The 2011 and 2012 MacBook Pros (non-retina) are compatible with up to 16GB memory (despite Apple’s claim that only 8GB is accepted), which can make a considerable difference in performance depending on your needs. The 2009 and 2010 MacBook and MacBook Pro are limited by Apple to 8GB memory.
8GB is acceptable for ordinary usage, such as email, Internet browsing, DVD playback and so on. If you are a power user, you might want to consider the benefits of 12GB or 16GB memory. Mac OS X can use the additional memory for caching, and when using intensive programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, it will prove useful.
Mac Expert Guide recommends Corsair memory for your MacBook Pro. Memory upgrades do not void the warranty on your MBP, as it is a user-serviceable part on the non-retina models.
Mac Memory Price Fluctuations
I purchased a Corsair 16GB kit in the UK in July 2012 for £97.68. The same kit in November 2012 now sells for less than £75 in the UK. Memory, hard drive and SSD prices fluctuate but generally decrease as time goes by. As 16GB memory becomes more common, its price will continue to drop.
Where to Buy MacBook Pro Memory
Corsair memory is sold via multiple retailers. Amazon usually has the lowest price, as of 11th November 2012 Amazon was selling the Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 1600 (CMXS16GX3M2A1600C10) kit for £72.75 in the UK. The same kit from eBuyer costs the same.
In the USA, this kit costs $84.99 from Newegg – the product code used on Newegg differs to retailers in the UK – search for CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10 if you’re in the U.S.
How to Install MacBook Pro Memory
Apple provides an easy to follow guide that explains the process of installing memory on a non-retina MBP.
Memory Upgrades on the Air and Retina Display models
If you own a MacBook Air, or a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, the memory cannot be upgraded. It can only be upgraded when you configure your Mac on the Apple Store online. This is because the memory on these models is soldered onto the logicboard, it is not a removable or serviceable part. The maximum memory allowance on the MBP with Retina Display is 16GB. The maximum on the Air is 8GB.