I believe the apple rep was misinformed regarding 16gb of memory on the MBP. Help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stayathomedad, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. stayathomedad macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011
    A family member just picked up a new MBP from the apple store. The rep explained to them that while the system might be able to see all 16gb of memory, the logic board is hard coded to only address the first 8gb. And while some programs might attempt to use the other 8gb of memory, the logic board will prevent this and only use the first 8gb.

    Any truth to this?
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  3. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    No. I have 16GB in an Early 2011 MBP and all is fine. Photoshop x64 sees it all. I have many applications running at the same time and all of the RAM is being used and nothing is being cached to the hard drive. I used to have 4GB and it would slow down all the time because it kept hitting the hard drive due to insufficient RAM.
  4. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    Other World computing does all kinds of memory tests, they say 16 gigs works.

    They also have a page showing the performance gain as you increase the memory, it does not top out at 8 gigs like the apple store said:

  5. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The chipset used in the 2011 MBPs can use up to 32 GB RAM actually, thus if 16 GB 204-pin SO-DIMMs ever become available, you will able to have 32 GB RAM.

    Sadly, most Apple Store employees (and employees of other technology outlets) don't know, what they are talking about.
  6. stayathomedad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011
    I just chatted with an apple rep and called a applecare tech (two different people). They said, "We don't support it and we do not offer it as an option when buying a new Mac. It would be a waste of money to install more on it."
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Well, the first part is correct: They do not support it and they do not offer it.

    The statements that it is hard coded to only accept up to 8 GB of RAM and that more would be a waste of money seems wrong. But they might be required to say something like that.

    Apple employees are not allowed to say anything that does not comply with company policy - even posting a link to a macrumors post on facebook can get you into trouble!
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Just because they don't offer it means that it will not work. Apple did not physically change the logic board to not utilize the full 16gb of ram.
  9. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Historically speaking, it has been common for Apple to specify a maximum amount of RAM that is less than is actually possible. Check out the specs at Everymac.com for examples.
  10. Wafflausages macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    Probably because some people will tell their friends who have no idea what ram is that macbooks can support up to 16GB when its only specifically the 2011 models.
  11. gpzjock, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Apple doesn't support alot of things that still just work....

    I know the fanbois are going to get their boxers in a twist about this, but the truth hurts when you are ignoring for so long and then somebody slaps you round the face with it.
    Apple have misinformed their customers about the capabilities and limits of their hardware on many occasions and I can't say I like the attitude. Don't get me wrong, I love my Apple hardware and OS X. I'd definitely rather put up with the vagaries of their marketing that live inside the Hell of Gates.
    Here is the point, Apple will actively misinform on the spec and limits of expansion purely because they "don't support" or don't stock the equipment they deny works.

    1996: I have a Macintosh Performa 630 not in Apple Care, I want to expand its RAM from 4mb to 16mb. Phoning up the nearest Apple stockist I am told only Apple sell the right memory and it MUST be fitted by them. 16mb = over £100 from them, I agree and an Apple engineer turns up to fit it at home. He is polite, friendly and very fast, he whips open the Performa, removes the single 4mb stick, replaces it with a single 16mb stick and goes to close the box. I spot a 2nd slot on the motherboard while he is doing it.
    "Can't the 16mb stick go in the 2nd slot so I can have 20mb?" I say.
    "No, they won't both be addressed properly because they don't match." says nice Apple engineer and goes to put the 4mb stick in his case.
    "Can I have my 4mb stick back please? In case the other one fails?" says I.
    "Sure." he says.
    5 minutes after he's gone I open the case, stick the 4mb in the other slot. "Ching" says the Performa, 20mb RAM available.
    Strike 1.

    1998: I purchase an iMac Bondi Blue, I want more than the 32mb standard RAM so I ask how much memory the iMac can address. 128mb max the nice sales lady says. 128mb is a crippling £200+ extra so I ask for 96mb for a mere £85 add on.
    2001: I am reading posts on the web about the Bondi being able to take 256mb sticks in each slot.
    I phone Apple to buy some bigger sticks. "Sorry sir, your iMac doesn't support that RAM and we don't sell it.".
    I buy a 256mb stick from a PC vendor and fit it myself. Then seeing how easy it was buy another and have a Bondi with 512mb. By 2002 the Bondi is running OS X, Photoshop and Illustrator all simultaneously in half a gig!
    Strike 2.

    2009: I have a Mac Pro 2008 Octo with a 8800GT in it, I want to upgrade to a 4870 but £450 is a bit steep. "Can I put a PC GFX card in my Mac?" I ask in the local Apple Store. "No, the power requirements are incompatible and we can't support the drivers for it." says the genius. One pristine Sapphire HD4870 Vapor-X 1 GB card and a couple of new power cables later, I'm flashing it with a Mac & PC ROM so it works in Mac OS X and Windows. Bought on eBay secondhand for £197, a massive saving of £253 for a little sweat and research.
    Strike 3.

    2010: Same Mac Pro, I want to upgrade to a 5870, Apple state that this card is unsupported in my MP and will not work. So why buy a genuine Apple one for £400+ ? I buy another Sapphire Vapor-X version of this card from eBay again (£295) flash it too and hey presto double the GFX performance of the 4870.
    Strike 4.

    2012: My Mum has a MBP 13" early 2011, I buy 8gb of Corsair RAM for £36.50 when Apple want £320 for the same amount of memory.
    "Why so expensive?" I ask. "It is the maximum configurable RAM" they say.
    The GF's son has a MBP 15" (late 2011) with him at Uni, he buys 16gb RAM for £155 and fits it himself the same week as I bought the 8gb!
    Strike 5.

    There are lies, damn lies and then their are Apple system capability statements.

