Macs and RAM

A quick post about the various options for RAM upgrades that Mac models offer and the basic choices available.

Historically Apple has shipped Macs with t he minimum amount of RAM they felt they could get away with, which was nice of them. This has meant that as the demands placed on RAM by newer OS's and applications has increased the importance of adding more RAM to ensure best available performance has grown. Macs and the Mac OS respond well to additional RAM so the rule of thumb is to install the maximum that your machine will hold, or, the most your pocket will bear. To confuse the issue, Apple has specified RAM limits on some machines that are set in stone while other machines can use more RAM than the maximum Apple say.

A short precis:

  • Older MacBooks (2006) came with 512MB RAM but can use 2GB (2x1GB)
  • Older MacBook Pro's (2006) are the same
  • 2007 MacBooks and MacBook Pro's can use 3GB. You can install 4GB but it doesnt get used)
  • Late 2007 MacBook Pros will use 6GB (4+2) if you can find a 4GB module
  • All unibody MacBook Pros (and the unibody macBook) can use 8GB RAM
  • Aluminium iMacs to 2008 (20 and 24in) can use 6GB
  • 2009 iMac (20 and 24in ) can use 8GB
  • 2009-10 iMacs (21.5 and 27in) can use 16GB RAM
  • post 2010 iMacs can address up t 32GB of RAM
  • later 2013 slimline iMAcs are limited back down to 15GB of RAM (??)
  • all retina MacBook Pros have their RAM soldered onto the logic board (boo)
  • all MacBook Airs have their RAM soldered onto the logic board (boo)

RAM costs vary greatly. Current spec tends to be cheaper as it is manufactured in bulk, older specs can rise in price. Ideally any older Mac should have 2GB RAM, those that can should be upgraded to 4 and all unibody machines should be on 8GB. iMac should generally be maxxed out however 12GB represents a good compromise is 12GB, affordable and useful.

if you need to discuss upgradng I am happy to talk to you about it.