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Maximum Usable RAM on a 2.13 Ghz MacBook

Posted on 2011-03-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a white 2.13 Ghz MacBook (Model A1181) that I bought in 2009. It came w/ 2 Gig of RAM. I know that even though Apple states the maximum RAM is 4 Gigs, the actual max is 6 Gigs. So I purchased a 4 Gig chip to bring my total RAM to 5 Gigs. One of my friends said I should not have spent the money b/c he had read somewhere that the MacBooks can only effectively address 4 Gigs or less of physical RAM.

I have not been able to confirm this. I would think that since my MacBook has an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and is running a 64-bit OS (10.6.6) then I should be able to install & utilize 5 or 6 Gigs of RAM.

Can someone confirm or refute this?
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Question by:anuneznyc
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by:nsx106052
ID: 35038913
Provided you are running OS X you should be able to see that much RAM.  I would say install it and see what is recognized.  If you only see 4 GB then that amount is all that will be recognized by the OS and system.  The OS supports 16 GB max but the hardware might only be 4 GB.  
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by:Lordy123
ID: 35039007
nsx106052 is correct, the hardware is limited to 4GB.
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by:anuneznyc
ID: 35039045
OK. But can someone explain why the hardware can only handle 4 gigs? The MB Pro can handle 8 gigs. I know mine is not a pro, but System Profiler correctly identifies 5 Gigs of RAM. So why would it not be recognized??
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by:anuneznyc
ID: 35039521
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by:anuneznyc
ID: 35039615
Wow, I found another post that is just one day old claiming that you can put in 8 Gigs into the late 2008 model MacBooks if you use the right firmware. They say this applies to MacBook 5,1 and I have the MacBook 5,2. Wonder if it would work on mine? Would be great to have 8 Gigs since I use VMWare Fusion extensively.

http://blog.macsales.com/9102-secret-firmware-lets-late-08-macbooks-use-8gb

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GreatGerm earned 125 total points
ID: 35039639
The good news is that your model actually supports up to 6GB in a 2GB/4GB configuration.  Apple will regularly release "maximum" specs based on testing that happened during development and will not update those specs as newer technology comes out.

For the future, a great place to see this kind of information is everymac.com.  Here is the page for your laptop: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook/stats/macbook-core-2-duo-2.13-white-13-mid-2009-nvidia-specs.html
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