Macbook RAM help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by oclor, May 17, 2006.

  1. oclor macrumors regular

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    Jan 14, 2006
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    Boston
    #1
    Just got my Macbook and my local apple store said that for some reason they would charge me $200 to upgrade the RAM instead of the $90 (w/edu discount) that the website shows. So could someone please tell me what websites, RAM companies, and amount of RAM i should be looking at. I thought i would go with 2x512 but if 2x1gb would help me play games like oblivion (since i read that the RAM is shared with the integrated video or something) then i would probably buy a gig now and a gig later. What can you guys tell me?
     
  2. Legacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
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    London
    #2

    OK, if you go with the 2x512MB, 1GB total will play the game with better performance than 1.25GB of RAM , say if you chucked out 256MB and put 1GB in - even if the available RAM to Mac OS goes down to 878MB (where 128MB is used for VRAM). This is because, the GPU benefits from double the memory bandwith under dual channal configuration and that would require equivalent pairs of RAM to work.

    However, while that may seem an attractive prospect now, this will seriously limit your future upgrade prospects. I for one am sacrificing the benefits of DC memory for the 1.25GB, because I know in maybe a month or two, I can afford the other 1GB and have 2GB overall in DC configuration.

    The choise is really yours:)
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    Generally I recommend a gig now and another gig when you can afford. Maxing the sockets at 2 x 512 just means that next month or next Fall you'll have to pull out RAM that you paid for when you need to upgrade.

    Yes, you lose the Dual Channel but usually the extra RAM more than makes up for it. If you are running pro apps under Rosetta, they really want 1.5 Gb or more.

    Choose a reputable third party RAM dealer who tests and guarantees compatibility with your model Mac, offers a lifetime warranty and a no-cost return if it doesn't work.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  4. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #4
    Yeah, you don't want to buy RAM from Apple. Check out DealRam - lots of vendors and prices. Or go to a Mac retailer like smalldog or powermax if you want to be absolutely sure that your RAM is compatible but not pay too high a price.

    If I were you, I'd just get 2 gigs and future-proof your machine.
     
  5. jcjcjc87 macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2006
    #5
    Is there much of a difference if you run the memory in dual channel or not???
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #6
    There is a difference -- I would say not Much of a difference. But havingMORE memory trumps having MATCHED memory, because the negative effects of overflowing your physical memory size and starting to pageout to the hard drive is worse.
     
  7. oclor thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Can anyone tell me why certain sticks are much more expensive than others even though they are the same size? I think the most expensive 1gig that i've seen was from crucial and there was another 1gig from another company that was like $50 cheaper. Why is that? I'm scaried to buy the cheap one cause it doesn't seem good.
     
  8. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Then that's an argument for getting your RAM from a smaller Mac Retailer like SmallDog or PowerMax. They upgrade memory in Macs every day and know what will work. Meanwhile a generic memory retailer may know the specs for a MacBook and may know which RAM meets the specs on paper, but may not have much real-world experience, as only 3-4% of their customers are Mac owners.

    That said, I just got my 2 gigs from 18004memory, a generic memory retailer, and was very happy with the quality, price, & shipping times.

    P.S. Crucial has a big Internet following, but there are lots of people like me who don't buy memory from Crucial or pay Crucial prices who live long and happy lives.
     
  9. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #9
    cause there's more to RAM than the capacity, like memory timings, latency, etc. and because there's different types (of physical size & number of pins) of RAM, like DIMMs, SODIMMs, etc. A small percentage is also usually due to markup and brand quality perceptions and such.

    Generally safe to say that if you want to take zero chances and are willing to pay extra and the performance benefits you gain from going high end are worth it to you, go for it :)

    Personally I like OCZ and Mushkin, they're both on the pricier-than-normal side, both have RAM great for overclocking...although I'm not sure that's what you want ;)
     
  10. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #10
    Has anyone here just put in a 1 GB stick along with a 256? I don't know if it works because all memory companies sell the sticks in pairs. This really concerns me because I will have to save up for a few months to afford 2 gigs. :eek:
     
  11. oclor thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    It will work, just won't be as good as if you had the two slots filled with the same amount of ram, but still better that two 512's. I think my question was misunderstood before. I was comparing two sticks with the same "stats"-
    1GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300). Take for example a Patriot stick. It would cost me about $85, while a Crucial would cost me around $190. I keep hearing that its worth it because of the customer support but frankly I don't wanna spend $105 dollars extra for that, especially if i'm gonna get two of them. If it will give me the same performance then i don't care, but my question is will it give me the same performance?

    Patriot- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820220078

    Crucial- http://www.crucial.com/store/MParts...+Intel+Core+Duo+(13-inch+Black)&WSPN=CT541625
     
  12. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #12
    In my experience yes, in Mac's RAM is either good and your machine will work fine or it will be a bad stick and cause your Mac to do crazy things....I'm no pro on RAM but i'm pretty sure the performance will be the same with the crucial or patriot stick...

    BTW i'd go with the Patriot stick in a flash, if it doesnt work or causes trouble return it no harm done.

    SHadoW

    Edit: just checked the reviews on newegg.com and people are using the patriot stick on mac's with no problems and are reporting good performance, all the more reason to go with them.
     
