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Upgrading Your Mac's Memory

Written August 14th, 2008.

Shopping for Memory

Apple's support page tells you what kind of memory will work. I was able to purchase 4GB of RAM for sixty Canadian bucks from Future Shop (Canadian electronics retailer) — not expensive at all.

Upgrading the RAM in your MacBook Pro - a word of caution on compatibility

So, you want to upgrade the RAM in your MacBook Pro, eh? Well, so did I, but I ran into a handful of issues doing so.

Apple's support page outlines what's supposed to be possible and what's not.

If you are like me and you have a first-generation 2006 MacBook Pro, it won't boot with more than 2GB of RAM in it. I tried various combinations, including 2x2GB and 1GB + 2GB and differing slot combinations. In all cases, it plain refused to boot.

In the end, I stayed with the 2GB stick that I purchased from Apple back in 2006.

From Apple's support page:

The maximum amount of memory that can be recognized in the following models is 2 GB: MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro (17-inch), MacBook Pro (15-inch, Glossy).

The maximum amount of memory that can be recognized in the following models is 3 GB: MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo). See this article if using 1 GB DIMM and 2 GB DIMM in each slot.

The maximum amount of memory that can be recognized in the following models is 4 GB: MacBook Pro (2.4/2.2GHz), MacBook Pro (Late 2007), MacBook Pro (Early 2008).

Upgrading the RAM in your Intel Mac Mini

This page was written about a Mac Mini purchased mid-2007. Keep in mind that Apple's models change internally without warning.

This link explains how to upgrade the RAM in your Mac Mini, bypassing Apple's notoriously expensive in-house memory. Unfortunately, I found it to be outdated but not useless for Intel Mac Minis.

If you own a Mac Mini, read the page and do what it says, but keep the following points in mind:

It's also worth noting that the orange, paper-thin DVD and hard drive cable subtly slipped out while I was putting the Mac Mini back together. This resulted in a flashing folder icon and a spuriously spinning DVD drive. Like all good technicians, I turned the machine off and prodded all of the cables and plugs until something felt like it fell into place.

Legal

Apple, the MacBook and the Mac Mini are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.