Can you unsolder the RAM from the new macbooks?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cnev3, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2012
    I've never opened up and seen the soldered RAM on the newer macbooks.

    I do own a cheap solder gun I bought from Radioshack that I use to upgrade pickups on my electric guitars.

    If removing/upgrading the soldered ram is as easy as melting down a solder joint or two, then that's a very easy obstacle to overcome.

    Or is it something where if you were to do this, it would mess up the mobo?
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Attempting such is highly unadvisable. If you want to be able to upgrade RAM, buy a classic MBP. Otherwise, choose wisely when buying. Of course, it's your Mac, so if you want to risk damaging it, and certainly voiding your warranty/AppleCare, it's your call.
  3. macrumors 603

    Oct 14, 2008
    Good luck soldering an FBGA microchip with a soldering iron :D

    P.S., it took me literally 3 minutes to find this out without having any prior information on the topic. You should at least try to do your own research before opening a thread.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Step 17 here shows you the RAM in a 2012 13" MBA, if you think you can unsolder and solder that orange part, you can open a business.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2012
    Whoa relax there guy. No need to be rude. The benefit to me posting this thread is that other people can learn from it too.


    Wait, what kind of ram is that? So the MBP doesn't use standard laptop ram then? If that's the case, then they shouldn't even need to bother soldering it to the mobo.
  6. Stetrain, Mar 24, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013

    macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The individual RAM chips and controllers are mounted directly to the logic board, as opposed to being mounted on a separate module. It isn't an off-the-shelf RAM board that's just been soldered on.

    They're the same type of RAM / controller chips you would find on a standard RAM module, just laid out directly on the logic board.

    It isn't soldered to the logic board just to keep you from tinkering with it, it's soldered because that uses less space.
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Okay, what actual Apple notebook line do you talk about? This thread is in the MacBook Air sub-forum, but you speak of MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

    Look at the iFixIt site I linked you to for many guides and tear downs on all those models.

    And the MacBook Pro uses normal notebook RAM, the current ones 204-pin DDR3 SO-DIMM RAM to be exact. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display and the MacBook Air use soldered RAM like the one I linked you to.

  8. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    That's like using a jack hammer to do dentistry. Really, look at the size of those pins.

    If you know a friend who works in the industry and he happens to acquire a industrial micro desoldering machine (usd$15,000?) maybe you have a shot.

    Today's surface mount, micro electronics is no longer accessible for the occasional hobbyist.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
  10. macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2012
    Chicago, IL (Oak Park)
    Technically, it is possible, but you would need a MUCH finer tool than that to do it. Also, there's going to be a lot more than a joint or two - as far as I know, even Apple's internal RAM has either 204 or 240 pins like a standard RAM stick these days.
  11. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    If you ask then you can't :D

    Well, you can unsolder the RAM, but Apple won't fix the damage that you _will_ cause under warranty. You'll probably get a mention on the same website where someone cut the cable off their mouse because they wanted a wireless mouse, or broke their screen by using it to crack nuts.
  12. dyn
    macrumors 68000

    Aug 8, 2009
    Unsoldering and soldering is not the problem. Getting the machine to recognise the new chips is. You probably also need to reprogram certain parts of the machine itself in order to get it to recognise and use the additional amount of RAM. You probably also need to unsolder/solder some other pieces of hardware (there is some more stuff for controlling power to the chips and such).

    In other words: it requires redesigning the machine. It's not just unsoldering some chips and soldering in some new ones.
  13. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Can it be done,yes, but you will need a $15,000 desoldering machine, it has a powerful suction that vacuums up the solder as it liquifies, your soldering iron
    Is crap,
    And without the above you will destroy your laptop, that is not even speaking to the fact that such skills take years to master:cool:

Share This Page