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  • Late 2008 MacBook and MBP Capable of 8 GB Ram with Manual Update


    It seems that the late 2008 MacBook and MacBook Pros can accept up to 8 GB of RAM. Why is this news now? Well, it had been previously stated that these machines were only capable of using 6 GB Memory, but according to Other World Computing, Apple issued a firmware update in 2009 that actually allows these machines to use 8 GB.

    Original tests had indicated that the machines would run with 8 GB, but if an application attempted to use the entire amount of memory, the computer would crash. But apparently when Apple issued a firmware update for these machines in 2009, this problem seemed to go away. The new EFI (similar to BIOS on IBM PCs) update was released, but it was said to remove an issue where the optical drive made too much noise on this machine. Nowhere was it listed that this boosted the memory capacity of these machines from 6 to 8 GB.

    Making matters more interesting is that you cannot simply update one's EFI via software update. TUAW notes that Software Update will not prompt users to update their EFI, even if it is on the older version, so most users of these machines are still only capable of running the computers at a maximum of 6 GB of ram. One can, however, upgrade the EFI manually and install an updated Boot ROM, and be up and running with an extra 2 GB memory capacity.

    This would certainly extend the life of these products a bit longer. An extra 2 GB of RAM is good for any computer, and the late 2008 mac notebooks are no exception.

    Source:
    TUAW
    OWC (includes links for manual EFI update)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Late 2008 MacBook and MBP Capable of 8 GB Ram with Manual Update started by Matt Savoca View original post
    Comments 35 Comments
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      no crap... did this years ago.
    1. ohthatguyagain's Avatar
      ohthatguyagain -
      Ram shmam
      No need to upgrade an apple product. You're all recent pc-converts!!! :P
    1. de4ek's Avatar
      de4ek -
      Quote Originally Posted by ohthatguyagain View Post
      Ram shmam
      No need to upgrade an apple product. You're all recent pc-converts!!! :P
      do What? Why would you not need to up the ram in a mac vs pc? please explain. Seriously.
    1. jsweeney800's Avatar
      jsweeney800 -
      I ordered a 8GB RAM for my Mac Mini from OWC for $100. It also works with iMac and Mac Laptops I think.
    1. Donnutt's Avatar
      Donnutt -
      Quote Originally Posted by prozac4312 View Post
      The amount of people that would benefit by going from 6GB to 8GB of memory is going to be nominal at best. Even so--this information is still at least a year old...so I don't see how this is front page worthy.
      Dude! Have you no soul??? You can NEVER have too much ram, and as many on this thread including myself have a late model MB, it certainly DOES benefit a lot of people! Thanks for the news!
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Good news, I know a couple peeps with late 2008 MBP's.
    1. Meglomaniac's Avatar
      Meglomaniac -
      just want to add something that will only interest a few still with the lion dev update the white imac (intel) which mem was limited to 3 gb of mem will accept and show 4 gb of mem also in activity monitor.
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      Quote Originally Posted by djrbx View Post
      I've been running 8GB of ram on my Late 2008 unibody macbook for quite awhile now. How is this news?

      I know stuff that you don't know that's probably old, but because I've known it for years don't make it any less important! By the response of this post I guess it's safe to say a lot of us didn't know this. Either come with some more news yourself now or just please don't bother to post! Thanks for this op you might have just saved me a few bucks as I can buy an older MacBook now
    1. swehbe's Avatar
      swehbe -
      ok, i have the Macbook 5,1 i guess that's the late 2008 model.
      How many ram slots does it have ? do i need to remove my existing 4Gb and replace them with 8 GB ?
      Thanks for the reply guys!
    1. issackid's Avatar
      issackid -
      i got a question...im gonna buy the new Macbook pro 15-inch i7 4gig ram, 2.2Ghz processor..i can afford either to upgrade the ram to 8 gig or the processor to 2.3Ghz..i want my machine to be fast as i be running parallel and heavy games..so what upgrade should i go for, ram or processor or neither? if the factory defaults gonna be good for me i.e i7 4gig ram 2.2 Ghz?
    1. doitchinkstyle's Avatar
      doitchinkstyle -
      wait so late 2008 unibody MacBooks are ALL good? sorry it's a bit early for me, can't quite comprehend all that i read ATM.


      Quote Originally Posted by issackid View Post
      i got a question...im gonna buy the new Macbook pro 15-inch i7 4gig ram, 2.2Ghz processor..i can afford either to upgrade the ram to 8 gig or the processor to 2.3Ghz..i want my machine to be fast as i be running parallel and heavy games..so what upgrade should i go for, ram or processor or neither? if the factory defaults gonna be good for me i.e i7 4gig ram 2.2 Ghz?
      seriously?
    1. ZipZapp's Avatar
      ZipZapp -
      Unless you are a prolific multi-tasker (or gamer) I dont see what 4gb or 8gb really buys. Especially on a tiny laptop screen. I mean how much can you multi-task and what the heck are people running that demands so much memory?

      I have had many computers and with the exception of my gaming computer...I see no added value above 2gb (especially given todays HDD speeds). Someone help me understand their need. Maybe I am missing something.
    1. xwinger's Avatar
      xwinger -
      Quote Originally Posted by swehbe View Post
      ok, i have the Macbook 5,1 i guess that's the late 2008 model.
      How many ram slots does it have ? do i need to remove my existing 4Gb and replace them with 8 GB ?
      Thanks for the reply guys!
      There's 2 ram slots. You will need to buy 2 4GB cards if you want 8GB
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by issackid View Post
      i got a question...im gonna buy the new Macbook pro 15-inch i7 4gig ram, 2.2Ghz processor..i can afford either to upgrade the ram to 8 gig or the processor to 2.3Ghz..i want my machine to be fast as i be running parallel and heavy games..so what upgrade should i go for, ram or processor or neither? if the factory defaults gonna be good for me i.e i7 4gig ram 2.2 Ghz?
      Kinda off topic, but I'll answer anyway...

      Get the RAM. It's a far more effective upgrade than 100mhz (2.2GHz to 2.3GHz.)


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. NDM's Avatar
      NDM -
      Quote Originally Posted by ZipZapp View Post
      Unless you are a prolific multi-tasker (or gamer) I dont see what 4gb or 8gb really buys. Especially on a tiny laptop screen. I mean how much can you multi-task and what the heck are people running that demands so much memory?

      I have had many computers and with the exception of my gaming computer...I see no added value above 2gb (especially given todays HDD speeds). Someone help me understand their need. Maybe I am missing something.
      Well to start just on my photography hobby if im merging/stitching a very large skyline picture, believe me the 8gb of ram helps a lot in the amount of time it takes bridge/photoshop to get to the final product, let alone navigate the final picture for touch ups.....

      And on a day to day basis i use my macbook 2.4 core duo to run:
      -Server 2008 enterprise
      -Server 2008 enterprise II
      -Win7 ultimate

      in parallels virtual environment while in class to simulate our labs
      as well as running word / excel / chicken of the vnc to do other class work at the same time.
      so 3 VM's plus OS X running at the same time....
      As to how all this is accomplished at once on a small 13" screen......its called spaces and its a feature of MAC OS X

      Everyones needs are different, just putting it out there