Best RAM Upgrades for MacBook Pro

For MacBook Pro Requiring DDR3 1600MHz (Some 2011 & 2012 Models): Kingston Technology HyperX Impact 16GB (2 x 8G)
For MacBook Pro Requiring DDR3 1333Mhz (Most 2011 Models): Corsair Apple Certified 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1333 MHz

RAM upgrades are typically something that people assume are best left to the professionals. Others may assume that they have to buy a whole new computer in order to upgrade the RAM, but that’s not the case at all. Thanks to easy plug-and-play RAM modules available today, anyone can upgrade the memory in their MacBook Pro 2012/2011 model, without much difficulty at all. First, though, you have to find the best RAM for MacBook and choose one that’s compatible with your model.

Of course, you know that you need more memory, but how much do you need? What kind does your MacBook Pro take? Not all memory upgrades are compatible with all computers and motherboards, so you’ll have to find what works for you. Fortunately, there are a number of options on the market today, including something for just about every MacBook and other Apple computer out there. It’s just going to take a little time for you to find the right one for your needs.

In order to assist with that, this guide contains our selection of the top 5 best RAM for MacBook Pro early 2011 and 2012 models, along with information on how we selected the best products and what you should look for when purchasing memory for your computer. Even if the RAM upgrades listed here don’t suit your needs, you’ll at least have a better idea of how to go out and find the memory that does by the time you’ve finished. Read on to learn more.

Quick Summary

Pay attention to whether you are looking for 1333Mhz or 1600Mhz RAM, because it matters with the brands below. Your MacBook should tell you what it requires, or many online stores will offer compatibility checkers for your use.

  • For those who need 1333Mhz, Corsair offers an Apple-Certified model that’s worth a look. It might serve you well to get slightly more for your money by purchasing Apple-Certified products.
  • Those who are shopping for 1600Mhz memory on a budget should check out Kingston’s HyperX Impact for high-powered, high-speed processing in an affordable package. It delivers performance and is priced on the lower end.

Who Could Benefit from a RAM Upgrade for their MacBook Pro?

If you’re using a MacBook Pro and running out of memory, it might be time to upgrade. Thanks to a growing demand for expandable and upgradable laptops, you no longer have to replace your entire computer if you just need a little more memory. If you are struggling with any of the following issues, a memory upgrade might be just what you need:

  • Slow-running Programs: When the memory is bogged down, the computer isn’t going to run as quickly and smoothly as it should. By having extra memory available, you will allow your computer to have more room to run additional programs. People who do a lot of multitasking on their MacBook Pro will benefit significantly from upgrading their RAM with a compatible module.
  • Unavailable Programs: Some programs on your computer are going to require more RAM in order to even be able to operate properly, or to be open simultaneously. Adding memory could be a quick way to ensure that you can always access the programs you need at any time.
  • Slow Internet: Although most people assume that their Internet’s abilities are only affected by the speed of their actual connection, there’s more to it than that. The memory capacity on your MacBook Pro could actually be causing web pages, flash content, and other Internet media to load slower than it should.
  • Slow Network Connectivity: Users that are part of a network may find that they struggle to print things quickly or communicate with other devices, and that could be a result of low memory. An upgrade often increases connectivity on local networks, increasing speed on all levels.
  • Low-Quality Gaming: Anyone who enjoys gaming is going to need to get familiar with memory upgrades. Games take so much memory just to operate and even more to work at their maximum capacity. If you want fewer lags, faster load times, and fewer glitches in your gaming, an upgrade could go a long way.

Ultimately, if you feel like your computer isn’t running like it should be, consider a memory upgrade. It might just make your MacBook Pro feel like a whole new computer, and at a fraction of the cost. Next up, find out how we chose the products we reviewed for you (and use those tips to shop for your own RAM modules in the future).

How We Picked the Best RAM Upgrades for MacBook Pro 2012/2011?

In our review of the various types of RAM available for MacBook Pro, we took it upon ourselves to compare the size of the RAM and its processing speed, as well as how other people have reported the installation process and functionality of the RAM after it is installed. We reviewed the top brands in computer components and sought out the most compatible, high-quality MacBook Pro RAM, based on the elements listed here.

