Certain 2010 MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models join the ’16GB’ MaxRAM club

Do you have a 2010 Mac mini, 13” MacBook or 13” MacBook Pro? Can you benefit from more than 8GB of memory? If you answered yes to both, you will be pleased to know that extensive qualification in our test lab has concluded. These Macs are now OWC MaxRAM Certified for up to 16GB with this OWC 16GB Memory Kit available now and specifically qualified just for these Mac models.

While these systems were originally factory limited to 8GB, the right Apple OS version, current EFI update(s), and correct spec/build memory modules now enable them to support and have the full benefit from up to 16GB of installed memory.  This isn’t the first time something like this happened, however, after the fact enabling such a benefit. A while back, we had a similar instance with the Late 2008 MacBook Pros, wherein having the proper OS version and a particular firmware update allowed you to max your RAM out at 8GB vs. a prior 4GB to 6GB max.

Just like with those Late 2008 MBP models, your Mac needs to meet specific criteria for this to work. In the case of the 2010 Macs, here’s what you must have:

  • a Mac mini (Mid-2010), a MacBook (Mid-2010) or a 13” MacBook Pro (Mid-2010)
  • Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later
  • the latest EFI firmware update for your system
  • the proper specification memory modules

As there is the possibility of confusion here, let’s elaborate on those requirements.

A Mac mini, MacBook, or 13” MacBook Pro from 2010

At this time, 16GB MAXRam Certified Support is being Expanded to now include specifically these three 2010 models:

  • Mac mini (Mid 2010)/Mac mini Server (Mid 2010) - Model ID: Macmini4,1
  • MacBook (Mid 2010) - ModelID: MacBook7,1
  • 13” MacBook Pro (Mid 2010) - ModelID: MacBookPro7,1

If you are unsure of which model you have, these instructions will show you how to quickly find out. If your Model ID matches one of those listed above, it is among those now newly supported for the 16GB Max. Using our complete online memory guide, you may also review and quickly determine the available memory options for nearly any Mac model.

OS X 10.7.5 or later

The OS plays a part in how memory is supported and in this case OS 10.7.5 ‘Lion’ or later (including 10.8.x ‘Mountain Lion) is a requirement for upgrading beyond the original 8GB factory maximum.

Latest EFI Update for your machine

Occasionally, Apple will release an update to a machine’s EFI firmware to resolve hardware-level issues. These are Apple recommended updates which include documented additions and/or improvements for your Mac that also have the occasional undocumented benefit as well. As some EFI updates are required for OS Version or application compatibility, we recommend keeping these up to date regardless of whether or not you intend to upgrade to 16GB. These updates come down via Apple Software Update just like other OS updates.

In most cases, if no EFI updater shows up in Software Update, you’ve probably got the latest version already installed. If you want to be extra sure, you can always check Apple’s listing of latest EFI updates to see if yours matches.

The proper modules

Finally, no different than any size upgrade for your Mac, you need to get the right spec memory for your model. Our OWC MaxRAM certified memory upgrades are available in both single 8GB modules and in 16GB matched pairs that are guaranteed correct for the job and lifetime warranty backed.

More memory can really make the difference enabling applications to operate more efficiently and to better utilize the processing horsepower your Mac has always had. Upgrading memory also happens to be one of the easiest and best bang for the buck upgrades you can do today too. It’s a great option to have and great to see up to 16GB support expand to now include these additional Mac models.

A special call out to Paolo D. for his feedback and reporting that put the spotlight back on these Mac models – Thank you!


LEAVE A COMMENT

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  • That is perfectly safe. The OS version listed in the requirements is the minimum you need for the update to work. Once you run that update you will be able to use 16GB.




  • Hello,
    I have the right MBP 7,1 2.4GhZ BUT
    The EFI is MB71.0039.B0B
    Instead of MB71.0039.B0E
    I am running Maverick 10.9.4

    EFI Update page system requirement says it is for 10.7

    Therefore the question :
    Is it safe to download and run the EFI update to MB71.0039.B0E on 10.9.4

    And then I guess I can use 16 gb ?

    Many thanks




  • I have Macbook Pro 7.1 and using bootcamp for Windows. Since operating system playing an important role of this max 16gb ram, can I use 2×8 GB with Windows as well?




    • While the OS does factor into the ability of use the 16GB max, having the latest EFI firmware installed is the most important. If you have the latest EFI installed you may install a Windows OS via Bootcamp and have it work with 16GB of RAM, assuming your Windows version supports that amount of RAM.




  • Saying I’ve got to upgrade to 10.7 to put more memory in my Mac is like saying I’d need to cut off a toe to buy new shoes. I want the shoes, but I think I’ll keep my toes.




  • I have a mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13″. According to the link you mentioned, my Boot ROM version and SMC version are updated. I have 2 4GB ram’s right now. Will 2 8GB work for me?




