Want to add more memory (1GB) to PB... but I don't know how to add! (what to do?)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by diehldun, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. diehldun macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #1
    I have my 1.33 GHz Powerbook 17 on the standard 512 MB of memory... I think for Christmas I would like to improve my memory to the max avaliable, 1GB (according to Apple Store online). Unfortunately, I am not one of those computer-freaks, and I don't really know/want to remove/add memory to my computer (knowing me something will happen :p )

    Anyways, the Apple Store has a MSRP of $700 to add 1 GB of memory for a Powerbook. Although this seems expensive, I (and my parents, actually) would be willing to pay for this.

    Why do I want to add? It seems like the pb is not quite so fast, and I see the beachball A LOT. I think the memory would make the computer work/seem faster, no???

    But here's my question- once you buy the memory, how do you install? Does Apple expect you to do it yourself? Or can I just buy the memory at the actual, physical Apple Store in a mall, and (bring my pb ofcourse) have them install it right-then-and-there? any info is appreciated! :)
     
  2. ObsidianIce macrumors 6502

    ObsidianIce

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    Seventh Circle of Hell
    #2
    You can install the memory yourself it's pretty easy, you can even call tech support to walk you through it or use the support site. The apple retail store will also install the memory for you!
     
  3. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #3
    My recommendation - don't get it from Apple as it's severely overpriced. I looked at Crucial and their 1 GB sticks are $480.

    I'd also check to see how your RAM is configured. I think, though I'm not positive, that you have two slots in that PowerBook. If the 512 MB is in one slot (vs. 2x256MB) then you could simply purchase a 512MB stick at Crucial for $107. A lot less than $700. Take the savings and buy an iPod Photo.

    Anyway, installing RAM is fairly simple. I think you may need a screwdriver to get to the slots, but other than that it's easy. If you're not comfortable doing it, bring the Crucial RAM with your PB into the Apple Store and I'm sure they'll help you out, especially since you're on your way to pick up the iPod while they install your RAM.
     
  4. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    USA! USA!
    #4
    If you can aim a spoon into your mouth to feed yourself you can probably install RAM in a powerbook.

    As with everything, just follow the instructions.
     
  5. mslifkin macrumors regular

    mslifkin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    Hi,

    I just checked The Apple Museum website, and they say that a 1.3 GHz PowerBook G4 (17") can hold up to 2 Gig of PC2700 DDR ram; two memory slots that can each take a 1 gig memory module. You should check first to see what you have installed, and you'd do that by clicking on the blue apple (upper left hand corner) and click on About this Mac. Click on the More Information button, then click on memory on the left hand side. You'll either see a 512 meg module in one slot, and the other one empty, or 2 256 meg modules, one in each slot. If you've got 1 512 meg module, you can add a 1 gig module and have 1.5 gig of memory. If, on the other hand you've got two 256 meg modules, you're going to have to pull one of them to add your 1 gig module, and that will bring you up to 1.25 gig; still pretty respectable!

    The way to install it is to first remove the battery. Also unplug any connections (power, ethernet, modem, firewire or USB) that may exist. Remove the two screws that hold down the memory door, then remove the memory door.

    If you have to remove a module, just push out on the two spring clips until the module pops up, then pull it straight out (not up). The modules are keyed, so they can only go in one way. Insert the new module, and push it down until the spring clips click in.

    This is all explained (much better than I just did) in the owners manual. If you're not comfortable doing this someone at the Apple store could certainly do it for you, since you're buying the memory and all. Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Marc
     
  6. palusami macrumors regular

    palusami

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Location:
    san jose, ca
    #6
    i just bought 1g for my pb. i think my pb has relatively the same specs as yours but mines is a 15 inch. i'd recommend you do a little more searching on the web to find the best price. i checked crucial, apple, amazon, frys, etc., and found the best price at other world computing. 1g PC2700 DDR SODIMM is $239.99. plus, depending on where you live, there may be no sales tax. ground shipping is also free. took about 5 biz days from the date of order until i received it. crucial offers the same size/type of memory for $480.

    here's the link to owc's line of memory for my model pb: http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upg...I=#TimeFormat(Now(),+&shoupgrds=Show+Upgrades

    btw, since i've installed the memory to my pb it runs much faster overall. it originally came with 256mb. the difference in performance is really night and day. i typically have 4 or 5 programs open at a time and haven't encountered any major problems. i highly recommend the upgrade.

    hope this helps.
     
  7. diehldun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #7
    so (if supposing I just want to get memory from Apple), do they actually have the memory (1 GB) in stock AT the Apple Retail Store? Or am I supposed to order online and then bring it all the Apple Store (if I want them to put it in) I'll probably just install it at home (sounds very easy)

    Right now, under "system profile", it shows under (1 out of 2) 512 MB, DDR SDRAM, and under the second line, it says it's empty. So if I decide to get the 1 GB, then that'd be 1.5 GB, is that TOO much????? Sounds like a lot to me.

