Released October 2008 / 2.4, 2.53, 2.66, 2.8 or 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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What is the maximum RAM for Model A1286 MacBook Pro

I occasionally do on-line gaming - will upgrading my RAM help speed up performance. And can I upgrade to 8G. I have Model-A1286 late 2008 early 2009 Unibody - 2.66 GHz - Core 2 Duo.

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Thanks Jon - I really appreciate the info- hmm - now I am wondering if upgrading my hard-drive would be a good idea; but mostly I was wondering about the RAM and the maximum I could go with it. When I am giving my system some heavy use I end up swapping 4 to 6 MB with the hard drive. and I get the spinning wheel thing more than I would like. Hope this makes sense I am not very computer savvy. Any further suggestions from anyone would be appreciated. If I add RAM would it be good idea to also upgrade hard drive?


Hi Jon - these are my computer stats, operating system, and usage - I hope I am providing you with all the information you requested. I have run disc utility repair and occasionally have run this to try to keep things organized.

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: MacBook Pro

Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,1

Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz

Number Of Processors: 1

Total Number Of Cores: 2

L2 Cache: 6 MB

Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3

Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

Boot ROM Version: MBP51.007E.B06

SMC Version (system): 1.41f2

Operating System - OSX 10.6.8

2.2 GB space free on Hard Drive

I do some photo editing in Gimp.

I occasionally run on-line game Second Life (and other on-line gaming).


Thanks Jon! most helpful and most appreciated - I may have increased RAM - when in fact it appears to be low hard drive capacity. Good wishes to you.


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For starters, ifixit has their compatibility mixed up a bit on these ranges. There is no such ranges as an Early 09... there was a Late 08, then a Mid 09 (but there was 2 versions of the Mid 09, which is probably where they got confused)


Regardless of the exact range, as both the 08 and 09 models use the same ram modules and have the same upper limit, you will need the PC3-8500 modules.

You have 2 slots on your machine, and it does support interleaving (which means they will function faster if both modules are of a matching capacity, because it works in a similar way to a raid unit. it stripes between the two, so although you can fit two different capacities, it will function more efficiently with two matching capacities)

Your upper limit on these two models is 8GB in total, so split that between two slots with 2x4GB modules.

i hope this helps

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There are a number of different things that could cause the beach ball (spinning wheel)... so its not as simple as upgrading the components...

for starters, do you have at least 10GB of free space on your internal hard drive? secondly, what is your current ram capacity and what sort of tasks are you running on your machine (such as web browsing or photo editing, etc) and what is the operating system that you have on it currently...

it could need upgrading, but it may be a simple software problem, which you can run disk repair tasks on it to help restructure the disk permissions (there is a function in disk utility on a mac that works a bit like defragging on a PC)

Let me know the details and i will do what i can to help


Thanks for the details... the most likely cause of the problem would be the amount of space left on your internal hard drive. For the tasks you do, i would say 4GB of ram is more than enough. A hard drive with a bootable operating system installed needs to have at least 10GB of free space otherwise it will run slow and clog up your system. Your best bet would be to upgrade your internal hard drive to a larger capacity, install a clean operating system from your 10.6 install disk, then migrate your data from your current drive... You will almost certainly find your machine improves in speed...

You can take a maximum of 8GB in your machine, but i really dont think you need it for what you are doing. increasing ram doesn't always improve speeds. the machine will only ever use as much as it needs, and the extra will just be ignored.

i hope this helps


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