Memory upgrade for Macbooks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by induce, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. induce macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2007
    Hi guys,

    Me and my friend are going to upgrade our black MacBooks with more RAM. Mine is the first generation Core 2 Duo, that is the 2.0GHz with 1GB of RAM stock. My friend's is the latest Santa Rosa based black MacBook with 2.2GHz C2D and 1GB of RAM.

    I have two questions for you and I ask them mainly because I want to be hundred percent sure before ordering. I've read some guides on the topic including Macrumors' own.

    1) The old model can only utilize 3.3GB of the 4 that can be installed using 2x2GB sticks is what I've found out. But other than that, it should be no problems using two 2GB sticks in an old model, right? Will it be able to use the dual channel technique even though it can't address all of the memory?

    2) I'm using Corsair Value in my desktop computer and have had no problems whatsoever with them, but before I choose a particular RAM I'd like to ask you if it's possible to use this kind of stick in both our computers.

    Corsair Value DDR2 SO-DIMM PC5300 2048MB ,Unbuffered,Non-ECC,2x128Megx64,CL5,667m

    Thanks in advance!

    Kind regards,
  2. olliebraves20 macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2007
    Lansing, MI

    1) Yes you are completely correct in this. Yours will only utilize 3.3 GB with 2x2GB installed. I have a computer just like yours with the 4GB installed with no problems. Some ppl say there are problems...the only problem is the top 700 MB gets dumped and not used.

    2)Yes both of those will work fine in both of your computers. I have not used the Corsair Value in anything so I can't speak to quality or anything of the like however the specs that you have outlined are exactly what both of you need.

    Good Luck!
  3. induce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2007
    Thanks man. Very much appreciated!

    I'll try to remember to update the thread when I've installed the new RAM and found out how it's working.
  4. ozziegn macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2007
    Central FL Area
    okay, not to thread hyjack but.......

    how can I tell if my MB has a Santa Rosa chip in it?
  5. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    If you have the GMA x3100 graphics processor (check system profiler), you have an SR:
  6. ozziegn macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2007
    Central FL Area
  7. induce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2007
    I've now installed the new RAM in both the machines and it has been working fine since. It doesn't use more than 3055MB on my machine though as stated earlier in the post. Like 3,2 billion bytes or something :p
  8. optimus187prime macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2007
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Performance imnporvement with RAM is entirely dependent on what you are doing with the machine. If you never use more than 2 Gb RAM, then increasing it from 2 Gb to 4 Gb won;t make any difference. If you multitask heavily, run Photoshop, digital lvideo or digital audio production, then you may see a nice gain.
  10. induce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2007
    I actually noticed a huge performance improvement since having only 1GB wasn't enough at all for me. I'm quite the demanding user using up 4 spaces with a variety of programs in each. Right now I'm using up 2GB of RAM actually and I'm not even having Pages, Photoshop and Dreamweaver up at the moment.

    Let me give you some examples of what's actually faster now, and this is all due to not having to swap in and out from memory/hdd each and every time.

    1) Previewing files with quicklook and preview is much faster when the machine's been running for some time and you're chatting, browsing etc.

    2) Dashboard doesn't have to recache when you haven't viewed it for a while. This ALWAYS happened before and meant a loading time of like 10 sec whenever I brought it up.

    3) Switching between programs is faster, especially if it's memory demanding programs like Photoshop and Safari with lots of tabs. The computer doesn't feel at all as strained as it felt before. It was much more of a process to go back to editing a picture after say having browsed a couple of pages in Safari.

    4) Playing media files in MPlayer and VLC sometimes stuttered, something I haven't noticed after the upgrade.

    5) Unraring files. It somehow felt like it didn't strain the disk like before but I know it does since it has to read and write to the same disk, but I'm guessing having more available RAM helps the process. It basically felt more like a desktop computer than a laptop now, and that's a good sign!

    I remember slowing my computer down to a crawl several times in the last weeks and this is mainly why I felt the need to upgrade. Remember that upgrading from 1GB to 2GB can't be said to mean doubling the available ram, it's actually more than that. Let's say the system uses up 300-400MB after boot. This means that you'll have 600-700MB of free RAM at your command. With 2GB this value will increase to 1.6-1.7GB which is more than double the amount. Many don't think about this.

    When I'm really pushing the MacBook I use the following applications

    • Safari
    • Adium
    • Pages
    • Dreamweaver
    • Photoshop
    • Preview
    • Terminal (sometimes with X11 server)
    • Transmit
    • Colloguy
    • iTunes
    • BitRocket
    • VLC / MPlayer
    • and a couple of menu items, gnotifier, istat menus
    I haven't tested it with all these applications running at once yet but I'm sure it won't be hard to reach the 3GB limit. I actually didn't think it'd be this easy to break the 2GB barrier but apparently it was. Before doing the upgrade I used to have like 10-20MB of free RAM after the computer had been up and running for about an hour. If you're in the same position I highly recommend it!

    You'll be seeing less of the colorful rotating ball or whatever it is anyways, that's for sure :D Mind you, I hate that animation!

    I'll let you know if I manage to slow the computer down during the coming days and if so under what circumstances it happened. Good luck with your upgrade!
  11. dcb77 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2007
    problems upgrading ram on macbok pro

    I have just received my new 17 macbook pro and ordered 4gb ram from cruicial. when i put the new ram in it only recognizes 3 g. any ideas
  12. ale500 macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007

    Did you change both SO-DIMMs ?, the factory defaults are 1 GB DIMMs, may be you just changed one twice ?

    In System profiler, do you have 2 times 2 GB DIMMs or 1 x 2GB and 1x 1 GB ?

    check please :apple:

    edit: I assume you have a SR MacBook Pro ! (Proc speed 2.2 or 2.4 GHz)

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