Apple’s new Xcode features don’t support some entry-level Macs. Is 8GB of memory really not enough?

Not long ago, WWDC 2024 officially came to an end. As a "Global Developers Conference", the core group of this conference is of course developers from around the world. In addition to a series of new systems, Apple also launched a new Xcode 16.

The updated Xcode brings features such as Swift Assist and predictive code completion, which can help developers better develop apps on Swift.

However, Xcode 16, which incorporates AI capabilities, has poured cold water on some users through its predictive code completion function.

Xcode's new predictive code completion engine uses a unique model trained specifically for Swift and the Apple SDK to predict the code developers may need next while programming and automatically complete the code, eliminating the need for developers to manually enter entire lines code.

Apple says code completion is fully powered by machine learning enhancements in Apple and macOS Sequoia and runs natively on developers’ devices, meaning code is completely private and developers receive it quickly even when working offline. Related suggestions.

However, the predictive code completion feature not only requires an Apple Silicon computer with macOS Sequoia to run, but also requires at least 16GB of unified memory.

In fact, the updated Xcode 16 main program can also run on Mac computers with less than 16GB of memory, but it does not support predictive code completion.

However, this is the first time Apple has explicitly pointed out the hardware limitations of entry-level Mac computers equipped with 8GB of memory.

The predictive code completion function puts forward higher requirements for memory. This may be the first time Apple has admitted in disguise that 8GB of memory may not be enough for the current new Mac.

The 8GB starting memory of Apple's Mac series products has been criticized by many users for a long time. For the new MacBook Pro 14-inch model, based on the entry-level model, each additional 8GB of memory will cost an additional 1,500 yuan.

In November last year, Bilibili UP host @林伊LYi interviewed Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of global product marketing. During the interview, they also talked about the "8GB memory" issue that everyone is concerned about.

Bob Borchers said that Apple's memory is not exactly the same as the memory of other operating systems. "In fact, our memory utilization is more efficient, we have memory compression technology, and our memory is based on a unified memory architecture," he said.

He also said: "The 8GB memory on the M3 MacBook Pro may be closer to the 16GB memory on other systems. Apple's way of allocating memory will be more efficient."

However, if you previously believed Apple's statement that the base Mac's 8GB of unified memory is enough, then you will not be able to use Xcode 16's predictive code to complete new features.

For Mac users with these 8GB memory versions, if they want to achieve similar functions during programming, they can only use complex methods to use third-party AI models.

The basic configuration of most Mac computers currently sold by Apple, including Mac mini, iMac and MacBook Air, still only has 8GB of unified memory.

Even the entry-level MacBook Pro, which Apple calls the "ruthless character", can only start with 8GB of memory.

Some people may only have light office scenarios such as word processing, and 8GB is barely enough for these users.

However, whether they are developers or art creators, all professional users who really use Mac as a productivity tool usually do not choose the lowest entry configuration when choosing a computer.

When Apple launched the M1 in 2020, the entry-level model's 8GB of memory was still available.

But in today's "AI era", neural networks and AI calculations require a lot of memory resources, and the minimum starting memory of only 8GB is really unjustifiable.

After Apple Intelligence was released, it announced that the mobile version only supports the iPhone 15 Pro series, which Ai Faner later shared.

When discussing the reasons why Apple did this, it was mentioned that it is likely that memory limits the performance of the software. Now it seems that the AI ​​function on Mac has encountered a similar scenario.

Currently, features such as Swift Assist on Xcode 16 are not yet online, but these features may also require larger memory space, and it is expected that it will also be difficult to open to Mac users with 8GB memory versions.

As early as 2012, Apple began to equip iMac with a minimum memory of 8GB. Twelve years later, the lowest Mac we can choose is still 8GB.

It is foreseeable that whether it is Apple Intelligence or Xcode's predictive code completion function, the limitations of these functions on the models are just the beginning. There should be more AI functions soon in the future, which will continue to require higher hardware configurations.

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Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo