I am looking to upgrade RAM on a MacBook mid-2010, Model A1342. According to apple, I can only upgrade up to 4GB of RAM (currently only has 2GB). I don't want to blow up the computer if I add 8GB of RAM. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!


There are three limitations on the amount of RAM that you can put into most Macs:

1. The number of slots in the machine.

2. The size of memory available on one RAM module.

3. Limits to the memory addressing of the memory controller or OS.

Your Mac has 2 slots, so it can only add 2 of whatever size memory cards are available. Very often, when Apple releases a Mac model, only certain sizes are available, with larger memory modules being manufactured at a later time. Apple usually doesn't make a statement on compatibility of newer modules at a later date.

Some Macs are limited to only address a certain amount of memory, either by hardware limitations, or by the OS. Adding more may not give any benefit (with only the machine's maximum being addressed), and in some cases adding more can cause poor performance. (For instance, the 2009 MacBook could address up to 6Gb of RAM.)

Your Mac can cope with up to 16 GB of RAM, if running Lion or higher. EveryMac spec

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A 32bit system cannot manage more than 4 GB of RAM because of its addressing limitations. (2 exp. 32 = 4. 294.967.296 different addresses that can be used. That's 4 GB) Adding more than 4 GB of RAM is thus not a good idea as your system may possibly not work anymore. I hope this answers your question.

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  • What makes you think that the 2010 MacBook is a 32 bit system? – Allan Dec 26 '18 at 19:13
  • Even if it were 32-bit, a modernish Intel x86 CPU would support PAE, which allows access to up to 64GiB. (This does require OS support, I'm not sure whether MacOS had it when it was relevant.) – Ruslan Dec 26 '18 at 19:56
  • Thank you!! Yes, you have answered my question. I appreciate it! – user315215 Dec 26 '18 at 20:51
  • I've noticed that my answer got '-1' even though (though -> pronounce like 'dow'... ? I'm not English native speaker so I'm not sure...) my answer is not totally wrong! If it is a 32bit system, then my answer is correct. I don't know all the platforms settings by heart (32bit or 64bit) so... :-( – Dakta Moriamé Mar 19 '19 at 7:28

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