Hardware Requirements for Mac AI

If this turns out to be true those are some pretty steep requirements

If true:

So an M-Chip iPad/mac or iPhone 15 Pro. High requirements for iPhones, but not particularly high for iPads, and downright reasonable for Macs in my opinion.

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It’s clear from this that it’s not so much the CPU/GPU/NPU but the available RAM that’s the issue, as these are the only devices to have shipped with a minimum of 8 GB RAM.

So, the AI craze is now going to bite Apple for skimping on the RAM on earlier iPhones, which had only 4 or 6 GB (iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15/15 Plus), making them unable to fully support even the latest iPhone 15 series with their range of AI features.


These seem very reasonable to me to be honest. I’d imagine that the vast majority of people in this forum have an Apple silicon Mac by now and will likely have an iPhone 15 Pro (or higher) within the next couple of years as they start to upgrade.

According to Gurman, users need to opt into Apple Intelligence, which leads us to believe that users don’t have to use these features if they don’t want to.

Hope this part is true. I’ll reserve judgment based on usefulness and privacy.

Agreed. Apple’s general stinginess with RAM continues to be extremely annoying, as is their absurd pricing for upgrades. It’s ridiculous that they’re still selling Macs with only 8 gb of non-upgradable in 2024.

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So I’ve got nothing here that will run Apple’s new AI. Guess I’ll have to stick with Real Intelligence.


People talk about this Stinginess like it’s a new thing, it’s always been the case. The only difference in the past (Post Power PC at least) was that you could install your own RAM to augment the pitiful amount you got.

Didn’t one of the original Apple Computers have a socket to add additional memory against Steve Jobs’ wishes? The Engineers snuck it into the design to future proof it because they felt that there wasn’t enough in it.

I know from experience that 8 gb is enough for large percentage of users. It was plenty years ago when we were running Intel iMacs.

And for those that need more ram than they can get with a $999 MacBook Air, an upgrade will get you close to the price of the next higher model . . . etc, etc, and the next thing you know you’ve ordered a $2000 MacBook Pro.

Apple is king of the upsell.

I disagree that it’s enough anymore. In 2024, it doesn’t take much to exceed 8gb. Open an MS Office app or two, maybe add an email client, then start opening tabs in a browser…

And that’s right now. Someone buying a new Mac in 2024 needs to consider how much is going to be enough over the life of the machine. And demands on RAM from the OS, apps, and websites and web apps are only going to grow.

And years before that 4gb was enough, and years before that 2gb was enough. Tech and life move on.

Not me. :wink:

That was a huge difference. I remember pulling out the 4gb in a 2011 MBP and replacing it with 16gb for less than $50 USD. Back then you didn’t have to be careful and make sure you bought enough RAM and storage up front. You could upgrade whenever you needed to, and you didn’t have to pay Apple’s inflated prices for upgrades.


I agree. With all the advances of software as a service I can run just about every kind of application in a browser.

You will probably this year or next year though as macOS drops support for Intel and you upgrade to an Apple silicon Mac.

I don’t think that macOS drops support for Intel this year. I think that there will be features which won’t work on Intel, but updates and security will continue with the new version of MacOS coming to the highest end Intel Machines.

That’s the selling proposition for Chromebooks.

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My base iPad won’t handle it. And I have yet to find something about the higher-end iPads that compels me to buy one.

So this is what was behind the rumors of the regular iPhone 16 getting the same processor as the 16 Pro. AI requirements.

Gurman didn’t mention the Apple Watch in his report, so it’s unclear whether the AI features will extend to watchOS 11.

Apple watch 9/ultra 2 or higher is my guess. Remember Apple made a big deal last September about the processor in those watches letting them do more advanced things on-device?

Yep. I think of my iPad Pro as a hybrid. :grinning:

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I’ve seen comments saying that SaaS apps don’t work as well in the mobile/iPad version of Safari as they do in desktop browsers. Have you noticed anything like that?

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Yes. As of a few years ago Chrome was frequently recommended for demos on a Mac but they ran on my 8gb MBP. I doubt if many would run on an iPad except through an app.

The only program I currently run in my iPad browser is Google Workspace and that requires ignoring ‘use the app’ recommendations. But while it runs well on both Safari and Chrome, I only stay logged in to GW on Chrome and use Safari for everything else. I use the browser to create/modify email rules & spreadsheets, etc and iPadOS apps to send/receive mail, make edits to Sheets, etc.

It’s not ideal but at my age I don’t have ten years to wait for Apple to “fix” iPadOS. Right now the iPad desperately needs some Backblaze type backup software and a Chromium browser. I have a couple of sites that won’t even run correctly in Safari for Mac.

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I’m out. Xr, Intel Mac, 9th gen iPad…