1

Score

Avatar
Brian
45

Asked

16 GB possible with OS X Mountain Lion or Mavericks?

History

Have seen 16GB upgrade kits for sale from Data Memory Systems as long as you are running Mac OS X "Mountain Lion' or the latest release 10.9 "Mavericks',

Even in the popular reference app MacTracker states this possibility, I'm curious if anyone has attempted this upgrade outside of Apples stated limits.

I'm already upgraded to 8GB, but remembering the iMac of the same time frame also running a Core 2, could handle 16GB mainly due to the extra space.

Now with larger memory modules available, I wonder if it's true that these machines could run twice the purposed limits?

Update

Dan, some limits are only seen by slower drives. The limit on my Mac is 3Gb/s thanks to the 7200 RPM drive I installed over the original drive which was held back by the slower rotational speed. A move to a SSD has been something I've thought about for a while but I enjoy the extra space by the Scorpio Black and it reports in OS X in the system profiler as 3Gb/s.

The noticeable change after swapping out from the original drive was a noticeable improvement in both Macbench and even running the system score in Windows 7 via Parallels. HDD I/O was the highest in the overall score second only to the matched pair of memory sticks installed getting me to 8GB.

Concerning the optical drive, I'd prefer to keep it in as some games I play on my system still have a CD/DVD check for the application to boot. While I do have a older USB DVD RW drive that I picked up on eBay. I'd rather not risk it as all the documentation is in Japanese. I bought it for a fraction of the cost of the Apple USB SuperDrive.

I have had my intentions of having this computer last me at least six years as my last Mac did rather well longer than I ever had expected. (A PowerBook G4 which still runs on its PATA limited 320GB internal HDD upgrade I performed as well as running its limit of 2GB of memory. Firing it up every so often reminds me how much the difference running on Intel hardware but also some nostalgic look and feel of the design that evolved into the first MBP.

Leopard does show it's age a bit especially on PPC and the 1.5Ghz single G4 it boasts but still eaten alive in general tasks by the original first generation white MacBook. That is until you fired up a game where the Intel GMA was demolished by having the old 128GB dedicated ATi Radeon 9700.

Back onto the topic at hand, instead of people telling me "It can't be done' by reading documentation by Apple and such, I'm curious of the brave souls who have actually tried doing such a thing by thinking outside the box instead of only reading what specs Apple has posted on my particular MacBook Pro.

The main reason I ask is I thought there would be more daring individuals who experiment with "older' systems just to see how far they can be pushed.

If only I could post pictures of my old "Yikes' PowerMac G4 which was pushed beyond all possible reasonable thought. Just think a old 233Mhz slug getting a real kick in the rear with dual 1Ghz G4 processors. That was only the beginning after being challenged by a PC die-hard saying to me that it was impossible to upgrade a Mac.

I certainly had proven him wrong. :-)

Edited by: Brian ( )

8 GB of RAM is really a lot of RAM. 16 GB would really be overkill on this machine. It would also drain your battery much faster and very few programs could even use it.

mayer,

I agree with Mayer. 16Gb of RAM on a laptop is murder on battery life. Mavericks is a little more RAM hungry than other previous Mac OS'es, but if you are not running intensive apps I wouldn't bother with a 16GB upgrade. But, thats just our opinion. To answer your question; yes, most of apples limits aren't actually the actual limits. And yes, I can personally tell you that in previously owned machines I have Exceeded Apple's limits with the actual limits and I have never had any issues.

Majesty,

I too agree here with Mayer, most users will have a hard time pushing there system with just 8GB of RAM. With that said CAD, video or picture editing can push the system into needing more than 8 GB but that is working on highly complex CAD diagrams or very large vids or deep pixel pics. And, yes more memory will require more power which reflects into how long the battery will run the system.

Dan,

The root issue is the CPU and its Interface logic chip. Intel introduced the original mobile Penryn & I/O logic with limited address line support (32) later versions of Penryn it was enlarged to 36 lines. Which is why this gets confusing on why a given model can't and anther can support 16 GB of RAM. Review Intels' documentation for your CPU & Support chip your system has.

Dan,

Add Comment Cancel

Post Answer

1

Score

Avatar
Nathanael
935

Answered

Accepted Answer

PermalinkHistory

Actually ALL 2010 (Core 2 Duo) 13" macbooks (white) and Macbook Pros can run 16GB 1066 Ram. I have run it on both of them with no problem (actually I have installed and run 16GB on over 25 different 2010 13" Macbooks and Macbook Pros.)

Also as an update. with Mavericks installed, I upgraded and ran 16GB on a 2010 17" Macbook Pro (2.53Ghz i5 with nVidia GT330M 512MB) which were all previously software limited to only 8GB!!

