July 21, 2024


Unlimited Technology

MacBook Pro with all the fanciest specs: We did the math, and the price is… wow

The new, 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,499, but the price can climb quickly if you decide to upgrade the hardware.


Apple introduced two new MacBook Pro laptops at its fall hardware event, both promising big boosts in performance thanks to the company’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. The larger of the two, a 16-inch model, starts at $2,499 (£2,399, AU$3,749) — but that’s just the base configuration. (Apple also unveiled a 14-inch model that starts at $1,999.) How much will it cost if you add in every upgrade Apple offers?

Well, would you believe me if I told you the answer is $6,099 (£5,899, AU$9,149)? Keep scrolling and let’s run through the math.

Read more: Apple’s new MacBook Pros now come with MagSafe charging, an HDMI port and SD card reader, camera enhancements and a notch. Apple killed the Touch Bar.

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Like I said, you’ll begin with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, which starts at $2,499. That price gets you an M1 Pro model with a 10-core CPU, a 10-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory and 512GB of solid-state storage. We want the more powerful M1 Max model, which offers a 10-core CPU, a 32-core GPU, 32GB of unified memory and a 1TB SSD. That upgrade alone brings the cost up by $1,000, to a base price of $3,499.

From there, your first optional upgrade is to double the unified memory from 32GB to 64GB, which adds $400 to your bill. Next up is the SSD. The M1 Max model starts with 1TB, but you can double that to 2TB for $400, quadruple it to 4TB for $1,000, or octuple it to 8TB for an extra $2,200.


Behold, a behemoth of a laptop purchase.

Apple/Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

We want the best of everything, so let’s make it a cool 8TB of storage. Along with the extra unified memory, that’s $2,600 worth of extras, which is more than the base price of an M1 Pro model and enough to bring the total cost up to $6,099.

That doesn’t even factor in the option to preinstall software on the machine, namely Final Cut Pro for video editing and Logic Pro for music production. The two ring in at an extra $300 and $200, respectively, so with both added into the mix, your cost would actually jump up to $6,599. 

Still, let’s stick to the hardware and call it like it is — a fully kitted-out, 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip and all of the upgrades Apple will sell you rings in at a buck under $6,100. That said, as my colleague Eli Blumenthal helpfully pointed out, the price drops to $5,539 with a student discount. So, you know, there’s that.

Meanwhile, the new 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 (£1,899, AU$2,999), but if you load it up with every upgrade Apple offers (M1 Max,10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 64GB unified memory, 8TB SSD), the price jumps all of the way up to $5,899. For some additional context, a 13-inch MacBook Pro with last year’s plain M1 chip starts at $1,299 and tops out at $2,299 if you upgrade it to the max with an eight-core CPU, an eight-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory and 2TB of SSD storage.

At any rate, a $6,099 model is a lot more laptop than most people will need. Check out our full first review of the MacBook Pro 16-inch and MacBook Pro 14-inch laptops for more information.

Apple also announced the AirPods 3, new HomePod Mini colors and an Apple Music “Voice” plan. You can take a look at everything that was announced at Apple’s “Unleashed” launch here. 

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