13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

576 Questions View all

How much RAM can I install in my laptop?

What is the maximum RAM you can install in a MacBook Unibody A1278?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 9
Add a comment

28 Answers

Chosen Solution

There are six machines in the A1278 Model. Some will take a maximum of 6 GB of RAM and some will take 8. So Bac is the only one here that gave a correct answer. Machine identification is critical and answers given without that information are just guesses.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 7

Comments:

UPDATE - I talked to my RAM supplier yesterday. He said that with using different sized chips you loose RAM interleaving and they should be installed in matched pairs for best performance.

by

using different sized chips you loose RAM interleaving and they should be installed in matched pairs for best performance.

I've looked at actual benchmarking tests. The improvement is so small as to be insignificant for most purposes. Better to have more RAM, and its attendant benefits, than to keep a smaller amount in the mistaken belief of a non-interleaving performance hit.

by

+ colleen - please send me a link to that so I can call my RAM supplier and poo poo him

by

If your model can utilize 6GB you can also get the benefits from interleaving by installing 2 X 4GB, even if it only uses 6GB.

by

There's these:

http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/MacBoo...

http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/Framew...

http://www.mackb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/mac-...

Here's one where the last post claims you can discern a difference in computers where the system RAM is shared with the graphics (like the MacBook):

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readfl...

Google is your friend. I can't remember the original thing I read, which was a year or three ago...

Other World's test were actual usage, not benchmarks.

by

Show 2 more comments

Add a comment

according to various sources, including this one, and also Mactracker, you CAN install up to 6GB of RAM in the MacBook Unibody A1278 (aka MacBook Late 2008)

the same source mentioned above also mentions that real-world testing shows an almost negligible performance difference running match RAM modules vs running 2GB + 4GB

Was this answer helpful?

Score 4

Comments:

my Macbook Unibody takes 8mb Ram and shows: 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 on the 'about mac' screen

by

I have a late 2009 Unibody Macbook and just put 2 for GB modules in giving me:

8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3. Also Running a 1TB SSD on it, and El Capitan. All ok so far but a bit apprehensive...

by

Add a comment

I installed 8GB in my late 2008 Unibody Macbook. Make sure you have the appropriate firmware upgrade:

http://blog.macsales.com/9102-secret-fir...

I first went from 2GB to 4GB....huge, night and day difference. Like a new machine.

Then I wanted more, and went from 4GB to 8GB...some difference. Not near as much noticability as 2 to 4. If I hadn't already paid for it, staying at 4 would have been fine.

But YES 8GB is fine. Few people, sellers, Apple....almost nobody will tell you this is okay. Oh yeah, and of course it voids the warranty in our 7 year old client ;).

Was this answer helpful?

Score 4
Add a comment

Apple says 4 GB but some people have installed 6 GB. A 2GB and a 4GB.

Ralph

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3

Comments:

that's not a good idea however, as for the best performance you should have balanced ram (eg. equal values in both slots), this has also been known to cause kernel panics.

by

Mactracker specs it at "6gb actual, 4gb Apple". "Best performance" can be subjective. Interleaving only provides small gains (on the order of 5-8%) in the tests I found, most of which aren't very current, it's true. But most users are unlikely to notice any difference. I don't know if the MacBook even has interleaved memory busses. My personal opinion would be that the extra memory far outweighs any possible improvement from interleaving.

by

@rab777hp Nope. This has been proven to be not entirely correct, and one could save money by adding a 4GB chip into a 2GB system in the second slot.

by

Well... You're both correct here! It's all about time! Back in '09 RJ13 was correct! As the memory modules at that time were not consistent with their RAS & RAC. Today they are much better! With that said, I do recommend you sill replace both modules. Many of these older modules are on the edge so when you put a newer module with it you'll encounter problems!

by

Add a comment

i would recommend to go with 4 GB as recommended from Apple, I installed 8 GB and didn't noticed significant difference.

Whether or not more RAM will benefit you depends completely on your usage. I have my Mac mini maxed out at 8 GB, and I wish I could stuff more in there--I get a lot of pageouts, depending on what applications I have open. In general, it behooves one to install as much RAM as one can afford. Especially if one uses Adobe or other memory-hungry apps.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3

Comments:

+ I tend to agree with you on desktop machines, but on laptops, unless you really need it, I think it ups the temperatures and reduces battery time.

by

Add a comment

Hi guys, this is what i read in everymac.com regarding the max RAM you can put on A1278. I hope it works. I will give it a try with 8GB:

"Apple officially supports a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. Originally, this model was only unofficially capable of stably supporting 6 GB of RAM, but as confirmed by site sponsor OWC, it is capable of supporting 8 GB of RAM if updated to Boot ROM Version MB51.007D.B03 and running MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or higher"

Martin

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2
Add a comment

Here's part of a write up I found on memory, hope it helps.

If you look back when your system (desktop or laptop) was introduced and looked at what memory was available you would have noted the memory modules were quite large physically from what we have today.

