Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dehory, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. dehory macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2008
    Has anyone looked into the possibility of having the MBA opened up and getting 4GB of RAM soldered onto the motherboard in place of the existing 2GB stick? I'm certain this would provide a significant bump in performance.

    Obviously this is not something you'd want to do at home, but it seems like this would be possible in theory. Am I correct?
  2. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Theoretically, manned space travel to Mars is possible, too.

    If you want to monkey around with your MBA's RAM, or get someone who "knows what they're doing" to try this, be my guest. But it's been my experience that when you start talking about soldering irons and when you don't know if there are hardcoded limitations elsewhere in the hardware (as seems to be the case with some of the other recent Mac notebooks; you can install bigger-capacity RAM chips, but the computer won't recognize the extra memory), you're in Terra Incognita.

    Short version: Don't even think about it.
  3. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Not by hand you can't. Needs to be done w. wave soldering when manufactured.
  4. six.four macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2008
    unfortunately the soldered ram aren't "sticks". They are actually individually memory chips soldered to the mobo. In order to get 4gbs, you would need matching chips of similar configuration of which I'm not even sure exists - not to mention expensive, as you would have to purchase each memory module individually. A similar procedure was unsuccessfully attempted on a sony UX umpc as it was too difficult to find matching modules.

    I'm fairly handy with a soldering iron and modding electronics, but looking at the technical skill that would be required to replace the memory modules on the sony UX is far above any amateur and even some professionals I'm guessing.

    So to answer your question - theoretically yes, practically no
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Even though Leopard can support 8GB of RAM there is somethibng stopping the MBPs from recognizing all 8; however, the reports say that they do see 6 if you drop in 6.
  6. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Thanks for the recap, we know that but the OP wishes to have 4GB of ram in the MBA. Technically it's possible and I can't understand why Apple hasn't offered it as a BTO option for consumers who don't mind paying for it.
  7. Ryan T. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    Jun 13, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I was a little surprised they didn't upgrade the RAM to 4GB at least on the upper model when the MBA was bumped recently.
  8. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    you better have some uber 1337 soldering skillz if you want teh 4GB of RAM in your MBA
  9. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I was giving one example of exceeding apple's ram ceiling on one of the newest machines and it not recognizing the extra memory.
  10. twist2b macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    North Carolina
    They could EASILY update to 4GB Ram. It would help alot too. I don't know what they were thinking there.

    I have seen a hack 4GB ram. IT BARELY fit. Pretty cool though.

    Basically you CAN, but its tricky business and could destroy an EXPENSIVE lappy. If you mess up, don't even think about getting any help from apple either :p

    Also, the OS recognizes the extra BTW.
    Some expert hacker pulled it off, and gave a guide (have no idea were it is... google?) But I am sure you can figure it out if you know what your doing and an BSEE or something.
  11. O. Frabjous-Dey macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2006
    I'm surprised they didn't bump it either. The MBA seems to have less customizable BTO options than the others.

    Unfortunately, I think you'll have to look at a MB if you want 4GB RAM.
  12. Grizzly Adams macrumors member

    May 20, 2008
    Again, theoretically it could be done. The problem isn't that it could or couldn't be done, the problem is finding the parts for the job. The MBA doesn't use traditional RAM sticks, it uses 16 Micron RAM chips (eight one-gigabit chips on each side of the logic board). So you can't just pop down to your local parts store or even order the parts online like you could with any other setup. A fair amount of the parts inside the Air were custom jobs that aren't readily available on the market.
  13. ducatidoc macrumors regular


    Apr 20, 2008
    tried googling this and couldnt find it. would be VERY interested in trying this, especially if i can confirm that it's already been done. any chance that you remember where ya saw it at??
  14. twist2b macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    North Carolina
    Really? The hack was done like only a like 2 or 3 months after the lappy came out. I will try to find it for you guys. I was so impressed I bookmarked it, but I don't have it anymore do to an OS restart and a lazy me. (I lost SOOOO MUCH artwork from this aswell..... it was sad) anyways, I will try to find it :)
  15. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    To anyone wanting to add more RAM.
    If you're not happy with what the Air offers, DON"T BUY IT. Why would anyone gut the main CPU board to add more RAM that it was NOT designed to have. You want 4GB, buy a MacBook.

    Be happy that we have the Air. Its sexy, OS X is AWESOME, and it's expensive (you are doing well if you can afford one). The Air is NOT for everyone and was NOT designed for everyone.
  16. ducatidoc macrumors regular


    Apr 20, 2008
    lol, oh where to begin...

