Different memory size sticks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by unkinkedash, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. unkinkedash macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2018
    #1
    Hello everybody, I'm about to upgrade my MacBook Pro mid 2012 A1278 and it has now(before the upgrade) two sticks of 2GB of memory(4GB total). I'm willing to replace one of these 2GB sticks with a 8GB stick and leave the other 2GB on its place (10GB total). Is this a problem for my mac? Some people say it doesn't and a fewer amount of guys say it does.

    Besides that, I'll replace the HDD for an SSD and also replace the optic drive with another SSD.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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  3. slam5 macrumors member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    #3
    Not recommended at it. MacBook Pro memory architect like to see 2 identical module in both slots. Or at least the same size module (4gbx2 or 8gbx2). Your machine will be slower in 10gb configuration.
     
  4. Audit13, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018

    Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #4
    Even though the MacBook will not be running memory in dual channel mode, is unlikely you'll notice the difference imho. The machine is 6 years old so I would go with the 10 GB. I did the same in a 2010 13" MBP and could not feel any difference between 2x4 and 1x8+1x2.
     
  5. unkinkedash thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2018
    #5
    Could you run more programs at once better then before? That's what I need now actually.
     
  6. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #6
    More ram means less swapping to the hard drive or SSD. Although an SSD is faster than a mechanical drive, it's read speeds are not faster than ram read speeds.
     
  7. slam5 macrumors member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    #7
    MacBook Pro definitely run memory in dual channel.. it is Intel chipset. He most likely than not don’t need that extra 2gb of memory but the running the memory in single channel have a 10-15% hit in memory performance.
     
  8. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #8
    My motto is more ram is better than less ram. This is a 6 year old laptop and I'm not sure that a 10 to 15% difference in performance will affect all apps in the same manner.

    I ran a 2010 MPB 13" with Safari, office 2016, iTunes, you tube, light photo editing, and the machine felt no slower with 10 Gb and an SSD.

    Having a 1x8 Gb stick would be more useful for upgrading another laptop than 2x4 GB sticks. Also, getting 2x4 now makes moving to 2x8 more expensive in the future.
     
  9. slam5 macrumors member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    #9
    Unless you running VM’s or edit multi pictures in ps or lr concurrently, you just don’t use much more than 5-6gb at max. Remember this is an older mac and pretty soon Apple will not support the newest version of os x.
     
  10. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #10
    Have a look at your RAM usage in "Activity Monitor" when you're running a typical heavy workload. If you're using close to 4GB, then sure, get the extra 8GB. If your computer wants to use more than 4GB, then giving it the 2+8 configuration should give you a much better experience. Using a 4+4 dual channel configuration would give you a marginal performance increase above this, probably closer to negligible.

    If you're not doing anything that requires 4GB RAM, then more will not give you a significant boost, but then again 4GB really is not much, and its not hard to saturate that pool.
     
  11. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #11
    Yes, it's an older Mac and finding a use for a single 8 GB stick in another machine is easier than finding a use for two 4 GB sticks, a single 8 GB stick is about the same price as two 4 GB sticks, there would only be 1 unused 2gb stick by going with an 8 GB stick.

    No one I know can say for sure when apple will drop official support for the mid 2012 13" MBP but high Sierra is still officially supported on the 2010 13" and 15" MBP and these are 8 year old laptops. People are even modding high Sierra to run on pre-2010 MacBooks too.
     
  12. Painter2002 macrumors 6502a

    Painter2002

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    Austin, TX
    #12
    From my personal experience on my previous MacBooks, adding an extra 4-6GB of RAM can make a huge difference. Namely it can significantly can reduce app hang time and improve overall performance. If you combine this with an SSD replacement like you suggested, OP’s computer should run much faster.

    I do want to also note though I think instead of upgrading just one ram, it would be wiser to buy a two pack of ram so both cards get upgraded with the same brand and same capacity. Get a 2-pack of 4gb ram and that should significantly breath new life into your machine.

    EDIT: I misread Audit13’s response and edited post to remove quoting...
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    "I'm willing to replace one of these 2GB sticks with a 8GB stick and leave the other 2GB on its place (10GB total). Is this a problem for my mac? Some people say it doesn't and a fewer amount of guys say it does."

    I did exactly the same but with a late 2012 Mini.
    It runs fast and fine with 10gb of installed RAM.

    Some will "warn" you that having two differently-sized RAM DIMMs will "slow the computer down". Technically, they are correct, because the RAM will run just a little faster if both DIMMs are "matched". BUT... the speed "slowdown" -- if it's there -- may prove un-noticeable in day-to-day usage.

    This is one of those things you might be able to measure with an app, but that's the only time you'll see it.

    I didn't see any slowdowns with a 2gb and an 8gb DIMM installed.
    I don't think that you will, either.
     

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