Physical RAM limit in MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by icrew, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. icrew macrumors member

    icrew

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    #1
    Hi all:

    I'm planning to upgrade my 17" MPB soon (trying to hold on for Arrandale, but we'll see how the old one holds up). Not that it will make much difference in my decision, but does anyone know if the 8GB RAM limit in the current MBPs is due to the fact that the largest currently-available DIMMs that will fit in the MBP are 4GB each; or if it's due to a limitation in the way the computer/chipset addresses the memory? In other words, once someone develops an 8GB DIMM that will fit in the MBP's slots, will it be possible to upgrade to 12 or 16GB of RAM?

    Thanks!
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    When Mac is released, that model has a maximum RAM that it can use. If the limit is 8GB, you can't put more than that in that model and have it work.
     
  3. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #4
    I doubt we will see 8GB SO-DIMMs anytime soon. Models supporting them will come much sooner and when such RAM gets released it will make more sense to get a new more powerful laptop.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Technically that's not entirely true. Apple has released a number of models in the past with an artificial limit to which people easily exceeded the so called limit.

    We'll not know if this is the case until we see the new models hit the street.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    If you check MacTracker, you'll see two different limits listed on many models, such as "6.0 GB (Actual) 4.0 GB (Apple)". It's the actual limit I'm referring to, not Apple's artificial limit. In the case of the example I listed, you can't use 8 GB of RAM in that model. More specifically, the OP will not be able to use more than 8 GB in their current model, so my response is entirely true.
     
  6. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #7
    Well I am just speculating. However, I don't know of any desktop, non-server motherboard or chipset supporting 8GB DIMMs. There are 16GB laptops already (Dell Precision M Workstations) but they have 4 RAM slots (just like the new imacs).

    Not that it adds anything to the conversation but what do you do with your laptop that would require anything more than 8gb of RAM? (many virtual machines is a possible answer).

    Another guess I am willing to take, by the time 8GB dimms become available and don't cost an arm and a leg (not 2-3 times more than the same amount of RAM broken down in 4GB DIMMS) solid state drives will be cheap and big enough boosting performance both in app startup time, file reading and memory paging...
     

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