    Let the flame war commence! :D
  12. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I don't see what your point is. Apple only supports a very limited set of hardware for it's machines. Any other modifications you have to do at your own risk.

    It might be a bit extreme when they make up stuff to discourage customers from installing unsupported hardware. Who cares! That's why we have forums like this one!
  13. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    No. If somebody tells you that it won't work due to X reason, you can safely tell them to go check their facts again. If they insist that it's the truth, make a bet of $1,000,000,000 and get some attorneys in case they want to back out of it.

    Seriously though, it works.
  14. gpzjock, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    It is like this you see.....

    I said "Here is the point, Apple will actively misinform on the spec and limits of expansion purely because they "don't support" or don't stock the equipment they deny works.".

    Let me elaborate:

    In every case I gave, the real answer was not, this doesn't work, it was this will work but we won't tell you it will, because we don't want it to.

    The 20mb of RAM worked but they said it didn't. Performa 630s are only meant to have 1 memory slot, mine had 2 possibly because they used a 631 board instead.

    The 265mb RAM sticks worked but because Apple didn't sell them they "didn't". The max RAM capacity for that model was still stated as 128mb in 2001 even though the iMac could address 4 times more.

    The Apple 5870 GFX card works fine in a Mac Pro 2008 with an updated version of Snow Leopard but because the original OS X install disk it came with didn't have drivers for that specific card, it "doesn't work and isn't supported".
    Denying a GFX card will work when it will, is not a matter of limited hardware, it is an insistence that you follow a limited path chosen by the vendor. Why let someone upgrade a 3 year old Mac Pro when you want them to buy a new one? Apple don't even stock RAM for that model anymore, they dropped it in 2011. This shows how much they want you to keep it more than a couple of years.

    8gb of RAM is not the "maximum configuration" if a MacBook Pro (2011) can address 16gb. Only the fact that Apple doesn't sell 8gb sticks makes it the maximum.

    Telling you that something doesn't work, when patently it does, will not make a customer trust you. Transparency and truthful marketing are the keys to customer loyalty/satisfaction and ethical business practice. Which of the above cases of misinformation are transparent or true?

    Geddit yet? :)
  15. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    And yet you've remained a customer since 1996?
  16. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Frying pan or fire, the choice is..... pan.

    Apple user since 1988 Mac Classic SE actually.
    I have no taste for Windows or the crap PC vendors foist on their customers either.
    Better the devil you know and love than the one you know and hate.
    I just wish they would be a bit more straight and a bit less Yankee bollocktalking about it.
  17. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Nope, I still don't see the problem with Apples behavior. It's part of their philosophy to sell a black box that just works, and not a set of legos that you can configure and extend the way you want. This is what works for most consumers - and the rest can just search the internet to find out how to hack their Mac beyond the official limits.
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As already stated, there's no truth at all in what the rep said. They were making it up as they went along.
    The thing to keep in mind is the fact that "Genius" is only their job title, and not necessarily an indication of their knowledge, experience or expertise. There are thousands of cases where Apple employees had no idea what they were talking about. Don't believe them.

    You can find specs on all Apple products, including maximum RAM:
    • By visiting EveryMac.com: Actual Maximum RAM
    • By using Mactracker
    • By entering your serial number here to find specs for your model. (Be aware that some models can use more RAM than Apple shows. Check EveryMac or MacTracker to verify actual usable RAM.)
  19. gpzjock, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    What we have here is a failure to communicate...

    If your best mate tells you something that isn't true, he is a liar. If an Apple employee tells you something that isn't true, he is a philosopher. Lovin' it. ;)

    But seriously, I "hacked" a Mac by putting a different RAM stick in it? Or by using an extra memory slot? Really?
    I opened a case, I did what an Apple engineer did. I didn't solder bits on or tinker in the Terminal.
    The only thing I hacked was the BIOS on a PC GFX card, twice. I didn't modify the Apple hardware itself or software beyond Apple's own updates. Fooling OS X into seeing the same family of GFX card as Apple sell themselves, when they point blank state not even their card will work is not a hack in my book. Mod maybe, hack I don't think so, honestly.
    I replaced the 4gb HDD in my Bondi with an 80gb one, was that a hack?
    Apple would have done that for me but the price of it would have been trebled.
    I put a SSD and 2 additional HDDs in my Mac Pro. Hack or upgrade? You decide. Yet again Apple would have done it for a hefty mark up. This is where philosophy meets misinformation and profit. More folks will be willing to bend over, so that Apple can take them from behind financially, if Apple tell them what they want them to believe.

    Back when I bought the Bondi, a mate bought a Compaq tower with 32mb of RAM, the sales guy in Dixons told him he could upgrade the memory later.
    When he put a 64mb module in the slot it still read as 32mb. Compaq had hardwired a 32mb max RAM on the board! Pretty crappy trick eh?
    If he had modified his BIOS or hardware to remove this restriction he would have "hacked" it. I didn't need to do that to any Apple computer in my list. I just replaced the RAM, GFX card, HDD, insert component here. No hack, no code warrior me.
  20. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Yeah, telling the truth is telling the truth, even in the Steve reality distortion field. They can say "yeah, check to see if it works but we don't support that." Fine. Car manufacturers do it all the time; they'll even admit that it won't void your warranty unless it breaks an OEM part. Why can't Apple be that open?

    I can remember when there were independent sellers of Apple products, before Jobs et al. made Apple-sauce out of them. They could recommend stuff like this all the time. But they're gone.

    I can also remember when Apple thought different, when there was more personal in PC. They can probably still make a decent amount of money by balancing the desire of some to use non-Apple hardware and non-MAS software with the desire of others to stick with approved stuff (and then come here and ask US about how to fix or improve things :D


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