Apple's new MacBook Pro lineup has received quite a number of sharp critique lately, with the bulk of acerbic jabs hitting its lack of important ports, its new but somewhat lackluster Touch Bar, the absence of newer Intel Kaby Lake processors on the machines and the lack of a 32 GB RAM option.
The new MacBook Pro models plateau at 16 GB, which is rather measly for labor-intensive programs to be likely utilized by creative professionals, one of the main demographics Apple is marketing the machine toward.
A 32 GB RAM Option Would Reduce Battery Life
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP for worldwide marketing, has continuously defended aspects of the new machines, which are often the target of criticism issued by several people and publications.
According to MacRumors, Schiller has allegedly issued a response to an email from Ben Slaney, a software developer, explaining why the new MacBook Pro lineup doesn't go beyond 16 GB of RAM. According to Schiller, a 32 GB configuration would have translated to a different logic board design for the MacBook Pro, which in turn will put battery capacity at risk.
"To support 32 GB of memory would require using DDR memory that is not low power and also require a different design of the logic board which might reduce space for batteries. Both factors would reduce battery life," Schiller's alleged response reads.
Intel Processors Powering New MacBook Pro Doesn't Support LPDDR4
Slaney has written an article deftly detailing the MacBook Pro's RAM configuration. The new machines use an enhanced version of DDR3 RAM, LPDDR3E, which can only be as high as 16 GB. If the MacBook included a 32 GB RAM option, it would have forced Apple to use a different type of RAM called DDR4, the low-power version of which, the LPDDR4, isn't supported by Intel's sixth-generation processors inside the 2016 MacBook Pro models.
Furthermore, using the iStats Menus tool, Slaney was able to determine that, under normal conditions, the LPDDR3E RAM only uses 1.5 watts, while other notebooks with DDR4 RAM use around 3 to 5 watts of power.
So there you have it. The new MacBook pro models don't come with a 32 GB RAM option because Apple found it unwise to potentially reduce the machine's battery life. Additionally, if Apple opted for LPDDR4 RAM, Skylake would have been absent from the machines.
While the lack of a 32 GB RAM option will frustrate some folks apprehensive on getting the new MacBook Pro model, Apple undoubtedly opted for a better trade-off in this situation, prioritizing battery life foremost. That said, the new MacBook Pro's battery life isn't really that excellent, proving to be underwhelming when compared with older MacBook models. You can just imagine how fast a theoretical 32 GB RAM MacBook Pro would power down.