Ordering new MacBook Pro 2021 14 inch - do I need to upgrade the CPU?

I’m about the press the order button. :slight_smile:

I’m finally upgrading my 8 year old MBP late 2013 retina 13 inch with 512 GB storage and 16 GB RAM.

I’m going for the new 14 inch with 2 TB storage (finally bringing my Photos library home to my internal drive!) and 32 GB RAM.

I don’t do video editing.

Is there any advantage to paying extra for the 10 core CPU which is a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than the 8 core CPU? I think that’s the only difference.



I decided I don’t need the CPU upgrade. I’ve never needed it in the past. The extra RAM and SSD should suffice. And this way it fits on my gift card. :blush:

I think those are often extra little dings Apple just tries to throw in for some more profit margin.

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I’m definitely getting a 10-core M1 Pro on my new 14", but I’m not sure about 32 vs. 16 GB. I was set on 32 GB figuring it’s not that big of a deal, all things considered. But then I realized, when I opt for 32 GB RAM, I could get a Max instead of the Pro for just another $180 (UC prices). Jeez. Apple’s marketing folks have me right where they want. :laughing: And now considering also that, I’m starting to think I should stick it to 'em by getting the Pro with only 16 GB. :wink:

Wow. It sounds like we are all over the place! :slight_smile:

Take a look at this video:

This video is comparing the 8Gb 13” MacBook Pro with the 16Gb model. Even running XCode in the 8Gb most isn’t bad. Even using Lightroom is good. That M1 with only 8Gb is fast. That 16Gb MacBook Pro is faster than a 2020 16” Intel i9 MacBook Pro with 64Gb of RAM and a graphics card.

As I’ve said before, 99% of computer users would be thrilled with even the most basic M1 Mac. It is fast. It is powerful. That M1 is a game changer.

Now these new systems have the M1 Pro and M1 Max with a base 16Gb system. Unless you are doing nothing but graphics rendering all day, the most basic system would be more than enough.

The only reason I would possibly get an M1 Pro Mac is if I really wanted three monitors when doing development or I really needed a bigger primary screen.

Don’t overestimate your needs. Don’t think you must have 32Gb of memory or that the 8/14 core system is junk because the numbers are smaller than the 10/16 core system. Save your money. Use the savings to buy yourself a nice standing desk.

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Standing desk? Sounds horrible. :slight_smile:

Anyway, as mentioned, I stuck with the basic CPU. However, I have noticed my 2013 MBP with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD lagging lately. I think it’s true that the extra RAM would help speed things up when you have many apps open at once. At the present time (looking at the dock) it seems I have 17 apps open now, many with multiple windows and tabs. More RAM helps with that.

And the 512 GB SSD is just too small. I can’t fit my Photos library on it, which is why it’s relegated to an external SSD. From there, it’s not backed up with Time Machine or CCC.

So I think for my day to day work and personal needs I ended up ordering a basically minimal configuration. All I upped was the RAM and SSD.

The wife said go for 32 GB so 32 GB it is. Didn’t feel like going for the Max since I won’t be exploiting its graphics. I’d prefer more battery life to excess GPU cycles. So this thing in this config is another $250 more expensive than the decked out 13" Intel MBP I bought a little over a year ago. Got to hand it to 'em, they know how to play me. :wink:

I ordered a new machine this afternoon to replace my 2015 15" MBP. The final choice was easy when I saw the port options and SD card slot. The slot will nicely handle my Fuji, Sony and Leicas as well as my drones. The USB-C will connect to my 32" monitor and should give me charging, network, mouse and keyboard via the ports in the screen - all from a single connection.

I opted for the M1Max with 32GB, 1TB and 24 core GPU. I figure I’ll keep it at least 4 or 5 years so a better spec’d machine seems a bit more future proof. 3 to 4 week wait but I suspect it will be worth it. I’m actually pretty excited!

PS, I already have a standing desk :slight_smile:

All the different priorities are interesting. I chose storage space and RAM. As for standing desks… :: shudder:: :slight_smile:

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I seriously want to get a new MacBook Pro, but I’m opting to wait six months or so until all of the inevitable flaws (butterfly keyboard, anyone?) become apparent.

I ordered 32 to future proof it even though in reality 16 is probably just fine…that’s what I have in my old 2015 model and my wife’s M1 MBA. However…upgrading to the Max processor is really overkill unless you’re going to do something that seriously taxes the processors…which in my case isn’t happening. Display size was the driver for me over the M1 MBA.

Yeah…recliner is the way to g o.

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It seems like a lot of people are going for the 10-core but not necessarily upgrading RAM to 32 GB.

I went in the other direction and kept the base CPU but upgraded RAM to 32 GB because I always have lots of apps open and my current MBP late 2013 retina seems to lag a lot and I heard that more RAM will help.

My order is already in, but I’m wondering, on a practical basis, whether sticking to the basic CPU configuration really matters?

Unified RAM is different from what we had before. It’s still limited of course to actual RAM but 8 unified is really pretty close to 16 of the old style. I’ve launched 40ish apps on my wife’s M1 MBA and noticed no real lag in any of them. That being said…I upgraded my new MBP to 32 to better future proof things.

In my case the CPU choice ended up being quite simple. I want the best M1 Pro I can get because my work can exploit the extra CPU cores. But I don’t need to go to the M1 Max because my work will not exploit its added graphics capabilities (nor will it benefit from the higher mem b/w). The RAM is really just a guess. I have 32 GB on my Intel from 2020, I could downgrade if I were certain M1 Macs came with a smaller RAM footprint (which we know they do) and it is likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future (which of course we don’t know). In that sense, 32 GB gives me some future proofing. I swap machines often so I don’t have to future proof, but I still like doing it as added insurance I could hold on to my Mac when Apple’s upgrades stink (like when I kept my 2013 after seeing butterfly KB baloney etc.).

The difference between the base 8-core M1 Pro CPU configuration that I ordered and the model with 10-core would have been $340. I’m wondering if it’s worth changing my order. But on the other hand, I wonder what for? I get the feeling that some of these configuration differences are just clever Apple marketing ploy.

I sort of feel confident with my 32 GB RAM choice because of the way I’ve seen my 2013 MBP use RAM over the past 8 years.