It appears 8GB of RAM might not be enough.
Apple’s new 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro with an M3 chip features just 8GB of RAM, despite starting at $2,099. Even for the most the tech giant’s most faithful, this is a difficult configuration decision to defend, especially in 2023.
Sure, macOS and Apple’s proprietary chip architecture requires less RAM to operate efficiently — a fact Bob Borchers, the tech giant’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, emphasized during a recent interview — but depending on what you plan to do with the laptop, it’s pretty easy to hit that RAM cap, especially when using a high-resolution external monitor.
According to a new YouTube video from creator Vadim Yurev, the co-host of YouTube channel Max Tech, the issues 8GB of RAM causes go deeper. In a recent video, Yurev performed several real-world tests on two 14-inch MacBook Pro configurations, including one with 8GB of RAM and the other with 16GB.
You can check out the full video here (or above), but in Cinebench tests, the 8GB M3 MacBook Pro suffered from somewhat surprising double-digit losses. Yurev also experiences crashes while running Blender and a Final Cut export simultaneously. Even tasks like Photoshop, Lightroom and Final Cut exports took far longer with the 8GB configuration than the 16GB version.
It’s easy to argue that if you expect your workload to be heavy, you should just pay the $250 to upgrade the entry-level M3 MacBook Pro to 16GB. While true, $250 is an expensive RAM upgrade price tag in 2023.
Apple has offered 8GB of RAM in most of its base-model Macs for what feels like decades, and it appears it is past time to double that number at the very least.