Oh, sure, Apple addresses complaints after the fact....

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NJRonbo, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
  2. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 10, 2007
    The article seems to imply, that after the fact, Apple has realized that it should have offered more RAM and a lower price point.

    That is, unless I totally misunderstood and if that is the case, I will apologize.
  3. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    I think you misunderstand product cycles, supply chains, Intel's release schedule, and the very nature of analyst predictions (they are NOT from Apple). This is all well covered in the thread that already exists on this and has...30 or so pages of responses, http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/31/macbooks-2017-price-cuts-32gb-ram/

    That thread should be a good resource (if you can filter out the nonsense complaining) to understand what's going on.

    Have a good one!
  4. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 10, 2007
    Maybe I am truly misunderstanding here.

    What does all that have to do with Apple allegedly second-guessing their decision not to put more RAM in their Pro laptops and lower the price?

    None of that has anything to do with supply chains, does it? Did that restrict them from getting their hands on more memory?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2016 ---
    Okay, further investigating, this looks like the reason why no additional RAM:


    My apologies for wasting anyone's time
  5. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    I think the misunderstanding is the motivation behind it.

    It was not "Gee, I guess customers really DID want 32GB of RAM! We should tell a security analyst our secrets!"

    A couple of truisms that need to be know;

    1) Only Apple knows what Apple is doing. These security analysts are just guessing. Good guesses, but just guesses. These analysts exist to help investors, competitors and researchers make decisions about the future. In addition to ones we hear about, there's also ones who charge big bucks for their "analysis".

    2) These forums are not an accurate cross-section of Apple users. They represent enthusiasts, prosumers, and professional users. People who take their hardware a lot more seriously than do a lot of customers. Most customers are going to be just fine with 16GB of RAM.

    3) The reason behind 16GB of RAM is important here; it was all about power. Apple sought to only preserve, not improve, the 10 +/- hour battery life of their notebook. Apple reduced the size of the battery in order to help the notebook lose weight and get thinner. By using more efficient chips, they were able to give it a smaller battery white not making it lose any battery life. Among those more efficient chips, is the soldered-on RAM. Using current technology, 32GB of RAM would simply take too much power. This isn't a guess, this is straight from Phil Schiller himself. Next year Intel will release a CPU (Intel typically releases their long-term forecasts) that will support a newer, more efficient RAM standard. The emphasis of late has been efficiency, not power. (Folks decrying the lack of Kaby Lake for example, or often mistakingly believe that when Kaby Lake mobile chips come out, they'll be faster than Skylake. They actually aren't, they just use less power). With that newer, more efficient RAM standard, this analyst is guessing that Apple will make 32GB of RAM available for customers who need it, because the more efficient RAM will enable them to do so without sacrificing battery life.

    Apple makes two desktop computers capable of 32GB+ of RAM. Traditionally, people who need that much horsepower for VM work and the like want the performance of a desktop anyway. Chances are, most folks who actually need that much RAM will continue using iMac's and Mac Pro's. At least some of those demanding it don't actually need it, and wouldn't actually use it. Certainly some would; and they'll have to wait, or purchase a competitors product.

    This is not "Apple addressing complaints", which, by the way, are relegated to enthusiast circles that don't represent the larger customer base, unfortunately. This is an analyst "guessing" that Apple will offer 32GB of RAM, because a lot of Pro customers want it, AND because the technology that's likely to be available next year will allow for it to happen and meet Apple's apparent goals. That's all.

    There's also NO guarantee that Apple will release an update next year. Laptop and Desktop technology has been moving at a snails pace compared to the mobile world. So much R&D and many of the worlds brightest engineers have focused their attention onto stuff you can fit in your pocket. Apple has been spacing out Macintosh updates more and more and in many ways that's smart. Kaby Lake, and even next years Intel CPU's, are not going to represent significant improvements over what's currently available. They are going to represent some small drops in energy usage, and next year, support for lower energy RAM. It may be Apple's plan to wait until 2018 for the release of new notebooks, where the LPDDR4 technology can perhaps be met with a CPU that actually represents a good performance bump. OR, they might do a quiet refresh next year to include the new chips and 32GB of RAM. We don't know. Like the gentleman quoted in the article; we are just guessing.
  6. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Apple has always had higher prices on redesigned hardware.
    First MBA was immensely overpriced and only gradually it fell in price.

