You can blame Tim Cook for 8GB Macs, it seems

Apple's latest Macs often come with just 8GB of RAM as standard and a new report suggests that Apple's reluctance to add more could be Tim Cook's fault.

1 minute & 48 seconds read time

When you buy a new iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and the entry-level MacBook Pro, all of those computers will have one thing in common. That thing isn't the Apple logo, and it isn't the fact that they're all powered by Apple silicon, either. The common trait is that they all have just 8GB of RAM as standard, although you can of course choose to pay extra and upgrade to 16GB or more, depending on the machine in question.

Now, it seems that the decision to stick to 8GB of RAM at the low-end is once again making headlines. Apple had previously justified the decision by saying that more simply isn't needed for what most people use these Macs for. It also noted that the M-series chips that are used in modern Macs mean that the computers are performant enough to be perfectly fine with just 8GB of RAM. But whether or not you go along with that assertion, it seems that we might be able to blame CEO Tim Cook for the lack of RAM as well.

You can blame Tim Cook for 8GB Macs, it seems 02

A chart put together by Mastodon user David Schaub, reported by the Accidental Tech Podcast recently, and now shared by MacRumors, charts the base RAM in Apple's computers from 1984 onwards. The graphs show that Apple often increased the base RAM every two years or so but that all changed when Steve Jobs left and was replaced by current CEO Tim Cook. Since Cook took over from Jobs there has only been a single base RAM increase.

Whether or not we can directly blame Cook is another matter, however. Cook has long had a reputation as something of a bean counter, trying to save money wherever possible while charging as much as he can for Apple's products. But, ultimately, that's what all CEOs do and it's the name of the game.

It's also notable that Cook's years have taken in the transition from Intel to Apple-designed chips, and that alone could be a key reason that Apple hasn't seen the need to offer more RAM as standard. That's one of the justifications Apple offered recently, of course, and it stands to reason. Apple's SSDs are also lightning quick which means that data can be moved around there if needed, rather than stored in RAM. And that RAM is so close to the chip itself - on-board, in fact - that latency is reduced, improving performance.

Ultimately, we'd like to see more RAM sold as standard, but if performance isn't affected, there's no real issue with 8GB in our eyes. No matter what the spec watchers will say.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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