I have a MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) with the default 2GB of RAM, I want to update it to 8GBs, but I only found this model of memory to buy.

The question is since the memory is more "powerful" than the slot it will work? Will I have any issues? If not, what should I buy? only PC3-10600?

  • If Kingston guarantees compatibility, there should be no issue. Don't just randomly choose similarly looking spec'd RAM and expect it to work. – EmmEff Feb 8 '12 at 21:15

You should be able to use the faster RAM without a problem. No guarantees when it comes to RAM compatibility that hasn't been vendor qualified (which is seldom an option) so make sure you buy from someone with a good return policy.

You might consider buying through somebody like OWC (macsales.com) that specializes in Mac parts.

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I recently upgraded my Mid-2010 13 inch MacbookPro 7,1 to 16 GB using cheaper PC3-10600 DDR3 modules.

It did involve taking a chance on a program called Thaiphoon Burner to modify the EEPROM on one of the modules so it could pretend to be PC3-8500. The OS would not boot otherwise. I would not recommend trying this unless you're comfortable with all the steps involved.

An alternative is to use one 8 GB PC3-10600 module along with a 4 GB PC3-8500 module for a total of 12 GB, but there would probably be a speed penalty from having mismatched module sizes.

OWC has a blog post Certain 2010 MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models join the ’16GB’ MaxRAM club going into more detail.

They list the following requirements:

  • A Mac mini (Macmini4,1), MacBook (MacBook7,1), or 13” MacBook Pro (MacBookPro7,1) from 2010

  • OS X 10.7.5 or later

  • Latest EFI Update for your machine

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Good article explaining how to use Thaiphoon Burner to change RAM clocking speed. By default faster ram most likely will have an issues and the computer may not even start (depends on RAM setup)



I Use Thaiphoon Burner 7.X on my Windows 7 64 bit. (you need the "full Version" to be able to write the modified data to RAM!)

1.) Start Windows with "deactivated Driver signature force" (F8 before windows starts)

2.) Read Data from Ram Press on" Read" and choose your RAM to want to read from.

enter image description here

3.) Press "Editor" to open the timing editor

4.)Choose the frequenz where you want to change the timings The ratio FSB to RAM is 1:3. The default FSB is 133mhz so the RAM is running @ 400 Mhz (you can not change this!) so i change the value (Min SDRAM cycle time) so the Clock frequenz is showing 400Mhz.

enter image description here

5.) Choose the latency you want to use at 400Mhz Change the value "Min CAS latency Time" so that the "DEF CAS" is showing the Latency you want to use. ( in my case: CL7) enter image description here

6.) change the timings Of course you have to change all the other timings. Well - i use 7-7-7-20 and i changed the other values a little bit - maybe someone know how to calculate the other timings - i just raise them up a little bit.

enter image description here

7.) Press next to choose what you want to do with your new config. I always update the Hex editor.

enter image description here

After that i check the checksum (EEPROM - correct Checksum).

Now you can write the timings to RAM and make a reebot.

IMPORTANT: - After the first "READ" save your config in a file to have a backup! - DON'T ever change the CL over CL8! The Bios is not able to work with the RAM using CL9 or higher! - I don't know whether my timings are perfekt - but they work fine ;-) - When you "killed" a ram and the notebook will not come up anymore: use a working RAM, start your notebook and plugin the not working RAM while the System is running (ON YOUR OWN RISK!) it works fine - Thaiphoon Burner is able to work with this RAM an you can restore the timings from your backup.

Why to change the timings? The Bios is using the RAM @400Mhz with the specific timings (6-6-6-18 in my case.) Whe I use an overclocked FSB from 166 Mhz, the RAM is working at 500Mhz (you overclocked your RAM very much!!!) So you have to slow down the timings to get a stable work of the RAM.

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  • 2
    You could consider writing the steps down here, as the URL might die. – Rob Jul 8 '14 at 9:02
  • It died, actually. u.u – Lobo-X Oct 28 '14 at 19:07

Since they use different clocking, there could be issues, up to the new RAM being inaccessible by the system.

I also have a MBP (15", 2010) which uses PC3-8500 RAM, and it has 8GB in it; I purchased the memory banks at Amazon.

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The easiest way to get the steady work of DDR3-1333 and higher DRAM modules with your Macbook is to derate the speed bin to DDR3-1066 since NVIDIA MCP79/MCP89 memory controller is not capable of operating at 667MHz. Thaiphoon Burner can do this work perfectly.

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