  • Yesterday I received my 2×8 GB memory upgrade for my Mac mini Server mid 2010 (macmini4,1).
    It has the latest EFI (Boot ROM MM41.0042.B03) and runs OS X 10.9.2.

    Unfortunately it only works when using only one of the memory modules (both work fine, as always with you guys. This is not my first hardware upgrade from you, and it always worked perfectly).
    When I put in both, the machine doesn’t boot and beeps, signaling something wrong with memory.
    When I put back my old memory modules (2x2GB), it works fine again.

    So: I received perfectly working 8 GB modules from OWC, and I don’t have damaged memory slots.

    I double checked all the requirements; what am I missing?

    Regards,
    Bob, from The Netherlands




    • I’m sorry to hear that it is giving you trouble. There are a couple things to try that will likely fix this. The best way to start is to install both the 8GB modules and reset the SMC and PRAM. If that doesn’t work please contact our tech support team via phone at 800-869-9152, or 815-338-8685 internationally; by chat; or by e-mail.




  • Hello. Seriously considering this option to upgrade my mid 2013 Macbook Pro 13″ but have recently seen for the Macbook Pro to receive such a jump from the factory fitted 4GB to 16GB needs modification via boot up – is this correct?
    I was hoping just to replace the memory with the upgraded 16GB and then switch on.
    Also, do you deliver to Denmark?

    Regards

    Paul




  • Hi,

    This is excellent news, and I plan to upgrade my MBP to 16GB if I can. My machine fits the listed requirements BUT my hard drive is partitioned. I’m running 10.9 Mavericks on one partition, 10.68 Snow Leopard on the other. Am I still good to go sweet-16? (My firmware is up to date.)

    Macbook Pro 13″ Mid 2010
    Latest firmware – 1.62f7
    OS 10.9.1
    OS 10.6.8

    If the Snow Leopard partition only recognizes 8GB, that’s fine. I just need it to run without issue and for the Mavericks partition to use all 16.

    Thank you,
    Mitch




    • This was a really interesting question that we had to test specifically for. We have found that With the firmware updated and booted into 10.6.8 the OS is stable. 10.6.8 will report 16GB of memory but only utilize 8GB of memory, unless you force boot the OS into 64 bit mode. If you ever need to reinstall 10.6 you will need to remove one of the 8GB modules for it to install. Once the install is complete you can reinstall the second 8gb module.




  • Hi
    Is it work with 2.66 mhz C2D Macbook Pro mid 2010?




  • Has testing been done with Mavericks OS X 10.9? I have a Macbook Pro 7,1 with factor RAM installed, I just want to make sure there isn’t any problems with 16gb interfacing with Mavericks. Also, has this been tested with Windows 7 running in bootcamp?




    • No issues have been encountered or reported with our memory in upgrading to Mavericks, and yes, the memory is available to Windows via bootcamp as well.




      • I received the pair of rams today and installed it on my mid 2010 macbook running on mavericks. Boots normally, but it has twice restarted by itself! I am getting slightly concerned and not very confident in doing my work especially when it comes to saving documents!




  • I just received m 16 G RAM for my 13″ mid2010 MacBook Pro and installed it. It works like a champ. It sees all 16GB of memory in both OS X 10.8.4 and Ubuntu Linux 12.04.2. I am really happy with it. Thanks guys.




  • Hey. I’m really not a technical person… But I just want to be sure about what EFI etc that is required. I have the one apple state is the newest one for my machine (Mid-2013) 13″ Macbook Pro.

    What i got is:
    Start-ROM-versjon: MBP71.0039.B0E (Boot)
    SMC-versjon (system): 1.62f7 (SMC)




  • Can I put one stick of 8GB in now with the stock 2 GB, or by itself?




  • Do you think Apple will release a firmware update that allows 2010 15″ i5 MacBook Pro owners to upgrade to 16GB? I feel kind of ripped off now that the mac mini, 13″ and 17″ all can but the 15″ MBP got left behind…




  • It’s mentioned that you need 10.7.5 or later to make use of the additional memory.

    But 10.6.8 actually has a 64-bit kernel that’s not used by default.

    Did you guys test the 64-bit 10.6.8 kernel? This describes how to enable it: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3521151?start=0&tstart=0

    If not, could you test it? I’d like to avoid upgrading my OS if I can…




    • We have tested and determined that 10.7.5 or later is required.




      • What happens when you use the 10.6.8 64-bit kernel with a 16G machine? Does it only see 8G? Does it fail to boot entirely?




