MacBook - 2 y/o - added 2GB of diff?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by manito2000, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. manito2000 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2005
    Hello guys/gals...

    I have a 2 y/o MacBook. Yesterday I bought a 2GB stick of RAM... Took out the 512mb stick and replaced it w/ the 2GB. So now I have 2.5GB.

    However, I really did not notice any change in the speed/performance.

    Any thoughts? Should I get another 2GB stick to notice a difference?

    Also, the fan on my MacBook seems to be on constantly...hope that it's not close to it getting fried :(

  2. iphonesrq macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2007
    so if you took out the 512....shoudn't you only have 2GB not 2.5GB? or did the orig come w/ 1GB?
  3. Poirot818 macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2008
    I'm guessing you have an 80GB 5400RPM HDD.

    You should have replaced it with a better HDD or an SDD if you wanted to see an improvement in speed.
  4. andrew upstairs macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    Downtown Los Angeles
    So you have 512 in one slot, and 2GB in another?

    If so, you should have gotten two 1GB sticks. Or two 2GB.
  5. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    Depending on what you do, you may not see a performance increase, or may not notice the small bump you're getting.

    Something like email/word processing/internet difference. If you're doing online video streams, multiple tabs in Safari/FireFox, video/audio work, batch photo editting, then you'll see a huge difference.
  6. tallguy macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2008
    Maybe your just not doing enough memory intensive work to notice the difference. Still it should feel a bit snappier than before, but like someone said maybe the hard drive is holding it back from world domination.
  7. manito2000 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2005
    Buy an extra 2GB stick?

    Could it be that I should by another 2GB stick to replace the other 512Mb in the MacBook?

    Somewhere I read says that it is better to have the two sticks of equal RAM...?

    Does this make sense?
  8. Buskape macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
    NGC 4889
    Yes. Dual Channel kicks in, speed increase. Plus you'll have 4 Gigs of ram :)
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Memory only makes a difference if you actually use it. Think of it like this:

    You have a spare room in your house where you store boxes which you need speedy access to. The boxes which you don't use often are stored outside in the garage.

    You've got ten boxes, and the room can hold 20. You don't need to put any boxes in the garage because they all fit in the spare room.

    What you've effectively done here is increased the size of the spare room. Because you don't have enough boxes to fill it, you won't see any difference by increasing its size.

    Bad advice. For one thing, I'm not even sure that the OP's MacBook can hold 4GB RAM, and the difference in performance in dual channel mode will be virtually impossible to perceive. There won't be any noticeable speed boost.
  10. manito2000 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2005

    Hi guys...thanks for your responses.

    This is what I have... MacBook 3.1 (late 2007 model).

    I've been using my MB w/ only 1GB of RAM. However, I had wanting to get it's RAM beefed up.

    Right now I tend to work w/ Pages, Safari, Numbers, Itunes, and GIMP (all open at the same time)

    Here's the issues that I've noticed:
    1. I get the beach ball when I click to open an Application
    2. Once I want to takes a couple seconds to get the print box
    3. When toggling is a bit sluggish sometimes
    4. When I open finder it seems sluggish when it's trying to disply the contents in a folder.

    So...when I replaced one of the 512mb sticks w/ the 2GB I really did not notice much of a difference. A friend told me that I should probably replace the other 512mb w/ another 2GB and then I will really notice a difference.

    Is he nuts?
  11. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    If you didn't notice a difference, your RAM limit likely wasn't the problem. The improvements in performance for dual channel memory are very small.
  12. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    May 13, 2009

    Doesn't seem to be any perceptible penalty for not having dual-channel.
  13. Poirot818 macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2008
    Those are all hard drive related. I don't know why people are obsessed with RAM. The hard drive is almost always the bottleneck.
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Open "Activity Monitor", Command-1 if you see no window, then select "System Memory". This will show how much memory your Macintosh uses. "Free" memory is completely unused; if you didn't have the RAM, it would make no difference. "Inactive" memory is used to hold things that the OS thinks might be useful. "Active" is actively used right now. And "Wired" is absolutely needed for your Mac to live.

    So if you have much more than 1 GB free memory, then maybe you didn't need the additional memory. On the other hand, check how things change if you use the computer for a while. The RAM will be used all the time to store things from the hard drive. There will be more "inactive" memory (which holds things that are useful but not essential) and less "free" memory.

    Very few things are limited by the hard drive. And if you don't have enough RAM, then you lose lots of time by page-ins and page-outs; this could be a bit faster with a faster hard drive, but with enough RAM it would go away completely.
  15. Poirot818 macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2008
    I'm pretty sure he has an 80GB 5400 RPM hard drive. Does anyone realize how terrible the performance on that is compared to today's hard drives? Seriously, forget adding more RAM. You already have 2.5GB in there. Go buy the biggest and fastest hard drive you can afford and I promise you you'll see a huge boost in overall system performance.

    My previous laptop with an 80GB 5400 RPM hard drive:
    startup (to usable desktop): ~3 minutes
    opening photoshop: ~20 seconds
    unpacking a 700MB RAR file: ~8 minutes
    installing visual studio 2005: ~1 hour

    Upgraded to 200GB 7200 RPM hard drive: (biggest and fastest HDD available at the time)
    startup (to usable destop): ~45 seconds
    opening photoshop: ~10 seconds
    unpacking a 700MB RAR file: ~25 seconds
    installing visual studio 2005: ~15 minutes

    Go for the hard drive.
  16. Poirot818 macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2008
    I'll wait until he responds to your post with how much free memory he has. He has 2.5GB of RAM right now and I have a strong feeling that he isn't maxing it out. He simply has a slow hard drive.
  17. manito2000 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2005
    Thanks guys...your response are extremely helpful.

    I will check today @ home to see the free RAM... I am now kicking myself for not having done that first! :(

    Oh well...that's what I get for not asking first.
  18. manito2000 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2005
    Just checked...

    It says there's 1.7GB of free memory... So I guess it's my slow HD?
  19. Poirot818 macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2008
    If you were only using ~300MB of your original 1GB of RAM then that explains why upgrading to 2.5GB of RAM didn't improve performance.

    Upgrading your hard drive will definitely improve performance. Make sure to get both the biggest and fastest hard drive you can afford since both aspects affect performance.
  20. NathanCH macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    When's the last time you reformatted? I find that reformatting every 6 months helps a lot.
  21. manito2000 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2005
    #21 I think something's definitely wrong.

    I close my MB and when I come back to it...I can see the applications that are open. But it's a dark/black screen and it does not respond to anything I do unless I reboot?

    It did not happen at all until I replaced the 512Mb w/ the 2GB stick...

    I'm getting worried that this MB is going to die on me...

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