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Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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Ram Upgrade: can I use DDR3L instead of DDR3?

Last year I upgraded my macbook ram from 8gb to 16gb. (It's a Macbook Pro 13'' mid 2012 - model A1278)

It originally came with 2x4gb DDR3, and I replaced with 2x8gb DDR3L, as advised by a friend and after checking several online foruns.

About 6 months later the macbook died and I had to get the logic board replaced.

The thing is: "the guy" at the repair shop said the ram was probably the cause, because using a low-voltage ram on the system originally designed to use DDR3 ram caused the system to have "extra energy running around" and it fried the logic board.

I checked around online in all kinds of foruns and didn't find anyone talking about it. Lots of posts says it's fine to replace DDR3 with DDR3L. My friend still uses his macbook and nothing happened.

Has anyone heard about this?

The macbook is currently using its original DDR3 ram, but I still have the 2xDDR3L with me and I don't know if I should replace it again.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

The guy you spoke too doesn't know what he's talking about. Basically you can use either.

DDR3L is a dual voltage capable memory DIMM, which supports operation at both 1.5V and 1.35V. DDR3L is also pin-compatible with DDR3.

DDR3 is a single voltage capable memory DIMM, which supports 1.5V operation only.

So in this case the RAM will be running at 1.5 volts as your system does not offer a low voltage option.

With that said... You could have a bad module or the module was not properly installed.

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Overall I agree with @danj regarding everything he said, except that he's too polite because "that guy at the repair shop" is a moron and there is no "extra energy running around.."


Find a new repair guy. As the saying goes, "if you can't dazzle 'um with brilliance, baffle them with BS."


Thank you!!!


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