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:
There's been some speculation about what Schiller was talking about, one of the more educated guesses has been well encapsulated on Reddit:
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:
16 GB is plenty for me. I don't know the percentage of pros for whom that is true though? https://twitter.com/evan87?protected_redirect=true16 GB is plenty for me. I don't know the percentage of pros for whom that is true though? https://twitter.com/evan87?protected_redirect=true— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) October 30, 2016
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?
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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.
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!
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$.
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!
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!
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.