I'm interested in purchasing the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, but it's not clear from the tech specs page whether the RAM is user-upgradeable or not.

Do I need to take into account future RAM usage when customizing my MacBook Pro order, or can I go with 8GB RAM and upgrade it later?

  • 2
    The non-upgradeability is made explicit on the page where you configure your machine for purchase. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 0:00
  • @RussellBorogove Interesting: that wasn't there when it was first placed on sale. Added that to my answer.
    – user6703
    Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 1:06
  • Anything else we can explain to get you to accept one of the two answers? It's fine to accept your own answer if that's the one you prefer.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


I called Apple to find out, and they confirmed that it is not user-upgradeable: the tech explained that they used the same process they used for the MacBook Air to save space: there are no sticks of RAM, and the RAM has been soldered directly onto the main board.

As Russell Borogove noted in the comments, this is now confirmed when you configure the MacBook Pro before purchase:

Please note that the memory is built into the computer, so if you think you may need more memory in the future, it is important to upgrade at the time of purchase.

So if you were thinking you might want the 16GB RAM in the future, you'd want to choose it when you order the MacBook Pro, as you won't be able to upgrade later.


iFixit has posted a tear-down of the new Macbook Pro with Retina display and on step 17 you can see that the RAM is soldered to the back of the logic board (red rectangle):

tear-down of the new Macbook Pro with Retina display

Picture from iFixit.com

All iFixit content is licensed under the open source Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

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