4Gb RAM - Hot left leg

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by woolyback, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. woolyback macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    Okay, a (fairly) recently purchased MacBook and based on (a) Windows experience and (b) a common thread on here, I upped the 1Gb of RAM to 4.

    I haven't noticed any particular performance improvement to be honest and as per the thread title, it's started running really hot (from where the RAM is located) since I upped the RAM. Not scientific, just uncomfortably hot on left thigh... :rolleyes:

    This was one of my main requirements when considering a Mac - didn't burn me when using it.

    So, my real question is (assuming the extra heat is normal - can't find a conclusive answer on previous similar threads), do I really need 4Gb or should I revert back to 1Gb (don't want to have to buy 2x1Gb to get inbetween) ?

    I/we really only use it for typical home computing stuff - managing music, (loads of) pictures, a little bit of video work and web-browsing. No gaming or high quality graphics requirements.

    Appreciate comments/thoughts on this or anyone with similar problems/solutions...

  2. forafireescape macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    If you don't need the extra RAM and haven't noticed a difference, I'd say save your leg.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    iPhoto will run like a pig with tons of photos and only 1 GB RAM.

    2GB is the practical minimum for smooth use of the machine. When you are using a single program you won't see much of a difference with 4 GB because you are not utilizing it. But wnen you get using multiple programs, and loading them up with data, then the 1 GB configuration will be slower.

    Was never designed to be lap-held, unfortunately
  4. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Your left leg is where all the heat is going to go unfortunately. The Optical drive is on the back right of the laptop, so that is next to no heat. The hard drive is on the front right, and those don't get that hot anymore. The battery is on the front left (and middle) of the laptop, and that doesn't get hot.

    So, that leaves the logic board, that takes up the entire back left of the laptop. That is where all the heat is generated. As to why you started noticing it when you dropped in the 4GB kit, have you started doing more things with your macbook?

    Also, in response to someone else, the only way you will notice a difference with 4GB is if you actually use it. So open a bunch of apps, who cares? You have 4GB of RAM and a kickin processor. You also have an OS that can handle having every application open at once.
  5. woolyback thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    Thanks for the quick responses !

    No, not doing anything extra, but sounds like with the amount of stuff I've got on it now since upping the memory, I'd probably notice a diff dropping down again, especially in iPhoto (don't know what a lot is though? 5000?).

    On the flip side, it's still not as hot as my previous laptop and is a lot nicer :)

    Ah well, always worth asking - thanks again.
  6. Domofloge macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2008
    New Jersey
    I have noticed the same thing.. the extra RAM = tons of extra heat. :( lol

    I've only seen a difference when using multiple programs at the same time. If your choice is between 1GB and 4GB.. I would say stick with the 4GB's. You said you have "loads of" photos and music. Its always nice to have extra RAM anyway.

    Ideally for you though, (IMO) you should just get another 1GB stick and install (2) 1 GB sticks.. if that is possible..
  7. FederalBmx macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    yea just be careful about your leg. i had an acer aspire before my macbook. that thing ran so hot i fell asleep one night with it on my lap, woke up wondereed why my leg hurt. and now i have 3 scars from where 3 separte burn boils formed after 3 hours of it laying on my lap.
  8. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    and why is putting just one of the 2gb chips in not an option? I'm sure you could sell one of the 2gb chips and keep one.....

    thus giving you 2gb as opposed to 4 or 2.512 gb if you put back one of your 512s in the spot.

    I'd keep the 4 though.
  9. Carnivor macrumors regular


    Feb 24, 2008
    I've just gone from 1 to 4 gb ram on my macbook, literally this weekend, havent noticed any heat differences, but i have noticed a blinding difference on performance, now i can pretty much leave all my apps open and flick between them at my hearts content.

    I'm assuming you have a matched pair of ram, ive read intel macbook's dont like just one bank filled, and can actually cause it to run slower.

    i have 2500 pics in iphoto now, and nearly fell over when it loaded, near dam instant!!!! I for one couldn't go back to the 1gb i had before. It's kinda understandable why the macbook now has 2gb standard, 1gb just aint quite enough for all the "standard" apps that come with the macbook.

    I got my ram from crucial, very quick and only £60 for 4gb, question is now what can i do with my old 1gb hehe.

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