Can i put iMac RAM in my MacBook?

mikalh78

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 21, 2008
229
1
So I've upgraded my RAM in my iMac (mid-2011) and I have 8Gb (4GB x 2) lying around. Can I put them into my MacBook (mid-2010 white unibody).
 

mikalh78

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 21, 2008
229
1
even with the different ram speeds? 10660 from iMac to 8500 in the MacBook?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
373
Inside
Yes. The Macbook can either run at the faster speed and Apple just used slower ram to cut costs or the faster ram will slow down to match the Macbook.
 

mikalh78

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 21, 2008
229
1
no dice, tired to install both 4GB sticks of the RAM in my MacBook and 1 by itself but it boots up and it just beeps. don't boot into OS X
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
373
Inside
Must not be compatible with the speed. Some earlier Macbooks had speed limitations as well.
 

mikalh78

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 21, 2008
229
1
I think it's coz the ram is 1333 Hz speed. All I got was random beeps when trying to boot up
 

bogg

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
445
74
Sweden
Most Rams contain a list of different speeds and latencies/timings they support and has been tested with so that the motherboard can switch the speed down to a supported (for both) speed. This is called the SPD table. If your ram doesn't contain speeds that the MacBook allows it won't be able to use the ram.
If the Rams are originally from Apple it could be that they ordered them with just a specific speed in the SPD as they'd normally only require one speed for their current iMac.

The SPD table is the reason a 1333MHz memory won't run at 1867MHz if put in a computer capable of the higher speed, most PC "overclocking" motherboards can disregard the SPD table to allow overclocking of the ram.

In my experience the only Rams with only a specific speed in the SPD is cheap ram sticks bought from eBay and similar sites. Seems they cut cost by only testing and allowing a single speed
 
Last edited:

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,491
1,147
Fort Worth, Texas
So I've upgraded my RAM in my iMac (mid-2011) and I have 8Gb (4GB x 2) lying around. Can I put them into my MacBook (mid-2010 white unibody).
As you already found out, the answer is no you can't. Different speeds and CAS RAS. Macs are very fussy about using the exact memory designed for it.
 

bogg

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
445
74
Sweden
Historically there has been SPD editors out there (but requires the SPD to be writeable). If you could flash the appropriate values to the ram it should become "compatible". I've done this myself a bunch of years ago to match a few sticks of ram to a system I owned which wouldn't work with the ram I had purchased for it.

Edit:
Also to add to the above I can say that most memories sold by eg. Kingston, Crucial and so on as "Compatible" or "Specific For" are more or less their normal assortment of RAM-chips that they just test with the brands/models recommended values in the SPD Table and/or chip configuration (chip density and so on), add these values to the SPD and slap a "Compatible with Brand - Model" sticker on them.
 
Last edited:

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