MBP: Pairing Ram

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by javacat, May 6, 2006.

  1. javacat macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2006
    Hey guys, at the time I bought my macbook pro (1.83ghz with 512 ram) I opted not to upgrade the ram at the apple store, too much money for the amount I thought. So now Ive heard that mbp run best when the ram is paired. So which do you think would yield the best performance? Getting another 512 stick or getting a 1 gig stick? The nice part about getting a 1 gig stick would be that if I wanted to upgrade to 2 gigs It would be easier, but I heard you need to have at least 1 stick of apple ram in the laptop to not void warrenty, is this true?
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    No need to have Apple RAM for warranty purposes.

    Also, 1.5 GB will trump 1 matched GB unless you always need less than a gig and never really swap.

    Get the gig stick. :)
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Pairing RAM doesn't matter. The clock speeds are so high nowadays that if you notice a difference in pairing you're lying. It doesn't matter anymore.
  4. dynetk macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    Having a pair of the same memory will allow you to run the memory in dual channel. There are benefits to doing that but in your case the benefits do not out weight the negatives. If you do buy another 512mb of ram when you want to upgrade later on you'll have to remove one of your sticks to put in 1gb. Even if you sell your 512mb stick at that time it probably wouldn't get you much money back. Also if you wanted to upgrade to 2gb at that point you would have to buy 2 new sticks of memory and remove the existing two. If you were to do that you would have been better off just to have paid apple to put in the 2gb for you in the first place.

    The benefits to having the memory in pairs would be that you would have higher memory bandwith. This affects some programs moreso than others. For example if your main applications are things like itunes, word processing, web development, and web surfing then you wouldn't notice a difference at all.

    On the other hand if you are using your computer for gamin, CAD, video processing/encoding, and audio work and if every minute counts (mean you are being paid for your work) then there will be a difference. It may not seem like much but a few minutes here and there do add up.

    Also note that the chips that are used in the MBPs are based on the Pentium M which were much less memory bandwith hungry than their cousins the Pentium 4s.

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