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Putting 16 gigs of RAM in a non-Retina Display MBP

698 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2012 3:01 PM by BobFromIN RSS
BobFromIN Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Oct 11, 2012 12:32 PM

I see that the "new" non-Retina Display MacBook Pro shows a max of 8 gig of RAM.  But I'm seeing kits for 16 gig, and even the Apple Store people seem equivocal about whether it will handle 16.  Is there any harm in putting 16 gig in it?  Any benefit?  For that matter, is there a general answer to this question?  What prevents me from putting as much RAM as I can find in?  I'm told that there are firmware limitations, but again, I'm hearing different answers from different sources.  Thanks!

  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
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    Oct 11, 2012 1:11 PM (in response to BobFromIN)

    OWC says the new MBPs will support 16GB, so I'd accept that as gospel.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
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    Oct 11, 2012 1:32 PM (in response to BobFromIN)

    Apple say 8GB because they buy their RAM in bulk, thus have to get rid of 2 -4GB modules.


    But 2-8GB modules are now available and a heck of a lot cheaper than Apple charges


  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,770 points)
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    Oct 11, 2012 1:34 PM (in response to ds store)

    "Apple say 8GB because they buy their RAM in bulk, thus have to get rid of 2 -4GB modules."

    How do you make up this nonsense?


  • Ricks Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Oct 11, 2012 1:43 PM (in response to BobFromIN)

    As long as the RAM has Apple PROMs on them then a pair of 8GB modules will work perfectly. Apple has always only listed what Apple sells.



  • oui b long Calculating status...
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    Oct 11, 2012 8:50 PM (in response to BobFromIN)

    I put 16GB [2x8] in my MBP... so far, so good.... i would also like to hear about specifics if not beneficial and why.. 


  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,730 points)
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    Oct 11, 2012 9:39 PM (in response to BobFromIN)

    Well Bob, I have a 2011 MBP (17" model) and I have 16GB RAM in it right now.  The benefits are that there is less swapping of memory out to disk, especially when I am running a virtual machine which eats up 4GB of RAM just for it.  Less swapping or paging of RAM means a slightly faster running computer.  Another benefit of more RAM is that I can run more apps concurrently, or I can run memory intensive apps with less slow down.


    To be honest, i have only seen a few times where I have actually used more than 12GB of my 16GB installed RAM.  By having teh 16GB I definitely benefit over only having 8GB, but I do seldom utilize all of the RAM I have installed.  I didn't buy my RAM from Apple, so I don't regret spending the (less than) $150 for the 16GB or RAM, especially since Apple wanted to charge me closer to $200 for 8GB (that I could have gotten for closer to $75 in teh after market).

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)
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    Oct 11, 2012 10:32 PM (in response to BobFromIN)

    BobFromIN wrote:


    OWC is one of the gospels I saw.  Crucial has a 16 gig kit as well.  But it would help to hear a view from someone who is not trying to sell me something.  Is there any danger?  Damage, overheating, etc? 

    There is a slight risk, but it's pretty small. Probably no bigger than buying "supported" RAM that turns out to be defective.


    OWC and Crucial are extremely reputable. They do not sell RAM kits until they have tested them very thoroughly. I am using more than 8GB RAM in my MacBook Pro and it's worked fine for 6 months. And it is not the first Mac where I have installed RAM beyond the Apple supported amount. I first did that with a PowerBook G3 in 2000 and that Mac still works.

  • Ricks Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Oct 12, 2012 1:49 PM (in response to BobFromIN)

    BobFromIN wrote:


    Pardon my ignorance, but what are Apple PROMS?


    Correctly stated I should have used "eprom". That is the firmware programming on the memory module that tells the computer what the memory is, how it is laid out and tells the memory how to behave. Memory without Apple eproms tends to either not work or to function erratically in a Mac - literally no guarantees. Hence the recommendation is to always get your memory from an retailer that  has a history of testing their memory. Those retailers should all give 'lifetime warranty' and you want retailers that have been around a while. There have been tons of memory suppliers that lasted only a couple years.


    The other side of the equation is that not all memory is created equal. Some memory modules are made by the chip manufacturers. Micron is the only US chip manufacturer and they make Micron Original and Crucial brand memory. Samsung, Hynix and several others are all high end chip companies that also make their own modules. If the chip manufacturer also made the module then they are referred to as 'original'. (the module being the PC Board containing the chips and afore mentioned eprom) Modules can be made by anyone. Anyone can buy any chips from any manufacturer and make up a module with them. These are typically called 'third party' or 'non-original' memory. WIth those the quality runs the full spectrum with much wider quality control than from original manufacturers.


    There are good third party memory! Don't get me wrong. You just want to make sure the retailer that sells it to you has enough reputation to care whether they are selling good stuff or not.





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