The Best RAM Upgrade for Old MacBook Pro in 2020

The most effective way to Speed Up Old Mac is to Upgrade RAM and change HDD to SSD. You can try other ways, but none of them is the way to get to the root of the problem. In addition to replacing RAM and hard drives.

If you don’t want to be so tossed around, maybe you should consider buying a new Mac – My recommendation is a minimum of 8GB of RAM and a flexible SSD depending on your usage. For the old Mac, you can perhaps donate, give away, or simply re-sell your old Mac for the residual value (take these steps if you do).

Below you’ll find our recommendations on the best RAM for MacBook Pro, covering models from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Please note that models after 2013 have non-removable memory thus can NOT be upgraded. Make sure your Mac is in the list.

Check the Memory card specifications of yours from apple support before buying.

Take a glimpse of Best RAM for Mac

Based on your MacBook model, here are the best RAM recommendations for you:

RAM ProductsMacbook Pro Modelsavalible RAM SizePrice
best ram for macbook pro 2011 & 2012- Kingston
best ram for macbook pro 2011 & 2012- Kingston
some 2011 & 2012 models4GB, 8GB , 16GBCheck On Amazon
best ram for macbook pro 2011 - OWC
best ram for macbook pro 2011 - OWC
some 2011 & 2012 models2 * 8GBCheck On Amazon
best ram for macbook pro 2011 - Crucial
best ram for macbook pro 2011 - Crucial
primarily 2010 & 2009 models8GB(4GB * 2),4GB,2GBCheck On amazon
best ram for mac 2008,2009,2010 - Timetec Hynix
best ram for mac 2008,2009,2010 - Timetec Hynix
Late 2008, Early/Mid/Late 2009, Mid 20104GB,8GBCheck on Amazon
best ram for macbook pro 2011-Corsair
best ram for macbook pro 2011-Corsair
most 2011 models4GB,8GBCheck On Amazon

These upgrade options were chosen based on their brand reputation, warranties, and reliability. Some items have advanced features such as overclocking while others are widely known for their resilience and speed. You can learn more below.

 Before purchasing any RAM

First, check that your RAM is upgradable with this list of user-installation friendly MacBook Pros from Apple. You’ll also want to check the RAM you currently have by opening the Apple Menu and choosing About this Mac. From here, you’ll see a brief overview of your machine, complete with RAM specifications.

Second, make note of how much memory you have, the frequency, and the DDR. You may also want to check if you’re using both or one of your RAM slots by choosing “Memory” from the header.

Keep in mind that you MUST check Apple’s list to know how much RAM your computer can handle. While you can theoretically install more, it is not recommended.

Key Points to Consider before Buying Extra RAM

Brand

While it may seem superficial at first, the brand name carries a lot of weight when it comes to computer parts. Trusted brands have tested their RAMs to make sure they work effectively on your computer, and you should avoid purchasing from a less reputable brand in exchange for a price cut.

Warranty

We don’t like to think about what can go wrong, but warranties are important when it comes to the investments you’ve made in your Mac. Make sure to purchase RAM that features a warranty enough to cover you for at least several years.

Reliability

Most RAM from well-known brands won’t have issues with reliability, but you should always read reviews of those who have a similar system to you just to make sure that your risk of errors is minimized. You’re also going to want your RAM to last a while, so doing good research is a must (that’s also why we spent hours to make this buying guide available.)

Our Picks of RAM for Old Mac 2009 to 2012(Pros and Cons)

MacBook Pro models after 2013 are unable to add extra RAM.

1. Kingston HyperX Impact 16GB (2 x 8G)

best ram for macbook pro 2011 & 2012- Kingston
best ram for macbook pro 2011 & 2012- Kingston

Kingston HyperX automatically recognizes the platform it’s plugged into and auto overclocks to the highest frequency published (up to 2133MHz) with no need to adjust system BIOS settings. So you get extreme performance that supports notebooks using either AMD or the latest Intel CPU technologies with no hassle at all — even if you’re a newbie.

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty with technical support, comes with automatic overclocking to give you better speed without purchasing higher frequency RAM.
  • Automatically recognizes the platform it’s plugged into and auto overclocks to the highest frequency published.
Cons
  • No obvious con.

2. OWC 16GB (2x8GB) PC3-12800 DDR3L

best ram for macbook pro 2011 - OWC
best ram for macbook pro 2011 – OWC

There’s OWC memory for nearly every upgradeable Mac, from the PowerMac G4 to the latest 2017 iMacs. Plus OWC has made a tutorial step-by-step video to make it easy to upgrade by yourself. It’s the easiest way to improve your Mac’s performance. You can always find the compatible RAM for your Mac, Mac mini, iMac from OWC Amazon Store. If you have a need for other accessories, they can be found here from EXTERNAL STORAGE, DOCKS, CABLES & ADAPTERS, RAM. And you don’t have to worry about compatibility at all.

Pros
  • Easy to upgrade your RAM for Mac.
  • Reasonable price.
Cons
  • You may not be able to find RAM for some really old Mac.

3. Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2)

best ram for macbook pro 2011 - Crucial
best ram for macbook pro 2011 – Crucial


For those with older MacBook Pros (especially models from 2008 – 2010), Crucial offers brand name reputability and quality RAM for your machine. You’re guaranteed top-tier performance from RAM that will last for many more years.

Pros
  • You have the flexibility to get it as a single stick or in a kit.
Cons
  • It’s more useful for older MacBook Pros, limited lifetime warranty doesn’t support RAM that has been overclocked or otherwise modified.

4. Timetec Hynix IC 8GB KIT(2x4GB)

best ram for mac 2008,2009,2010 - Timetec Hynix
best ram for mac 2008,2009,2010 – Timetec Hynix

Timetec RAM are built from strict selected premium chip ICs for high performance potential to allow excellent stability and backed by Timetec’s advanced replacement program. All memory modules are engineered to perform in even the most extreme environments and rigorously tested to ensure that each module meets our stringent performance.

Pros
  • Trustful quality.
  • A wide range of RAM sizes are available like 4GB*2, 8GB *2, 8GB *1,4GB*1,etc.
Cons
  • NO obvious con.

5. Corsair 8GB (2x 4GB)

best ram for macbook pro 2011-Corsair
best ram for macbook pro 2011-Corsair

If you decide to buy Corsair that means you’ll get a high-quality product that never has a chance to fail. Corsair has also won some awards for its quality.

Pros
  • Technical support is available via phone, email, and forum. There’s also a limited lifetime guarantee.
Cons
  • Plastic cover that comes with the memory may need to be removed before installing in order for the RAM to fit in your MacBook Pro.

Final Words

Upgrading RAM allows you to run more apps at the same time.The best practice for boosting your computer speed is to upgrade your HDD to SSD at the same time, which is the perfect combination to make your computer speed fly!

Again, Apple has this official installing guide along with their list of compatible RAM. It includes information for both more recent and older MacBook Pro models. If you prefer to watch video tutorials, this one from OWC (removing and installing memory to a 15-inch MacBook Pro 2011-2012) is worth checking out:

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