Compatibility

Obviously, our first concern was in choosing RAM was finding ones designed to work with the MacBook Pro 2012/2011 version. Because there are so many different models and versions of this versatile laptop, finding compatible memory is often most of the battle for the average shopper. We’ve taken the headache out of that for you by only providing you with RAM that’s designed to fit these devices.

Performance

We have reviewed performance tests for all the available RAM upgrades for MacBook Pro listed below, looking for ones that enhance performance without breaking the bank. After all, the entire point of adding more memory is to improve performance. Make sure that you know whether your MacBook requires 1333Mhz or 1600Mhz memory sticks, as well as whether it has the capacity to take a larger or smaller RAM upgrade. This way, you know what all your performance options are to get the best investment.

Tech Support and Customer Service

Technology is great, until it goes wrong. As such, we put great value on things like customer service and tech support when considering products like memory sticks for MacBook Pro upgrades. Most of the products listed below, if not all, have 24/7 customer support and some type of guarantee on their product, giving you the peace of mind that you need in a purchase like this.

Pairs

If you’re new to RAM upgrades, you’ll notice that they’re usually sold in pairs. Although there is the rare occasion where you can buy a single stick, most motherboards are designed to use mirrored RAM—that is, they would need two 8GB sticks, rather than one 16GB stick, in order to function properly. Make sure that you always upgrade your memory in pairs to give your computer the best performance improvement.

Now that you’ve got a little more insight, check out the reviews below to see what we’ve picked as the best RAM upgrades for MacBook Pro 2012/2011 for 2020. Even if you don’t find something on this list that suits your needs, you’ll be better prepared to go out and find your own.

Best RAM Upgrades for MacBook Pro 2012/2011: Our Picks in 2020

We’ve done the hard work for you, and the list below will provide you with the best RAM upgrades for your MacBook Pro. You’ll notice that they’re sorted into two categories, so be sure that you get the one that is right for your exact system.

For MacBook Pro Requiring DDR3 1600MHz (Some 2011 & 2012 Models):

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

High performance with a sleek design makes the Kingston Technology HyperX Impact 16GB (2 x8G) RAM an easy choice for any memory expansion. It is among the first to be designed for use with ultra-thin laptops and it comes from Kingston, who is a leader in components and computer parts.

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At a Glance:

  • Automatic overlocking and no BIOS adjustments needed
  • 100% factory-tested RAM
  • Sleek design is now able to be used with ultra-thin notebooks

Pros:

  • Low-voltage setting reduces heat output, helping the entire system to run cooler.
  • Free tech support in case you have any issues with installation, functionality, or any potential failures or bad products.
  • Lifetime guarantee gives buyers peace of mind that they will never have to worry about having problems with their memory sticks.

Cons:

  • Must purchase two sticks (sold in sets only)
  • Not compatible with all Apple RAM, so buyers will need to double-check compatibility

2. Timetec Hynix IC 16GB KIT(2x8GB)

The Timetec Hynix IC 16GB KIT(2x8GB) gives you powerful memory at a reasonable price. Plus, users report impressive speed increases and great reliability. This memory is unique because it has such specific compatibility, but it can offer great power and performance for the six generations of devices that it does work with. It’s easy to install and like most, includes a lifetime warranty.

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At a Glance:

  • Two 8GB sticks of RAM for 16GB total
  • MacBook compatible with multiple versions
  • Compatibility breaks down to build and generation

Pros:

  • Compatible with six generations of Mac OS and devices
  • Guaranteed and comes with lifetime warranty
  • Easy to install, thanks to plug-and-play design

Cons:

  • Some users have reported receiving bad modules
  • Listed compatibility may be subject to change based on exact device build

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

The OWC 16GB (2x8GB) PC3-12800 takes your memory further with OWC MAX RAM Certified RAM sticks designed for use with MacBook Pro and other Mac models. This option is one that offers great quality for those who do not have a retina display and need a powerful memory upgrade at a reasonable cost.

