How upgradeable is Apple’s brand new MacBook Pro?

“MacBooks have a better overall life than their counterparts,” Chris Smith reports for BGR. “But does the 2016 generation let customers change RAM or SSD?”

“We already know that RAM is capped at 16GB, supposedly due to energy efficiency concerns,” Smith reports. “But if you purchase a MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM, you won’t be able to upgrade it. The RAM is soldered to the logic board, which means you can’t pick off the shelf components to upgrade it to 16GB.”

“This year’s MacBook Pro has even faster SSD speeds, which means the best thing you could do is order a custom MacBook Pro that has more storage out of the gate,” Smith reports. “Of course, that’ll be quite expensive, but you can go for up to 2TB of space if you so desire.”

The all-new MacBook Pro introduces the revolutionary Touch Bar and breakthrough performance in Apple's thinnest and lightest pro design ever.
The all-new MacBook Pro introduces the revolutionary Touch Bar and breakthrough performance in Apple’s thinnest and lightest pro design ever.

Smith reports, “If you’re going the user-replaceable route, you should know that the dumber 2016 MacBook Pro — the 13-inch flavor that lacks a Touch Bar and two USB-C ports — has an upgradeable SSD.”

More info and links in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As always, max out the RAM in your Mac purchases as much as your budget allows.

Apple limits 2016 MacBook Pro models to 16GB of RAM to maximize battery life – October 29, 2016
The key mission of Apple’s new MacBook Pros – October 28, 2016
TIME Magazine: Apple’s new MacBook Pro Touch Bar is an inventive new way to get work done more quickly – October 28, 2016
Apple does touch right and, as usual, Microsoft does it wrong – October 28, 2016
IBT: Apple’s MacBook Pro Touch Bar is the coolest thing ever; will change the way we use laptops – October 28, 2016
Wired hands on with Apple’s New MacBook Pro: It’s a whole new kind of laptop – October 27, 2016
CNET on the new MacBook Pro: Apple’s amazing strip show reinvents the notebook – October 27, 2016
Hands on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro: Looks and feels so good it’s unreal – October 27, 2016
Apple debuts three new TV ads for all-new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar – October 27, 2016
Apple unveils groundbreaking new MacBook Pro with revolutionary Touch Bar and huge Force Touch trackpad – October 27, 2016


  1. The new Macbook Pro is about as upgradeable as a disposable cigarette lighter.

    Tim Cook’s motto: “Gouge first and everything else is secondary.”


    All iPads and iPhones starting with the Air and the iPhone 5 will shatter at the slightest drop (try that on an original iPad or an iPhone 4 or 4S).

    Every new product requires an expensive adapter to even interface with other new Apple products, at additional costs to consumers, solely to increase revenue

    All new products are sealed and can’t be significantly upgraded by the user

    Features once offered that customers are used to are eliminated to gouge even more revenue (standard pricing patterns for iPads, iPhones, and Macbook Pros, case lighting on Macbook Pros)

    Ports on laptops are limited to gouge extra excessory costs from users (1 port on Macbook, 2 to 4 ports on Macbook Pro)

    The word “Pro” is used to extract more money from iPad and Macbook Pro buyers (even though these selfsame devices lack professional features and fail to support relevant interfaces without an adapter)

    Basic features that the competition readily supports aren’t supported in order to increase revenue (lack of 4K support in ATV 4)

    Products are discontinued to save revenue, even though they are still sold at the same price point they were selling at years prior (Apple displays)

    Products are no longer updated but still sold at the same retail prices point, in order to gouge Apple consumers (iMacs, Mac Pro, Macbook Pros)

    Tim Cook has ruined Apple’s reputation and is fastly destroying what was once a great company.

    1. Much as I hate to say this, you’re not wrong. Having used Apple products since the mid-90’s (when everything was pricy and Apple-only hardware parts), it was great to have Apple become more open and allowed us have user serviceable/upgradable innards.

      This just feels like a return to the Bad Old Days (upgrading to the max specs as MDN suggests at Apple prices makes the new gear out of reach for me… while 8MB RAM and a small SSD makes it difficult to do the things I do). Which is why I’m still using my Late 2012 MacBook ‘Pro’. (The ‘pro’ MacBook with crappy Intel GPUs). Sighhhhh….

  2. Ever since 2013, Macs have been non-upgradeable, with the exception of the Mac Pro and the 27” iMac having upgradeable CPUs and RAM. And then it got worse with the USC Type-C-equipped 12-inch MacBook and now the MacBook Pro. Apple blames low Mac sales on longevity, but the real problem is that Apple’s current Macs are terrible for consumers because they lack upgradeability and standard ports. I realize USB Type-C is standard, but very few things use it, and USB Type-A has been in use for 20 years.

    1. I think it would serve Apple well to explain why they do some of the things they do. Not at the keynote but on the product psge, in a “More Information” section. If there is a sensible reason, it might reduce a lot of the whining.

