The new MacBook Pros still max out at 16GB of RAM despite its more efficient Skylake processors, faster SSDs, better GPUs, and better thermal architecture.
One customer (via MacRumors) emailed Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller regarding the lack of more RAM. According to Schiller, adding more than 16GB of RAM will draw too much power and will have large impacts on battery life.
Question from David: The lack of a 32GB BTO option for the new MBPs raised some eyebrows and caused some concerns (me included). Does ~3GBps bandwidth to the SSD make this a moot issue? I.e. memory paging on a 16GB system is so fast that 32GB is not a significant improvement?
Schiller’s answer: Thank you for the email. It is a good question. To put more than 16GB of fast RAM into a notebook design at this time would require a memory system that consumes much more power and wouldn’t be efficient enough for a notebook. I hope you check out this new generation MacBook Pro, it really is an incredible system.
The average consumer probably wouldn’t need or use 32GB of RAM, however, the MacBook Pro is targeted as a professional notebook for prosumers who may need more computing power.
The 2016 MacBook Pros currently feature 10 hours of wireless web or iTunes movie playback, dubbed “all-day battery life.” While it’s an improvement on the 15-inch model and on par with the 13-inch model, it’d be interesting to see what battery life sacrifices have to be made to get 32GB of RAM.