't support 5k video when that comes out. They are still using ddr3 and the max memory is 64 Gigs for the price. The Mac Pro is a dual processor and to get an equivalent on a pc you would need to get a server motherboard.
  • Apple really dropped the ball here IMO - In the next 5 years 3D illustration, motion graphics and VR are only going to get more popular, which means at least 32GB of RAM and a sweet graphics card(s) with at least 8GB GDDR5 and 120GB of bandwidth. My company just gave me my choice of laptop and I never thought I'd say this, but I went with Dell - A macbook pro was completely out of the question. I agree with a lot of the comments on here, the new macbook pro doesn't deserve the 'pro' name if it's going to struggle with After Effects and C4D. Apple has really gone downhill since Steve passed away and Tim Cook fired Scott Forstall.
  • Thanks for this article, I've been wanting 32GB for 2 years now!
    Was in JB HiFi earlier and tried to get a 16GB touch bar (so I could drive my new usb-c screen at 4k), and they asked me why I wanted 16 as it required a custom order. I said "I'm in IT mate, I'd buy a 32 if it was available".
    My use case as a programmer and network engineer is simple - lots of hungry virtual machines to test virtual deployments of network equipment / servers / management stations. I also like running a few hundred browser tabs, grouped into windows according to activity. programming IDE's are also hungry, alongside illustrator and photoshop as who wants to close and reopen programs?
    Starting to feel frustrated with Apple despite being onboard since the ipod. No touch screen, no 32GB. Come on!
  • Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs, and while it is a given, the sharp contrast between the two, might cause Apple their prestegeious place. The decline or downhill slope is going on for a while now. Apple used to be the innovator in design, graphics, even fonts - all of this is practically gone. Apple decided to discontinue the desktop line, the AirPort Extreme, partner with LG to make their monitors, and they acquired Beats? Apple under Tim Cook are not going in the right direction, with each product version or software iteration is merely a step of some sort on the scale. iOS 10 and OS X 10.10 were not exactly a leap, and was sourly and dismayed to see features go away, as if change for the sake of change. It is very clear Apple lacks a visionary at the helm, at least someone savvy enough to see and understand the market segment of MBP users. So many of us are using VMs - multiple VMs as well as data sets for work, and in this day and age of personal and corporate travel - This is exactly how you use a laptop! Apple came with the new MBP that have:
    A choice in color - woopty doo
    A cool nav bar - Yay... ok...
    A choice of HD - BRAVO!
    Up to 16GB RAM - Fail. 16GB is no longer enough for what I need it day to day without impeding my work. I'm a fanboy, but not at any cost, not anymore with all the other alternatives out there. Apple should let Mr. Cook go and regain their place at the top again, until then, it is time to venture out.
  • well said! perhaps is time to make a new series "pc vs mac" now reversed. enough to look at new lenovo and hp to understand what i mean. ps: of course, this has nothing to do with intel, it's all in the lack of nuddles upstairs. you forgot to mention about hiring fashion imb*ciles in key positions and perhaps sending some famous designers to basic hardware/software high school...