    On the other hand, if I opt to get another 512 MB addition, then that'd make it 1 GB (approx.), right? What is overall the best (value-wise...). I'm not a pro, and use my powerbook for projects like iDVD/iMovie, Safari, Office, and I several (many) applications at the same time. If I have 512 right now, and upgrade fo 1/1.5, will the difference be that noticible? otherwise I might not upgrade at all (the only reason why i am considering is because it's not too fast when several apps are open...)
     
  8. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    #8
    Well, when I installed a new stick of RAM into Booker T. Macington (my iBook). I just had him say, "ahhhh". I stuck the RAM into the cd tray, and he swallowed it. Really, that's how it happenned. :D
     
  9. Digital_Gary macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    If you can afford the 1GB, got for it! I have 1.5GB in my 15" 1GHz and it has made the world of difference for me. I not exactly a power user either but I always have at least 8 programs open with multiple windows in each.
    768MB was not enough for me.

    If money is an object, the 512MB will make a difference but not as much as 1 GB obviously. The other downside to adding another 512MB is if you find it isn't enough, you will need to pull it back out in order to add more.
     
  10. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #10
    Call them first to find out, but again, I'd get it somewhere else to save a boatload of money. Other threads have pointed out that OS X can be a little picky on RAM, but I haven't heard many complaints about Crucial or other online retailers specifically.

    Is Keira Knightley TOO hot?
    Is Bill Gates TOO rich?

    You can never have TOO much memory, except if it costs more than you can afford.

    My thought is you're probably okay with an additional 512MB, for a total of 1GB. That's what I run on my 15", and I do quite a bit of fairly intense stuff. Plus, the 512MB is a lot cheaper and will leave you with more money for other things.
     
  11. diehldun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #11
    so at least it makes a noticable difference. that's what I'm looking for. I just was making sure that adding 1 GB wasn't overkill for what I do.

    BTW: is 512 considered "standard" for today's computers? if so, that's amazing. i remember when I used to have a Dell that had 256 and that was almost unheard of. :D
     
  12. Digital_Gary macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #12
    I usually recommend at least 512MB. OS X performs much better with a good amount of ram.
     
  13. diehldun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #13
    I'm leaning towards adding 1GB of ram (for Christmas), plus upgrading to MacOS X 10.4 Tiger this winter (tiger comes out Jan 10, right)?
     
  14. diehldun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #14
    one more thing...

    if I upgrade ram (whether @ Apple Store or at home), do i have to "archive" my HD folder? (or do anything else to 'save' my documents, or do I just install the 1GB to the powerbook, and do nothing else?

    also, if i decide to buy Apple memory, there should be no chance of MacOS Panther rejecting it, right?


    if so that's really quite easy...
     
  15. Will Curran macrumors regular

    Will Curran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    #15
    You can never have too much ram. I...some motherboards (not only for macs) can hold what is it like 8gb now? or is it 4gb? I mean.. wow. with 2 gig you could start up photoshop in seconds, probably boot up it like 1 minute.

    Never too much ram, but don't over spend on what you don't NEED. :D
     
  16. diehldun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #16
    so it's make it a lot snappier/faster? that's making it sound even more attractive... I'm leaning from adding 512 or 1GB right now... 512 is A LOT cheaper than 1GB, but it's sounding like 1GB makes a big difference... but if I just use "basic" applications (like Word, Safari, AIM, occasionally iPhoto/iMovie/iDVD), 1 GB sounds like over-kill to me... sigh there are too many good things out there! :D
     
  17. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #17
    Well, you should be backing up important stuff regularly anyhow.

    But no, just shut down the PB, turn it over, remove battery, remove screws on memory cover (it's not the screws under the battery, it's in the middle of the back), slot in new DIMM (push reasonably hard), put screws back in. Put battery back in and start it up to check RAM is recognised. Run the extended hardware test to put RAM through paces and you're done. It took me less than 5 minutes (including reboot - and excluding hardware test)

    Biggest problem is finding the 00 Philips screwdriver
     
  18. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Location:
    here (for now)
    #18
    please don't buy the apple memory. if you really must spend that much; buy OWC RAM and give me the extra $500 to install it for you. :D

    if your not a power user... more than 512 won't make much of a difference. if you like to run a load of apps (or a few powerful apps: pro-video, pro-audio, etc.) then RAM is a good investment. you parents sound well to do... mind if they buy me another CDX? :)


    peace.


    btw- OWC (macsales) also sells a special Mac screw driver to cover all you Macintosh screwing needs... :D. I use mine all the time.
     
  19. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #19
    I have 2 GB of RAM in my 1.33 17" PB and let me tell you - WOW! it makes a huge difference in Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator and audio/video apps. I'm not sure if your needs require that much RAM in your PB. I regularly am on the road working on 500 - 1 GB Photoshop files and boy does the extra juice help. Installation is a snap.
     
