13 inch MacBook Pro (MBP) RAM Bench Test Results for: 4GB, 6GB, & 8GB DDRAM Background/Introduction I was bored and so I decided to test some RAM out. I am curious as to the difference in 4, 6, and 8GB. I also want to see how 4GB of Crucial RAM (1 stick) compares to the factory Apple RAM (2-sticks). Lets take a closer look at this. Here are the specs for my computer: 13 inch MacBook Pro, late 2009 Unibody, model 5,5 2.53 Core 2 Duo CPU, NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GPU, 4GB RAM (from the factory, two 2GB sticks), RAM type: DDR3 at 1067Mhz 120/8 GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro Solid State Drive: about 80GB used and 40GB free No other hardware modifications other than the SSD and RAM Methodology: Testing Procedure Reconnect the computer to an electrical outlet and restart the computer First test with Geekbench Quit Geekbench Test with XBench Shut the computer down and disconnect the power cord Change out the memory to a different amount Start from the top again in the exact same format Results: 4GB Apple Based RAM (two 2GB Sticks, both slots used with equal RAM) Total XBench score: 207.78 Memory Test: 192.47 System 240.19 Allocate 428.89 1.58 Malloc/sec Fill 183.90 8941.80 MB/sec Copy 211.83 4375.22 MB/sec Stream 160.56 Copy 152.72 3154.28 MB/sec Scale 151.60 3132.05 MB/sec Add 170.43 3630.58 MB/sec Triad 169.47 3625.42 MB/sec Total Geekbench score: 3564 Memory Performance: 2628 Memory Bandwith Performance: 1831 4GB Crucial RAM (one 4GB stick in slot 0, other slot left empty) Total XBench Score: 198.40 Memory Test 165.87 System 231.25 Allocate 428.23 1.57 Malloc/sec Fill 177.21 8616.30 MB/sec Copy 200.21 4135.36 MB/sec Stream 129.31 Copy 124.56 2572.80 MB/sec Scale 125.81 2599.10 MB/sec Add 134.48 2864.64 MB/sec Triad 132.99 2844.96 MB/sec Total Geekbench score: 3509 Memory Performance: 2544 Memory Bandwith Performance: 1438 6GB RAM (One 4GB Crucial stick and one 2GB Apple-based stick) Total XBench score: 208.18 Memory Test 191.06 System 237.57 Allocate 434.44 1.60 Malloc/sec Fill 183.84 8938.68 MB/sec Copy 204.65 4227.02 MB/sec Stream 159.77 Copy 152.72 3154.28 MB/sec Scale 149.94 3097.78 MB/sec Add 169.63 3613.38 MB/sec Triad 168.83 3611.76 MB/sec Total Geekbench score: 3563 Memory Performance: 2629 Memory Bandwith Performance: 1822 8GB RAM (two 4GB Crucial sticks in each slot) Total XBench score: 210.52 Memory Test 190.52 System 238.56 Allocate 425.19 1.56 Malloc/sec Fill 183.42 8918.48 MB/sec Copy 209.58 4328.77 MB/sec Stream 158.58 Copy 151.13 3121.63 MB/sec Scale 148.45 3066.92 MB/sec Add 169.00 3600.07 MB/sec Triad 167.97 3593.32 MB/sec Total Geekbench score: 3561 Memory Performance: 2628 Memory Bandwith Performance: 1827 Other Major Differences with XBench My disk test speed was significantly slower with the one 4GB Crucial stick than the original 4GB, 6GB or 8GB (10-16 point difference on overall disk score) Other Major Differences with Geekbench None of significant value Study Limitations How much these figures mean is debatable If these figures correspond to real world performance may not be very likely Obviously, the 8GB set-up will have higher performance as more physical memory is used; I did these tests from a cold-startup with no other programs running I have the older and slower, Core 2 Duo processor; the iX series may be affected differently I initially conducted each test 3 times, but after getting consistent results, I stopped as it was too confusing to quantify This is one test for only one computer; it may affect you completely differently Discussion (these conclusions are drawn from the results and so they may or may not affect real world usage) RAM upgrades do not make a computer faster as is commonly implied, but RAM can, however, make a computer much faster if you are using most of your available (free) memory Rating wise, using a single 4GB Crucial memory stick showed inferior performance to the two 2GB memory sticks included from the factory and it also affected my SSDs read/write speed negatively. Subsequently the possibility exists that two 2GB sticks may be a better choice than one 4GB stick for users going from 2GB to 4GB 6GB works fine on this model MBP and may be a good upgrade for people unable to afford the 8GB. Although Apple recommends using matching size pairs, this did not seem to affect performance whatsoever Two different brand-name RAM sticks can be used simultaneously 8GB makes no major impact on performance when you are not using significant physical memory RAM speed, type, and size allocation have the ability to impact the benchmarked speeds of other computer parts, both negatively and positively 2GB of RAM was not tested and probably should be in the future for a baseline comparison Future studies need to test RAM with a higher speed (1333Mhz) to the standard 1067Mhz used by the MBP to see if there is any performance advantage or disadvantage Overall, for users considering going from 4GB to 8GB in their MBP, if they currently are not using most to almost all of their physical memory, this may not be a worthwhile upgrade at the present time. With that said, 8GB of RAM can currently be purchased for under $100 making it one of the least expensive upgrades for the MacBook Pro.