Confused with Penryn MacBook Pro RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by heffeque, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. heffeque macrumors regular


    I bought a MacBook Pro with 2 GB of RAM a year ago. It's a MacBook Pro 4.1 with a 2,4 GHz CPU (Penryn) and the memory is 667 MHz even if the bus is 800 MHz (I know the difference and why it's like that).

    I've tried buying some RAM, as I see in the "Understanding Intel Mac RAM" guide (here), choosing Kingston ValueRAM wasn't a good idea, now I know, but... reading the guide I see that my computer DOES accept 4 GB, but going to Apple's support page (here) I see THIS:

    "Although these notebooks will accept up to a 2 GB SO-DIMM in each of the two memory slots, the MacBook Pro will only support 3 GB total memory. If you want to maximize the amount of SDRAM in your computer, install a 2 GB SO-DIMM in one slot and a 1GB SO-DIMM in the other."

    Is this true? Is there a workaround? Is it better that I just upgrade to 3 GB then?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    That computer should take 4GB. The 3.2GB firmware limit was pre-Santa Rosa.
  3. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
  4. heffeque thread starter macrumors regular


    Thanks a lot, just ordered two OCZ2MV6672G. They'll arrive in 3 to 6 days. I'll have you informed. Thanks again for your help! ;-)
  5. tibi08 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2007
    Brighton, UK
    Just curious - what are you doing to use more than 2Gb of RAM? I've tried really hard but the only thing I can get to do that is VMWare/Parallels. And I'm not buying RAM just for that! :confused:
  6. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    You're not one of those guys who closes every non active app, are you? ;)
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I usually hover around 200MB free and inactive, and right now I have only 50MB free and inactive.

    I could use more RAM, but I've already maxed it out.
  8. PeterQC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2008
    Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign at the same is enough to max my 2GBs (~14MB free at times)
  9. heffeque thread starter macrumors regular


    Sometimes only with Mac OS apps I get some swapping. Sometimes I get more than 2 GB of swap. I'm pretty sure that it has to do more with crappy programming than with too many programs opened at the same time, but the thing is that I do use those crappy programed applications and I can't really change the ones I use, so... even if I didn't use Fusion (witch I barely use because then heavy swapping occurs) I'd still feel a lot more comfortable with 4 GB than with 2. Or maybe it means that I need to format the HD and reinstall Leopard but... that sounds so... Windows... that I feed that even if I do a clean install it won't get much better.
  10. Gauss1777 macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    Dang! I read this late! I just got 2 sticks of Kingston value RAM, 2x2GB 667MHz. To my surpirse, I can only make my Macbook Pro to work with 3GB.

    If I put one 2GB Kingston stick on either slot, the computer won't boot. If I put both 2GB sticks, also won't boot. If I put one 2GB stick on either slot and 1GB of the original RAM on the other slot, the computer would boot and use 3GB.

    I own a Macbook Pro 4.1 with Penryn T9300 and 512MB of VRAM, so what's wrong? BTW, the computer did come with only 2GB, and the sticker below the battery says exactly the characteristics. I'm wondering if it's a refurbished computer from late 2006... :S

    Or is it normal on the Penryn plataform with these crappy value Kingston RAM?

    I wonder how would be with other RAM... I don't wan't to keep spending money in vain.
  11. Gauss1777 macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    Update: So a light came to my head... if the computer is booting with at least one of those sticks of cheap kingston, maybe if I take one 2GB stick from other laptop at home it could work. I took the only 2GB stick that my father's laptop had (from a total of 3GB, and also PC2 5300) and tried with one 2GB kingston and one 2GB of hynix on the Mac, voila! It worked! Now the Macbook Pro works with 4GB!

    Then, I put the other 2GB of cheap kingston on my father's laptop and it's working as it should. I don't know why a pair of these value sticks are not working together and I don't wan't to try both on my father's laptop, everything is nice as it is by now.
  12. DAMNiatx macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2009
    because your mbp can't run dual channel from 2x2gb SAME memory.
  13. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    I don't understand. What do you mean by same memory?

    I've had matched pairs run dual channel with the following:

    2x2GB Samsung
    2x2GB Corsair
    2x2GB G.Skill

    All three combos run fine.

    There's can be an error in testing the RAM over 3.5GB that shows up but its all their.

    As for Gauss1777, I think the problem is simple. In all probability, one of those sticks of Kingston RAM is bad. You should comprehensively test both sticks of RAM and think about returning it if there's a bad one.

    What's the RAM speed?

    If it's not, it could be what DAMNiatics is talking about.
  14. heffeque thread starter macrumors regular


    The problem is that ValueRAM memory from Kingston doesn't work correctly with Apple computers, or at least that's what the guide says.
  15. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    Really? Which guide?

    Learn something new every day...
  16. heffeque thread starter macrumors regular


    Read the first post ;-)

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