I know macs can be picky about how much their max memory capacity is, so what is the maximum RAM I can install in my two available memory slots?

Model: Early 2011 MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

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Can I put in 16GB with 8GB in each slot?

According to the Apple support, my specific model can officialy take 8gb, 4 on each slot. But many people say that we can put double the official, is this true?

**EDIT: It works, and I wrote an article about this whole process here **


  • do you know if it is possible to go to 32Gb ? And if 2400 Mhz works ? Aug 24, 2017 at 11:29
  • 1
    I don't know anything about the Max limit for computing speed, but I do know that 32gb won't work Aug 24, 2017 at 15:26
  • 1
    I highly recommend upgrading ram though, it does wonders @clemlaflemme Aug 24, 2017 at 15:28
  • @RuchirBaronia - Why your blog's post is not available anymore? Was deleted or has a new URL? Sep 3, 2023 at 13:09

5 Answers 5


Yes.You can install and use 16GB of RAM in that machine. There are several discussions in Apple's forum on this subject.

I Have same same model MBP and upgraded two weeks ago. Works great.

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Edit: (as to the comments)

This is the product I have purchased to my mac. Please, before you buy make sure that the memory fit your specific mac model. Apple do have a good webpage of How to identify my mac model.

Here, you can find a similar discussion in iFixit forum

In my original answer I have mentioned SSD. Thanks to @tubedogg clarification, the SSD and RAM are unrelated in this discussion. Yet, when upgrading considering to upgrade the SSD is not a bad idea. Sorry for the bad analogy: it is like replacing parts in your car that will make it runs great, but it takes 15 minutes to start it. For me, I decided to start with RAM. Upgrading the Hard Drive, made it even better.

I didn't see the Mac going over 8MB yet, so I opened every application on my mac just to get to 51%. Since the update it usually runs between 30%-45% of RAM used.

Which brings me to the following conclusion:

  • Can You install 16MB RAM? Yes
  • Do you need it? depends on your usage
  • Why would you still install it? Upgrade once, even if you don't use it right away
  • Should you also upgrade your hard drive? If you have the resources (money, time, transfer method), then yes
  • Hey Idan, thanks for your help. According to this link the official support for my model is only 8gb, so would it work to put in 16 gb? If so, then why isn't the official support just 16 gb? Oct 30, 2016 at 17:42
  • I am not really sure, but my guess is the available technology at the time. Also, the whole SSD thing, I think that 16GB is not really used without it.
    – Idan
    Oct 30, 2016 at 17:45
  • Okay, thanks! Right now I just have a normal hard drive. Why do you say the 16GB is not worth it without SSD? Oct 30, 2016 at 17:49
  • I had the same conflict. Since that 8GBx2 was available for sale, and the price different was not significant, I decided to go for 16GB. I didn't bother with the research about the normal drive vs SSD, but it seems that you would not enjoy the 16GB without the SSD.
    – Idan
    Oct 30, 2016 at 17:51
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    That doesn't make any sense. An SSD will make loading data from storage faster. Increasing RAM will increase what can be kept in memory without having to read it again from storage or swapping to and from storage. Switching to an SSD should increase the overall performance of the machine, but SSD and RAM are essentially unrelated for purposes of this discussion, and certainly one is not needed for the other to function.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 30, 2016 at 19:37

According to Everymac.com your particular model can support up to 16GB of RAM1

So, as to your question, "Can I put in 16GB with 8GB in each slot?"

Yes. That's exactly how you can upgrade your memory to 16GB. You will need one "16GB kit" which is two 8GB modules of PC3-10600 memory.

1 Everymac.com: Apple officially supports a maximum of 8 GB of RAM, but as first confirmed by site sponsor OWC, this model actually is capable of using up to 16 GB of RAM with two 8 GB memory modules.

  • What do you mean "too big;" physically?
    – Allan
    Nov 2, 2016 at 0:34
  • Yes, physically. It can't physically fit in the slot, because it is double the size I need... Nov 2, 2016 at 0:34
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    The link you provided is completely wrong. The link in my answer "PC3-10600" is the product you need. It's the very last line.
    – Allan
    Nov 2, 2016 at 0:50

While Apple Tech Specs states 8 GB RAM, nonetheless, yes you can use 16 GB RAM.

Here are two examples of supported RAM for your model.

  • ordered PC3-10600 memory (amazon.com/gp/product/B01C7YYR4Q/…) and it was too big to fit in my mac. I will now have to return it. Why was it too large (it was double the size it should have been?) – Nov 2, 2016 at 0:33
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    @Ruchir Baronia, I didn't tell you to buy that! What you purchased states it's for a Mac Pro MacPro5,1 Mid 2012 and a Mid 2010 Mac Pro. If you'd followed the links I provided, you see that they are SODIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module) not DIMM (dual in-line memory module) and state compatible with MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) not Mac Pros! Nov 2, 2016 at 1:12
  • I'm sorry. Will this model work? amazon.com/gp/product/B008LTBJK2/… Nov 5, 2016 at 16:38
  • @Ruchir Baronia, Unless it states it compatible with a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) then I would not purchase it! The two links I've already provided state compatibility with a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011), so I'd order from one of them! As to whether or not the one you've linked to will work or not I'd have to say no because the Crucial Part Numbers shown do not match what Crucial states to be compatible with a MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) like the one in my answer. The reason you need it to state it compatible is because 16GB is not Apple supported in your MBP. Nov 5, 2016 at 17:12

If you press the Memory upgrade information button in that window, it would take you to an Apple page stating the maximum memory is (I think) 8 GB, 4GB per slot. I have a Late 2011 13" MBP which I upgraded to 8 GB of RAM and it works fine.

However, I have heard of people who went past the max and put in 16 GB of RAM and it worked out. It's not officially supported though so it might not work or it might not work properly. You can always try it if you really need the RAM and are feeling adventurous.


Just upgraded my MacBook Pro Late 2011 with 2.4 i5. PNY 2x8GB 1600mHz from Best Buy for $74. System profiler shows 1600 too. So I'm guessing it didn't down clock it to 1333 like it was originally with the 2x2GB modules.

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