4gb or 6gb RAM in my late 2008 MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RhettOSX, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. RhettOSX macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    #1
    I've heard mixed opinions on upgrading my RAM from 2gb in my MacBook Pro. I know RAM works best in equal pairs, so in that case two paired 2gb sticks would be the best. On the other hand, on sites like OWC, they have 6gb packages (with a 4 and 2gb). When I called Apple the other day, the guy I talked to said the computer wouldn't recognize/use anymore than 4gb. I don't know if he said this just because thats what Apple supports or what. He did also say that I could buy overclocked RAM, 800mhz up from the standard 667mhz.

    Can someone clear this up for me?

    Thanks
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    The Late 2008 15" (MB470LL/A (2.4), MB471LL/A (2.53), MC026LL/A (2.66 GHz))
    Type of RAM slots: 2 - 204-pin PC3-8500 (1066 MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM.
    Maximum RAM:8.0 GB (2.66/2.93 GHz) 6.0 GB (2.4/2.53/2.8 GHz) (Actual) 4.0 GB (Apple)

    The Late 2008 17" (MB766LL/A)
    Type of RAM slots: 2 - 200-pin PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 SO-DIMM.
    Maximum RAM:6.0 GB (Actual) 4.0 GB (Apple)

    You can find specs on all Apple products with Mactracker.
     
  3. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #3
    Out of curiosity how much memory do you now see being used up and how much do you see free? I have 4GB of RAM in my new 2010 MBP 13" but with everything closed on my home screen I see 2GB of RM being used up out of my 4GB of RAM.:confused: This is making me consider upgrading to 6 or 8GB of RAM.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Unless you're routinely paging in large amounts, there's no need to add RAM.
    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
     
  5. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #5
    Without anything really open I see over 2GB used in that link with the image you attached which is similar to what I am getting.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #6
    The test is what happens during normal use, not how much is used with nothing open.
     
  7. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #7
    If the test is run with nothing open with nothing being used then how can the computer run with programs or applications being open? This is just over 2GB with nothing even being open.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    No, the test is NOT to run with nothing open. Just use your computer as you normally would. Then see what your RAM usage looks like under normal circumstances. Having nothing open isn't a test of anything.
     
  9. RhettOSX thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    #9
    I usually have 700-800mb free with normal usage (4-5 applications open)
     
  10. ViveLeCorn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    BROOKLYN!
    #10
    I have a MacBook Pro late 2007 model, and put 6GB of RAM in it through OWC. After a couple days of using it, I noticed no real difference in performance in my computer. If anything, the boot up time on it took longer than my 4GB RAM I originally had. I wasn't so happy with it, especially for the price I paid, so I RMA'ed the 6GB back to OWC.

    My computer read that there were 6Gb of RAM, and iStat Pro showed the distribution of the 6GB of RAM, but once again I noticed no real change in speed. Also, benchmark scores were lower than that of my 4GB RAM on my computer.

    I'd say if you want better performance, get a SSD drive. RAM upgrade to 6GB doesn't seem worth it and doesn't do a whole lot at least from my experience.
     
  11. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #11
    I'd go for the 4 gigs if you're going to upgrade. I rarely dig much into the extra 2 gigs, but it's nice when I need to. Very nice for windows use, especially since I hacked it to run win 7 x64 :D
     
  12. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #12
    How much memory you need in your computer turns on how you use your computer. Those of us who run Windows in either a VMware Fusion or Parallels virtual machine require a lot of RAM. When I was running Windows 7 from the OS X dock with Fusion in Unity mode and had only 2Gb of RAM, my computer was both slow and unreliable. Ever since I upgraded to 6Gb of RAM, though, I have had no further problems with either speed or stability. I could upgrade to only 6Gb of RAM rather than 8 because Santa Rosa MBPs such as mine can't handle more than 6Gb reliably.
     
  13. RhettOSX thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    #13
    Windows use is the main reason I want to upgrade. I have 64 bit Windows and my ram is almost always maxed out, especially when gaming.
     
