Question - updating firmware for more ram???

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
My buddy just bought a 2009 Mac Pro and did some kind of firmware update that allowed him to add bigger sticks of ram and faster ram as well. Basically, it brought it up to equivalent of 2013 or something like that. I can get exact info from him if needed.

Here is my question. I own a high end iMac (2017) and MacBook Pro Retina (Early 2013) but I would like to buy an older MacBook Pro if I can do some kind of firmware update that would allow me to add bigger sticks of ram and faster ram. So, can this be done? If so, what year is the best option and what will it allow me to upgrade to?

Thanks everyone!
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,605
1,433
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Adding faster ram will not necessarily make the MBP much faster. Firmware updates are installed when installing newer versions of MacOS. No firmware update will allow a user to exceed the maximum ram limits of the chipset.
 

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
Adding faster ram will not necessarily make the MBP much faster. Firmware updates are installed when installing newer versions of MacOS. No firmware update will allow a user to exceed the maximum ram limits of the chipset.
i believe that information is incorrect. I literally just watched my buddy do it on his 2009 MacPro. It's possible it may have been a "hack" and not a firmware upgrade, but he went from 64gb max to 128gb max and from 1066 to 1600. i thought he said firmware, but i may have misunderstood
 

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
There is no way that a 2009 MacBook Pro can work with two 64 GB ram sticks.
macpro. i stated macpro. the desktop lol. that is what i witnessed him do. i'm wondering if the same process can be done on an older mbp to allow more and/or faster ram.
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,605
1,433
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
macpro. i stated macpro. the desktop lol. that is what i witnessed him do. i'm wondering if the same process can be done on an older mbp to allow more and/or faster ram.
OMG, I'm so embarrassed. This is the MacBook forum and assumed it was a notebook that was upgraded lol.

AFAIK, the max ram listed on everyman.com is accurate.
 

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,643
I think you're referring to the Mac Pro 4,1 to Mac Pro 5,1 firmware upgrade. The 5,1 firmware permits the Mac Pro to utilize 1333MHz memory (whereas the 4,1 Mac Pro could only access memory at 1066MHz). This speed increase will only result if the processor supports it (which, I believe, none of the stock 2009 processor choices did).

I cannot speak to the increased capacity as I'm unaware of any increase when upgrading a 4,1 (2009 Mac Pro) to a 5,1 (2010 and 2012 Mac Pro).
 

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
I think you're referring to the Mac Pro 4,1 to Mac Pro 5,1 firmware upgrade. The 5,1 firmware permits the Mac Pro to utilize 1333MHz memory (whereas the 4,1 Mac Pro could only access memory at 1066MHz). This speed increase will only result if the processor supports it (which, I believe, none of the stock 2009 processor choices did).

I cannot speak to the increased capacity as I'm unaware of any increase when upgrading a 4,1 (2009 Mac Pro) to a 5,1 (2010 and 2012 Mac Pro).
YES!!!!! ok and now that you mention that, i believe he was going to upgrade both of his CPU's as well. ok, this all makes sense now. thank you, sir (or ma'am)! Are you aware of any of the old mbp's doing the same?
 

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,643
YES!!!!! ok and now that you mention that, i believe he was going to upgrade both of his CPU's as well. ok, this all makes sense now. thank you, sir (or ma'am)! Are you aware of any of the old mbp's doing the same?
I am not familiar with any but that's not saying much. There are a lot of different MBP models and I don't spend much time in the laptop forums. Did you ask about this in MBP forum (I see someone mentioned "this is the MacBook forum" but I'm reading this in the Mac Pro forum)?
 

Kris Kelvin

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2005
221
132
In all MacBooks with Retina display, the RAM is soldered onto the mainboard. There's no feasible way to upgrade that.

Older MacBooks support memory upgrades, but their CPUs don't support more than 16GB (e.g. the MacBook Pro 15 from Late 2011 with an Intel I7-2675QM). Upgrading the CPU is impossible, too.

There's simply no way (yet) to get more than 16GB of memory in any Apple laptop. Don't get an older one. :)
 
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