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Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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Ram Upgrade: can I use DDR3L instead of DDR3?

Last year I upgraded my macbook ram from 8gb to 16gb. (It's a Macbook Pro 13'' mid 2012 - model A1278)

It originally came with 2x4gb DDR3, and I replaced with 2x8gb DDR3L, as advised by a friend and after checking several online foruns.

About 6 months later the macbook died and I had to get the logic board replaced.

The thing is: "the guy" at the repair shop said the ram was probably the cause, because using a low-voltage ram on the system originally designed to use DDR3 ram caused the system to have "extra energy running around" and it fried the logic board.

I checked around online in all kinds of foruns and didn't find anyone talking about it. Lots of posts says it's fine to replace DDR3 with DDR3L. My friend still uses his macbook and nothing happened.

Has anyone heard about this?

The macbook is currently using its original DDR3 ram, but I still have the 2xDDR3L with me and I don't know if I should replace it again.

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The guy you spoke too doesn't know what he's talking about. Basically you can use either.

DDR3L is a dual voltage capable memory DIMM, which supports operation at both 1.5V and 1.35V. DDR3L is also pin-compatible with DDR3!

DDR3 is a single voltage capable memory DIMM, which supports 1.5V operation only.

So, in this case the RAM will be running at 1.5 volts as your system does not offer a low voltage option.

With that said... You could have a bad module or the module which was not properly installed.

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Overall I agree with @danj regarding everything he said, except that he's too polite because "that guy at the repair shop" is a moron and there is no "extra energy running around.."


Find a new repair guy. As the saying goes, "if you can't dazzle 'um with brilliance, baffle them with BS."


Thank you!!!


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Hello I have a think server with a intel xeon E3-1225 v3 processor and DDR3 32 GB chips and I want to make my computer faster with a better processor which should I buy?

Update (12/07/2019)

Also, the processor socket is FCLGA1150.


Allan Oscar

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Comentários: (Click on the socket type to ensure the page shows the right CPU's.)

As you can see on the linked page, many of the highest performing CPUs for your socket are pretty pricey. You might find a good deal though on eBay, especially if you are looking to upgrade a personal computer as, many Engineering Samples are sold on eBay as well (grey market items, just not illegal and, typically at about a third of the retail price. (Most will have a base clock @ 100MHz lower than the market released version. Just be sure they reach the same turbo clock speed before you buy an ES version.) You will also want to make sure your motherboard supports the v4 (Broadwell) CPU's if you think you might want to upgrade to one; it might be possible to flash of your BIOS, or the chipset may not support the next gen CPU's (from the 22nm Haswell) E-3-1225 v3 you currently have. (Check with your motherboard maker's website for v4 CPU compatibility before you buy.)

Another thought... The E3-1225 v3 is not a slouch in single thread operations. It may be that you need to just upgrade your hard drive. If you have not invested in a Solid State Drive yet, I can assure you, you have little hope of much improving your system's performance with a CPU upgrade. Many people will invest in an SSD for their older desktops for much faster boot times and very noticeable performance gains for every day applications - like loading/running their browser or office applications. The biggest drawback on your current CPU is that it is a quad core without hyper-threading; (where each hyper-thread capable CPU's physical core has an additional logical core which technically doubles the number of simultaneous operations the processor is capable of running.) That said, if you do not run many applications at the same time, you're not seeing slow performance because of your CPU. Some applications are multi-thread capable but, most common applications only use one or two cores.


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