My early 2011 MacBook Pro only came with 4GB of RAM. For most people, 4GB is plenty of memory, but I am running AutoDesk Inventor in Boot Camp, and it takes up a bunch of RAM. I decided to do some research on the best way to increase my memory for the least amount of money possible while keeping my machine safe.
What you will need:
-a 13" MacBook Pro from 2010, 2011, 2012
-two matching RAM chips
-small glass jar or other small container
I upgraded my RAM at TechShop Menlo Park. They had all the tools that I needed to complete the job, and they have lots of people who work and/or hang out there that are very knowledgeable and helpful in case anything went wrong with my installation.
Step 1: Buy Your RAM
I did a search on Google for "early 2011 MacBook Pro RAM" and the first link to pop up was Crucial.com. After doing a little research, I discovered that they had pretty good customer satisfaction and reliability ratings.
There are a lot of rumors going around on the interwebs claiming that the MacBook Pro's that are listed as having 8GB memory restrictions can really handle 16GB. I thought about upgrading to the full 16GB, but a few things deterred me from the 16B. Number one, I am afraid of my computer overheating. Second, I was worried that my battery life would suffer with the extra RAM. And finally, there must be some reason that apple doesn't recommend using the full 16GB. A computer company would love to advertise a 16GB maximum rather than an 8GB maximum because that would mean that a computer has more potential, I think they would only limit the advertised max to 8GB if there was good reason.
Step 2: What You Need, Getting Prepared to Dismantle
-Make sure your laptop is off!
Unscrew the cover and put your screws in the glass jar so you don't lose them. The three screws that you can see in the picture are long screws, all the rest of the screws are short screws. Be sure to put the right screws back in the proper place. Then remove the cover. After the cover is removed, be sure to discharge any static electricity from your hand by touching a metal surface.
Step 4: Remove the Factory RAM
The RAM is layered, one on top of the other. You will release the tabs, the RAM will pop up, and then you can remove it. The process is the same for each stick of ram, done one at a time. Make sure to remove the ram by the sides, you don't want to touch anything made of metal on the RAM stick.
Step 5: Install New RAM Sticks
We will now install the upgraded RAM sticks. This process will be the reverse of removing the factory RAM. Be VERY careful to keep from making contact with anything on the RAM that is made of metal.
Step 6: Close Up the Case, You're Done!
You're done! Just make sure that when you screw on the back cover you put the long screws in the right places. When you start your computer back up it will automatically recognize the new RAM.