Despite offering impressive benchmarks, defending the paltry 8GB of RAM in the base-model 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro is difficult.
Sure, macOS requires less RAM to operate smoothly, but 8GB in 2023 is still very difficult to swallow — especially for a laptop that starts at $2,099. As you likely already guessed, increasing the RAM to 16GB costs an additional $250 (Apple’s RAM tax is real).
According to Bob Borchers, the tech giant’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, Apple believes 8GB is enough given how efficiently macOS uses memory.
During the interview with Chinese ML engineer and content creator Lin YilYi, Borchers said the following in response to concerns surrounding the base 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro only offering 8GB of RAM.
“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, and 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. And this is the place where I think people need to see beyond the specs, and actually go and look beyond the capabilities, and listen to trusted people like you who have actually used the systems.
People need to look beyond the specifications and actually go and understand how that technology is being used. That’s the true test.”
While Borcher’s comments are true, depending on what you plan to use the M3 14-inch MacBook Pro for, pushing its 8GB of RAM to the limit can be pretty easy.
The M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro features the same overall design as its predecessor, with the SDR brightness of the XDR Liquid Retina Display being slightly higher, alongside Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support.
This is also the first time Apple has offered its base chip in its 14-inch MacBook Pro, resulting in the tech giant killing off the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar.
For more on the M3 series MacBook Pro and iMac, check out my in-depth look at both devices.