Memory upgrades for the Apple MacBook Pro now ship in three different ram types for the MacBook Pro and depending on the specific Apple Mac Pro you have and are wanting to or needing to add ram upgrades to - the answer will be different. The short answer to your question How Much Memory Will a MacBook Pro Recognize? is that it depends on what Apple MacBook Pro you are needing to max out with Apple memory.
PC2 5300 DDR2 MacBook Pro RAM Upgrades
MacBook Pro RAM over the years has shipped in various speeds and memory sizes with the first MacBook Pros only being able to recognize 2GB of RAM. I’m not going to list all the different MacBook Pro models that maxed out at 2GB, but let’s say if your MacBook Pro is 3 years old or older there’s a good chance that the MacBook Pro 2GB maximum Applied.
PC3 1066 DDR3 MacBook Pro RAM Upgrades
Then in oh, about 2008 the MacBook Pros made out of aluminum showed up on the scene and with the faster processors, these MBP’s also required different RAM than the older MacBook Pro models did as DDR3 1066 SDRAM sodimms became the standard memory upgrades for the MacBook Pro and with them came the ability to accept 4GB of RAM – a big bump as now the MacBook Pros could accept 4GB of RAM in the form of 2x2gB memory upgrade modules. In 2009, the MacBook Pros could accept 8GB of RAM which was really a a big deal, but so was the price – when you could first install 8GB into a MacBook Pro, the cost was almost one thousand dollars, which was the same as or close to the cost of the MacBook Pro. Thankfully ram prices for MacBook Pros have dropped considerably and for most MBP’s that will accept 8GB of RAM you can now max out your MacBook Pro for under $100 from most memory vendors.
PC3 1333 DDR3 MacBook Pro RAM Upgrades
In 2011, – last month to be exact – Apple has released the latest and best MacBook Pros to date with faster processors, longer battery life and… the same 8GB of RAM as the previous models. This is a disappointment as the rumor sites were sure we’d see the latest MacBook Pros to support 16GB of RAM. But last week, OWC announced that they have tested and approved for sale 16GB RAM for MacBook Pro models in 2011. But these are the most expensive ram upgrades for MacBook Pro I have ever seen and at the time I write this will cost you more than the MacBook Pro you will want to ugprade.
DDR3 1600Mhz Memory for Apple MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and iMac
Buying MacBook Pro RAM
Once you have determined what MacBook Pro you have, which can be tricky – but one way is to just go to the apple menu and select about this Mac, which at very least will show you what kind or speed of RAM you need which helps you narrow down the above 3 choices for MacBook Pro RAM from 3 different ram types to three. An example would be in my case, I’m typing this on a 2008 Apple MacBook Pro which shows I have the maximum 4GB of MacBook RAM installed:
As you can see, my particular Apple MacBook Model uses 1066MHz RAM. The system runs the DDR3 1066MHz RAM at 1066.6 MHz, and thus the memory speed is reported as 1067MHz, instead of 1066MHz, but make no mistake you need to buy DDR3 SDRAM RAM upgrades if your MacBook reads the memory speed as 1067MHz.
Once you’ve nailed down what RAM upgrades you need to buy for the MacBook Pro, the next step is for you to choose whether you want to buy the cheapest MacBook RAM you can find, or if you choose to buy name brand RAM such as Crucial Memory, which offer both a name brand product but also support as well that’s top notch too. On a related note, I got asked the other day if Mac Memory Store is any good?
and my answer is, I don’t know. I have never bought RAM or dealt with them in any way. One way to check if a memory vendor is any good is to check the ratings they receive online, but this isn’t always a good way to buy RAM either as people tend to complain far more than compliment so the results are weighted and usually for the worst. I can only recommend the best RAM Brands I can trust, and over the years have bought memory from myself, and I suggest you do the same if you’re looking to maximize your MacBook RAM but minimize the grief and trouble from dealing with unknown memory stores.