  14. RhettOSX thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    #14
    I think I will be ordering the 6gb package of RAM from OWC. I can't find any reliable sites to get an over-clocked (800mhz) 6gb package of RAM from.
     
  15. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #15
    I failed to say in my earlier post that I got my 6Gb RAM chips from OWC. They have been perfect. In fact, I have done quite a bit of business with OWC over the years and have found that they offer high quality products at fair prices.
     
  16. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #16
    The MC026LL/A can utilize up to 8GB of RAM. You should edit your post so that people searching aren't mislead.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    Thanks. Done.
     
  18. bigbadbenny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Collingwood
    #18
    Discreet non-unibody MacBook Pro upgrades.

    I'm on the same upgrade path due to budgetary constraints! 6Gb of ram is definitely worth it if you use Photoshop or similar - see macperformanceguide.com for more info...
    Possibly, if you are doing heaps of rendering, a dual channel 4GB kit would have slightly higher performance, but I'd rather just have more ram headroom...
    The only other caveat is that the DDR2 ram kit obviously won't work in a Unibody Mac, but this is less of an issue if you are going to delay an upgrade.
    If you are using 17" MBP's then a Wintec EC SSD is still forward compatible and based on my user experience (forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=714310&highlight=wintec) is *absolutely* worth the investment.
    The 'safest' upgrade in terms of your current performance, user experience and forwards compatibility is SATA SSD's or HDD's.
    Having a Wintec 48GB, 6GB ram and a Momentus is awesome, so good from standard that my user experience has me planning for either 2x OWC RE SSD's in RAID0, or 1x SSD + Momentus XT or possibly 2x Momentus XT.
    Going 2x SSD will effectively "max" my MacBook Pro for now, and I can take those and my Wintec to an upgrade Unibody in the future.
     
  19. mikentosh2003 macrumors newbie

    mikentosh2003

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    North SoCal
    #19

    OWC is great! I've been buying stuff from them for years now. You can find some interesting stuff on sale as well as different upgrades for whatever mac setup you might have. Excellent customer service as well.

    I've got an mid '07 17" 2.4ghz MBP and would like to max out the RAM, but the $90-$100 price tag for a 4gig ram card is just too much for me to spend on my old mac. I can't get myself to pull the trigger!

    It's funny. OWC has great prices (IMHO) on all sorts of bells+whistles for different makes and models etc. But the price for the 4gig ram card (4.0GB PC5300 DDR2 667MHz 200 Pin) that works in older macs, and their price on one of those HD caddy's to put an HD into the optical bay…for my older gen mac, always seemed odd to me. Not really priced to move product... Around $99 for my drive caddy that has an IDE connection. You can find a newer OWC caddy with an sata connection for as low as $20 sometimes. Those two items, always at a hundred bucks always stuck out to me as 'odd'.
    I'll check the prices every now+again when I wander OWC's site looking to see what's on sale…and for the last 3 or 4 years I've been checking…always stays at $100…plus or minus 10 bucks…

    There must be a site out there somewhere that has RAM for older macs priced to move, right? I've searched but OWC is always at the top of the list with maybe amazon link, and bunch of discussion board links…I may be overlooking a 'not-so-obvious' great site, 'cause I really have No idea how far off the stock specs (4.0GB PC5300 DDR2 667MHz 200 Pin) I could go and still get a 1x4gig ram card that will fit and operate with no problems in my "Legacy" macbook pro. I'd love to hear any info anyone might have…

    Well, anything but "Dude, start saving up some money, ya? And go buy yourself a Newer computer! Doesn't have to be brand-new. Just new to you! Nothing over X years old!"
    [FONT=arial, verdana, sans-serif]I tell this to myself all the time. But I don't seem to be listening :)

    -MIke
    [/FONT]
     
  20. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #20
    That machine takes up to 16g if ram if I remember correctly, my old one had 8g. And is still running well with an SSD upgrade for my brother, to be honest an SSD will give you a much better performance boost than a few gigs of ram.
     

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