How much RAM can my new 15.4" MBP take...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by frjonah, May 13, 2011.

  1. frjonah macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Almost Heaven... WV
    I am confused because of conflicting information...

    On, it clear says this machine supports up to 8gb of RAM: '11 MBP Tech Specs...

    ...while on OWC, it says these machines take up to 16gb: OWC MBP RAM upgrade page.

    It seems to me that, probably, the machine supports up to 16gb, but Apple doesn't sell 8gb DIMMs, so they don't advertise the fact. That said, this statement seems really misleading from Apple's website if it turns out the new MBPs do support 2 x 8gb DIMMs:

    "up to" usually means, "not more than", correct? Is Apple underselling the machine's capability b/c they don't want you to buy RAM from a 3rd party supplier? Or, to give Apple the benefit of the doubt, do they mean that the "two SO-DIMM slots support up to 8GB" each?

    In any case ( even a unibody case:) ), I can't justify paying $1500 for 16gb of RAM, so I just bought the 8gb upgrade kit (2 x 4gb DIMMs), which should suffice for most of my work. I'm planning to send the factory RAM back in for the $22 rebate, which brings my upgrade cost down to $85 with shipping, $115 less than Apple's stock 8gb upgrade (a $200 add-on, last I checked).

    Anyone with more information?

  2. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    The most you can buy from Apple is 8, but it can take 16.

    Apple does that a lot, like saying the MacBook can only take 4 when it also can take 8.
  3. MacMojo1 macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Yes it can take 16gb but Apple does not sell that configuration.
  4. rockinrocker macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    Plus it's still insanely expensive, even from 3rd parties.

    It'll be a nice upgrade in a year or so though.
  5. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Also when the specs were created and released, 8GB sticks didn't exist (so how could they say it would support more). This argument was had before and people were bad mouthing Apple because it can support it, although they don't officially state it. These people decided that they though it was best if Apple stated it could support infinite amounts of RAM. :confused::eek:
  6. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009

    In 2009, the cost to upgrade a MBP to 8GB was $700 (OWC).

    In 2010, the cost went down to $200.

    In 2011, it's down to $80~$120 (and at faster speeds, eg 1333 or 1600!)

    Just for 8GB.

    I've come close to using all 8GB (via heavy Photoshop work, 8.5x11" @ 300DPI), but might never even need to fathom more. The Windows XP VM I need suffices with 1GB as well... I could lower it to 512MB if I had to, too...

    Still, every person has different needs. 16GB would be cool for those who need it (video editing, running many VMs, extreme multitasking, etc)
  7. frjonah thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Almost Heaven... WV
    Thanks! That's pretty much what I thought, but nice to hear it confirmed.

    I'll make do with the 8gb upgrade on its way from OWC until prices come down. I really could use significantly more RAM since we do high end graphic arts, scanning and photography... I routinely am opening and manipulating files of over 1gb in size, so for me, more is definitely better. Of course, for most heavy work, we use the Mac Pro.

    For those with expertise in such areas, would an 32gb SD card to use as a Photoshop scratch drive help a lot with lag? I use an 24gb FileMate ExpressCard drive on my other MBP, which seems to help... not sure if the read/write speeds make using an SD worth the expense or not.

    Thanks in advance!


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