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Do I need 16gb with the M1?

Guest Kim with the pink hair

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Guest Kim with the pink hair

I’m looking at buying a MacBook. I have an old one that is on its way out. I do film and photography and I like the way all Apple things work together.
Do I really need 16gb with the new M1 or will 8gb be enough, quite a jump in the price so just wanting to make sure before I spend lots of money. 
Thank you please ?

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If you are buying a Mac Laptop, you are going to be spending a lot of money. Apple wants you to "Go Big or Go Home" now more than ever!

Yes, you want 16GB at a minimum with today's technology. Unfortunately, with the current Mac Laptop products, the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, which means YOU CAN NOT UPGRADE AFTER THE FACT!! So you are forced to purchase the extra RAM and pay Apple's extremely over-priced components. Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to purchase the current M1 13" Mac Laptops. Sure, the lower price-point is comforting, but I don't like how the Video doesn't have its own dedicated Video RAM, it's shared with the main RAM so it's more important to max out the RAM at the time of purchase. (In this case, it looks to be only 16GB.) Adobe's products rely on the Video Processor and dedicated Video Memory for a performance boost. Content Aware and the Liquify Tools are two things that use the Video Card and Video Memory to work. Often, you will see Photoshop act weird when it doesn't play well with the video drivers. When you disable Photoshop from using the Video Card to "fix" the problem, these two tools have a bit of lag to them.

Here is how I would configure a M1 Macbook and it works out to $1899, plus AppleCare and Tax:

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 12.34.47 PM.png

As with my normal recommendations when it comes to a "Laptop that is good for photo editing..." you do not want to skip on the RAM or Main HD capacity.

  • 16GB RAM at a Minimum
  • 1TB Main Hard Drive at a Minimum

These are non-negotiable. "But that costs...." I don't care, save up for another few months. Again, you can't upgrade these things after the fact. If you need more RAM, HD space or whatever, you are buying another (and more expensive) laptop.


Bottom Line: If I had to purchase a MacBook that is "Good for Photo Editing," this is what I would buy:


Of course, this is at a much higher price-point, $3299 plus AppleCare and Tax, but should last you for awhile and give you the least amount of problems over the years. With cameras, even entry-level ones, being 24MP or greater, 100MB Raw files are becoming the norm. So even though the M1 might work for you now, you may regret your purchase in a few years when you replace your camera body.

Something to think about.

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