    This is no different. I think it's definitely a safe bet that the 2017 MBP will have a slightly lower price point, as will probably the 2017 rMB.
  7. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 10, 2007
  8. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    They haven't second guessed anything. Skylake (the processors apple is using) does not support 32GB of LPDDR3/4 ram, only desktop class ram which is a huge battery hit. Once the appropriate KabyLake processors are finally released Apple will have the ability to support 32GB without the massive battery hit.

    What do you think consumers are going to hate more, not being able to go past 16GB (which is still far more than the vast majority of Pro buyers, not being "pros", need) or taking a 3-4 hour battery hit over the last generation just for the ability to add more RAM?

    I don't understand how that can be considered "second guessing" under any definition.

    I just saw your edit, looks like you got the answers you needed, sorry for the redundant post!
  9. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    That's it right there! We're in a phase of small, incremental upgrades year over year. So don't expect big revolutionary changes. People have been pretty frustrated with Apple as of late because their Macintosh line has only been getting little bumps here and there; but the fact is, the technology just isn't there. Apple is doing what the technology allows; thinner and lighter. "Faster" wasn't actually an option. Unless Apple wanted to run Mobile Xeon CPU's and desktop class RAM in a notebook that was thicker, heavier, and laster 3 or 4 hours; better performance just wasn't an option. So Apple focused on making it as portable as possible.
  10. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    That article is a typical clickbait stuff: take someone else's material, rewrite it, put a lazy title and publish. Few minutes of work. To the topic: it should be clear that the new MBP is a compromise that Apple was forced to take in order to accommodate the technological and other issues its partners (Intel& Co.) are currently experiencing. Its very likely that a number of these issues (faster CPUs, faster, higher density RAM, cheaper displays etc.) will be solved next year. And this of course has nothing to do with Apple being 'apologetic'. I guess the alternative would have been to keep the last years design and replace the Haswell by Skylake and the m370x by a 950M, which would hardly be satisfying.
  11. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    None of this should come as a shock to long-time Mac users.

    First-run products of an entirely new design will be flawed in some way. The new designs will be revised. The second revision usually comes pretty soon (1yr more or less) after the initial/first release. Consecutive revisions will continue to iterate on the design and improve. Usually by the third of fourth revision, the product is nearly perfect.

    This was true with the original Macbook Air design, which was revised 10 months after initial release to address a few issues such as the display adapter. Later revisions added more connectivity.

    This was true with the second design of the Macbook Air, which was revised 10 months after initial release to address a few issues such as lack of backlit keyboard. Later revisions greatly improved battery life and i/o.

    This was true with the original unibody Macbook Pro, which initially had hinge issues and battery issues. All the issues were addressed in subsequent revisions.

    This was true with the original retina Macbook Pro, which initially had ghosting issues on the screen. The issue was addressed in subsequent revisions.​

    The initial release of a new design is risky, it always is. It's for those desperate for a new computer, and those that really want the latest and greatest and don't mind upgrading again soon after. For those that can afford to wait a bit longer, it would be prudent to do so, it always is.

    In my observations, Apple get's it pretty close to perfect in their second- or third-revision of a new design; and it is pretty much perfect by the fourth-revision of a new design.
    For example:
    2010 initial second-gen MBA, 2011 MBA is close to perfect, 2013 MBA is perfect;
    2008 initial unibody MBP, 2009 MBP is close to perfect, 2010-2011 MBP is perfect;
    2012 initial rMBP, by 2014 or so it was near perfect.

    You can go further back in time, and this pattern holds true. From the original iMac, to the PowerMac G4, to the Powerbook G4, to various iterations of the Mac Mini, to the polycarbonate Macbooks, always this pattern more or less. Even the iPods followed this pattern generally.
    So everyone needs to calm the f down. We are in the initial design phase. It's risky, but enthusiasts that eat this stuff up will love it. Next year it will be a bit better and a bit safer. The year after that it will likely have no significant issues and I would not hesitate recommending it to anyone.
  12. cmaier macrumors G5

