Can I install 8gb RAM if its only supported to 4GB

donmei

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 8, 2007
221
0
Hi all,

I have a 2008 MBP in 17". The official supported max RAM is 4gb. I'm wondering is anyone has installed an 8gb upgrade and whether it works or not.

I know that with some computers, they will actually support more RAM than the manufacturer specifies.

I'd like to run mountain lion and would like to get as much ram in it as possible.

Any advice is appreciated.

Don
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,721
1,820
I think some of them that came out in 2008 didn't quite make it to 8GB. What you should do is find your exact model here and it will list the maximum ram. They go 1,8 through (n),1 with cpus, gpus, and other specs for supporting reference. It will indicate the maximum ram configuration tested with that model.
 

AdrianK

macrumors 68020
Feb 19, 2011
2,230
1
If it's the Unibody model (late 08) that takes DDR3, it can take 8GB after an EFI update. If it's the non-Unibody/early 08/DDR2 model it can take up to 6GB, according to the wiki.
 

donmei

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 8, 2007
221
0
Its from the spring of 08. pre-unit body.

It shows under hardware as a MacBookPro 4,1.

The site listed above confirmed it will take 6 gb. They link to OtherWorld Computing as a source for 6GB upgrades.

The only problem is the price is OUTRAGEOUS. $124. Its like they are selling you a pair of 4gb dimms and a pair of 2 gb dimms than keeping half the order for themselves.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a source for a 6gb upgrade, or can anyone provide guidance on buying a 4gb and 2gb dimm individiually myself.

Thanks,

Don

**update - based on the individual pricing, they are wacking you about $95 for the single 4gb dimm. I guess there isn't much made at 667mhz

Does anyone have any thoughts on 4gb vs 6gb total. 4 GB will cost me about $60 and 6gb about $130
 
Last edited:

omgitscro

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2008
570
87
If you currently have 4GB installed, I'm assuming that's 2x2GB. Go on Amazon, find the right 4GB RAM stick and buy just one.
 

arashb

macrumors 6502
May 3, 2009
256
0
Its from the spring of 08. pre-unit body.

It shows under hardware as a MacBookPro 4,1.

The site listed above confirmed it will take 6 gb. They link to OtherWorld Computing as a source for 6GB upgrades.

The only problem is the price is OUTRAGEOUS. $124. Its like they are selling you a pair of 4gb dimms and a pair of 2 gb dimms than keeping half the order for themselves.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a source for a 6gb upgrade, or can anyone provide guidance on buying a 4gb and 2gb dimm individiually myself.

Thanks,

Don

**update - based on the individual pricing, they are wacking you about $95 for the single 4gb dimm. I guess there isn't much made at 667mhz

Does anyone have any thoughts on 4gb vs 6gb total. 4 GB will cost me about $60 and 6gb about $130
Your processor can actually do 800 MHz speeds, and even if it couldn't the ram would clock down to 667 MHz if that was the max supported. So don't worry about that.

Sadly, DDR2 was phased out by the time 4GB sticks were the big deal. So they're considered "top of the line" since they really are the top of the line for DDR2 :p. But the cheapest 4 GB stick I can find is this from Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220382

You don't necessarily need to match brands, especially since you will lose all possibilities of dual channel memory benefits. Luckily, they are actually very little benefits for every day users. You can get a 800 MHz and pair it with a 667 MHz stick as well, they'll both just run at 667 MHz. I wouldn't buy from OWC, they like to overprice their stuff.
 

ivoruest

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
398
28
Guatemala
You can always buy on Amazon or Ebay. I got them at fair prices. Try buying a stick of 4Gbs and a stick of 2Gbs. That would make it 6Gbs. There is no way to find 3Gbs sticks. Also you can find a single stick instead of buying 2 of both.
 

donmei

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 8, 2007
221
0
Its currently got 2 - 1 gb dimms. Could I just install 1 4 gb and leave one 1 gb?

I'm guessing yes.
 

clyde2801

macrumors 601
Its from the spring of 08. pre-unit body.

It shows under hardware as a MacBookPro 4,1.

The site listed above confirmed it will take 6 gb. They link to OtherWorld Computing as a source for 6GB upgrades.

The only problem is the price is OUTRAGEOUS. $124. Its like they are selling you a pair of 4gb dimms and a pair of 2 gb dimms than keeping half the order for themselves.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a source for a 6gb upgrade, or can anyone provide guidance on buying a 4gb and 2gb dimm individiually myself.

Thanks,

Don

**update - based on the individual pricing, they are wacking you about $95 for the single 4gb dimm. I guess there isn't much made at 667mhz

Does anyone have any thoughts on 4gb vs 6gb total. 4 GB will cost me about $60 and 6gb about $130
Ram has a bell curve for pricing. New specs come out and hardly anyone makes it, so it's expensive. Other manufacturers get on the band wagon and the price lowers to the point where it bottoms out. An upgrade or two later, the manufacturers move on to something else, but there's still a need for it for older machines, and the price starts to go up again.

Right now DDR3 1333 is at the bottom of the bell curve. Got 16 gb on newegg for less than $80! Amazing! Thanks to your post, I decided to get 8 gigs for my wife's 08 unibody MBP and found 8 gigs on OWC for $55 (and a nice deal on a battery to boot). Not bad. (Now she can leave more even more open tabs on Safari!):rolleyes:

Your DDR2 is a 'legacy' product, and not many folks are making the high end stuff for it, that's why 6 gigs are more than 16. You hopped on that bus a little too late.

Bottom line, when it's all said and done, my wife wants to give you her thanks.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,721
1,820
The only problem is the price is OUTRAGEOUS. $124. Its like they are selling you a pair of 4gb dimms and a pair of 2 gb dimms than keeping half the order for themselves.
The price is normal. The solution would be just to make sure you don't use an OS that is too ram hungry. 4 vs 6 may make a difference. Given an aging computer, I wouldn't dump too much cash into it. Note that I'm not saying useless. I'm just saying it's aging. Nothing is going to make it outperform a new one. If you're hitting a wall on how much ram you can install and still lacking enough free memory, go the ssd route. The downside there is that Apple is moving away from 2.5" SSDs in favor of proprietary ones. The SSDs haven't been soldered in, but they aren't technically user serviceable. Apple puts anti-tamper screws in the rMBP. I think they do the same with the Air. This means they require a specific driver, and you have to be careful not to strip them. I'm not sure if they're tightened with torque adjustable drivers.