View Single Post
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-11-21, 18:14

Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I do think, heading into 2020, that any notebook with the word "Pro" attached to it, regardless of size, should come with 16GB RAM stock.
I'd give that more than a 50% chance of happening anyway, yeah.

Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
But they've always treated the smallest "pro" notebook (12" PowerBook G4, 13" MacBook Pro) over the years as a less-than afterthought, always running behind in every way possible to its 15" (and, at one time, 17") big brother. I realize, due to space and thermal-related issues, the smaller variants might not be cut out for the fastest, highest-performing processors and graphics. That's reasonable, I understand. But I wouldn't think RAM or storage falls under that. If the new 16" MacBook Pro now, finally, comes with 16GB RAM standard, the new 13/14" model 2020 should as well. I don't think that's an unreasonable, "out there" request.
Well, it's ultimately a design choice Apple made (and in part, limitations on Intel's end). And they partially reneged on it.

All 2016 MacBook Pros came with LPDDR RAM. It's small, saves on power, and so on. But Intel, at the time, limited that to 16 GB (for various reasons), so Apple's highest-end laptop was limited to 16 GB RAM, which isn't great, and got some criticism.

That prompted Phil Schiller to comment that they did so for power reasons. And it probably set in motion (aside from Intel dragging their feet) that, for the 2018 update, they changed their decision: the 15-inch MacBook Pro (and only that) now used DDR (without the LP) RAM. It draws more power, but allowed Apple to offer 32 GB (and now even 64).

The bad news is that they never made this change for the 13-inch, probably because:
  • it's not quite as Pro (which, yeah, I know, Ken just split off that discussion)
  • combined with the space/power constraints not being great

They probably figure that those who need more than 16 will largely buy the 15 (now 16) anyway.

The good news is that the next version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro could ship with a newer version of LPDDR that does in fact support 32.

Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Ideally, as much as possible, the only differentiator between the 13" and 16" models should be just that...display size.
Sure. Really, the much bigger deal is that the 16 comes with its own dedicated graphics chip, and the 13 does not. Hasn't for many years now.

Again, this is a branding thing, really. They made the bed of calling the 13-inch a "Pro", but don't really want to lie in it, because that means making it a lot beefier.

They used to — that's why the 12-inch PowerBook G4 was thicker (1.18" vs. 1" on the 17). Instead, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is actually slightly thinner than the 15-inch now (0.59" vs. 0.61").

So I think the real answer is that Apple doesn't want to make a 13-inch "Pro" in the sense that the 16-inch, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro are. And they probably don't because they don't see much of a market for it. They do, however, see quite a market of people who like their machine to be called "Pro" regardless of what that means, and be reasonably fancy.

Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I realize i9 and 32/64GB RAM currently aren't available upgrades for the 13" model, and that may be due to board types or technical reasons beyond my grasp.
Right. Though, well, they could always make the 13 thicker and then allow higher options. That's ultimately up to them.