Importance of matched memory sticks?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JeffEmbracedDC, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. JeffEmbracedDC macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2006
    Hey, guys. This is my first post here. I'm fairly new to macs. I just got my 17" mbp a few months back and have always planned on installing some more ram. I have the standard 1x1GB stick now, and I want to move to 2x1GB. What is the importance of having matched memory? Should I really sell my current gig stick and buy two matched sticks, or would it be close enough for me to buy just one stick of something? Maybe it would be okay to just buy one stick if I go with the same brand as what standard (is it samsung?)

    If I really do need to get matched pairs, according to afew threads I've read on here I should either get it from either OWC/ or DMS/ I noticed they offer different ... I guess different "grades" of ram. How much of a difference does this make? If one is $10 more than another and it's a substantial difference obviously I'd rather have the higher grade.. but if it's at all throwing my money away to spend $10 more per stick let me know.

    If it would maybe be fine for me to just get another stick of what's already in my MBP, where would be a good place for that?

    Thanks guys. I really appreciate it.

  2. dclocke macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    Well, I could be wrong, but when I use the term "matched memory" I generally mean the same size. So, for example, you wouldn't want 1.5 GB of memory by using a 1 GB stick and a 512 MB stick. If different brands of memory make a difference it's news to me. As long as they are both PC5300, 667MHz the brand shouldn't make a difference. But if I'm wrong somebody please tell me...
  3. shawsinio macrumors regular

    May 29, 2006
    yeh, all matched memory means is that both sticks are the same size, ie. 2 x 1GB st5icks in ur comp would be 'matched memory'. the speed boost is minimal however, e.g. having 2 512 sticks wouldnt be faster than a 1gb stick and a 256 gb stick if that makes sense? i think it mostly helps the graphics.
  4. lewion macrumors regular


    May 31, 2006
    uhm No! Matched memory means that they have tested both working together... it doesn't mean the same size it means that they are made to be together
    like for example 2*512mb which are tested like that and then sold out ! when you buy 2 seperate 512mb sticks they are not matched.. it's just the same size then. there is a difference matched is btw always better!
  5. skipsandwichdx macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    In my macbook, I'm using one of the 512mb sticks it came with and a 1gb stick I bought for my macbook pro. It works fine.
  6. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC

    Wasn't there an issue with some G5 iMacs where something more than the size had to be matched--i.e., the latency and some other aspects--in order to take advantage of the larger bus? So it was more than matching just the size of the stick there. But I don't think that's an issue for newer models.
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The advantage of matched sticks is fairly negligible for most. I have 1x1 GB and 1x512 MB in my Macbook Pro, and it runs plenty fast.
  8. dclocke macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    Right, I didn't mean that it wouldn't work. But it's not supposed to be as efficient. So if you use 1 GB and 512 MB sticks, you'll get better performance that 2x512MB (1GB) simply because there's more memory. But your "performance per MB" will be better in the 2x512MB setup.

    Can anyone give an explanation why two different brands of memory used together would not be as efficient as matched memory? Seems to me that as long as the specifications are the same there shouldn't be an issue. This article says that there actually is a performance gain, but that it is marginal. It also says the memory sticks are matched by specification. It doesn't mention anything about brand....
  9. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Well, Dual Channel was hardly neglible in the Pentium 4s, it actually showed a big performance boost due to the design of the memory controller (it was not as important on AMDs since they have integrated mc), kinda like Quad Channel makes a tangible difference in Mac Pro. However I'm not sure if Yonah has the same benefits.

    In any case, I rather have a 1GB stick in there so I can easily upgrade to 2GB than have 2x512mb and have to either upgrade to 1.5 and throw one stick or throw both sticks, I think thats worth it over the performance increase which I'm not even sure is tangible on Yonah.
  10. JeffEmbracedDC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2006
    A friend of mine is having his first MBP shipped to him tomorrow and was also interested in upgrading to more ram. He found this article that seems to explain alot about 'Matched' sticks -

    I hope it helps some other people.

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