        • It isn’t quite as easy as that – in order to run the latest EFI firmware updater (which allows the additional memory to be addressed) the machine needs to be running 10.7.x
          Now, If you’ve updated the OS, run the EFI firmware update, then are going back to 10.6.8 in 64-bit mode – the memory is fully addressable.
          Unfortunately, I can’t definitively say what issues arise in one of these machines running 10.6.8 in 64-bit mode without the firmware update since all our in-house machines have had the EFI firmware update applied.




  • Hi OWC.

    I have a mid-2010 15″ MBP that has a bad ram socket. My computer was crashing and beeping on a regular basis and It took me a while to locate the issue. Now I have just one 4gb block in the top slot and everything is running fine. Would it be possible to install JUST ONE 8gb 1066mhz block from OWC? Would it work?

    Regards,
    Rasmus




  • Thanks Richard..

    I sent my request; I hope someone at Apple helps us. It will help to confirm my high opinion of this company.

    Glenn




  • I own a MacBookPro 7,1…. Will it work whith latest OSX: 10.8.3?

    Do you think that Apple could limit the maximum memory capability to 8GB in the future? Maybe limiting it by an EFI update.




  • Hi there,

    I have a Mid-2010 white MacBook with OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2, but not sure about which EFI version is installed, how can I check it? What would happen if an older EFI is loaded while the 16GB ram is inserted? Thanks.




  • According to OS X System Profiler, MacBook’s made in 2010 support only 1067 MHz Memory. Surprisingly there are no such memory modules – 1067 MHz 8 GB – nowhere on the Internet except of your own OWC Modules.

    If I install standard available 1600 MHz modules into a 2010 MacBook 13′, will the computer screw the frequency down by itself?

    Thank you.




  • Hi guys, first of all thanks for the great work you’re doing.
    Regarding the matter of 16GB RAM on MBP6,2 (15-inch, Mid 2010), some people have been fiddling around and it seems they managed to address all the 2x8GB RAM, running Ubuntu 12.10. Plus, 16GB are recognizable in Safe Mode on OSX 10.8.2.
    So, could this be another EFI / SMC thing? And if so, would the SMC Firmware Update 1.7 -released two days ago- help address this matter?
    Please let us know if you find something in your top-secret labs. :)

    Cheers!

    - here is the link to the apple discussion topic:
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2763468?start=105&tstart=0




  • Hi guys – I’m looking at buying a second hand Macbook Pro Mid-2010:

    Model ID MacBookPro7,1
    Model Number A1278
    MPN MC374B/A
    EAN 885909358724

    Will this take 16GB RAM?




  • I’m using windows 7, 32bit running in Virtualbox in my MacBook Pro 7.1. I use it primarily to run AutoCad 12/13 and wanted to upgrade it to 16gig. Will it be utilize?

    Cheers!




    • It certainly should utilize the memory. We did some testing using Windows and Bootcamp and there is no reason to believe that running windows through a virtualization program should be any different.




  • Have you done any other testing to see how 16gb works with Bootcamp MBPs? I run Windows 8 quite a bit, and was wondering.




  • Just received it and installed it in my MacBook Pro Mid 2010, works like a charm :D




  • There was no mention in the article whether or not you tested other mid-2010 model MacBook Pro’s. I currently have a 15″ i5 Mid-2010 MBP and I’m going to do a memory upgrade very soon and it would be great news if my laptop supported the 16GB of RAM.

    With the testing that you performed, are you unsure whether my laptop can support 16GB or have you tested the i5/i7 models? I just need confirmation that this will not work, or is currently un-tested.

    Thanks




  • I would like to see some benchmarks with 16 GB




  • Many thanks to OWC for the info. I keep a 10.6.8 backup system on a 2010 MacMini for 1 Rosetta app. If I install 10.7.x on the mini for the firmware update and reload 10.6.8, will 10.6.8 address 16G ram? Let’s assume I install a pair of 8G chips, run the firmware update in 10.7, etc, and clone my old system back to the mini.

    That would interest me ;)




  • So what exactly is the conclusion for the late 2008 MBP Unibody (15″)? I’m trying to squeeze as much life as I can out of the one I have, going up to 8gb of ram and a ssd makes a big difference but I’d like to push it to 16gb ram if possible. Have you done any official tests?




  • Any way to make this work with the 15″ 2010 MacBook Pro?

    I hate to have to get rid of mine so quickly after buying it, but I find I really need 16GB to run the virtualization environments I need these days. 8GB won’t cut it anymore, even after upgraded to a SSD boot drive.




    • No, we did our diligence in testing the 15″ and 17″ models but the 13″ was the only 2010 MBP model that could go to 16GB.




      • How bizarre! I wonder if Apple are aware that they only did one model? This sounds like a “Dear Tim” item.