    Jul 25, 2007
    Big shock. A year from now, Apple predicted to release new macs that are improvements on this year's macs. The suggestion that this reflects some sort of concession on apple's part that they should have produced next year's mac this year is silly.
  13. jscooper22 macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2013
    Syracuse, NY
    Our staff would happily sacrifice battery life for more umph. Or why not have option to just "disconnect" extra 16gb when on battery, like with graphics performance?
  14. el-John-o, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016

    el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    It's not the amount, it's the type. It's not an issue that more ram uses more battery. Skylake CPU's don't support more than 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM (the "LP" stands for "Low Power"). Kaby Lake, bizarrely, only supports LPDDR4 (the variant that would be needed to support more RAM) on the "U" series chips used on Ultrabooks, the MacBook, and the base model 13" MBP. Even if Apple waited until January (hopefully? Intel has been late) to refresh the 15" so that it could have Kaby Lake, it still wouldn't support LPDDR4. It'll be 2018 before Intel has a high end mobile CPU that supports 32GB of low power RAM. Steve Jobs stood on stage over a decade ago to tell us that the motivation to switch to Intel was because the chips were cooler and used less power, and that the future was efficient notebooks. Clearly, that's a strategy Apple is sticking to.

    So Apple's two options for RAM are DDR4, in which they could run 32GB of RAM, which uses significantly more energy, or LPDDR3; which is very fast, and uses very little energy, but is maxed out at 16GB.

    Apple engineers recognize that more than 16GB of RAM isn't going to give you more "oomph" or make your computer faster. And that outside of heavy Virtual Machine use and a few other rare niche applications, mostly relegated to software that needs the performance of desktop class CPU's and GPU's anyway. I certainly would have upgraded the RAM if it were available to me; for future proofing if nothing else; but a lot of people seriously over-estimate how much RAM they use.

    Load up your software in as heavy of a real-world scenario as you can and take a look at the System Monitor. Total up "Free Memory" and "Inactive Memory" and that's how much RAM overhead you have. Note that Inactive memory is, to super-simplify the explanation, essentially "leftovers" from applications you are currently or were just recently running. By leaving that data in extra RAM but not using it, it's there immediately and can speed things up. If an application needs more RAM, that inactive RAM is simply dropped to make room, since it isn't actually data that's currently being used, it's just data the OS thinks you might use. So inactive+free RAM is the amount of memory that you are not even using. I have 16GB in my current MBP; and I just loaded up FCPX and started rendering an old project, fired up a DSLR image in photoshop, fired up lightroom, and booted Windows 10 in Parallels and I still have RAM leftover. I'm sure there are people who need to run a dozen VM applications and churn through several instances of super high resolution video all at the same and would like to do so on a computer they can unplug from their desk and take home; but that represents a small cross-section of the market. Frankly, I think a lot of folks who claim to need 32GB just have this psychological "need" to have more RAM than their previous machine because it's "newer". We're hitting the speed limit of electrons folks; PC advancement is slowing way way down. It's not like it used to be where every couple of years you had 4x as much ram and a CPU that was 5x as fast.

    I'll admit I STILL think Apple could consider re-releasing the 17" MBP, with a mobile Xeon or 97 CPU and DDR4 RAM running even as much as 64GB of RAM! Battery life wouldn't be great; but that machine would be a "take to work, plug in, take home, plug in" machine.

    Also worth looking at "page outs". If you currently have 16GB of RAM and have a really high "page out" number, then your lack of RAM is slowing you down. If you don't? Then you've not been even filling up the RAM you do have.

    This is not evil Apple screwing over pro's. If you want someone to be mad at, be mad at Intel. Intel hasn't made significant improvements to performance in a while now, they are consistently late to launch, and their entire focus is reducing energy usage so they can build better ultrabooks. In my personal opinion, Intel looks to stem the tide that is ARM. As ARM chips get faster and faster while still using very little energy and producing very little heat (some of the fastest ARM chips are already as fast as chips from Intel just a few short years ago; that required a heatsink and a fan and used way more power!) Intel doesn't see content creation and high-end mobile computing as their future. They'll still make powerful desktop i7's and Xeons, but in the mobile space, they want to make sure that when ARM catches up, Intel is still relevant. It's mass market. NO company (sorry!) is going to cater to niche companies; they cater to the mass market.
  15. Rkuda macrumors regular


    May 23, 2016
    I invite any person claiming that the MBP sucks because it cant do 32GB of RAM to please post a picture of Activity Monitor showing us your memory usage. I want to see your 16GB fully utilized and I want to see the memory pressure graph in the red.

    You can do an insane amount of stuff on 16GB of ram and I honestly believe that 99% of people complaining about it don't need it, and would never make use of it. They simply want it because its a bigger number.
  16. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 10, 2007
    I am the original poster of this thread.

