Can I run my mbp with 1 x 1GB stick and 1 x 4GB stick?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by simplymuzik3, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. simplymuzik3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2009
    So my question is simple. I have the base 13" mbp. So I have 2 x 1GB sticks. Can I get 1 x 4GB stick and make that total 5GB? Or do I have to purchase in pairs (2 x 4GB)? Can someone please confirm this. Thanks!
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Yes you can run your MBP with an unmatched pair of RAM sticks, you will just not take advantage of dual channel RAM (having two matching sticks of RAM - 2x1/2/4/8GB).
  3. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2009
    What's the advantage to using dual channel RAM? Will I notice a difference in speed, or is it un-noticeable to the user?
  4. vader1990 macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2008

    BareFeats found the following when testing w/ a 4GB + 2GB setup:

    ...the difference ranged from -.5% to +1.7% or an average difference of +.28% or less than 1/3 of one percent. I call that negligible. Or, in other words, you should have no worries about a speed penalty imposed by non-matching memory modules and loss of interleaving.

    So, my advice is, that is you find yourself needing more ram, then go ahead and get the 4GB + 1GB, b/c on average the speed difference is negligible, and the boost your system will get from having so much memory will out do any speed reduction noticed due to dual-channel. On a side note, a lot of the speed difference you notice has to do with the hard drive just as much as the RAM. The faster the hard drive, the "snappier" your system will feel!

    Good Luck, and happy holidays! :)
  5. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    4GB sticks are still pretty expensive, that will cost you about $200 for one stick otherwise you can do 2x2GB sticks for about $100. I would probably do the 2 sticks and save the money, sure it's 1GB less but $100 for a gig of ram is pretty pricey.
  6. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    The problem is that if you get 2x2now and then want to upgrade again you end up with 2 more useless 2GB sticks.
  7. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestions :D I think Im going to end up going with 2 x 2GB sticks for now. That should satisfy my needs. Then in a few years when my mbp starts to become "outdated" I can upgrade to 8GB and a SSD. Thanks for the suggestions!

    And happy holidays/merry christmas to everyone :D

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