        • It was less one model and more related to the common chipset these all share in common. Likely was either the goodwill of an engineer that enabled this quietly or, and just as likely, a required change to support a change in how a function in new OS, etc operated had this unintended benefit. Unintended as this is not something Apple documented with the release of any EFI or OS update. FWIW – once Apple sets specs on a system, they don’t change them. If it shipped with the factory saying it only goes to 8GB – that’s what they leave it at. Of further note – there are lots of cases where even right from the factory a system can go higher without issue than the original factory stated limit. Comes down to what Apple chose to qualify at the time for various reasons as well as technical considerations. I haven’t seen them intentionally hold back memory capabilities at system launch to be fair.

          It was only about 18 months ago that we first started offering 8GB SO-DIMMs / 16GB Kits. Before that 4GB per SO-DIMM module had been maximum for DDR2 and DDR3 SO Modules for a good 5 years. It will get there.




          • Larry, when you tested the mid-2010 MacBookPro6,2 laptops with 16GB, was this with the latest EFI and 10.7.5 or above?

            I understand the MBP61.0057.BOF SMC version 1.58f17 was posted after your comment in Dec, 2012.




    • The limitation on the others appears to be hardware chipset. Either way – Apple holds the keys to the EFI kindom where any kind of change to addressable exists. And again – most, if not all of the other 8GB still limited are so due to actual hardware limits.




  • Now you just need to try making some 16GB modules. ;-)




  • I made a request through apple.com/feedback for a firmware update to the late 2008 MBP (unibody), which is currently limited to 8 GB RAM, to enable it to utilize 16 GB RAM (2 x 8 GB). I am advised that the hardware is capable of supporting 16 GB RAM, but that the firmware limits it to 8 GB (as shipped, it supported 4 GB and then 6 via firmware update and now 8 GB via firmware update). I think the more of us who request such firmware updates the greater the likelihood of actually getting them. Frankly, Apple should simply allow the hardware to address any amount of RAM the hardware (and now 64-bit OS) will support across the board.

    Just wait until 16 GB sticks become commonplace and affordable! :-)




    • I went and did a quick search and there are Samsung 16 GB sticks available for around $120. Come on Apple. Get with it!




      • At present I am not aware of any config to build or anyone building a 16GB 204 Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM. 240 Pin Long DIMMs for desktop systems and servers, but not the short SO Modules for that Mac mini, iMac, MacBook, and MacBook Pro models would require. Believe me – this is an area (204 pin DDR3 SO) we are always looking to push the envelope on and do hope to build a 16GB module one way or the other. :)




    • With the original 2008 MBP Unibody, we were able to MAXRam those to 6GB as they shipped and then later the EFI update ‘quietly’ enabled the full 8GB max. There are other considerations beyond the OS capabilities as well. Anyway, 16GB SO-DIMM modules are bit off due to the density leap involved for the devices to make a module for this application – but none the less. :)




      • Windows (fought!) people who believe that 4 to 6 GB RAM is “enough” notwithstanding, it seems fairly intuitive that processors that are starved for data should benefit from more RAM. While 8 GB in the 2008 MBP unibody is an improvement, I can not see any real reason that 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) should not be enabled and, without testing, it is impossible for me to say that this particular MBP would benefit from it, but any data intensive application such as Photoshop or Lightroom should benefit from loading data in RAM rather than having to reach back to a drive, be it a SSD or a HDD. I was very surprised when I found a reference to Samsung, yes, that Samsung, 1×16 GB sticks for about $120. That tells me that they are on the brink of becoming mainstream…probably as other manufacturers come online with them. I would not mind paying $240 for 32 GB of RAM in my MBP or my Mac mini though I suspect prices will fall rapidly in the near future, certainly by the time Apple gets around to doing anything about enabling that capability, even in their new machines. An iMac with 4 x 16 GB RAM would be an interesting proposition indeed, though there may be some hardware limitations which would prevent this from being done.

        Cheers! :-)




        • There is no 16GB SO-DIMM on the brink of availability today. I wish there was – but such appears a good bit off and will likely be quite a premium product when it does first emerge. Again, there are 16GB DIMMs – which are more than twice the physical size of an SO-DIMM that achieve 16GB by using twice as many of the same chips found on a 8GB SO-DIMM…. but that’s it thus far.




    • Hello Richard,

      Please provide the contact information required to request Apple for a firmware upgrade; I have a 2010 MBP 15″ that, unfortunately, is not upgradeable past 8 gb ram, despite the 13″ model of the same series being capable of this.
      I have read it is due to the dual mode of video processing in the 15 and 17 inch models, that is not present in the 13..
      Some work-around is probably possible, if the interest exists.

      Thanks
      Glenn




      • Hello Glenn,

        I simply sent the request to apple.com/feedback. I would not hold my breath waiting for Apple to do so, but I figured it was worth a few minutes to send in the request. It certainly would be nice if they did update the firmware.

        Regards,
        Richard