- Cost was high for any of the larger memory SIMMs

- The I/O speeds were not as fast as what we have today

- Power and heat was a big problem

While desktops had plenty of power, laptops didn't so it was not uncommon for laptops to have less memory or was limited due to the heat buildup and running time.

Today things are much better even for older systems!

- With super high density chips now being used in SIMMs the power and heat issues are a thing of the past.

- Memory limits placed by the laptop manufactures to meet their usage claims (how long you use your laptop) is no longer the the killer.

- Memory cost have also dropped (not as fast as hard drives though) so more people are willing to buy more.

Guidance:

- With newer high performance systems interleaved memory is more important (Vs straight I/O).

- If you have an older technology SIMM (larger chipped) in your system its best to throw it away if you're in the process of adding memory.

- Use a matched set (bought together) when ever possible. Mixing older tech SIMMS with newer tech SIMMs often make an unstable system.

- Always check your firmware (BIOS/PRAM/vPRAM) is at the latest for your system

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2
Add a comment

I'm running 6 GB with no issues whatsoever.

Had installed 8 GB for about a day, didn't have any problems, unfortunately had to give one module back to it's owner :(

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

My mac have seen 8 GB (7.75 GB as 256 MB goes to graphic card...)

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

i did the same, i replaced my 2 GB with 8 GB.

in Mac, i didn't notice much difference, but in Windows 7 it is so fast.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

I just installed 8 GB of RAM from Crucial in my A1278 without any trouble. Its registering as 8 in "About this Mac" and in the Activity Monitor. We're sailing smoothly! :)

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1

Comments:

Hey Jonathan! what brand and model number was the ram? I went to a store and they sold me the wrong ram (meant for a 2012+ macbook pro model). Would be nice to know what exactly I need to go in there for.

by

Add a comment

@mattapoisett, e.g. try to run some virtual machines simultaneously with 4gb. then you will see the big difference.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1

Comments:

I use the MacBook 13 Core 2 Duo (Unibody) late 2008 with 8 gb for 4 months now and it runs with no problems.

by

Add a comment

Alright, if i installed 8GB, will the mac recognize it as 8GB?

and what's the recommended ram type for 6GB or 8GB?

Thanks.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

No, it'll just recognize 6GB max

by

Add a comment

someone said that 8gb would cause problems, but i highly doubt that. regardless, if you boot into windows 7 it'll recognize 8gb. i'm sure there may be some developer options to unlock the 6gb limiter.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I bough 8GB as I read on the Crucial site that it accepts up to 8.... So im a bit worried that it says 'maximum 6gb' here...... System profiler recognises 8GB but the system has become sliiiiightly less stable.......

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

i'm about to replace 4g ram with 8g ram on mbp 13" A1278. will i notice a significant difference?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

So im still confused will the completed 8gb upgrade wont get me any trouble? i had this model A1278 macbook 2.0ghz core 2 duo.

Best regards.!

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

i would recommend to go with 4 GB as recommended from Apple, I installed 8 GB and didn't noticed significant difference

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

the latest version of mactracker states 8GB actual, 4GB by Apple

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I purchase and install 4GB Elpida and it goes plenty Good.

Best regards and wishes from Canary Islands!

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

i just tried 8gb in my mac book 13 A1278 with mac os x lion and it's running for some hours now without any problems. :)

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

My Wife has a MBP Unibody 13" 2.26 GHz (Mid 2009) and it's slow when she uses Aperture if she then opens Parallels the machine becomes unusable. We have 4 GB in it now [2x2gb] and the spec sheet says thats all it will take but I have seen hints of a possibility that the machine may accept up to 8 Can anyone confirm ? and if it can't, are their settings in Aperture or Parallels to make them less of memory hogs?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

mattapoisett, Mactracker says that MBP can take 8gb. For Aperture and Parallels, I would fer sure max it out.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

'And now im really sad because i purchased my 4GB and it works well but if i can put more ram i will do it because it wont work so fast with vmware 4.

Thanks a lot for your support. ''

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

The 8 GB came in the mail today and installed easily and there seems to be no problems with it.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I installed 8GB (2x4GB) in my 2ghz core duo A1278 and changed the 160GB Hard drive to a momentus hybrid 500Gb and the laptop was screaming fast in comparision to the pre-updates system.

It identifies ALL 8GBof memory and it runs statistical analysis regressions faster than my Quad core i-7 920 running at 2.8GHZby a factor of about 6-10 times.

I ran all the database and merging processes on the i-7 then ported the data out to the macbook to run the regressions. I couldn't believe the performance difference between the two systems. The i-7 has 12GB ddr3 1600mhz memory and 7200 rpm drives.

So yes the upgrades to the mac book were worth the investment.

Only thing faster is current generation processors (>2.5Ghz i-5/i-7) with full SSD drives.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

can you do 16gb?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

Its' best you post your own question with your system details as some systems can't be upgraded and some have limits.

by

Add a comment

Check your configuration at this site:

http://www.crucial.com

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

marknee will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 23

Past 7 Days: 143

Past 30 Days: 610

All Time: 74,323