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Keith Tizzard1 Level 1 (35 points)

Has anyone any experience of installing Mountain Lion on a late 2008 MacBook Pro with 4GB of ram (maximum possible on this model)?


The official list says that it will install but I am interested to know how well it performs on such a model.  Is 4GB sufficient memory?  Does it perform well? or sluggishly?


Any thoughts would be welcome.



Mac OS X (10.7.3), 4 GB RAM
  • Michael Black Level 7 (20,421 points)

    I have a late 2008 MBP (2.53Ghz, 15") with ML on it and it runs fine.  Mine however has 8GB RAM, which is supported:




    Whether 4Gb is sufficient depends entirely on the software you routinely use and the kind of tasks your normally run on your machine.

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 (25,865 points)

    Keith Tizzard1 wrote:


    Has anyone any experience of installing Mountain Lion on a late 2008 MacBook Pro with 4GB of ram (maximum possible on this model)?


    The late 2008 15" MBP can support up to 8gb ram and the 17" model can support up to 6gb ram (according to Mactracker).  Also, the minimum ram requirement for Mountain Lion is 2gb, not 4gb.

  • Keith Tizzard1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Many thanks, and to Michael Black. 


    I am interested in the fact that you both say that I can install 8GB.  I would certainly do so but thought that 4GB is the maximum:


    I usually buy memory here in the UK from and they also say that 4GB is the max.  They say that the next model of MBP the mid 2009 takes 8GB.


    The info from MacTracker is interesting in that it seems to say that although Apple say 4GB max, in reality it will take 8GB. 


    I don't want to cause problems by installing the wrong memory.

  • Michael Black Level 7 (20,421 points)

    When it was released, that was Apple's officially statement, since 2Gb SODIMMs were the largest available.  Crucial tends to follow Apple's initial lead and never changes that.


    OWC actually tests its posted configurations in house and basically guarantees they work and are stable.  At one time, there even was a 2x4Gb kit on Apple's own online store for the late 2008 15" (but for about 5x-6x the price of the OWC kit as I recall).


    I have had my OWC 8Gb for about 6-7 months now, and my laptop is pretty much on 24/7 and it has been fine.

  • Dana Hoch Level 1 (5 points)

    I have a late 2008 MB also and upgraded to 8GB of memory after reading about it online. It works fine. They say Mtn Lion will work with less, but in my experience everything runs better with more. Buy more, it's a cheap and easy upgrade.


      Model Name: MacBook

      Model Identifier: MacBook5,1

      Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

      Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz

      Number of Processors: 1

      Total Number of Cores: 2

      L2 Cache: 3 MB

      Memory: 8 GB

      Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

      Boot ROM Version: MB51.007D.B03

      SMC Version (system): 1.32f8

      Serial Number (system): -------------

      Hardware UUID: 9E6B9CB3-0D45-504F-8414-AF69B811DB62

      Sudden Motion Sensor:

      State: Enabled

    Memory Slots:

    ECC: Disabled


    BANK 0/DIMM0:


      Size: 4 GB

      Type: DDR3

      Speed: 1333 MHz

      Status: OK

      Manufacturer: 0x80CE

      Part Number: 0x4D34373142353237334448302D4348392020

      Serial Number: ----------------


    BANK 0/DIMM1:


      Size: 4 GB

      Type: DDR3

      Speed: 1333 MHz

      Status: OK

      Manufacturer: 0x80CE

      Part Number: 0x4D34373142353237334448302D4348392020

      Serial Number: -----------------

  • Keith Tizzard1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Thanks again and to Dana Hoch.  That is most encouraging.  I'll place an order for more memory immediately and then get Mountain Lion

  • Keith Tizzard1 Level 1 (35 points)

    A further thanks to you all for your encouragement and information about installing 8GB.  I have now done so and, as you knew, it works!


    I have never seen so much green and blue in Activity Monitor!

  • Paul Riley Level 1 (35 points)

    What advantages did mountian lion give you on your late 2008 macbook pro with 8 gigs of ram? I have an almost identical computer, (late 2008 macbook with new firmware alowing also 8 gigabytes of ram and a nvidia 9400m integrated graphics like yours) please let me know how it has been speeding things up maybe or gives you new features?



  • doctor jay78 Level 1 (0 points)

    Curious if any of you with your late 2008 macbook have experienced any battery issues after upgrading to mountain lion???

    Any one succesfully running ML with only 4 gb of ram?




  • TomAdamsPeoria Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, battery over charged expanded and bam popped itself open wide blew the botton cover off all in my twelve year olds lap, apple generously said this was normal and offered to fix for 150 bucks.


    <Edited By Host>

  • Keith Tizzard1 Level 1 (35 points)

    The battery in my late 2008 MacBook Pro expanded but did not explode.  It affected the trackpad.  This happened a few weeks before Mountain Lion came out.


    The local Apple Store replaced it for nothing!!

  • PJL500 Level 1 (0 points)

    My Late '08 machine also has OWC's 8GB RAM upgrade.

    It also has a Crucial 128GB SSD in place of the original drive and a WD in place of the optical drive for the user folder. It is very stable and not slow - running Lion 10.7.4.


    But it will not accept Mountain Lion. Not even 10.7.5. Including clean installs. Or even a clean install on an external drive. Or a clone from another machine. It just will not complete the boot process on any (3) drives I have tried - up to about where the User Logins would appear. It just restarts and gets there again and continues this activity in a loop.


    Apple's secondary level phone suppport gave no indication that this is a pattern amongst Late '08 machines and was unable to offer any solution.


    So it is as if this 5,1 machine thinks it is an early 2007 or older!


    (Btw, the battery expanded and effected the trackpad durinag late Snow Leopard. It was replaced under AppleCare.)

  • Chris96 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the exact same config as you have. I had the problem you described when i installed lion. I exchanged my memory with the old ones and tried the installation again. This time without any problems. After the installation i replaced the memory again for the 8gb. Everything worked fine.

  • Pielgrzym Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi guys.


    I am also running ML on MBP late '08 with 4GB of RAM.


    Ever sine I upgraded to ML I've been noticing a beach ball mouse cursor a lot - especially when using Safari and Mail. And that happens almost immediately after restart, so no big RAM-hoggers running or anything...


    Regarding this discussion - I checked and I get the beach ball issue while still having even 2GB of RAM free (in Activity Monitor). It doesn't look like RAM issue to me - what do you think, guys?

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