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At a Glance:

  • 2 x 8GB sticks for 16GB total
  • Compatible with specific MacBook Pro models from 2011 to 2015
  • Non-retina display models only

Pros:

  • Two sticks for easy installation and balanced memory
  • Complete upgrade kit
  • Certified and guaranteed to work

Cons:

  • Limited and sporadic MacBook compatibility
  • Some users report damaged packaging or shipping materials

For MacBook Pro Requiring DDR3 1333Mhz (Most 2011 Models):

1. Corsair Apple Certified 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1333 MHz

For certified memory that gives you what you need, the Corsair Apple Certified 16 GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1333Mhz laptop memory offers the best ram for MacBook upgrades for a reasonable price. This product is preferred because it is Apple-certified, which is not something that all aftermarket modules offer. The kit includes everything that you need to install the RAM and go, with no driver downloads required.

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At a Glance:

  • Compatible with early-late 2011 MacBook Pro models
  • 1333Mhz, 2x8GB DIMM 204-pin RAM
  • Corsair award-winning customer support included

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support ensures that you always have help when you need it.
  • Limited lifetime warranty gives you the peace of mind that you are buying a product that you can rely on and won’t have to replace again in the future.
  • Easy installation means that everyone can upgrade their MacBook Pro RAM in no time, regardless of their technical ability.

Cons:

  • Not compatible with retina display models
  • Higher price than some comparable products

2. OWC 16GB (2x 8GB) 1333Mhz

The OWC 16GB (2x 8GB) 1333Mhz is among the best RAM for Apple MacBook Pro, offering powerful performance and plenty of speed. This kit is specifically optimized for MacBook Pro and other Apple systems and devices, which guarantees that you will get the dedicated performance that you need when your MacBook is feeling a little sluggish. Plus, the ready-to-install kit includes everything you need to upgrade in a matter of minutes.

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At a Glance:

  • 2 x 8GB sticks for a total of 16GB of memory
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Fully compliant with JEDEC specifications

Pros:

  • Affordable memory upgrade for MacBook Pro that is also compliant and compatible, giving you the best of everything in one package.
  • Easy self-installation makes this a viable option for even the least tech-savvy users.
  • Specifically optimized for Apple products, giving you better compatibility and performance than universal RAM sticks.

Cons:

  • Sporadic compatibility across product lines on occasion
  • A few users have reported receiving damaged sticks

Useful Tips & Resources

When shopping for the best RAM upgrades, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind. For starters, it has to be compatible with your device. You can’t get the best Apple memory upgrade unless you know what you need, after all. The best RAM upgrade for MacBook Pro 2011 and 2012 models will have:

  • The capacity that you need for additional memory
  • Tested, certified RAM components that are Apple-specific
  • A good rating and reviews from other users
  • Increased speed and performance

It does no good to invest in a memory upgrade that’s not really much of an upgrade. That’s why it is important to know how to check your device for compatibility and available space to see how much memory you can add. Fortunately, Apple even has upgrade instructions available under the Memory area of the About section of your MacBook.

Finally, if you can’t tell that the RAM is coming from a reputable brand that you can trust, you will need to verify what you are buying and check out the company’s reputation a little before making a commitment. There are a lot of different brands out there selling computer parts and components and claiming to be the best. That’s where it’s going to be up to you to review the companies, check out user reviews, and look at things like customer service and support so that you know who you can really trust.

Although most of the sites where you’ll buy RAM will have a compatibility list or even an interactive compatibility checker, you can also do the leg work yourself. Check out this detailed guide on how to check your MacBook Pro RAM type and capacity

Conclusion

Choosing your RAM upgrades is as easy as looking through this list to see which options are compatible with your MacBook pro and find the right fit. It doesn’t matter whether you want the best ram upgrade for MacBook Pro mid 2012 models or the best ram for MacBook Pro 2011 models, because there are options on this list for everyone. If nothing else, you can use this information to help you choose the best RAM upgrade even if it isn’t one that made our list. Upgrading RAM is something that many people assume they cannot do for one reason or another, but as you can see that is clearly not the case anymore. Take advantage of the available components and solutions to help you get more out of your MacBook Pro without replacing the entire machine. When you need more memory but aren’t ready to splurge on a new computer, this is definitely the way to go. Check out all of the different options above to see which one suits your needs. If it’s not on this list, at least make sure that it meets the criteria for a RAM upgrade that we’ve discussed, and you’ll be on your way to more powerful computing in no time at all.

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