      1. Assuming they have a reason other than increased revenue generation. In the old days, if they pushed in a revolutionary direction, they’d be happy to explain. Now, they hide behind their spaceship walls where they no longer have to hear the voices in the wilderness.

    2. As far as ports are concerned, I think Apple is just trying to push adoption of new standards. This is why they don’t want to make it easier to use what they consider “legacy” technology like USB-A, which means they won’t even give you an adapter for free.

      However, not including a USB-C lightening cable with the MBP so that people can at least plug in their new iPhone is just stupid.

      1. This. This is how Apple is failing.

        But the truth is, next year lightning should be dead, replaced by USB-C, so that all cables going forward will be male-male (fully reversible), and all devices will be female USB-C ports. And if Apple doesn’t lead us there, it will be an even greater fail.

        I can only hope that for this year, Apple knows it is stumbling through a tech gap and has great stuff in the R&D pipeline (because for all the money they’re spending, they haven’t shown much, yet), and that with the iPhone 8 (or whatever they’ll call it), new Pro machines, a revision of the desktops, and a new round of iPads, they’ll find their footing again.

        Caveat: The fact that the Pro has languished so long with old tech and no price drops, the axing of the Cinema Displays, the soldering of components and the other limitations of uprgadeability throughout the line make me seriously doubt that Apple has such a grand plan, and I feel ashamed to say that.

    3. “…USB Type-A has been in use for 20 years”

      Yep. because Apple put it on the CRT iMac and got rid of the other ports. Within a short period of time, the USB peripheral market took off. Someone has to lead, and it might as well be the pros. You can plug in a USB hub into one of your high speed MacBook Pro ports.

  3. Cook is destroying the “computer” part of Apple.

    He and Ive are more interested in the color and shape of a product than performance and function.

    If Jobs were still around, I’m certain he would have had enough of these two by now and kicked them out.

    Bring back the Jobs-designed Mac Pro!

    1. The 16Gig of ram thing really has me scratching my head. I don’t understand. If you are NOT going to upgrade the MacPro doesn’t there have to be another Mac, beyond the iMac that supports 32 or 64 Gig of ram? So tell people it will cost them an hour of battery life and give us a choice. Seems dumb especially since I can’t upgrade it myself. 16 Gig for ram feels very 2014 ish…..

  4. I tighten my budget on other things and do without if I have to but I never get the minimum amount of RAM or smallest or standard HD/SSD. It hurts but I sure appreciate it down the road. Some of my computers from 10 years ago are still being used as a second computer by grandkids because they were bought maxed out at purchase.

    I get so disgusted telling cheap minded computer purchasers why they have so much trouble – too full on the HD or SSD. Too little RAM. Them: “But the salesman said . . .” Me: “But I told you when you asked”. Them: You aren’t a salesman. They should know.” Me: “They want your money and they are afraid you will walk if they recommend maxing out. Look at your problem now. Just what I told you!”

    I have repeated that conversation dozens of times over the years.

  5. I hear a lot of complaining and little else.

    It’s not like complaining to Apple’s executive team is going to do any good but frankly that’s exactly what you have to do. Either they have to adapt or they will become irrelevant.

    Apple is listening to a “Rasputin” figure who doesn’t know what they are doing. However like the Power Mac days when we almost lost ithrm, we still bought Quadros and the like. It was still Apple, still a Mac, upgrade or not that’s what we had and today, have.

    I would still buy the new MBP, and max out the RAM. Maybe go with 256 SSD, or more likely 512. Whichever gives the most bang for the buck, storage wise. However as it stands, I am not ready for a new Mac. But when I am, the upgrade will be we worth it.

  6. We once bought Apple computers because of the value proposition – excellent hardware and software. We tended to only order the RAM we needed, because Apple’s prices were so high. As the years would pass, we would gradually upgrade with third-party RAM and hard drives as those prices would continue to come down. 3-5 years later, we’d sell that computer for a decent amount, or gift it to a family member or friend for another couple years of use, as we moved on to Apple’s shiny new goodness.

    And we were happy with the experience and we talked about the lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and how it made the Apple experience better.

    Now, we pay a premium at the front, have to pay premium prices for maxing the RAM and storage, and have to use that machine for 6-10 years to get the most out of it, if we actually want to benefit from TCO, and we can’t enjoy the experience nearly as much.

    This is why we complain. The Apple experience has faded, the economies don’t make as much sense as they used to. And the competition has really upped their game – Windows 10 (which I have to use at work) is fine. New laptops by HP, Lenovo, etc., are reasonable in features, style, and price. And now that Apple is hobbling its apps (looking at you, Photos), there are competitive alternatives to those, as well.

    And don’t get me started on how Apple is becoming a services company. How many subscriptions can you carry? Music, iCloud, iTune Match, Adobe (if you want a real Photos alternative), etc.

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