MBP with Dell 30" screen ... memory issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Antonio Vivaldi, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Antonio Vivaldi macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    I spent a ton of money on a killer external 30" Dell screen.

    When I connect it to my MBP (2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2GB), and drive it at the top resolution (2560x1600), I notice delays with everything:

    Click and wait..
    Type and wait..

    The delays are usually one second or less, but they completely mess up typing and the general user experience. I write code and cannot handle the typing delay. Clicking to position the cursor takes a second or two. Lets face it, a one second delay while typing or waiting for a low-level mouse event is an ETERNITY. Also, playing movies is horrible. Stop and start, stop and start.

    I have a $4,000 system that acts like a dial-up PC from 1985.

    When I disconnect the external and go with the built-in LCD, all is fine. No problems.

    I was about to order more memory, thinking that the system memory must be getting sucked up by the large number of pixels on the screen. But I've got several problems:
    1. Is this truly what's happening?
    2. How much RAM can I put in my MBP? There seems to be total confusion on the web on whether my max is 2GB, 4GB, 6GB or 8GB. I would love to put 8GB in it I can do it. My specs again are: MacBook Pro 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo. It already has 2GB in it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Chad H macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

    Feb 13, 2008
    Auburn, AL
    I can't help you with your monitor problem. But, I do believe the 2.16ghz MBP's could only support 2GB max.
  3. jimc macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I doubt memory is the issue, your MacBook Pro has dedicated video memory and doesn't use system RAM for graphics.

    - Are you running the latest OS X Leopard with all updates installed?
    - In activity monitor does anything odd start happening when you hookup the external monitor (ie. does some process start hammering the CPU)?
    - Have you run the hardware diagnostic tests from the install DVD?

    If your CPU is a 2.16GHz Core Duo (Yonah) you are limited to 2GB of RAM. If you have a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo (Merom) you can install 4GB but only 3GB will be addressable by the OS due to a limitation in the chipset Apple used with these models [ref].
  4. Antonio Vivaldi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Yo jimc...

    Is there anyway to increase the video cache size? Even if I have to solder something?

    Not sure how to run diagnostics (I'm just making the cutover from the PC world). I'm fine in unix. Will "top" show me anything useful? Running something WHILE plugging/unplugging is tough. It takes about 45 secs to make the transition and in the meantime, I don't have a stable screen to stare at.

    I am running Max OS X, version 10.5.6 (from About this mac). How do I update to the latest? The Mac always seems to be updating itself, so I assume I am current.
  5. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    you can run it with the laptop screen off giving you more vram for the 30". I have a 24" and it can get slow too with a bunch of windows open.
  6. jimc macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Ouch, 45 seconds to switch to the external monitor!? Something's def not right!

    There's no way to upgrade the video RAM in any Apple laptop as far as I know.

    You can run the Activity Monitor app (in /Applications/Utilities), set show to 'All Processes' and then sort by CPU. See if anything starts eating CPU after you've switched over to the 30" monitor.

    As for the hardware diagnostics they are on the install DVD that came with the laptop. Put the DVD in the drive and reboot the machine, at the chime hold down D. The hardware test will load from DVD. It can check installed RAM, the video hardware, logic/mother board, etc.

    If it doesn't reveal any problem's I'd call Apple support or, if you can, take the laptop to an Apple Store and get an tech to take a look.
  7. TakeManhattan macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    How are you connecting to the Dell? If it's DVI on the Dell end, is it dual-link DVI ?
  8. Antonio Vivaldi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    To Freyqq: I close the laptop and run in clamshell mode. The internal is physically off. Hopefully that tells the laptop not to hold any memory for it. Is there a more definitive way to disable the internal other than closing the lid?

    To TakeManhattan: Dual Link DVI on both ends. No converters. 2560x1600 is also a native mode for the Dell.

    To everyone: what are these posts talking about with 8GB and 6GB:
    Did Apple truly limit the damn thing to 2GB ? How could *anyone* live with 2GB and run Photoshop or iMovie??
  9. 11800506 macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area
    Your model is a Core Duo model, thus it's a physical limitation in the hardware, as the chipset doesn't support more than 2 gb of ram. Those posts you talked about were for the current generation of Macbook Pros, so it doesn't apply to your machine.

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