Company Apple is being sniffed at for its next step, this time regarding the size of shared memory in new computers MacBook Pro. They were introduced a few days ago, and the old (and surprisingly also relatively cheap) 13″ MacBook Pro with an outdated chassis finally gave up and disappeared from the menu. It didn’t look very “Pro” next to the new MacBook Airs. Apple replaced it with a new basic 14″ version MacBook Pro, which received an Apple M3 processor (only the Mx Pro and Mx Max had 14″ versions so far). But this processor starts with 8 GB of unified memory, which people do not like at all. It was hoped that with the disappearance of the 13″ version, 8 GB would also disappear base on the MacBook Pro variants, but that didn’t happen. It wouldn’t have been a problem if the higher memory size had taken over the price of the 8GB versions and these would have gone down even more, but it didn’t. Thus, the basic MacBook Pro became more expensive for us by some 13-15 thousand CZK. And it still has 8 GB of memory. Although it has an inch larger screen and a 512GB SSD instead of 256GB, it is still a not exactly welcome step (while Apple has been reducing the price of its products more recently than the other way around). And Apple is now trying to convince us that everything is fine.
Apple’s vice president of marketing, Bob Borchers, made it known that comparing the size of RAM between Apple and competing platforms is not equivalent, because the company has a much more efficient use of this memory, uses its compression and has a unified architecture. One could probably object here, because the unified architecture is more of a problem here and not the other way around. It is also shared with the GPU, so less is then available for RAM purposes (on the other hand, sharing between chips can mean more efficient use of memory than if the data were in RAM and VRAM separately). After all, in the past it was also shown that Apple had a problem with frequent swapping to SSDs in models with 8GB of memory for some types of use (which is surprising in principle, because with 8GB of memory we would expect swapping to a large extent all the time and not just sometimes). Borschers says Apple’s 8GB is analogous to 16GB of RAM in other systems because they simply use it more efficiently. Greater efficiency will probably be true, but can 8 GB really equal 16 GB? We do not yet have any proof from Apple regarding this claim.
In any case, 8GB of memory, whether used effectively or not, looks very inappropriate in a professional notebook for 50,000 CZK in 2023. Even some of the most expensive DDR5 modules with a capacity of 8GB can fit in with a price of up to CZK 1,000, so an additional charge of CZK 6,000 for an additional 8 GB for a total of 16 GB is really very high (2-3 thousand would be understandable, but 6?). Apple has always had very high surcharges (pretty good prices for basic models, very high for upgraded ones), but this is just too much. The 14″ version with M3 Pro looks better for an additional 10,000, where you get not only 18 GB of unified memory (ie +10 GB above the base), but also 3 more CPU cores (11 instead of 8), 4 more GPU cores (14 instead of 10 ) and e.g. one extra Thunderbolt port.