    I have already apologized for posting this thread, as I admit, I was misinformed.

    I will say this in response to the above post....

    el-John-o makes a great point and I think I can further solidify it....

    I bought a 2016 MacBook as a supplement to my MacBook Pro. I wanted something light to travel with.

    It's a crappy base model in both CPU and Ram. It has only 8GB of Ram.

    I have this baby loaded with startup programs. I would say at least a dozen. I have multiple browser windows open at once when surfing the Internet.

    And you know what? iStats Menu always show that less than 1/4 of the total memory is being used.

    I really press this MacBook to the limits. I am amazed how speedy and memory efficient it is with these base specs.

    Again, the specs are: 1.1 GHz Intel Core m3 with 8GB of ram.

    I don't notice a hell of a lot of difference over my 2014 13" MB Pro with an i7 processor and twice the memory.
  17. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    You don't need to apologize man, if you don't ask; you don't learn.

    It's a genuine concern. People are asking this question, so it's a relevant discussion. The way I see it; the two issues at hand are;

    1) Intel is dragging it's feet. The decision by Apple was to use low-power RAM. The decision by Intel was to not bother supporting more than 16GB of low power RAM

    2) It's not 2005 anymore. Progress is slowing. It's slowing a LOT. There's still progress, but not nearly as much as there used to be. There some great innovation in the new MBP. The PCI-E drive itself is absolutely incredible and may be one of the fastest drives in a notebook you can buy today. That's going to make the new MBP "feel" EXTREMELY fast. People want 32GB of RAM because they had 16GB of ram 4 years ago. But the fact is, not as much has changed between 2012 and 2016 as did, for example, between 2005 and 2009 or 1998 and 2002! I'm not hearing "I use a Mac Pro now but think I could use a MacBook Pro INSTEAD, if it had more RAM". What I'm hearing is "I currently use a MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM. And somehow, a new MacBook Pro with 16GB won't work anymore".
  18. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 10, 2007

    I have never had an issue with 16GB of Ram in a MBP. I have never come closed to maxxing it out.

    And to show you how crazy I am about memory --- unnecessarily --- I have 64GB in my 4k iMac. Reason being, at least you can still manually add more memory to the desktops.

    Thanks for the help, Sir.
  19. The Mercurian macrumors 68000

    Mar 17, 2012
    Intel are not responsible for Apple's design choices. Intel didn't force Apple to make the new MBP as thin as it is did they ? They should have made if a bit less thin - put more battery in the space, and then they could have offered a 32GB option. Simples.

    Ehhh...not so much
  20. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    Well, seeing as this is clearly going to be the chassis for the next 4+ years, why eat the cost of retooling an entire manufacturing chain for a one year stopgap? That doesn't make sense just to cater to bitching on the internet.
  21. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    I managed to get all the way to 12GB used before I lost interest.

    In each application, it was rendering / multiple files were loaded

    Adobe Photoshop CS6
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CS 6
    Final Cut Pro X
    (Rendering 1080p)
    Adobe After Effects
    Adobe Premier
    Google Chrome with 40 tabs
    Age of Empires
    Civ IV
    The GiMP
    Parallels Desktop
    -Windows XP
    -Windows 10
    -Steam running 3 games in Windows 10

    Then I got bored. I was going to be a smart-ass and max my 16GB MacBook Pro out but it's really hard to do.

    I know how I COULD do it; with some really crazy VM work; but I'm struggling to figure out why I'd ever want to do that on a notebook...

    I'm not saying there aren't people who actually need 32GB of RAM. I'm just saying, most of the people complaining aren't those people.

    P.S. I used like 20% of my battery in the 10 minutes I spent doing that.
  22. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    ....You could have just gotten a 6 month old version of Chrome and loaded 5 websites instead of going through all that work :p
  23. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010

    Well I was genuinely curious if I could come up with some radical real-world, non-synthetic way to max out my RAM. Where I conceivably was working on a bunch of projects and didn't want to close (or even minimize) any of my applications, much less save one and move on. There are, of course, benchmarking tools to synthetically fill up the RAM but that doesn't prove anything.

    Despite the screaming fan and rapidly depleting battery, my 4 year old 13" base model was still trucking along just fine. Everything was still snappy.
  24. Uplift macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2011

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