2017 MacBook Pro to bring Intel Kaby Lake, 32GB of RAM


The next MacBook Pro will bring the power pro users require.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will launch a new 15-inch MacBook Pro later this year powered by Intel’s next-generation Kaby Lake processors and 32GB of desktop-class RAM, according to a reliable analyst.

The latest models feature Skylake chips and up to 16GB of RAM, but many professionals have complained this just isn’t enough for a high-end notebook.

That Skylake processor is the reason the latest MacBook Pro maxes out at 16GB of RAM. The processors simply don’t support low-power RAM in larger configurations. So, if Apple wanted to offer a 32GB option, it would need to use desktop-class RAM — which eats away at battery life a whole lot faster.

Apple could design its own chips for the MacBook lineup to get around this, but for now, the company seems to be settled with Intel. And rather than wait for Intel to design a mobile chip that supports 32GB of low-power RAM, Apple might give in to fans’ demands.

According to reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has a MacBook Pro refresh planned for later this year that will bring new Kaby Lake CPUs and up to 32GB of desktop-class RAM. It will be “the most significantly redesigned product this year,” Kuo says.

The machine will serve pro users — like video editors — who require more than 16GB and are willing to sacrifice some battery life to get their hands on it. Kaby Lake will also grace the rest of the MacBook Pro lineup — and the 12-inch MacBook, too, Kuo claims.

The upcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the more affordable 15-inch models, will reportedly max out at 16GB of RAM just like they do today. It’s thought there will also be a 16GB RAM option for the 12-inch MacBook, which currently tops out at 8GB.

Kuo expects the new 12-inch MacBook to enter mass production this spring, while the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with up to 16GB of RAM will follow in the third quarter. The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro with 32GB of RAM will enter mass production in the fourth quarter.

Kuo actually refers to that beefier 15-inch option as a “MacBook,” but given its high-end specifications and larger display, we are assuming it will be part of the MacBook Pro lineup.

Thanks to those more-efficient Kaby Lake processors, Kuo expects MacBook Pro shipments to continue growing at around 10 percent year-over-year. He also believes shipments will come more quickly now that Apple has ironed out early production issues.

Kuo doesn’t mention specific release dates for any of these machines, but he expects the MacBook with 32GB of RAM to arrive sometime during the second half of 2017 — at which point Apple could reduce the price of the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar.

Via: MacRumors

  • ukw

    To late… Now people will want 64 GB of ram.

  • fbraz50

    Nice to have the option but the keyboard and touch bar still aren’t great. I can get a Dell XPS 15 with more horse power for almost $1k less money. I know it isn’t running macOS but still, the price delta between mac and pc has gotten really bad.

    • Ivo Jesus

      Yes, and then you’re stuck with Windows which is useless for a great deal of developers, or Linux which is underoptimised for the hardware you bought…

      • fbraz50

        And that is the catch. However, I have to ask. Can you define “a great deal of developers?” The only thing you would have issues with is developing Apple software. If you don’t do that then what is the issue?

        Believe me I loved the last gen MacBook Pro, excellent notebook, but this new one feels like a big swing and miss for me. I don’t mind the 16GB ram limit. I do mind the touch bar gimmick, keyboard, and going all USB-C.

      • Ivo Jesus

        “a great deal of developers” are all those not only developing Apple software (osx and ios) but all of those who are web developers working with php, ruby, python, node, java, elixir and are using macbooks – yes they could use a linux box for the exact same purpose but they have chosen macbooks because they work like any electrical appliance: you push the ON button and the thing works.

        Then you have those guys who are not web developers but are working with Java, Erlang, Scala, etc and have also chosen macbooks for the very same reason.

        Yes, touchbar is weird, to me looks like a stepping stone towards something different. Yes going all USB-C seems weird although it would be nice if most peripherals used the exact same port connector…
        And as for the keyboard.. its a keyboard. Each laptop vendor has its own layout anyway…

      • fbraz50

        Ok so you are basing your statement of “a great deal of developers” on their choice of platform. Not because they couldn’t use something else but because they chose to use Apple. That’s fair but still your preference.

        On your touchbar comment, that makes sense. Maybe they will do something with it but no knows what yet.

        On USB-C: Going that direction is absolutely the right thing to do but removing every other port while doing it is insane. When Thunderbolt and firewire standards came out they didn’t remove USB ports from their machines. I know USB-C peripherals will come but until they do you basically force everyone into a dongle life which is annoying. USB-C is the future but mixing up the port types is ok too. Also, they killed the magsafe port which is by far the best solution for charging a notebook if you ask me.

        The keyboard is not just the layout, it is the feel. The previous keyboard was fine but this new one takes everyone a while to get used to and even when switching between products in their own lineup the layouts and feels change.

        Overall it just feels like the company is developing products in silos with no real clear direction. For example: why not switch the iPhone to USB-C as well? Why bother with this proprietary lightning connector. I personally would not have been upset if they made that change..

      • JohnQ

        Good observations. With my existing, late 2015 Macbook Pro, I carry a lighting cable, a set of earbuds, and a charger. That’s it. I can go to a presentation and plug an HDMI cable directly into my machine and it just works. If I want to listen to music or watch a movie on my Mac or my phone, I can use the same set of headphones. With a 2016 Macbook Pro, I would have to carry a USB-C to HDMI dongle, a USB-C to USB dongle, and a 3.5 mic jack to lightning dongle and F around with them all day. Not to mention the fact that everything you do with the touch bar takes longer than with function keys. That why there are fing function keys to begin with. With my Macbook, it’s a single push of a physical button to adjust screen brightness, volume, etc. With idiotic touch bar, you push the volume button and it launches a sliding bar that you then have to mess with. In other words, it’s LESS efficient. It takes MORE button clicks to do everything. And just wait until the touch bar isn’t doing what you want it to and you need to hit escape for anything. Sorry. Just hard shut down OSX. Honestly, there’s at best real laziness and at worst absolute stupidity being exhibited in Apple’s product decisions since the passing of Steve Jobs. Jobs’ Apple would have NEVER produced something as half ass as the new Macbook Pro lineup…or the iPhone7 with no headphone jack (without putting lightning connectors on the Macs).

      • datagreed

        Come on, I am a developer and work with developers my whole life. Every developer I know at some point of his life switches to mac. I know no developers myself who don’t use macs at this point of time.

      • fbraz50

        The company I work for has plenty of developers doing their work just fine on Windows. A Macbook is not a requirement to do development. We actually have far fewer developers using Mac then Windows at this time, around a 2-1 ratio. Again using a Macbook is a choice and if it works for you that’s great. We are just expressing our disappointment in the current Apple offerings. My company has seen around 15 of these new Macbooks and to me they are a very bland overall offerings. Nice to look at but too many drawbacks for my tastes.

  • Gaurav Pandey

    But 13 inch with 8gb and huge cost for 16gb. 32gb RAM will cost a fortune and will only available for the top model.

  • JohnQ

    Can’t we get a 15″ version without the idiotic touch bar? I bought my wife the 13″ with actual function keys and it’s a nice machine. I don’t for the life of me understand why the 15″ version has to be saddled with another energy sapping feature that looks (and functions) like it was designed by a first day intern.

  • c o

    Too little too late. Bring back MagSafe, SD card slot, a USB port, a bigger battery, a full keyboard, make the trackpad a little smaller oh and ditch the emoji bar then it might be a laptop worthy of the “Pro” in its name.