I'm considering upgrading to a total of 16GB RAM. Currently, I have 4GB.

MacBook Pro: 13-inch, Late 2011
Memory  4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

The problem: it appears the local resellers no longer have such RAM model. My question is, will the new PC3-12800 DDR3 1600 MHz type RAM, designed for the Mid-2012 model, work on the Late 2011 model?

Any apple-endorsed reference would be good. Thanks.

1 Answer 1


As stated in Apple's technical specifications your machine officially only supports 8GB of memory total.

That said Other World Computing runs a massive on-site lab and has confirmed that the Late 2011 MacBook Pro can support 16GB without any stability issues. The memory does need to be PC3-10600 DDR3 1333 MHz however. You can find that memory available from Other World Computing as well as from other online retailers.

Do keep in mind however that, since it's an unsupported configuration, Apple won't support your machine with those memory modules installed (should you ever need to take it to the Apple store).

  • 1
    Colin, I like this answer, +1. Not clear about the requirement for 1333Mhz tho. Is that because A) that's what OWC tested (and anything else would be untested) or because B) it's stated somewhere in relation to the OWC test or C) is it just generally true that you can't swap in faster RAM (which is contrary to my recollection).
    – AllInOne
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 18:31
  • 1
    @AllInOne It comes down to configuration of the UEFI for Macintoshes. If XMP is enabled with that (which I'd assume it isn't), then it could simply run at 1600 MHz. However, because XMP is not available, it will run at the highest possible non-overclocked level, 1333MHz (1600 was originally an overclocked standard, thus motherboards will not default to 1600). Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 19:00
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    @AllInOne I should have made that clear. As Richard said, faster ram (so long as it's still DDR3) will just run under-clocked (at 1333MHz). Since Apple doesn't support the 16GB configuration but OWC does I was recommending using their memory modules specifically for this machine since they'll support it. As they state on their site "assured to perform flawlessly" or they'll give you your money back. So while faster 8GB modules will work, you'd have to trouble shoot your own issues (if any).
    – Colin C.
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 19:19
  • @ColinC. Got more than I expected from this answer, thank you. One small query, say whatever new memory I decide to go for and it ends up causing system instability, will I be able to normalise my machine back by simply plugging the original ones in? Just as a fallback. Your opinion would be appreciated.
    – Ronixus
    Commented Oct 26, 2013 at 2:31
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    @Ronixus Absolutely. You're not going to damage your system or cause any irreparable harm. At worst you'd likely encounter kernel panics (grey screen where you have to hold down the power button). Restoring the old memory modules to the machine would resolve the problem.
    – Colin C.
    Commented Oct 26, 2013 at 3:02

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