Apple claims 8GB of RAM on M3 MacBook Pro is like having 16GB on PCs, but it’s not

Apple math is something we should always keep an eye on. It’s true that owning the hardware and software can do wonders for your product, as the iPhone mostly had half the RAM of other premium Android smartphones but always performed better.

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With the release of the M3 MacBook Pro, many users got excited about the upgrades compared to the previous 13-inch model, which includes the new industrial design, a miniLED display, ProMotion, several new ports, MagSafe support, and more. But for those willing to pay as little as $1,599, they will get a machine with an entry-level M3 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

Although storage is fine for regular usage, 8GB of RAM, in the long run, is not. But the issue isn’t offering 8GB of RAM in a laptop but marketing a “pro” MacBook with this bit of memory.

14-Inch M3 Max MacBook Pro ClosedImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

In an interview with Chinese content creator Lin YilYi (via MacRumors), Apple’s VP of worldwide product marketing, Bob Borchers, responded to this criticism – and his reply amazed me:

“Comparing our memory to other system’s memory actually isn’t equivalent because of the fact that we have such an efficient use of memory, we use memory compression, and we have a unified memory architecture. Actually, 8GB on an M3 MacBook Pro is probably analogous to 16GB on other systems. We just happen to be able to use it much more efficiently. And so what I would say is I would have people come in and try what they want to do on their systems, and they will, I think, see incredible performance. If you look at the raw data and capabilities of these systems, it really is phenomenal (…). People need to look beyond the specifications and actually go and understand how that technology is being used. That’s the true test.”

Although I agree there’s more to a computer than specs, Apple cautiously uses benchmarks in its favor when it’s worth it, and when it could become a criticism, it calls this measure “toxic.”

I’m sure the M3 MacBook Pro is pretty capable with 8GB of RAM; it’s just contradictory to call a laptop “pro” with only this little memory. Regular users will be pretty satisfied with this machine, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is planning to do some real work on it.

BGR has reviewed the M3 Max MacBook Pro, and you can read our thoughts below.


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