    "If you're not happy with what the Air offers, DON"T BUY IT."
    im confused, where were core shutdowns and hinge problems listed in what it offers?

    "Why would anyone gut the main CPU board to add more RAM that it was NOT designed to have."
    simple, these things called "computer programs" require memory. the more you have, the more you can do with your computer!

    "You want 4GB, buy a MacBook."
    i would, if it weighed less

    "Be happy that we have the Air. Its sexy, OS X is AWESOME,.."
    yah easy on the apple kool aid there yo

    "and it's expensive (you are doing well if you can afford one)."
    it's a tough economy, but i work, it's my money, and ill do what i please with it. in that same vein, if we want to mod the air, we are going to mod the air.

    dude, it's called xanax. go find some...
  17. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    I was so excited

    I was so excited to read this thread because I'm going to buy a MBA as soon as I can get 4 GB of RAM into it. I carry my computer around about 2-3 miles per day, and my shoulders would be so happy!

    My dream MBA is the current 1.87 Ghz with 4 GB RAM plus an Intel SSD drive, preferably at 128 GB or more. With that set-up, my computer would just fly.

    Most of my stuff is more memory intensive than processor intensive, although VMWare Fusion eats up some processor, it eats a lot more RAM, and that's the big one for me. Same with iTunes. I like to keep it open, but it uses almost 200 MB of memory and almost no processor when not playing. Word uses almost 200 MB of memory, but very little processor.

    I know Apple will allow more memory eventually, and I'm not so patiently waiting with money that's safely earmarked for that day.
  18. twist2b macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    North Carolina
    Well your dream is almost true. The tests have shown that the MBA is better in some places then teh PRO! Its pretty amazing and the new graphics cards ROCKS! Besides gameplay, 2GB is easily enough 99% of the time. Unless your into making big posters like me (I have a touch-laptop for that so I am good)

    IMO - The air finally got what it needed. Its a worthy buy NOW, not b4.
  19. dehory thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2008
    If you can find it, that'd be great. I already tried searching for a 4gb mod before I started this thread, but to no avail.

    With a good SSD drive installed, I really think that the existing 2GB RAM is the bottleneck in terms of performance and might make the difference between, say, running windows virtualization smoothly and not. If the mod weren't too gruesome, I'm sure a lot of us would consider it...
  20. AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2008
    I'd rather say: BUY TWO OR THREE OF THEM.

    First one serves for practice ;)
  21. Eosblue macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2008
    This is what I refer to as "foot-pound miles". I know and you know the MB is only 5 pounds, but that makes a huge difference strapped over a shoulder. It's really all the other stuff we jam in our computer cases and now we're talking about maybe 10 pounds instead of 12 pounds.

    I've done a lot of hiking up and down LONG airline terminals and only owned 3 pound laptops because of the above. About a year ago I gave up waiting for Apple to come out with one and coughed up the change for a MB. I've had it on maybe 5 trips so far and it's a slight pain. I'm getting a 2.2 Acer Aspire Mini for Christmas that I plan to use for air travel and restrict my MB to mostly home duty. The Acer is only $350 and I KNOW Apple will never have a 2.2 laptop for that price so it seems like a good compromise.

    If I had waited about another month, I probably would have picked up the Air in January as I bought my MB the day after Christmas '07. I just extended my AppleCare to 3 years so plan to keep the MB at least another year and then take a good look at the Air then.
  22. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    It's really interesting how some people think that 4GB of RAM is just awesome and it'll be soooo much better and faster than 2GB. Unless you're doing some heavy duty processing, perhaps some serious video editing in Final Cut Pro with two high speed high capacity external drives with one being your scratch drive....4GB isn't going to buy you anything. I would say 99% of the people out there would never push their computers to the point that 4GB of memory would really be of benefit. If you are one of those people that 4GB is of real benefit then you probably need another computer....a computer that has a 4 or 8 cores running at 3.06GHz, and perhaps a TB of HDD....you need to upgrade from the Macbook Air!

  23. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    why limit yourself to 4GB? :cool: 8GB ram will be even more awesome wouldn't it? And then how about 12 GB?.........
  24. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    There are several uses for the extra memory including just using the memory using a memory filesystem. I use 4GB of ram constantly and I don't do any type of heavy editing. I just use the ram however I can.
  25. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I think it is better to wait. Revision 3 may have 4 GB and 256 GB SSD with the single button glass trackpad. The enjoy the current MBA for what it is today. A second computer designed for most portable needs.

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