MacBook Pro to get major power boost with Kaby Lake CPUs and 32GB RAM

Apple is preparing for a MacBook Pro refresh later this year which will bring Kaby Lake processors to the laptops, along with a model carrying 32GB RAM – plus the 12-inch MacBook will also get Intel’s latest seventh-generation CPUs and doubled up RAM.

This is according to respected analyst and font of Apple info Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who made the revelations in a research note as spotted by MacRumors.

According to Kuo, refreshed MacBook Pro 13-inch and 15-inch models juiced up with Kaby Lake processors will enter mass production early in the third quarter of this year – so in July (or possibly August at a push), presumably ahead of the usual autumn launch.

It seems that these laptops will stick with the maximum of 16GB of system memory as with the current offerings, but there will seemingly be a 15-inch MacBook Pro which will sport 32GB of RAM. However, it won’t be available until later in the year, not hitting mass production until early Q4 (October).

The analyst didn’t actually state outright that this was a MacBook Pro model, but it’s hard to see what else it would be – particularly as last November, Kuo already said there would be a MacBook Pro refresh with a model offering 32GB of system memory. Apparently, this will be desktop-class RAM, as well.

Power limits

Apple had previously said the 16GB RAM limitation of current MacBook Pros was due to battery issues, and it was certainly hoped that a more efficient CPU might help to carve out enough spare power to cope with doubling up that RAM.

Last autumn, when Kuo was talking about the RAM boost, he also mentioned price cuts for the MacBook Pro, and these machines will hopefully be considerably more affordable later this year.

This time around he specifically mentioned that Apple’s 13-inch non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro (the cheapest model) would be discounted, moving in to take the place of the same sized MacBook Air.

The analyst also noted that the 12-inch MacBook will get Kaby Lake processors this year, with refreshed models going into mass production early in the second quarter (April), presumably for an earlier launch than the MacBook Pro.

Kuo further said that the RAM on these laptops has been boosted with a 16GB option being introduced (the previous maximum was 8GB).

  • In the meantime, the 12-inch MacBook still radiates Rose Gold

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).