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far781

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2023
5
0
Hi,

I'm looking to upgrade my Early 2014 Macbook Air 13" from 4GB to 16GB of RAM. I know the memory on the board is soldered LPDDR3 with 178 BGA ball package and there are 4 RAM chips which I will need to replace with ones that have 4GB each. I have prior experience with BGA stuff and I did an upgrade on a 2011 Macbook Air 11" in the past.

I saw a video by Hrutkay Mods where dosdude1 did an upgrade on this exact model. As far as I'm aware any LPDDR3 module with the correct package that can run at 1600MHz will do, but I want to confirm this before purchasing some chips from Aliexpress. I found a good offer for 4GB Samsung chips (K4EBE304ED-EGCG).

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005424306837.html

Will these work with my Macbook?

Thanks!
 

dosdude1

macrumors 68030
Feb 16, 2012
2,734
7,242
Hi,

I'm looking to upgrade my Early 2014 Macbook Air 13" from 4GB to 16GB of RAM. I know the memory on the board is soldered LPDDR3 with 178 BGA ball package and there are 4 RAM chips which I will need to replace with ones that have 4GB each. I have prior experience with BGA stuff and I did an upgrade on a 2011 Macbook Air 11" in the past.

I saw a video by Hrutkay Mods where dosdude1 did an upgrade on this exact model. As far as I'm aware any LPDDR3 module with the correct package that can run at 1600MHz will do, but I want to confirm this before purchasing some chips from Aliexpress. I found a good offer for 4GB Samsung chips (K4EBE304ED-EGCG).

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005424306837.html

Will these work with my Macbook?

Thanks!
Yep, those will work just fine. They're 2133 MHz rated, but will only run at 1600 MHz in that model MacBook. Be aware SPD data will have to be modified in SPI ROM for this to work.
 
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far781

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2023
5
0
Yep, those will work just fine. They're 2133 MHz rated, but will only run at 1600 MHz in that model MacBook. Be aware SPD data will have to be modified in SPI ROM for this to work.
Thank you. Can I use the same SPD data as on the video for those RAM chips? I found the same SPD data in Early 2015 Macbook Air 13" SPI ROM dump.
 

far781

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2023
5
0
Yeah, use 16GB Hynix SPD data from 2015 MBA, that's what I do.
I ended up buying 4x H9CCNNNCLTMLAR-NTD chips. They arrived today, but I will be performing the upgrade later in the coming month.

I'm also planning to upgrade the OS from Sierra to the latest one supported on this machine. Should I do it before the upgrade? I was wondering if maybe an OS update will flash the SPI ROM with new firmware and I will have to modify it again.
 

dosdude1

macrumors 68030
Feb 16, 2012
2,734
7,242
I ended up buying 4x H9CCNNNCLTMLAR-NTD chips. They arrived today, but I will be performing the upgrade later in the coming month.

I'm also planning to upgrade the OS from Sierra to the latest one supported on this machine. Should I do it before the upgrade? I was wondering if maybe an OS update will flash the SPI ROM with new firmware and I will have to modify it again.
It indeed will flash the SPI-ROM again, so definitely want to update as much as you can before doing the upgrade. It's probably worth using OpenCore to boot from then on, as that will prevent any future firmware updates. If an update is applied, you can, of course, go back and re-apply the SPD data modifications.
 
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far781

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2023
5
0
It indeed will flash the SPI-ROM again, so definitely want to update as much as you can before doing the upgrade. It's probably worth using OpenCore to boot from then on, as that will prevent any future firmware updates. If an update is applied, you can, of course, go back and re-apply the SPD data modifications.
Other than OpenCore is there a way to block firmware upgrades on a hardware level?

I found a circuit titled "PCH ME Disable Strap" in a schematic for my Macbook and it's supposed to disable ME when there's a need for re-flashing of SPI ROM. Would altering this circuit to keep it from disabling ME block any future firmware upgrades too?
 

dosdude1

macrumors 68030
Feb 16, 2012
2,734
7,242
Other than OpenCore is there a way to block firmware upgrades on a hardware level?

I found a circuit titled "PCH ME Disable Strap" in a schematic for my Macbook and it's supposed to disable ME when there's a need for re-flashing of SPI ROM. Would altering this circuit to keep it from disabling ME block any future firmware upgrades too?
ME has nothing to do with it, so it wouldn’t make a difference. In fact, disabling ME will cause acceleration on integrated Intel Graphics to stop working entirely under Mac OS. The only possible thing you could do is tie the WP pin of the SPI-ROM low at all times, but doing so would cause NVRAM to stop being able to write changes, and could cause other issues.
 

far781

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2023
5
0
ME has nothing to do with it, so it wouldn’t make a difference. In fact, disabling ME will cause acceleration on integrated Intel Graphics to stop working entirely under Mac OS. The only possible thing you could do is tie the WP pin of the SPI-ROM low at all times, but doing so would cause NVRAM to stop being able to write changes, and could cause other issues.
reflash.jpg


I was looking at this note in the schematic. It seems like keeping ME enabled at all times would prevent a full re-flash, but there are a lot of unknowns. Maybe a firmware upgrade would still work but it would just omit the ME part and override SPD data anyway.
 
Last edited:

team.a

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2024
1
0
Thanks. I have a question. Regarding LPDDR3, is Samsung K4E6E304EE-EGCE 4GB per chip? I want to make my 2013 MBA 16GB. Thank you.
 
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