  13. oclor thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Sweet. Thanks a lot. This is the first time i'm upgrading memory and i hope it goes well.
     
  14. jholzner macrumors 65816

    jholzner

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    Location:
    Champaign, IL
    #14
    Is there a reason newegg doesn't offer 512 DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)? A friend wants to upgrade to just one gig with two 512 chips but they don't offer it.
     
  15. nnick macrumors regular

    nnick

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  16. oclor thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 14, 2006
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    #17
    What do you guys think of this:

    http://www.archmemory.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=25971

    Its cheap, and its supposed to be a major brand. Either Samsung, Micron, or Infineon. I think Apple uses Samsung so i wouldn't mind having that, and Crucial is a part of Micon so that one is good too, but what about Infineon? Never heard of it.
     
  17. dumshiet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #18
    it says "like" samsung, micron, or infineon. so you are most likely going to be getting a generic stick

    anyways, i just ordered 2 sticks from owc for $230 shipped
     
  18. oclor thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    After about 20 hours of research, i'm leaning towards getting the OWC ram. Has anyone had any experience with OWC? I've followed advice saying get ram from a company that specifically says this is for the macbook and has a lifetime warranty which OWC says and does. So if you guys tell me that this is good ram and it will def. be compatible i will go with OWC. I'm still unsure of how much ram to get though. Either 2x512 or 2x1gig. I have to convince my dad to spend a lot more for the 2 gig if I want that and he's gonna ask me why i need that much. Do I? I will never have photoshop or any other video/photo editing software. I plan to use Safari, Mail, iChat, most of the iLife software, photobooth, and maybe games. Will 2gigs show a huge difference in performance even if i don't use advanced software?
     
  19. lucab1982 macrumors member

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    Oct 8, 2003
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    London, England
    #20
    I have ordered from OWC before and they have been excellent. Very fast shipping and no problems with the RAM at all. Highly recommended!
     
  20. teerexx52 macrumors 68000

    teerexx52

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    May 1, 2005
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    Florida West Coast
    #21
    I jusy put in 2 512 chips from OWC works fine. The install was tricker than I figured though though that had nothing to do with the chips themselves
     
  21. chrisgeleven macrumors 6502

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    Apr 28, 2002
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    #22
    I just ordered a 2x1GB kit from OWC. We will see how this goes.

    The Macbook is surpirisingly quite usable with 512MB in it, but I have run into a few cases where having more RAM would have been nice. At least when it is maxed out, I can't blame it on the RAM :)
     
  22. will0407 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    #23
    Samsung RAM

    Hi All,
    I haven't ordered my macbook yet, but will be doing so within the next week. However, I wanted to have my RAM ready for when it arrives, so I can install it, and then be done with it. I as looking round on ebay and bought this:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...MEWN:IT&rd=1

    it says they are samsung 1GB chips, the ones apple use. Is this true? Also, I reckon 130 incl p+p is pretty cheap, especially if they are genuine samsung.
    Can someone tell me if that was a good buy, or whether I should have it got from somewhere else? (just for peace of mind)
    many thanks in advance.
    wil

    p.s I've also put this post in another thread, cos I wasn't sure which would get fastest/most response. (just incase any of you were wondering!)
     
  23. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #24
    Omnibus reply

    - I do not have a high opinion of Omnitechnologies and any company that uses important-sounding but meaningless words all throughout their advertising. Specifically, implying that one type of memory (Hyperformance, Fastest possible performance) is faster than the other is bunkum. The Mac sets the clock speed, not the memory, so any 100% compatible RAM will run at exactly the same speed as all other 100% compatible RAM. Also, AFAIK, there are no DDR2 SODIMMs shipping that are capable of low latency at 667 MHz. If someone is advertising a CL3 or CL4 DDR2 SODIMM at around $120, then that is the performance at 400 MHz or 533 MHz, not 667 MHz. I don't trust companies that bend the truth like that.

    - Some companies offer 1 Gb DDR2 RAM at about US$70-80 - then try to switch you to their $100-$120 RAM when you go to buy it. I have read that the $70 RAM is not voltage-stable enough to be reliable in a MacBook Pro (and this was from someone selling it).

    - Although Corsair and Kingston and OCZ have good reputations, they do not guarantee their generic lines (ValueSelect, ValueRAM, ValueSeries) are compatible with Macs. They only intend specific model numbers for use in Macs. You can try the generics, but the onus is on you for testing.

    - If I have spent good money on a new Apple machine, the last thing I would do is try to save $15 by buying RAM from an unknown vendor on eBay. Basically they can say whatever they want - if they say "its Samsung" how do you know they are not factory rejects, or that they won't deliver some other brand? "Apple approved" -- that is a falsehood, Apple does not approve or certify any third party memory sellers. What are you going to do about it on eBay, anyway? Spend another $15 to send them back and hope you get a refund? Stick with a reputable seller.

    There are good mail order sellers in the US, MR members have recommended Crucial, OWC (MacSales) and Data Memory Systems

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  24. iamhammill macrumors 6502

    iamhammill

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Location:
    York, PA
    #25
    Has anyone had any experience with the EconoRam from Data Memory Systems?

    Only $184 for 2GB, says it has a year warrenty.



    Thanks,

    Jake
     

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