Yes, I too have gotten some (not all) MBP "13 systems updated with 16GB of RAM. The issue here is the Rev of the logic board your system has. Intel had two versions of the controller chip and the older unit did not have all of the address lines active. So if you have the older Penryn Core 2 Duo (which the majority of systems are) you can't go to 16GB. Apple didn't change the chip out until the last few months before they intro'ed the i5/i7 models.

Dan,

Interesting! I did not know this... But every single one of the 13" macbook and Macbook Pros from 2010 that I have tried this on have all worked without a hitch.... Either I got insanely lucky or...?? is there possibly an update that fixed the problem and that is why all of mine worked?

Nathanael,

Yes, there was also a EFI update to enable the upper address lines on the newest version of the controller chip (still have some that won't work past 8GB). Here's the Apple TN: EFI & SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs. Apple doesn't tell us the full details on what they fixed or changed in the EFI which adds to the confusion here.

Dan,

ahh, well that muddy's it up nicely then! :)

Nathanael,

Hi Nathanael, I just wonder which RAM do you use to perform this : Also as an update. with Mavericks installed, I upgraded and ran 16GB on a 2010 17" Macbook Pro (2.53Ghz i5 with nVidia GT330M 512MB) which were all previously software limited to only 8GB!! because I have the same systems and it's definitively hard to find 1066Mhz 8Go CL7 RAM. thank you.

Guilmo,

Add Comment Cancel

3

Score

Avatar
Dan
87k

Answered

PermalinkHistory

Yes & No

First what is your exact model as you talk about having a Core 2 version Vs a i5 or i7 version of the A1278. Can you supply the last four digits of your serial number so we can be sure here.

The Core 2 series of systems are limited to 8 GB of RAM (2 - 4 GB modules). The newer i5/i7 series can run 16 GB of RAM (two - 8 GB modules). In either case you do want to make sure your EFI is at the latest. Follow this Apple TN EFI & SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs.

I do strongly recommend using a matched pair of modules as I've seen some very odd behavior when mixing vendors and speeds or sizes.

As for running Mavericks: Review Apples approved models listing TN OS X Mavericks: System Requirements to make sure your system can run it.

Edited by: Dan ( )

Apples limits are often based on what technology is available when the system was designed. Memory & HD technology has improved in leaps & bounds, not only is size but also requiring equal or less power than the previous generation with much larger (and faster) devices. So when you look at upgrading things review the I/O standards & the CPU's to see if it can support the larger density (it often it can) as well as the power needs (or differences between what you have presently and what you are putting in). If it looks like it will work it often does. With that said the Core 2 Duo & its support chips does not have the address lines to support more than 8 GB of RAM.

Dan,

Add Comment Cancel

0

Score

Avatar
Brian
45

Answered

PermalinkHistory

My system is the 2.4Ghz Penryn Core 2 Duo with the Nvidia 320m GPU. Not the latest and greatest but for my photo editing, using my Mac has been a most amazing tool with Aperture.

The model of mine is a stock unit (MC47LL/A) that I picked up at Best Buy and upgraded to it's current specs listed with my HDD and 8GB memory upgrade (Samsung matched originals from Data Memory Systems and has performed extremely well with a improvement overall in comparison to Mountain Lion but working in Photoshop and Aperture has slowed a bit as the apps have grown more complex and file sizes increase. Thanks to the 7200RPM HDD has helped a bit.

In all my Macs I have used matched pairs of memory modules as I am very well aware of the issues that running mixed modules can bring. I'm already running OS X Mavericks ever since public release and have had no problems (only a gripe ever since moving on to Lion and losing Front Row as I loved watching my content on my 27" ACD)

So the upgrades on my system I have not skimped out on with questionable quality components. As stated before when upgrading to 8GB of memory, both sets of modules were Samsung parts from the 4GB to the upgraded parts. After upgrading, I ran my AHT DVD to make sure my memory were good parts.

To make things clear, my machine is more than just a browsing or general use Mac, the real killer has been my GarageBand projects where the extra memory is a godsend along with working in high PPI documents in Illustrator and Photoshop.

I have no problem with my CPU and my Mac still looks like new, I'm just wondering if double the memory whilst running Mavericks will improve from my current specs to double the memory without running into the OS compressing my documents in RAM as it is.

Sorry, your at the limit of your system with 8 GB for RAM (your system can't access the higher memory addresses). You may want to think about upgrading your HD to a hybrid drive or think about swapping out your optical drive to a 2nd drive carrier and putting in a SSD. The only rub here is the optical drive PATA port is slow Vs your SATA port so you'll need to think about which drive goes where. Maybe its time to get a newer system which can support more RAM (16GB) and has a faster HD I/O SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) Vs your current systems SATA I (1.5 Gb/s).

Dan,

Add Comment Cancel

Add Your Answer

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 16

Past 7 Days: 106

Past 30 Days: 403

All Time: 8,266