What determines the maximum RAM for a Macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Nosrettap, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Nosrettap macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    #1
    What exactly determines the maximum RAM for a Macbook? Is it the processor? And why exactly does this limit exist?

    Additionally, is there any chance that a future update (OS X update or the like) will change this maximum limit?

    Thanks
     
  2. msjones macrumors 6502

    msjones

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    #2
    I think it's a firmware limitation. On some models like the 2008 aluminium MacBook there was a 'secret' firmware that unlocked the system to 8GB.

    Here is an article about it.
     
  3. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a

    42streetsdown

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    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Gallifrey, 5124
    #3
    there are also real limitations of the chipset
     
  4. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #4
    Other than the 2008 Aluminum MacBook, the RAM limitations are hardware-based. Software/firmware can't change it.
     
  5. Nosrettap thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    #5
    And what about the 2008 Aluminum MacBook? Because that is what I have
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    You can find specs, including maximum RAM, on all Apple products:
    • By visiting EveryMac.com
    • 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.)
     
  7. Nosrettap thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    #7

    Why would my computer be able to support more memory than Apple recomends? What incentive does Apple have for not officially supporting 8GB?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Good question! Who knows? It happens a lot, though.
     
  9. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #9
    With that said, do the current portables have support for 16gigs once the 8 gig chips become more widely sold
     
  10. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #10
    Apple only tests the machines and lists them as officially supporting as much RAM as they will configure it with. If a higher amount is so expensive that they will not offer it in their store when the machine comes out, then they will not officially support it. As time goes on, and prices go down, people can buy the RAM and often find that it works perfectly fine in their machine. 8GB of PC8500 was very expensive in late 2008, so they did not offer it, and did not test the machines with it. That's all it is - it's not some insidious plot on their part.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    I haven't checked all current models, but many of them do support 16GB, as EveryMac.com, Mactracker and many threads in this forum have shown.
     

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