Sometimes less is actually more - Upgrading an Intel MacBook Pro to Apple Silicon

My last major Apple laptop upgrade was back in 2015 when I replaced a 17’’ MacBook with a 13’’ MacBook Pro max’ed out on CPU: DualCore i7 and RAM: 16 GB.
Kinda based on experiences keeping my Lenovo PC laptop up to speed at the time.

And that MacBook configuration worked for me for about 8 years:
A nice sleek, small and light portable device for all my basic “away from home” tasks. For the heavy stuff like major picture (PhotoShop) and video editing and BluRay ripping my 27’’ Retina iMac took over.

But late 2023 I felt the need to upgrade. I saw and read through a lot of discussions and recommendations about which “Mx” MacBook to choose.

The immediate impulse was for a 14’’ MacBook Pro M3 Pro. After all I kinda went for high specs in 2015.
But then - having replaced the iMac with an MacMini M2 Pro *) **) - it the dawned on me…

Perhaps I needed to reevaluate my look at CPU’s? These Apple M-processors being a whole new breed and really powerful. Can I compare it with my view on Intel CPU’s directly?

I decided a fresh approach was needed. So - since Apple offered easy return - I went for this:
14’’ MacBook M3 - 16 Gb Ram, 512 GB SSD.
Pretty basic apart from the RAM and SSD **). And no regrets. I now had it for about 3 months. And it does everything I want it to do. Plus some!

So in my particular case: Less was more
My message: Your demands may vary, but do the rethink before your spending :wink:

*) It case you are wondering:
Mac Mini M2 Pro, 10 Core CPU, 16 Core GPU, 32 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD
And if you think that not at lot of storage? Well it is a choice made:
**) Data to keep it transferred and stored on two external SSD drives (one being the primary) with backup to my NAS and iDrive. I guess my former 25+ years of in the danish IT business (IBM and Kyndryl) working with trusted accounts) have rubbed off on me to the extend that I actually am also having my NAS copying data to a connected encrypted Raid 5 enclosure :closed_lock_with_key:


Good for you! :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

The M3 14" got a lot of snark when it came out. I still think it makes perfect sense. For Apple it’s just another nice opportunity to trigger upsell. For users it caters to all those folks who perhaps don’t need the fastest CPU or a gazillion GPU cores, but do like lots of dedicated ports or a really awesome screen or perhaps just the best speakers ever put into a portable Mac. A somebody who bought an M1 Pro 14" when it came out, I totally get the appeal of the vanilla M3 14".

Apple Silicon has reached such tremendous performance and efficiency that there’s far less necessity to opt for the fastest CPU you can afford. If my 14" got run over by a bus today, I’m not so sure if I’d replace it with an M3 Pro over M3. For my day to day use, sufficient RAM and SSD are likely far more important. OTOH, depending on which Pro and 18 vs. 24 GB RAM, you’re looking at as little as $0 difference (11-core Pro with 18 GB vs. 8-core M3 with 24 GB).