Upgrade RAM in Macbook Pro Tutorial (photos)

August 10, 2013

*Warning: If you’ve never been to my site, I do use explicit language. Although, there isn’t nearly enough cuss words in this tutorial for my pleasure.*

This is the first time I have ever done surgery on my laptop. I am not a computer hardware whiz by any stretch of the imagination.

I decided to do my own upgrade because of money and time constraints. My computer was slow as mud and since I use some pretty heavy programs such as Adobe products, it was incredibly frustrating. At one point I couldn’t get anything done if I had Lightroom and Chrome open at the same time, I had to shut one down. Even then it took forever for photos to load in Lightroom. I just don’t have that kind of time to waste, I’m sure you don’t neither.

I have a 2008 15 inch Macbook Pro. If you have a different year Macbook, no worries, installing RAM is pretty easy on most of them as seen in the link below.

Click here for other models or to find out the maximum RAM you can install on your Macbook and to see illustrative graphics on how to do it. I used this link as my tutorial.

Bye the way, if you have Apple Care (I don’t anymore), it will not void the warranty as long as you don’t damage something in the process. If you follow Apple’s DIY then you should be fine.

What’s needed:

1) #00 size Philips screwdriver (approx. $5 on Amazon).

2) 2 x 2GB (4GB total) of DDR2 667 MHz RAM by Crucial (approx. $55 on Amazon). Apple was selling the pair (kit) for $100. Screw that!

I was going to install 2 x 4GB (8GB total) but some users reported instability issues. Those (of what I read) that installed a 2GB + 4GB = 6GB RAM reported no issues however. I chose 4GB total cause it was cheaper to go with a kit (comes 2 of the same) rather than purchasing singles. My Macbook came with 2 x 1GB = 2GB so if I wanted 6GB RAM I would have had to purchase a single of each, 2GB ($29) and 4GB ($86). If I feel I need to upgrade further down the line, and I don’t happen to strike it rich before then, I’ll just get the 4GB.

3) Cloth to clean out the cat fur and single whisker you find when you open it up.

Here we go:

My Macbook Pro upside down, Philips screw driver, new RAM

 

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Close up of 2 x 2GB RAM DDR2 667 MHz. Note: if your computer came with DDR2 it is NOT interchangeable with DDR3)

 

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Pepe’s whisker and small puffs of fur inside. Bastard.

 

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Touching my finger to metal to ground myself so that I don’t destroy my computer with electrostatic discharge (similar concept to when you jumpstart your car with jumper cables). I did this again when I opened up the compartment where the RAM was stored, just in case.

 
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Unscrewing the three screws that secure the cover over the RAM.

 
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Cover removed, old RAM (dark green color one on top of the other). There are two latches that hold a single RAM in place, a simple pushing them to the side pops up the RAM. Remove RAM carefully without touching the GOLD connectors.

 

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Upper right: new RAM , Lower right just after I had removed it: old RAM
 

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New RAM, I started with the bottom first by placing it at a 25 degree angle and inserted it till the Gold connectors were no longer visible to me, then a simple firm push down secured it in place. I then did the same with the top RAM.

 

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Close up of top RAM at 25 degree angle, Gold connectors are not visible. Again don’t touch the Gold connectors.

 

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Push down and secure RAM in place. Done. Screw the cover back on and put the battery back in. Start up your computer.

 

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To test that it worked. Go to the Apple icon located in the upper left corner of your screen, click ‘About This MAC’ and see ‘Memory’. I see 4GB where it used to show 2GB. You can also click ‘More Info’ at the bottom, then at the top ‘Memory’ and it displays the specific slots of your RAM.

 

upgrade ram macbook pro 11.0

When I rebooted my computer the first time it took forever, I thought shit I did something wrong. But then it came up. I quickly opened up applications to test that everything looked okay and then shut it down again to retest the startup. It was a bit quicker the second and third time around. It used to take forever on the old RAM, this seems a bit faster.

What’s really noticeable is how quickly the applications open. I then opened Chrome and Lightroom and started thumbing through photographs, the load times are considerably less. Although it’s not as fast as lightning like a brand new computer, and it’s not going to be unless I upgrade the hard drive, which is on the To Do List, performance is definitely better.

Sometimes the answer isn’t so simple as “just buy a new laptop”, or “just take it to the Genius Bar (Mac engineers)” (which would cost way more than doing it myself, just the cost of their RAM tells me that), or “hold out, don’t spend your money on upgrading, save all your money for a new computer”. I don’t have that kind of time at the moment to wait. Besides not needing the stress of load times, the only way I get paid is if I get work done.

As scary as it sounds opening up my computer, I had to think outside of the box if I wanted to move forward. Now that it’s done, it feels fucking awesome to do something technical like that. Something that I’ve been brainwashed to think is reserved only for über genius technical men. Nigga please.

Now you make think “It’s just RAM.” That’s where it starts; you accomplish one little thing you think you couldn’t, then move onto the next, medium thing you think you can’t… and before you know it I’m conquering the country of Iceland and making it my bitch! Anahit Lewis, the Goddess of Iceland, it just tickles my belly, it has such a nice ring to it.

Oh! one other thing, I did a recommended extensive test on the RAM just to make sure that nothing subtle was going on in the backend that would corrupt or damage my data. Not everything is blatant like crashing and freezing. I used memtest for Mac and there is additional information here.

2 Comments

  1. sergio.flores says:

    Wow, I think you can pull a “Moses parts the Red Sea…” miracle!! I bow down to a person greater than me! (song lyric “Bow down!) ;p

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