Memory Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by southpaw17, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. southpaw17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    #1
    I just bought a refurbed macbook pro 15. 1.83 ghz and has 512 mb ram intel dual core. It looks brand new and I bought it from apple for $1299 so it is really too good of a deal to pass up since the ram is easily upgraded. My questions are, can I upgrade the processor speed or is it not worth it? As far as the ram goes, can I upgrade to the intel dual core 2. I want at least 1 gb of ram, but will I get a noticeable difference with 2 gb? I am only a student, but like to run a lot of programs at once. What is the best way for me to upgrade my ram? Just buy another 512 chip, buy a 1 gb chip (will it work as 1.5 gb?), or just go for the whole shot and buy a 2 gb set? And will it be better to upgrade to the intel dual core 2? Also where is the place to get the best prices on these? Thanks for your help, I am new to Macs but hope to learn more about them as time goes on.
     
  2. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #2
    Since it's a laptop, you won't be able to upgrade the processor without massively voiding your warranty (and probably breaking the computer). I wouldn't recommend it.

    As for the RAM, you'll have to buy in pairs: 2x256MB, 2x512MB, or 2x1GB. This has to do with the fact that your processor is dual core (it's a long story, just trust me).

    Depending on how demanding the apps you want to run are will depend on how much RAM you'll need. I run numerous programs at once and get by just fine with 1GB, but if I need to run a "heavy" app like Photoshop, I tend to pare down what else is running. So, if you're only running Word, Safari, and iChat, 1GB will be fine. If you're trying to run Photoshop + iMovie + Safari + iChat + whatever else, you'll probably want 2GB. Beyond that, if you intend to run Parallels or VMWare at all, you'll likely want 2GB as well, as things will just run smoother.

    Ultimately, it's up to you, but be aware that you have 2x256MB sticks in there now, so whatever you do, you'll be buying two sticks of the same thing.
     
  3. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #3
    The above is pretty much true, except you don't HAVE to buy the RAM in pairs. You can buy a 1GB chip now, run 1.25GB for a while, and buy another one later. Only thing is, you'll see a slight increase in performance if you shell out the money now and get a matched pair of RAM. But if you really can't afford more than a single 1GB stick, go with just that.
     
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    Just to supplement the earlier poster's note, the CPU is soldered to the mainboard, so unless you have the ability to heat up every single pin simultaneously (hint: you don't), changing the CPU is basically impossible.
     
  5. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #5
    Becuase the proc was dual-core, I was under the impression you had to have matched pairs of RAM? Am I wrong about that? Can you point me somewhere that explains this?
     
  6. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #6
    Its all about the DDR2 being buffered against each other. If they are matching pairs, they run more effectively, but it only applies to certain situations. There was a long discussion last year about it when the Intels came out. I'll try and find it
     
  7. snowmoon macrumors 6502a

    snowmoon

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #7
    AFAIK, none of the models require matched pairs. There is a small performance boost from using matched pairs 1-5% compared to non matched pairs. The performance issues are more important for the MB/Mini's where the Intel GPU likes matched pairs for video performance.
     
  8. southpaw17 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    #8
    Thank you for the wealth of information that has been provided. I think I know what I want, depending on prices. Where is the best place to get 2-1gb sticks?
    Thanks for your continued help.
     

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