This Apple support article, MacBook Pro: How to remove or install memory, says that the maximum memory on a MacBook Pro 13-inch is 8 GB. Is that a hard limit? Why could I not install a 16 GB memory stick in there? Would it work, but only for the first 8 GB? Is there any way around the limit?

  • Can you be more precise, which Macbook pro 13" are you talking about ? – Matthieu Riegler Sep 18 '13 at 11:41

To pick a random 13" MBP, such as this one from mid 2012:


The 8Gb limit seems to be an Apple supported limit, but many people happily report getting 16Gb working fine - see the memory section in the link as well as this page for details.

The "Mid-2009" and "Mid-2010" MacBook Pro models support 1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SO-DIMMs and officially and unofficially support a maximum of 8 GB of RAM with one odd exception.

Specifically, as discovered by OWC, the 13-Inch "Mid-2010" MacBook Pro models (and only the 13-Inch models) -- the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13" Mid-2010 and "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 13" Mid-2010 identified by MacBookPro7,1 -- can support up to 16 GB of RAM with dual 8 GB memory modules if they are running OS X 10.7.5 or higher, have been updated to use the latest EFI, and are equipped with proper specification memory modules. If running a version of Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard," these models only can use 8 GB of RAM.

The "Early 2011" and "Late 2011" MacBook Pro models use faster 1333 MHz PC3-10600 DDR3 SO-DIMMs. They officially support 8 GB of RAM, but OWC has determined that they actually support 16 GB of RAM regardless of the operating system installed, although only the "Early 2011" MacBook Pro models are capable of running a version of Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard."

Finally, the "Mid-2012" non-Retina Display MacBook Pro models use faster still 1600 MHz PC3-12800 DDR3 SO-DIMMs and likewise officially support 8 GB of RAM, but actually can support as much as 16 GB of RAM. These models do not run versions of OS X prior to OS X 10.7 "Lion."

  • I checked my model, which is MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010) identified by MacBookPro7,1 and I have OS X 10.8.2 - so I should be able to install 2 x 8 GB RAM right? How can I know if the RAM is proper specification? How can I know if latest EFI is in place? – Billy Moon Sep 18 '13 at 12:20
  • You are in luck then :) Read through this page - covers it all blog.macsales.com/… If you are in the US, then use these guys. – stuffe Sep 18 '13 at 12:27
  • I am in Ireland, but still placed my order with the guys you linked to choosing $7~ shipping (there was $3~ available too). Thanks for the help! – Billy Moon Sep 18 '13 at 12:40
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    For posterity, my 16 GB RAM (two sticks of 8) works perfectly :) – Billy Moon Dec 22 '13 at 12:31

I have doubts a 16 GB setup would work. I installed the Crucial scan, and this is what it says:

Your Apple MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013); System specs as shipped by the manufacturer; Maximum memory: 16384MB *Not to exceed manufacturer supported memory.

Ok, that's understandable to have a disclaimer like that, but this was what it said next:

"All memory and storage is soldered on-board." wha-wha-what!? Crucial system scan

  • That's because, your particular computer users soldered RAM, However the person asking this question, has an older computer which do not use soldered on RAM, in his case the RAM memory is swappable, in that retina a MacBook it is not – Macmaniman Nov 3 '14 at 19:29
  • @Alan - I have been using two 8GB sticks in my mid 2010 macbook pro for almost a year now without any issues. – Billy Moon Nov 4 '14 at 11:38

Just installed 2x8Gb memory modules to Macbook Pro 13 inch (mid-2012), it works great.

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