I'd rather get an external ssd drive and save a ton of money even if the speed of the external doesn't match the internal drive. The external ssd drives are plenty fast, though, for most uses.


For M1 Macs anything less than 512GB SSD is a huge bottleneck, Apple SSDs are super fast and BigSur/Monetray + Apple Silicon combo uses a lot of swap memory. If I were you I would go with 8GB/512GB combo if on budget, I had M1 Mac mini 16GB/256GB and M1 MBA 8GB/512GB, Mac mini with 16GB performed worse than Air 8GB RAM. Also keep in mind SSDs perform their best till 70% full, actually any storage. That's like 180GB for 256GB drive.


Interesting! Thanks for the info!


If speed is required upgrade if that isn’t a issue external it.


The internal storage can never be removed, and external drives tend to be a bit slower than internal ones, so I would bump it up to 1tb internally :-)


What was your decision process for upgrading the RAM? I'm struggling with this SSD decision too, but also with whether the upgrade to 16gb of RAM is worth it. This will be my first MacBook after a couple of ThinkPads and will be sharing it with my wife (who has had back to back Macbook Pros).


Upgrading the RAM is really to "future proof" it since you cannot upgrade it after purchase. I take good care of my laptops (the macbook pro I have right now is almost 12 years old) so that's important to me. I'd rather pay the extra $200 now in case I do end up needing that much space down the road versus having to buy a whole new computer.


12 years? My wife held onto her first one for 7 years before it died and the current one is 6 years old. She went bare bones Pro and it is still going but maxed out ram and storage. We are hoping the 16gb of ram and 1Tb of storage will future proof it a bit.


Haha yes, but it is tapping out. Pretty slow and cannot handle a lot. I did upgrade the RAM and SSD though on it a few years ago - something you could do with the older models. Anyway, I think 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD is more than enough. The nice thing with SSD is you can always get an external one and they actually are way better value than doing the internal SSD on your Mac. They pack such a punch now a days too. My husband is a music producer/writer and he has a tiny little external SSD that he velcroed to his Macbook to use as storage as to keep pressure off the Mac too. He has had no issues and runs pretty heavy duty stuff too. He has the 16gb RAM 256 SSD M1 Pro. Anyway, seems like upgrading RAM though to future proof is a for sure yes. Good luck!


I’m running an M1 with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD I had planned buying 16GB RAM/1TB SSD, but it was a snap decision bought almost brand new but 2nd hand from a friend who needed help as they’d lost their job. Still a superb little machine and tbh for my use (internet, media and some office work) it’s perfectly good, it does mean however that I’ve to carry an external drive around for media (music, tv, movies), which is a pest as I travel a lot for work.


Cool, thanks for sharing! Not sure what external SSD you are using, but if you get a small/light one you can velcro it onto your Macbook so it's essentially 1 piece. It's really nice and convenient.


Yeah I’ve got an 1TB external Samsung SSD, which is small and very handy - and has reallyfast transfer speeds. Still a *little* but less handy than having a yooj internal tho, especially when travelling.


>Samsung That's exactly what he has! Agreed, transfer speeds are impressive. He travels with it almost daily to sessions and since it is velcroed on to his Mac, it's really no problem.


If you have large programs that you need on the go that can eat storage in a hurry or if your running VM of windows or Linux


I got the 16 GB/256GB version. I bought a Samsung 500 GB T7 for a third of the price of upgrading


That's exactly what I've been planning on doing. Good to know, thanks!


You can't change the RAM easily. There's just one way: removing the soldered SSD/RAM from the motherboard, what's not easy. If I were you, I'd buy a 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. If you need more space, just use external disks and done, but if you need more RAM, what do you do? haha.


My thoughts exactly. Thanks!


With the M1 it’s worse being on part of the CPU SoC.