Why laptops only 2 gigs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Emrtr4, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. Emrtr4 macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2006
    I was just wondering why all Apple laptops can only hold 2 gigs of memory.

    Most pc makers offer 4 gigs of memory in their laptops, especially 17 inch computers.

    It just strikes me that Apple has a desktop that holds the most memory in the world, but yet their laptops are faily low end.

    Even if there are only 2 Dimm slots, there are such things as 2 gig memory modules. Also, there is no reason that the 17 inch does not have 4 Dimm slots.

    Anyone know if it is possible to put 3rd party memory more than 2 gigs in a Macbookpro?
  2. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    I believe you need 64 bit processing or somefing to support 4 gigs of ram but I'm not sure. Also 2 gig ram sticks are usually "fatter" so they probably won't fit properly in the MB or MBPs.
  3. apachie2k macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2006
    was NYC...now MIAMI

    that's what i heard...so maybe with the next update....we can see a @#$ load of ram!
  4. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    Research my friend, research:)

    32 bit processors support up to 4 GB of RAM.
    The PowerPC 970/970FX, also known as the G5, supported up to 64 TB (64.000 GB of RAM). I dunno what other 64-bit processors support.

    The 2 GB SO-DIMMS are smae size as others, but are like $2500. That's why.;) Of course, the 2 GB dimms for the new iMac are $750, so I guess the next gen. MBP will support 4 GB.
  5. NextTuesday macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Cork, Ireland
    This is why I want a 12-inch PowerBook G5 with 32TB of RAM (64 is too much in my opinion :p )
  6. CoMpX macrumors 65816


    Jun 29, 2005
    New Jersey
    64TB of RAM is freaking insane! :eek:

    For God sakes, even 64GB is ridiculous!
  7. rtharper macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2006
    Oxford, UK
    32 bit PROCESSORS can address up to 4 gigabytes, it's true. This is because it can address memory locations from 0 to 2^32 (4,294,967,296 bytes). The same formula is true for all 64-bit processors; they can address from 0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,616. I believe this number is actually sixteen exabytes.

    The limitations for memory have often come from other factors in the platform (motherboard chipsets and hardware limitations). Even 32bit motherboards did not support 4 gigabytes in the beginning of the 32-bit era. We've reached the mathematical limit for 32-bit registers, but chipsets and hardware design will take a while to reach the 64-bit limit.
  8. aussie_geek macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    Sydney Australia

    It is crazy now...Wait 10 years - that will be like 64MB... ;)

  9. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2005
    NG9, England
    I concur. Never say this will be enough for me, or state you'll never need any more.

    If I can think of 600GB external storage as being plenty for my needs over the next few years, then fill it within months, I would never anticipate anything again. Prepare for tomorrow, as it is only a day away.
  10. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2005
    NG9, England
    I checked crucial for a Dell XPS that supported 2GB sticks to see for myself. 1GB was $150, 2GB was $1500. Never realised it was quite so much of a difference.

    Beside that Apple at $750 is actually a bargain.
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    A function of how Apple set up their 32-bit address, and did the split between the OS and the hardware addresses.

    In the 64-bit Merom upgrade, you will get an extra gigabyte. Which makes the problem a chipset problem. And we get nearly the same memory as PC users on the same chipset.

    You'll be able to put in 3GB of memory and use it all or 4GB of RAM and use 3GB. Your choice. ;)

    Basically Merom will take the current OS out of the equation, and put Intel on the hook for the silly 3GB limit right now.


    When we get the new chipset, you should be able to have 8GB while the desktop version of the chipset is at 16/32GB.

    But remember these 64-bit chips are still limited to a max of 36-bits of physical RAM, so the chipset isn't too far behind the curve. And the MacPro at 32GB is nearly maxed out.

    64-bit registers, 48-bits virtual memory, 36-bit physical memory, & a 32-bit chipset = 3GB on a Merom MacBook.
  12. zwida macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2001
    Ahhhh, but imagine the RAM disk that you could get going...

    I've been toying with installing Photoshop in a RAM disk when my new machine arrives. I'm sure there's a reason why this is a bad idea, but I gotta try it.
  13. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    ... I love ya tomorrow. Your always a day away!
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    So the opteron is at 1 TB, the Meron at 64GB (and still not quite a full 64-bit address cpu, since it is limited to 48-bit virtual).

    But yes, the PPC970 was insance in its capabilities -- sort of sucks we never even saw the G6 and all the future Gx series that would have followed based on future full Power Series chips. :(

    But if you think about it, the 48-bit virtual memory CPUs are getting near EOL since RAID clusters are rapidly growing -- so a 256TB scratch disk isn't that far off or silly.
  15. AppleIntelRock macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    Let's throw away our hard drives and buy 100 GB ram sticks for 1 millions bucks each! yay
  16. n-abounds macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2006
    Well, with that much demand, I'm sure the prices would decrease fairly rapidly :D

    How does one make a RAM disk? Just have few applications going at once?

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