Can a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) take 16 GB RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by signofthetimes, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. signofthetimes macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2014
    Here's what I have:
    MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)
    Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5
    Memory 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

    Here's what I want to do:
    Put in two 8's (16 GB) of RAM
    Put in a SSD

    Here's why: Computer is running very slow on Yosemite. When running multiple programs (Garage Band + iMovie or Premiere + iTunes + Chrome + iPhoto, etc.), it crashes/freezes a lot.

    The manufacturer's specs say my model only takes 8GB RAM. Can I put in 16, or will bad things happen?

    I did some searches and I couldn't find a thread specifically about this topic in relation to my particular model, but if it's out there, feel free to point me to the correct thread.
  2. dave343 macrumors member

    May 11, 2014
    A friend of mine did just what you're asking, he upgraded his 13" 2011 MBP to 16GB (2x8) and tossed in an SSD. So I would say it'll definitely work, however I'm not sure what brand of memory he went with for the 16GB.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yes it will but I doubt thats the problem.

    All 2011 and 2012 models of the macbook pro will accept 16gb.

    However unless you make use of that RAM it will make no difference to the speed of the computer.

    Read Meisters fantastic thread on macbook RAM.

    Unless you are using multiple VM's and have a lot open at a time then 16gb is overkill. You may well be fine with just 8GB.

    The SSD though is a different story that will speed up your computer no end and should always be your first upgrade it is night and day difference for everything you do on your PC.
  4. prisstratton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Yes, you can install 16 GB RAM.

    Check the specs. for your system here:

    I have an early 2011 17” (see my sig.) and I have done exactly what you intend to do with yours. I have been very happy with the performance and it is still a VERY viable and usable system today.

    I purchased RAM from OWC, simply because they guarantee that it will work.
  5. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68020

    Aug 16, 2007
    Both MacTracker and OWC state you can use 16GB ram in a 2011 MBP.
  6. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    Ive been running 16GB of ram in my 2011 (see sig) for the past couple of months with no issue. Also even though our 2011's came with 1333MHz ram you can install 1600MHz like I did with to any issues. However unless you are running a lot of apps at once or virtual machines the ram isn't going to make much of a difference in your performance. I would try the SSD and then if you are running into issues then, go for the ram upgrade.
  7. signofthetimes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2014
    Thanks. I am not running any VMs, so 8 may be fine. Thanks for the advice.
  8. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    An easy way of telling if you have enough RAM is to just use your computer as you normally do for a while (give it a day's worth of use without rebooting).

    Go to activity monitor, then the memory tab.

    On Yosemite, if "Swap Used" is above 0, you could make use of more RAM (if it's only a small amount (e.g. < 100MB I wouldn't bother).

    Before Yosemite, if "Page Outs" are high (ideally you want 0 page outs, but a small number won't affect you too much) then you need more RAM.

    Ignore whatever Activity monitor says about free RAM though - this normally worries people, but it's normal to have hardly any free, since the OS will use it as a cache.

    Having an SSD will improve swap performance though, due to the much faster random access times compared to a traditional hard disk.
  9. BittenApple macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    Yes. My Early 2011 MBP 13 inch has been on 16GB for around two years now... No Problems. Put in an SSD in there and it feels like a new machine...

Share This Page

8 February 16, 2015