I upgraded the memory on my MacBook (unibody, Core 2 Duo 2GHz).

I followed the instructions here and bought a single 4GB DDR3-1066MHz SODIMM.

After installing it, the MacBook only detects 1GB:


Size:   1 GB
Type:   DDR3
Speed:  1067 MHz
Status: OK
Manufacturer:   0x80AD
Part Number:    0x484D54313132533641465236432D47372020
Serial Number:  0x102E0000

Did I interpret the specs wrong? Should I have gone with 2+2 instead?

This points in that direction: "two SO-DIMM slots support up to 4GB".

Anyone got any experience?

  • You will want to check your exact model - mid 2010 for the exact RAM specifications. Do see if the seller can help you as you may need to get into the details of what exact flavor of DDR3-1066 RAM they sold you. Just like there are many grades of unleaded gas - RAM is more complicated than the bus speed and interface. You'll also want them to check the correct part was delivered. – bmike Nov 18 '11 at 19:43
  • 3
    Why are you trying to put in a 4GB module when the Late 08 MacBooks only supports 2GB x 2GB? Review this article support.apple.com/kb/SP500 – Slick Nov 18 '11 at 20:22
  • @Slick, if he indeed has a MacBook 5,1, he can safely install and use up to 8GB RAM. goo.gl/ILAP – user9290 Apr 21 '12 at 20:26

You have a late 2008 MacBook Unibody (aluminum) aka MacBook5,1?

Your second link is pointing to an article about a different model.

According to Apple your computer supports up to 4GB ram (total), but people are running successfully up to 8GB.

Reputable RAM vendor such as OWC offers 8GB kit for your MacBook, however you should upgrade your EFI (quote from OWC):

How to you ensure your MacBook/MacBook Pro can address 8GB of RAM

Check the Boot ROM Version in your System Profiler at this link: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1237

MacBook Pros with a Model ID of MacBookPro5,1 should have a Boot ROM Version of MBP51.007E.B05.

MacBooks with a Model ID of MacBook5,1 should have a Boot ROM version of MB51.007D.B03

Machines with other Model IDs are not affected and don't need an update. If your Boot ROM version does not match the numbers above, download the appropriate For MacBook Pros (MacBookPro5,1) MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.8 (Apple.com Download) For MacBooks (MacBook5,1) MacBook EFI Firmware Update 1.4 (Apple.com Download) Once you have ensured that the Boot ROM is the correct version, make sure your Operating System is updated to Mac OS X v10.6.6. You must be running Snow Leopard to address 8GB on these systems.

Once you upgrade your EFI, you should be fine.


You must identify your exact Model Identifier number to determine what RAM you need. The physical description and processor speed are not definitive identificaton.

Run the System Information application under "About This Mac" in the Apple menu.

The first thing you see is the Hardware Overview. Under that you see "Model Name" and "Model Identifier". In my example, I have a MacBookPro3,1.

enter image description here

Based on this information, look up the charts at Other World Computing and you can find the exact specifications of the RAM that you need.

And, as noted by another answer, you shoud check to see if there are any firmware updates for your Mac that you need to carefully install according to Apple's instructions before you upgrade the RAM. You must also be running Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher.


The RAM you bought may have some problems...

First of all, I'll try to put it on the other slot (inverting if the slot if already taken).

This way, you'll know if the problem is with the slot or with the RAM itself.

You must log in to answer this question.