Macbook Pro ram problem

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by olfenite, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. olfenite, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012

    olfenite macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I am new here, so please bear with me.

    I purchased my Macbook Pro in October 2008. I had AppleCare, but it has recently ran out. I am currently running OSX 10.6.8. The processor is 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. It was 4 GB DDR3 memory, but I have run into a bit of a problem.

    Last week, my Macbook Pro froze up on me. Completely unresponsive. After waiting for 15 minutes for it to start responding, I went ahead and held the power button down to shut it down. I tried to power it back up, but all it did was make three beeps over and over again.

    I called 1-800--My-Apple since I have no Apple Stores nearby. They refer me to Apollo Computers in Early, TX. I took my Macbook there.

    What they found is that on my board that there is a ram slot that is broken. He was able to boot the Macbook by removing a stick of ram, but now it is running on 2 GB DDR3 only.

    He gave me two options. The first option was to continue using it with only 2 GB DDR3. The second option was to replace the entire board. He quoted me a price of $600.

    Now, I went ahead and just said to let me use it with 2 GB of ram. I have yet to notice much of a difference, but I have not yet tried to start all the programs that I normally use. I also went ahead and looked at the utilities, and I found this out.
    [​IMG]

    The "free" part even dropped down to 8.5 MB when I watched a YouTube video.

    Anyway, what should I do? Do I need to take it back to Apollo and put a new board in there? I'm not particularly thrilled about putting $600 into a 3+ year old machine that is out of warranty. I've considered buying a new Macbook, but I've read rumors that a new version is coming out later this year. And really, outside of this problem, I've never had any real problems with my Macbook. I hate the idea of replacing something that may still have a few years left in it. Whatever the case, I need some answers.

    Thank you for reading.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #2
  3. ShoG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    #3
    If you believe your machine has a few more years left in it, $600 may be worth it instead of spending for a new one. It seems the answers are pretty straightforward here, so Im not sure theres much help to be given.
    You should weigh your options since they are expensive either way. Only thing I could think of is spending $20-25 on a single 4 gb stick of RAM, if you choose to keep your notebook.

    EDIT: looks like simsaladimbamba is quick as ever
     
  4. prisstratton macrumors 6502

    prisstratton

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #4
    As "SimSalad...." has said you can add a 4 GB RAM module and be back where you were before you had the problems. I would not spend any more money on this as is absolutely necessary as you likely have the ill-fated nVidia 8600m chip in your system - given time this will also fail. Adding a 4 GB RAM chip to your system is a relatively cheap option compared to what it was a few years ago and it will keep you ticking over for a while longer.
     
  5. olfenite, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012

    olfenite thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2012
    #5
    I ran the Crucial memory test. It told me that it supports 4 GB maximum and each slot was 2 GB maximum. Can I go over that 2 GB max?

    Also, my graphic chipset is nVidea 9400m.

    I should take back one thing I said. I had to send my Macbook in a few times. Twice on wear and tear issues and once because my screen started acting a little crazy. Half the screen would black out. It was weird. But I had AppleCare and it was all resolved in a matter of days. There was also a time when my Macbook started to get really hot where the power plugs in. I mean, it got black where I put the power cord in it. That was scary. So I've had some trouble, but this is all new since my extended warranty is out. Now that I think about it, I really did take full advantage of the AppleCare because I probably had to send it in for repair three or four times.

    My biggest issue is if this went out, what is next? The hard drive? Will the sticks of ram go out? The screen? I imagine that this board here is a very crucial part due to the price, so a new one will extend the life of the Macbook Pro. I have no doubt about that. But with no warranty left, I'm concerned that the price of keeping this one alive will eventually exceed the price of a new Macbook.
     
  6. prisstratton macrumors 6502

    prisstratton

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #6
    It sounds like you have had some issues with this unit over time. Again, I would say not to spend very much on this.

    Yes, you can go over the RAM max. that they are stating.

    Check your exact model specs. here:

    http://www.everymac.com/

    I would not put a new mobo in this unit, at this point you would be throwing your money away. The RAM option is cheap and will keep you going.
     
  7. olfenite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #7
    Okay, more questions.

    Let's say I do put a 4 GB stick in it. I know that it is compatible with this one, but is it bad to have a single 4 GB stick? I mean, what is the advantage of splitting the sticks between two sticks as opposed to having it all on one stick?

