Question: Does my MacBook use standard or proprietary laptop memory?

Read our answer below:

While the answer may insult some MacBook enthusiasts, the simple truth is that while MacBooks are generally speaking technically different to standard "Microsoft Windows" based laptops, they still make use of the same types of memory as the latter. As a result, if you plan on upgrading your MacBook you will need a standard laptop memory upgrade (i.e. DDR2, DDR3 etc.) just as your collegue's "Microsoft Windows" based laptop. Both platforms use generic laptop memory which in turn is a mobile variant of generic computer memory with the prime difference being the type of packaging (memory module). Computer memory standards are developed and certified by JEDEC (Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council). While some may be of the opinion that MacBooks are superior to "Microsoft Windows" based laptops their market share is limited in scale, this in turn is the prime reason why they share the same underlying memory architecture.


For those keen to learn more, fortunately/unfortunately (depending on which side of the fence you stand) all MacBooks manufactured since 2006 in fact share an almost identical platform. Starting in 2006, MacBooks (then still marketed under the name "PowerBooks") moved from their PowerPC driven system architecture to Intel's x86 architecture. This involved a radical shift in design, now incorporating Intel's x86 processors, chipsets and memory controllers. In essence, any Intel x86 based Macbook produced since 2006 is basically a "Microsoft Windows" capable laptop albeit with Apple's own MacOS Operating System installed. Apple has kept its efforts on a unique chassis design as well as ensuring its MacOS Operating System remains the key reason people buy MacBooks. Apple is well aware that some users will try and take advantage of the fact that MacOS can be installed on laptops currently running Microsoft Windows and use various software checks to deter most people from trying. The same is true for those attempting the opposite, aka installing Microsoft Windows on a MacBook. Both these variants are possible and make for an interesting experience to MacOS and Windows fans alike.


Learn more about laptop memory in part 2 of the Laptop Memory Upgrades Guide and/or laptop memory modules in part 3 of the Laptop Memory Upgrades Guide.


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