  20. mslifkin macrumors regular

    mslifkin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #20
    Hi,

    As everyone has already mentioned, you can never have "too much" memory; Mac OS X will use all you can supply. But realistically, 1gig total (which essentially doubles what you have now) will definitely net you a performance boost. I have a 15" and a 17" PowerBooks, and they both have 1 gig of ram, and they both rock!

    Now, if you're comfortable installing it yourself, then by all means order the memory from either Crucial, Other World Computing, or any of the other reputable vendors listed here. Compatibility is not an issue; I bought two 512 meg modules from somewhere other than Apple (I don't recall where, otherwise I'd tell you!) and I've had no problems running Mac OS X, iMovie, iPhoto, Photoshop CS, Final Cut Express 2.0. No kernel panics, no lost data, nothing! I guess if you did buy the memory somewhere else and wanted an Apple store to install it, they probably would for a nominal fee. That's just a guess, don't take it as Gospel! If you do decide to install it yourself, make sure you've got a good #0 phillips head screwdriver; you don't want to strip those heads! There might be a bit of LockTite on the threads, so don't be upset if it takes a bit of torque to break them loose. Just take your time, a couple of deep breaths every now and again, and you'll be fine. Let us know how you make out.

    Regards,
    Marc
     
  21. diehldun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    #21
    So just adding 512mb (total 1GB) would make a MUCH bigger difference than what I have now, and adding 1GB (total 1.5GB) would be TREMENDOUS? Considering I don't use (not regularily) Pro applications, just by adding 512MB, it could make a difference (snappier...), right?

    I am leaning towards getting another 512mb module, (NOT from Apple lol) and installing it myself). That will make a "significant" difference that I can notice?

    I had no idea MacOS was that "memory-hungry" :D That never seemed to be an issue on our Dells...
     
  22. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Location:
    here (for now)
    #22
    sounds like a lot of people here don't listen very well... or they just hate to learn new things.

    you really should get to know computers more. everyone should.

    please take the time to learn operating systems and the hardware they run. if you expect RAM to make a significant change especially when you don't really do much with your computer... it won't. the processor, bus speed, and bandwidth are the biggest factor swhen upgrading overall performance. RAM only helps when Photoshop bogs down or when real-time video effects are not in real-time. more than 1G and you better be making something cool with your mac.

    i bougth a G5 for content creation 'cause my 1Ghz 17" with 1.5GB RAM wouldn't cut it anymore. the jump from 512 to 1.5 only helps photoshop. my audio files still couldn't 'process' real-time effects while playing large multi-track sequences. RAM did not save my day... but a new G5 did!

    do you really need more RAM? do you really need you day saved? or do you just want to buy more stuff for your mac? or maybe tha extra 1/2 second lag of switching open windows just compounds your bordem and laziness (half-joking :)).

    i see you mentioned Dell... you should really learn what the differences are between mac and PC and OSX and XP.


    peace.


    *how can anyone buy a product without knowing how it works or how to work it? people know more about TV shows than they do a computer... and most of us use one every freakin' day.
     
  23. noel4r macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    I just installed a gig of ram in my iBook. How do I know if its functioning properly? System Profiler recognizes it, is that all I need to check? Thanks
     
  24. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Location:
    here (for now)
    #24
    pretty much... unless your paranoid and want to run the hardware diagnostic tools.

    notice much of a difference? your post doesn't read so...



    peace
     
  25. mslifkin macrumors regular

    mslifkin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #25
    All computers (and the operating systems that run them) use both physical memory (RAM) and virtual memory (a swap file on your hard drive). Virtual memory is used because everything can't fit in physical memory at once. The operating system will page not currently active memory contents to disk to create more room for applications that need it. Keep in mind that when you run an application, both the application code and the data you're working on (for example, Photoshop and a 22 meg tiff file that you happen to be editing) are in memory. So, if you have your e-mail program running, Safari open, iTunes playing (don't we all work that way?) whatever isn't currently active could be paged out to virtual memory. So, it makes sense that the more physical memory you have, the less that has to be paged out to disk. So it's not that Mac OS X is a memory hog, it's that both applications and data require memory. To see a picture of what I'm trying to explain open up Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor, and click on the memory tab. Keep it open as you launch the apps you usually use. If you've still got plenty of physical memory left once you've got apps and data loaded then you don't need to upgrade. I don't think that's what you're going to see, though. Adding 512 meg for a total of 1 gig is a decent and valid upgrade, and all you can really do with a PowerBook. Don't get me wrong, G5's rock too, but you can't sit outside by the pool and surf the web with a PowerMac G5. Now once the PowerBook G5's come out, that will be another story ................

    Cheers,
    Marc
     

Share This Page