    I am also looking at the different brands of memory. Wow, the prices have gone down since I've last looked at memory. Is there a certain brand I should buy?

    I know that you probably can't give me a real solid answer on this, but if I do put in a new mobo instead of a 4 GB stick, how much more life would I be adding to this notebook? I realize that either option will add life to it, but I want to get as much as I can out of this one. I mean, I could go buy a new Macbook Pro later this year when they release the redesign, but I don't know... I just don't feel like spending $2000 on a new notebook when I still feel like this one has some life even if it has had a few problems in the past. I sure would like to get at least two more years out of this one.

    At the moment, I am pretty torn between just going with the stick or the new mobo.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer them because I'm sure they are common knowledge but I'm not terribly familiar with all of this. I used to keep up with all these technological terms and specs, but that's been years ago.
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
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    located
    #8
    There is a little speed advantage of using TWO sticks with the same capacity, but that is around 15 % or so.
    Using one stick will not harm your computer and you have double the RAM you now and the same amount of RAM you once had.
    And as the RAM module is cheaper than a new MoBo, I would go with the RAM first and see, how far it takes me, especially if 4 GB RAM might be sufficient, and 20 USD vs. 600 USD is quite a difference. For 600 USD you could get a used Mac from 2009.
    Better save the next two years for a new MBP, if you can, and use the one you have as long as you can.
     
  9. olfenite thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2012
    #9
  10. simsaladimbamba

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  11. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Tartarus
    #11
    I think I would rather use it and save up for a new one rather than spend $600 to fix a laptop that is almost 4 years old. BUT....
    if you are getting by just fine with the ram as it is then you are not running anything too serious to burn it up.

    life, uh, finds a way. and if you mbp has it, let it live.
     
  12. olfenite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #12
    I went ahead and ordered it, but I got it on Amazon instead. I have Amazon prime and I got 1 day shipping for $3.99. I purchased that and an antistatic wrist strap.

    Here it is, just to show it. It is all word for word from the Newegg one though, so it should be the same thing.

    http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Techn...21KA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326360241&sr=8-1

    Hopefully all this works and I get a couple more years out of my Macbook. I'm not sure I have the right screwdrivers to get into the Mac, but I'll go to a local store to pick them out if I need to. I will keep everyone updated and if I have anymore questions, I know where to go.

    Thank you everyone for all your help and giving guidance to a newbie.
     
  13. olfenite thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2012
    #13
    Just wanted to post an update.

    UPS delivered my new 4 GB RAM stick to me this morning, and I went right to work. I downloaded the ifixit guide on how to get in and install the new RAM, followed the steps, and put it back together. It is working better than ever.

    Big, big thank you to each of you. You guys saved me a bunch of money and extended the life of my Macbook! Thank you again!

    Here is the activity monitor, if anyone is interested.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. olfenite, Apr 12, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

    olfenite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #14
    Hi again.

    I hate to bring up an old thread, but I am almost certain that my current problem is related to this.

    Ever since I put in my new 4gb stick of ram my Macbook has given me all kinds of hell when I try to stream videos.

    When I go to Youtube or any similar site and try to stream a video I would say that at least 70% of the time one of the four things will happen:
    1) Adobe Flash Player will crash. Refresh the page.
    2) The browser will crash. I use Firefox, but the same thing happens when using Safari.
    3) I call it a 'soft restart', but I'm sure there is a different term for it. The video freezes, and the operating system just seems to restart. Goes to a gray screen and then asks me to log in. Sometimes when this happens the Flash player keeps working and I can hear the sound of the video.
    4) Kernel panic. Hold down the power button.

    This has become beyond annoying. I've tried to deal with it, but I just cannot anymore. I don't really want to take it to a computer shop because I don't want to sink more money into this Macbook Pro if I don't have to, especially not for diagnostics fee.

    A few things to note. I can play flash games still just fine. Or at least it seems that way. Games have yet to cause a crash when playing. Also, I have watched a couple of tv episodes on iTunes and they did not cause the computer to crash.

    Does anyone have some advice before I smash my fist through the monitor in frustration? Thank you.
     
  15. FerchoGomez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #15
    I would recommend you to repair the Disk and its permissions.

    Perhaps also doing a PRAM rest, just in case.
     
  16. olfenite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #16
    This may have done the trick. After doing this, I've watched several videos and nothing has crashed.... yet.

    Thank you for replying. If it happens again, I'll know where to come.
     

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