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Modell von 2011, A1278 / 2,4 GHz i5 oder 2.8 GHz i7 Prozessor.

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How sensitive is this Mac to RAM upgrades?

When I got my 2011 Pro, I got it cheap due to multiple things. One of those things that needs attention before anything else is the RAM - mine only came with 4GB :-(. It runs okay if I watch what I leave open, but if I push it I can tell it’s a 4GB system since it has to resort to the hard drive for virtual memory.

I know how to install the RAM, but I need to know what I can get away with. I know my machine will only ever run anything I put in at 1333MHz, but you cannot find anything other then 1600MHz in many cases on the open market as this is the common speed most systems use now. I am okay with these modules as I know it’ll just run with a downclock and be cheaper then getting a 1333MHz set (plus I know where to backtrack from if I have issues and I’ll keep the stock ones just in case as I am taking a chance), but I need to know how it’ll play out with DDR3L.

How do these systems behave when DDR3L (1.5 compatible) is installed? I suspect it’ll jut downclock to 1.5V to accomodate my system, but do I need to limit the brands I pick from? On the PC side I can play Russian roulette and mix modules, but I understand this will probably not work on a Mac as these can be picky about such tricks - plus any of my loose DDR3 (or memory I’m okay with moving) is either a mixed speed pair I gambled on with a PC and won there (and will probably lose on a Mac or I use the system) or 1066MHz 2GB modules that aren’t viable to bring this up to an acceptable amount of memory.

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I'd recommend going for memory that's been thoroughly tested with Macs. As @benjamen50 said already, Macs are a bit picky. Since price has gone down quite a bit lately, I'd go straight for 16GB that cost little more than the 8GB pack. I've tried the cheapest on Amazon that is Qumox branded, works nice, best pick IMHO.

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@arbaman This memory (16GB DDR3L 1600) is reported to work on Macs. Confirmed on a MBP 2012 and a iMac.

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@nick It seems Amazon offers quite different products in USA and EU, I can't find that RAM here and it seems the one I bought here is not available over there. However I purchased some Silicon Power SSDs and I was very pleased with my purchase, price/quality ratio was absolutely fine, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase their RAM at that price if it was available.

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Macs are really picky on ram. Matching speed for both sticks is one thing I would definitely do to avoid problems with it not accepting ram.

For the best chances of getting it to boot and work with upgraded ram you’ll need two matching pairs of memory. I think even the brand matters too even if the ram speed and timings are the same.

A lot of the time if I want to mix and match ram on a macbook I make sure it chimes at least then test it a bit if it boots up fine and make sure it’s stable.

There’s some good info on this thread by danj on how ddr3l memory works:

DDR3L or normal DDR3?

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I'm looking into Crucial for memory. It seems like the best value out of anything I've ever looked at.

The reason I want DDR3L is it tends to be cheaper and more common at this point. I don't even think anyone makes high capacity 1.5V modules anymore.

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@nick - Thats correct! DDR3L is about all you'll find now.

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@danj It's probably because Haswell requires it and the memory is backwards compatible anyway so it makes no sense to keep 1.5V RAM in production. Yes 4GB is not enough today but that's where the modular RAM comes in handy on these. If I had a rMBP I'd be in trouble or I'd need to spend more on the initial purchase for the 8GB one.

@benjamen50 My 2006 MB boots with a mixed RAM setup (2GB/1GB for 3GB) but I also matched the mixed modules best I can and hoped for the best. However, it didn't work on the first try and I needed to find a more compatible module to boot. I'd rather not deal with that on a 16GB compatible machine like this, so I'm just going to get a matched set.

I don't plan on doing a mixed pair since I know that almost never works on a Mac with how temperamental they are about slight compatibility issues. I can get away with it on a PC to a point but if it's too out of line it doesn't boot.

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Nick wird auf ewig dankbar sein.
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