Stressing over how much to spend on the new Macbook Pro?

I found this post on reddit to ease your minds. :smiley:


I felt exactly the same when the announcements were made.

The only demanding tasks I do are coding/data analysis and home video 4K editing. The 16gb M1 is more powerful than I need already. I also do big data analysis, but that’s not possible on a laptop as you cannot store petabytes of data outside a data center, so I use AWS clusters.

I can understand why professional film makers with lots of camera angles to deal with, or musicians working with hundreds of audio channels would need more, but I’m not either so do not.

I didn’t even have an urge to upgrade as the machines would not offer me any advantage over an M1 for my workflow.


The ram limitation with M1 machines would be the only other reason I can think of to upgrade here (apart from the other various niceties, like the ports, Magsafe, etc). I run a few VMs for dev work, which consume a lot of RAM. As soon as I open a large PSD file, I’m running on swap. 32gb is really my minimum for successful work.


Personally, I find myself wondering whether some of the “futureproofing” stuff people wind up talking about is even worth it at this point.

At $1000 for a basic MBA, or around $1400 for the 16GB / 500GB configuration, unless one really needs more memory I’m thinking that just saving the money and planning to upgrade in a couple years may be the better long-term solution.

If the A series of SOCs is any indication, I would imagine that these are going to get progressively faster year-over-year, and once Apple irons out some of their technologies it’s likely that the lower-end Macs will progressively get more options.

Might be better dropping the $1400 on the Air (or the equivalent Mini), using it for a year or two, and then upgrading.


I ordered the baseline 14” pro with 1TB. I know that an M1 is (more than) sufficient in terms of horsepower, but it falls short for me in terms of the screen. I’m really looking forward to that as well as the new speaker’s and MagSafe. There’s a reason they sell the complete package to users like me and not just the processor.

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I appreciate the sentiment. I suspect he’ll be upgrading once he moves to 6k or 8k though, which he should be doing so he can crop to 4k to fix the frame so he can shoot faster. The advantages of more physical memory are known there. To me, that’s what is exciting, that portable high performance is going to make more advanced work viable or easy.

I bought the 13-inch MacBook Pro last December. It was more powerful than the iMac that it replaced in every way. The most stressful thing I do with my Mac is compile code in XCode. The M1 was way faster than the Intel iMac at this task. Watching the event on Monday tempted me to buy one of the new MacBooks, but I think it makes more sense to wait another year or two and then upgrade to the M3 Pro or whatever they call it. I’m happy with the M1 performance and I don’t think it makes sense to upgrade a Mac every year.

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Alex Lindsay says his company is using base config 8gb mac minis to churn their 8k video and they rarely have a problem.

that said, if I was going to buy a new notebook this week, I would get the 14" 32gb 1 TB Max and I wouldn’t care if I ever did anything more than omnifocus or fantastical… thats just me tho… :smiley:


I could possibly see Alex saying that about 8GB M1s as rendering boxes, although 16GB would pay for itself if they ever want the output minutes early. Editing is a bit different. Even if you use low-res 720p proxies for 8K, you’ll want ~4GB RAM for every ten minutes you want to cache on top of running the software and the OS. Let alone simultaneous programs, non-destructive history, etc.

I will go for an M-Max, since I need four displays plus a 1 or 2tb ssd. In order to use more data I will just attach an etxernal ssd (more cheap) to the back of my mac. Thats it.

(its jus sad that the m1x does only support two dipslays, otherwise I would go for the base model only maxing up the ssd a bit…)

The question I am asking myself, whetherthe next base model m2 (?) will support four displays and whether I should just wait until than.

Apple tries to be environmentally conscious, but that’s still another new computer being made that didn’t need to be.
Of course, I have no idea if the additional hazardous chemicals etc used in making the Max or Pro make them equally “bad”. Plus I’m a rubbish one to talk with my proliferation of gear, but I maintain it’s something to consider in buying tech and I wish I was better at this.

Valid point. I’m wondering how the secondary market for used stuff factors in, though. I mean…if I used an M1 Air for a couple of years, then sold it used, do we think that would cause an otherwise-useful computer to wind up getting discarded? Or would it likely prevent the purchase of a new unit?

I don’t share that view. If Apple really cares about the environment, they would increase the repairability of their products.


it is suspected that they just use other companies to do the dirty work for them so lets not saint them… how many trees will never grow again in the amazon because of the horrendous mining for iPhone metals taking place there…

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I understand your desire to care for the environment, but the repairable devices from the old days were bigger and heavier, filled with screws, solder joints, and press-fits that came loose, rattled, and stopped working in often difficult to diagnose ways. They required a dedicated hardware staff to keep in service for any length of time and then still didn’t last as long. We’ve traded those bad old days for lighter, stronger, longer-lasting, and more secure devices.


Are you saying that the Macbooks with low repairability between 2016 and 2020 were of good quality? I didn’t have one without issues.

It is nonsense (and marketing talk) that you can’t make good laptops that are repairable.

No, certainly not. The problems with those laptops were the result of design decisions made by Apple. But, for example, the design of keyboards and the number and kinds of ports have turned around with the most recent Macs that have been released. My M1 MacBook Air is a phenomenal machine in both software and hardware. And the newly announced M1 Pro and Max machines look to be even better. And none of that is because they are more repairable.

I don’t want to take this off-topic, but can I quickly make the point that I don’t think saying “Apple tries to…” is sainting them in any way. I expect the requirements for that are set a quite a bit higher :wink:

If one is Catholic, saints need verifiable miracles to be canonized…

Tim Cook has said the App Store is an economic miracle….does thst move them aling in the process? :grinning:

Although is that Apple specifically, or the requirements of the phone / computer industry in gener?