Macbook unibody (5,1): 8GB worth it performance-wise?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by pullman, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. pullman, Jun 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012

    pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #1
    Hi Gurus

    I have a 2008 unibody Macbook (5,1) with the 2.4 GHz processor. It is currently equipped with 4GB and runs Lion.

    The computer supports 8GB and I am wondering whether it would be worth upgrading. I'm thinking OS and application performance.

    Would very much like to hear from people who have done this with their 3,1 Macbooks.

    Cheers and thanks
    /p
     
  2. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    #2
    For everyday use it's not really worth it.

    Do you do anything taxing with your MacBook?
     
  3. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #3
    Wow that's fast, thanks flatfoot!

    I do some Photoshop CS5 work on it but mainly I write things in Office and surf the web. Occasionally I watch movies on it.
     
  4. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Then it's not really worth it, except if you don't know what to do with your money. ;)
     
  5. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #5
    It is not a MacBook 3,1, it is a MacBook 5,1. 3,1 does not support 8GB and there is no 3,1 with a 2.4GHz and 3,1's are not unibody.
     
  6. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #6
    You are correct, thanks for pointing that out. I have the 5,1 and must have been thinking of my early 2008 Mac Pro when typing the model ID.
     
  7. saggel macrumors regular

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    #7
    I'd say, do it cause you can... :rolleyes:
    think of those of us who can't cause our machines doesn't support 8GB :p
    memory is so cheap for your machine... so if you can afford it, I'd say do it!
     
  8. pullman, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012

    pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #8
    :D

    Actually thinking further. 2x4GB will cost me about 50 Euros with shipping.

    For 80€ I can get an OWC datadoubler bracket with Superdrive enclosure. A small SSD will cost me about the same. I have a feeling an SSD for boot will provide more than twice the speed improvement than maxing out the RAM will. If so, it would make sense to spend twice the money on the SSD solution.

    Thoughts or experiences with this?

    Also, would a 6G SSD fit (ie is my laptop's bus backward compatible) or must I track down a 3G version?

    EDIT: I just checked the computer and it says in System Profiler under "Serial ATA":

    NVidia MCP79 AHCI:

    Vendor: NVidia
    Product: MCP79 AHCI
    Link Speed: 3 Gigabit
    Negotiated Link Speed: 3 Gigabit
    Description: AHCI Version 1.20 Supported

    I have a Seagate Momentus XT hooked to this one, which apparently is a Sata II.

    However, for the Superdrive it says the same as above except "Negotiated Link Speed" is 1.5 Gigabit.

    So will an SSD put in the opti bay be strangled by that 1.5G. Or is this lower number just a result of the Superdrive not having a faster "connection"?
    :confused::confused::confused:


    Thanks very much in advance
    Philip
     
  9. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    #9
    The negotiation speed with the ODD is 1.5GBit/s because the ODD is SATA 1. A SATA 2 or SATA 3 SSD will have a negotiation speed of 3.0GBit/s.
     
  10. lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

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    #10
    If you do virtual machine(s), like Windows 7 64 bit, it is worth having the ram. That way you can give Windows 4 gigs and have 4 left over. OS X does such a good job of managing memory.
     
  11. eneisch macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #11
    I'm sure you already know this but just as an FYI:

    *Apple officially supports a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. Originally, this model was only unofficially capable of stably supporting 6 GB of RAM, but as confirmed by site sponsor OWC, it is capable of supporting 8 GB of RAM if updated to Boot ROM Version MB51.007D.B03 and running MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or higher.

    So if you do decide to install the 8GB, just make sure you have the correct Boot ROM version installed.
     
  12. saggel macrumors regular

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  13. aleXXXps macrumors member

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    #13
    I did it on mine which is the 7.1. It only cost me $30 dollars (sale from best buy on ram) to upgrade from 4gb to 8gb. I play a lot of Diablo 3 and random Indie Steam games in Win7 bootcamp. I also Photoshop here and there, listen to a ton of music, watch HD videos, and browse the web heavily as this is my only computer at the moment.

    I noticed a huge difference with 8gb, but thats because I leave a lot of things open at a time. With 4gb, I was getting the beachball quite often and it was annoying me. Since I have 8gb, I don't see the beachball much and the computer stays pretty snappy when I have multiple programs running. I would love to go with an SSD, but my hard drive is always full and I have a 512gb 5400RPM Seagate. SSD is much more expensive and I couldn't have less than 512gb, even with my 2 externals plugged in.

    I say go for it! Put 8gb in!!!!
     
  14. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

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    #14
    Two things:

    1. The macbook 5,1 supports 8GB of memory with the new EFI updates (I have it in my macbook 5,1 and it's definitely recognized)

    2. Here's how you'll know if you will benefit: Open up activity monitor and choose "system memory" tab. If your page outs are significant (over a few 100mb's) then you are running out of memory temporarily and could benefit from more memory. I find that this happens for me when I open aperture which is why I upgraded my machine.
     
  15. jaguar451 macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2002
    #15
    I just upgraded by MacBook5,1 2.4Ghz from 2GB to 8GB RAM -- 0 page outs in 24hrs, just over 4.25GB used.

    For my usage so far, 4G probably would have been fine, but we'll see, and it wasn't that much more to go to 8GB instead of 4GB....
     
  16. mykelala01 macrumors 6502

    mykelala01

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    May 17, 2009
    #16
    I update my Late 2008 macbook pro with 8gb of ram. Watching flash specially the Olympics reach my Ram usage pass 6 GB... then beachball appears. I guess even thou Late 2008 macbook pro can recognized 8gb of rams. When you exceed 6gb you get a performance hit.
     
  17. cw99999 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    #17
    installed memory but not seated properly

    Hi, I have a macbook 13inch and bought new memory to upgrade my 4 gb to 8. Well, it looks like one of the pieces is not seated properly in there. I still have 4 gb, but now one slot is empty. I tried to reseat it, but I can't get it out---it is jammed in there.

    I guess I can just live with the standard 4 gb, but needless to say it is very very irritating. I don't want to mess around with it for fear of ruining the computer, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do? Just bring it to the applestore and admit defeat? Or just forget about it and let it live in there, useless and dead?

    Thanks.
     
  18. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

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    #18
    Ram is an officially user upgradeable part of the computer so if you bring it to apple they should be able to help you out.
     
  19. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a

    LeandrodaFL

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  20. Virinprew macrumors 6502

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    #20
    If it work fine, why bother buy more RAM. Why not wait for next upgrade of the entire system of yours? Say MacBook Pro 2013. It will come with 8GB standard and a lot of improvement.
     
  21. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #21
    Keep trying, boot it up with the bottom off until it works..

    I have to play all kinds of stupid games to get my 7,1 to even boot and not beep at me. By the 5 or so reinstall it finally worked! Then I screwed the bottom back on and beep. 2 reinstalls later it's good, it's been about 8 months now and I have
     

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