Best RAM for MacBook Pro?

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RAM is one of the most crucial components of your computer. It provides “space” for your programs to operate and holds instructions in a temporary place for your programs to access. When your software requirements get too high your computer will slow down– meaning it’s harder to get your work done.

There are some ways you can upgrade the RAM in your MacBook Pro, but you have to know which options are worth considering. By the way, adding RAM isn’t the only way to speed up your Mac. In fact, speeding up your Mac with software is a more affordable option.

What type of RAM do you need and how much do you need?

Before we get into the best brand of RAM for your MacBook Pro, let’s talk about what sort of RAM you will need in your MacBook Pro and how much you will need.

Best RAM for MacBook Pro 2012 (Summer Release) – Both 15′ and 13′ model

A maximum of 16 GB, DDR3, 1600MHz (2 X 8 GB). You can also upgrade your MacBook Pro with 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM, RAM with the above mentioned specs.

Buy Corsair RAM for your 2012 MacBook Pro at Amazon.com

Buy Crucial RAM for your 2012 MacBook Pro at Amazon.com

Buy Kingston RAM for your 2012 MacBook Pro at Amazon.com

Best RAM for older versions of MacBook pro

  • Mid 2010 MacBook Pro – 8 GB of RAM – 1066 MHz
  • Late 2009 MacBook Pro – 8 GB of RAM – 1066 MHz
  • Mid 2009 MacBook Pro – 6 GB of RAM – 800 MHz
  • Early 2009 MacBook Pro – 6 GB of RAM – 667 MHz
  • Late 2008 MacBook Pro – 8 GB of RAM – 1066 MHz

How to install or upgrade RAM in your MacBook Pro?

There are many video guides that will instruct you on how to upgrade your MacBook Pro’s RAM. There is also this official Apple guide on how to upgrade your Mac’s memory. It is a fairly easy process and will usually take you just 10 minutes to carry out.

Cost differences between Crucial, Corsair and Kingston

All three major provides of MacBook Pro memory have priced their RAM chips almost identically.

A 16 GB RAM upgrade for your MacBoook Pro, from Corsair will cost about $144 while the same 16 GB RAM upgrade for your MacBook Pro from Crucial will cost about $147. As you can see, the price difference in negligible.

Kingston, which does not provide a 16 GB upgrade option prices their 8 GB RAM upgrade option at $69.99.

What about Apple’s 8 GB upgrade limit on RAM for MacBook Pro?

Even though MacBook Pros released after 2011 can support a RAM upgrade of up to 16 GB, Apple have strangely recommended or advertised 8 GB as the maximum RAM upgrade limit.

However, after our own personal experience in upgrading a mid 2012 4 GB RAM MacBook Pro model to 16 GB of RAM, we don’t see any reason why someone should cap their upgrade at just 8 GB. 16 GB of RAM is not all that more expensive than a 8 GB upgrade and it would be silly to miss out on the huge additional power boost that 8 GB of additional RAM can provide to your MacBook Pro.

Here’s an Apple discussions thread where several people have vouched for the fact that MacBook Pros made after 2011 do indeed support 16 GB of RAM and not just 8 GB of RAM like how Apple claims it to be.

Additional note about upgrading RAM on your MacBook Pro

When you install more RAM on your MacBook Pro, you are boosting computing power. This addition to computing power will mean that your MacBook Pro will generate more heat.

Therefore, it would be a good idea to avoid using your newly upgraded MacBook Pro in hot conditions, like by placing your MBP on a soft bed or on your clothes where the air blown out by the coolers get suffocated, slowly cutting off ventilation to your MBP’s insides. Invest in a good MacBook Pro cooling pad to allow your MacBook Pro’s newly installed RAM to work at optimal temperature, giving you greater reliability and stable high performance levels.

Will adding RAM to MacBook Pro void the Apple warranty?

The answer is no! Adding more RAM or even a new hard disk like an SSD for your MacBook Pro will not void the Apple warranty. Your MacBook Pro’s stock RAM will however lose it’s warranty.

However, since Corsair, Crucial, Kingston and other leading memory brands offer a lifetime warranty on their RAM chips, there really is nothing to lose as your MacBook Pro will continue to enjoy Apple’s warranty while your RAM enjoys the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.

About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
  1. Nathan.Livingston

    Corsair is my favorite. Been using them since 1997, when I first upgraded to a 32 MB RAM chip. Lol. 32 MB. Can you imagine? Today, we are knocking the doors on a day when 32 GB of RAM might be the norm in laptops and ultrabooks! lol…

  2. Pingback: Mac running slow? Speed up your computer with these tips! - Mach Machines

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