There’s been lots of hate going towards the latest generation MacBook Pros, one of which is the lack of 32GB of RAM.
Earlier this month Phil Schiller noted that the reason the new MacBook Pros max out at 16GB of RAM is due to battery life concerns, however the exec has responded to an email in which he goes into a bit more detail.
Ben Slaney from MacDaddy published a detailed breakdown of the MacBook Pro’s RAM limitation, which caught Schiller’s eye and warranted a response.
In an email, Schiller noted that in addition to battery life concerns, adding 32GB of RAM would have required a different logic board design which may have affected the overall internal design, such as the battery.
The article is nice but not entirely accurate. The MacBook Pro uses 16GB of very fast LPDDR memory, up to 2133MHz.
To support 32GB 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.
In a nutshell, Slaney’s post says that the new MacBook Pros use a low-power DDR3 RAM type that is called LPDDR3E that has a max rating of 16GB. Moving to DDR4 would require new Intel processors due to the fact that the low power variant of DDR4 isn’t supported in the new MacBook Pros.