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Upgrade Fever: Apple’s New MacBook Pro Laptops – Desktop Replacements for Musicians?



The machines just announced support up to 64GB of RAM, removing the biggest obstacle for musicians afflicting the first-generation Apple Silicon Macs

Apple is now almost halfway through their announced 2-year transition from using Intel processors to their own M-series ones in Macintosh computers.

And the new MacBook Pro laptops they just announced this morning look like they’ll work well for us musicians.

For background, the first M1 machines max out at 16GB of RAM – not enough for musicians running large sample libraries. That limitation is gone in what the presenters in Apple’s announcement today called “game changing” and “even more [insert superlatives]”.

And while the new laptops do indeed have even more powerful processors, the base-processor M1 Pro laptops can be ordered with 32GB of RAM – not bad! – and the more powerful M1 Max-equipped machines can be configured with 64GB. These laptops start at $2K for the base model with 16GB of RAM, but you’ll probably get to the mid-to-upper $3K range by the time you select the more powerful processor, more memory, and possibly more storage you’ll want.

Meanwhile, the conventional wisdom is that desktop machines are more powerful than laptops. That conventional wisdom is rapidly changing from wisdom to folklore. We haven’t tested a new MacBook Pro yet – no one outside the inner circles has – but it’s hard to imagine that one of these computers wouldn’t have more than enough power for our purposes.

Have we entered a new era of computers? Probably, because – as one is inclined to say over and over – it’s unlikely that other manufacturers will sit on their hands and let Apple lead the field unopposed.

Also: Apple Logic Pro 7 now features built-in Dolby Atmos mixing tools.

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