All the Macs that Apple introduced of the new generation of computers with Apple Silicon use the same chip: the M1. This leaves us with two variables to configure our computer, the amount of storage and the amount of RAM. At Max Tech, they compare this last variable and they rate the performance of two 13-inch MacBook Pros with the M1, one with 8GB of RAM and the other with 16GB.
Better more RAM? It depends on what we want to do with our Mac
In the video we can see how the two machines perform a series of tests, starting with Geekbench. In this test, although the Mac model with 8 GB of RAM makes full use of it while the model with 16 leaves just over 6 GB of free space during the process, the test result is the same. When exporting with Final Cut Pro, the results are also extremely similar.
While running Cinebench, even though the comparison made by the video is slightly off-center, it is mentioned that both machines are at a temperature of around 60 ° Celsius. A temperature that is more than remarkably low when compared to what a computer equipped with an Intel processor would achieve in the same process. The result of the two tests is, again, practically identical.
Where we’re already starting to see differences is in the Xcode build test. The 8GB machine completes the test in 136 seconds compared to 122 for the 16GB model. In LightRoom Classic, where they export a 42MP RAW photo, we also see a slight difference: the 8 GB model takes 3 minutes to complete and the 15 GB model takes 2 minutes and 43 seconds.
We see the biggest difference in performance in a Final Cut Pro export test. In the video, a RAW is exported as 8K R3D which takes 13:57 minutes in the 8 GB RAM model and 5:59 minutes in the 16 GB model.
Clearly, RAM and speed don’t always go hand in hand. It depends on the task we are doing. Recall, however, that the M1 is an SoC, that is to say several specialized components within a single chip. Thus, we have a section in charge of video processing, for example, which is responsible for freeing the CPU from the process, relegating it to simple coordination.
If we add the unified memory architecture to these specialized, high-performance components, we see how even an entry-level computer or prosumerHow can he be The 13-inch MacBook Pro delivers impressive performance.
The conclusion is clear, 16 GB is not necessarily better, it depends a lot on the type of tasks we are going to perform. Of course, we could ideally have 128GB of RAM, but if we appreciate the price and benefits of the extra memory, it’s possible that in most use cases the 8GB model is left perfectly fine. The optimization of memory usage in macOS Big Sur, coupled with the M1’s unified memory structure and components, make this a more than impressive PC.