DDR3L RAM not working in Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Qusus, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. Qusus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys, I have a super old Macbook Pro from mid-2009 (MB990LL/A).

    Recently bought 2x4GB Crucial DDR3L 1600 RAM. From what I read, the RAM should have been compatible, even though it was DDR3L. This is the product here:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-cables-_-na-_-na&Item=N82E16820148807&cm_sp=

    Sadly, when I installed the RAM the laptop doesn't boot and just makes the beeping noise. Tried it with one 4GB stick, and then the other, same result.

    I suppose the RAM just isn't compatible? Anyone have experience with DDR3L RAM in these old Macbook Pros? Thanks.
     
  2. shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    #2
    Theoretically, that should simply run at 1066, but for whatever reason, OS X is exceedingly picky about memory (compatibility with Intel does not necessarily equal compatibility with Mac logic boards). I've installed memory of identical size, speed, and timings, where one brand runs flawlessly, while another brand doesn't boot.

    Here's what I'd recommend for a 2009 MacBook Pro:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LTBJFM

    When dealing with Macs, it's best to purchase memory that matches the spec exactly, and is also either explicitly specified as "Mac compatible" or has been confirmed working in a particular Mac model.
     
  3. Qusus thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 30, 2009
    #3
    Thank you for your reply. I know Macs are picky about RAM for some reason, but as you know RAM that is specified as "Mac compatible" is usually a bit pricier.

    Do you think this RAM will work:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...tm_medium=affiliates&utm_source=afc-Skimlinks

    Two reviews state that it's worked in mid 2012 Macbook Pros. Which is obviously a different model than mine. I suppose unless that RAM is confirmed working for my specific Mac model, I'd be rolling the dice again?
     
  4. tubeexperience, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016

    tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Mac memory is a sham.

    I have that same RAM in my 2011 MBP.

    It works fine.
     
  5. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

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    California
    #5
    Several years ago I upgraded my early 2009 MBP to 8GB. The modules are marked DDR3-1066. Decoding the part number on the memory chips, they are actually DDR3L-1333. However, the key detail is that the SPD chip on the modules identifies them as 1066.
     
  6. MacInTO macrumors 6502a

    MacInTO

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    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Canada, eh!
    #6
    I have some Micron 1600MHz DDR3 that came from a 2012 Macbook Pro that didn't work in a 2009 Macbook Pro. However, some Hynix RAM worked though. Same speed, specs and size. A bit random.
     
  7. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Aarhus, Denmark
    #7
    For older Macs, it's best to stay strictly within spec. In your case, though, I'd say the fact that they're 1600 MHz is more likely to be the issue than the fact that they're DDR3L.
     
  8. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    I had the 2.53GHz variant of the 2009 13" MBP. I was only able to get 1066MHz and 1333MHz RAM to work. 1600MHz stuff never did.

    Pretty sure I just went with Corsair "value" RAM that was on sale at Frys. It still runs to this day. My mom has the computer now.
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    Your MacBook doesn't support RAM that fast at all, it may and I stress MAY, support 1333mhz and down clock it but I wouldn't bet on it.
     
  10. shoehornhands macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2014
    #10
    Yeah, Mac specific memory (or mac specific anything for that matter), does have a tendency to be a bit pricier (especially if you buy it through Apple). While I typically avoid Mac-specific products for that very reason, memory is an exception.

    Given that the Crucial kit is only $39.94, I'd just go with that and be done with it. There's no telling how long you'll be messing around with different kits before you find one that works, and at the end of the day, it's only saving you a couple bucks. Some kits may not be as black and white as "it works or it doesn't work" either (e.g. it may boot into OS X but not all show up, or cause kernel panics, or corrupt files, etc).

    In my opinion, it's just not worth the potential problems / hassle.
     
  11. tubeexperience, Jun 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016

    tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #11
    Mac memory is a sham. Mac uses regular memory.

    I have that (non-Apple specific) memory, identical to the one the OP ordered, in my 2011 MBP and it works fine.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 30, 2016 ---
    Mac memory is a sham. Mac uses regular memory.
     
  12. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #12
    The take-away here is that you need to have memory that your particular Mac has a better chance of using. As someone already mentioned, some MBPros are fairly picky.
    In the OP's case, the 2009 MBPro is designed for 1066 MHz PC3-8500.
    If you hope that much faster memory (PC3-12800 1600 MHz) will clock down - you will often be disappointed.
    Way better choice to try to find memory that is closer to speed that the Mac wants.
    "Mac memory" or not - "compatible" means that you have to do your homework. Asking the folks here can also get you closer, as long as you notice when another poster is showing experience with a Mac that has different clock speeds than yours.
    In my experience, the 1600 MHz is too far outside of specs for the OP's MBPro, which is built for 1066 MHz memory
    Random guessing can get you the result that you have now :D
     
  13. T5BRICK, Jun 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016

    T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #13
  14. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #14
  15. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #15
    Yeah, I got a little crazy with the URL tags.
     
  16. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

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    California
    #16
    Why roll the dice again? The correct memory was linked to in reply #2. Incidentally, that Crucial kit or it's predecessor is what is in the 2009 MBP that I'm using to type this reply.
     
  17. T5BRICK, Jul 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016

    T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #17
    It's really all up to the person buying. I personally refuse to spend extra on "Mac" memory because I think it's a ripoff.
     

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