MacBook memory upgrade - too much?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by boston04and07, May 30, 2009.

  1. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

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    May 13, 2008
    #1
    So my early 2008 2.2 GHz MacBook has been getting a little sluggish lately, and I've been seeing the pinwheel more often, so I figured it was time to upgrade the memory. I have never done that in spite of upgrading to a 500gb hard drive, so I figured it could only help. I was looking at both Crucial and OWC to compare prices, and read something odd. I was planning on putting 4gb into my MacBook, since I've always believed that was the largest amount you could put into that model. However, on OWC's site, I found this:

    Is this true, or are they just trying to sell more memory? I'm pretty skeptical since I've never heard this before. Even if it is possible, would it be pointless to put that much memory in a MacBook? Granted, I have been performing some intensive tasks lately, but 6gb seems a little much...
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    It will work but considering the price of a single 4GB stick, unless you have deep pockets AND a desperate need for 6GB, stick to 4GB.
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #3
    I'm not sure what you'd do with a MacBook that would require more than 4 Gb.

    My late '06 MB has only 1 Gb and I've never encountered a pageout on it.
     
  4. boston04and07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

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    May 13, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for your quick replies! :) Yeah, I was never seriously considering 6gb - I was far too skeptical of the whole thing! It was just curious since I've never heard of putting that much memory in a MacBook. I ended up purchasing the 4gb from Crucial.

    @Tomorrow - I must be doing something wrong, then! I currently have 2gb in my MacBook and certain tasks make the system painfully slow. Granted, sometimes I run multiple programs at once, but that's just how I like to work. Right now I'm running Safari, Mail, iChat, iTunes, iPhoto, and am burning a DVD in iDVD, and I can't even switch spaces without a lag. I know I shouldn't be taxing my system that much, but I kind of have to in order to get my work done. Plus, whenever Time Machine does its hourly backup, things almost come screeching to a halt - and that's with 2gb of memory. My system's been running for a little over two days now, and I already have 532,305 page-ins and 711,114 page-outs according to iStat.
     
  5. relativist macrumors regular

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    #5
    Hmmm, so how much total memory do you use when you do all of that at once? You might actually be a candidate for 6GB. There is a compromise besides the higher price, with 4GB you will still enjoy the benifits of dual channel RAM, because the 6GB configuration has mismatched memory sizes, one 2GB and one 4GB, the system access to memory will be slightly slower. I suggest trying 4GB but checking to make sure that your memory usage does not exceed 4GB (that's including paging file usage). What does your activity monitor show for page out memory usage? If it's up there past 4GB you might want to consider your options more carefully.
     
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #6
    You're not doing anything wrong, you're just doing more than I do on my MB. :D You should definitely see an improvement by bumping up to 4 Gb.

    I do notice that Time Machine sometimes creates a noticeable slowdown, but that's on my iMac (4 Gb) using a USB drive - my MB is an older model running Tiger, so Time Machine isn't an option there.
     
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #7
    I agree. Time Machine is a resource pig when it runs on my MacBook (4GB). Fans spin, temps rise and everything else slows down for a few minutes.
     
  8. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

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    #8
    I knew the current versions are expandable with up to 6GB, though when I asked about it in the apple store, I got a '4 GB max' answer. Can I ever rely on those people to tell me the truth :eek:

    4GB's is a good decision if you're multi-tasking with resource hungry programs. I upgraded a while ago and the difference is definitely noticeable, even when not running resource hungry apps. On my machine, it speeds up the opening of applications by 1 - 3 seconds.
     
  9. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

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    May 13, 2009
    #9
    Like the old adage, "You can never be too thin, or have too much RAM."

    That and the benefits of dual-channel, when weighed against the benefits of having 6 GB total RAM, may not be as great as previously thought.

    http://barefeats.com/mbpp11.html
     
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #10
    And the reason is that on more recent machines, it actually runs in dual-channel for the first 4GB. Only the top 2GB run in single channel.
     
  11. boston04and07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

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    May 13, 2008
    #11
    Yeah, I'll be happy when I get 4 GB's in my MacBook. Lately I've been encoding all of my DVD's via Handbrake, and that paired with the hourly Time Machine backups can slow my entire system to a crawl. When both of these things are going on, I even have issues with a few tabs open in Safari. If I try to open another resource-hungry application, forget it! Glad to know that you all have seen a difference in expanding.
     
  12. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #12
    Neither of those applications are memory-bound, at least not on any modern machine.

    Handbrake is definitely CPU-bound, not memory-bound. You can run Handbrake on a machine with 512MB of RAM just fine.

    Time Machine is (mostly) IO-bound.
     

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