One Gig or Two for Macbook?

smythson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2005
17
0
Is 2 gig really worth the extra dough, or will my MacBook be smoking fast with just one. Also, do I really need to buy a kit of matched pairs? What happens if I don't, eh?

Thanks, I love my MacBook but need more speed, yo!
 

ricgnzlzcr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
802
0
Depends on what you do. No one will tell you not to get more ram if you can afford it though.
 

tabaczka

macrumors member
Sep 5, 2006
59
0
Yo, the Macbook has integrated graphics which means that your graphics processor is going to take ram from your system to use for graphics processing.

So, yo, check this, the more ram you have in a Macbook is not only going to help the overall speed but the smoothness of your graphics as well. It really matters if your planning on using FCP. But ive been told to not even consider Motion, Apature, etc...

If you can afford it get 2 gig, max it out and be happy, yo!
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
If you are just running basic applications,
adding 1 GB will give you great extra performance.

If you are running any Pro Applications like Adobe CS2 that are still not Universal Binary, you'll need a total of 2 GB to counteract the RAM needs of Rosetta.

You'll notice in technical specs that Apple equips you with 2X 256MB DIMMS

You only have 2 RAM slots, and half of your RAM feeds each side of the dual core
processor.

When you upgrade to 1 GB, you install a matched pair of 512's
When you upgrade to 2 GB, you install a matched pair of 1GB's

So basically, you hold on to the original 2 X 256MB DIMM, just in case your
machine needs to go to the shop. So they only see it with factory original RAM.
 

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
3,265
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Bookshop!
if you swap one of the original 256 sticks for a 1GB stick (1.25GB), it will give you better performance than 2*512, and you can upgrade the other 256 stick to a gig in the future.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
That is true, you can add just 1 GB to one side, but it's not ideal.

I know how quickly all this adds up, so I understand the money crunch.

If you can buy a matched pair of 1 GB DIMMs that's still your best solution.
 

bobbyboulders

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2006
130
0
hey FFTT (or anyone else), why do you say it's Not ideal to go with the 1gig+256mb combo? Will it mess up my MB?

I was just about to do that to my (sweet) Macbook right now, but stopped myself when i read this thread.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
It won't hurt anything to run that way, but if you start putting higher demands
on your systen, you might end up with uneven RAM distribution glitches.

I honestly don't know how to explain it properly, but running matched pairs is the way to go on these new dual core motherboards.
 

bobbyboulders

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2006
130
0
ok, i guess ill go w/ the 1gig+256 combo for now, and then in a couple of months, be able to get that second gig.

thanks for the help guys
 

PilotWoo

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2006
208
357
FFTT said:
You only have 2 RAM slots, and half of your RAM feeds each side of the dual core
processor.
I'm sorry but thats rubbish. The MB or MBP will run absolutely fine with a single SO-DIMM. The benchmarks give better stats for 2 * 512mb rather than 1 * 1GB but it's a small percentage increase, and I doubt you would ever notice it in the real world, except for high end stuff......something that the MB was not designed for anyway.

"you might end up with uneven RAM distribution glitches". Please explain further?! I also read once this can lead to subspace anomolies, but thats only if you put the ram in backwards.

Pilotwoo
 

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
3,265
0
Bookshop!
FFTT said:
It won't hurt anything to run that way, but if you start putting higher demands
on your systen, you might end up with uneven RAM distribution glitches.

I honestly don't know how to explain it properly, but running matched pairs is the way to go on these new dual core motherboards.
i didn't know that...

I've had my MacBook running with 1024+256 for nearly 4 months now, and i haven't had a problem yet. (actually, now that i check it, i've had 2002 page outs... :eek: )

I was planning on buying another gig stick soon, anyway. It's more cost effective to buy 2 gig sticks months apart than 2 512MB sticks, then 2 1GB sticks.
 

lewion

macrumors regular
May 31, 2006
224
2
Sydney
If i were you i would go for 1 gig .... it's just the thing i'm going to do.. and i have already seen movies of macbooks doing things i want on the standard 2*256.. even playing half life 2 in windows at decent speeds and cod 2 in osx at decent speeds! stock! so yeah just go for the 1 gig it's more bang for the buck as you only see small advantages of the 2gig over the 1gig...

Just my thought
 

bobbyboulders

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2006
130
0
So PilotWoo, are you of the same opinion that you shouldn't mix and match ram (i.e 1gig+256mb combo)? Or would you say that is 'bloody rubbish' as well. :D
 

MalcolmJID

macrumors 6502a
Nov 1, 2005
711
86
England
I'll hopefully be getting a MacBook around January time :)( long wait) but I'll be buying my RAM separate. From Apple, it's like £70 up to 1Gb, and £350 up to 2Gb.

So I'll be buying my RAM from Crucial. Two 1Gb sticks will cost around £170. So there's a saving of £180 there. If you can afford it buddy, go for the 2Gb.

While there is no harm in mis-matching the RAM sticks, I personally always prefer to keep them matched. While the performance increase is hardly noticable, two matched sticks work in perfect harmony with the dual-core processor :)
 

NATO

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2005
1,692
28
Northern Ireland
If you're likely to run Parallels to run Windows/Linux etc, your MacBook would do very very well with 2GB. If you can afford it, get 2GB, you'll appreciate it when you have a lot of apps open at once
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
You can probably run 1.25 GB from now till doomsday without really hurting anything, but because of the MacBook's shared GPU memory Apple recommends
matched DIMMS.

I would only buy 3rd party RAM from suppliers who clearly guarantee Apple compatibility.

You can find cheaper generic DIMMS, but you have to be very careful to match exact specs.

A few people have had good luck finding special deals on Crucial (Micron) DIMMS at NewEgg, but NewEgg does not guarantee Apple Compatibilty.

If you decide to return your purchase, you'll end up paying shipping and restocking fees.
 

MattDell

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2006
274
3
London, UK
I see that crucial only charges $290 for 2 1GB sticks of RAM for Macbook. Is there a downside to just going that route?

-Matt
 

dreamsINdigital

macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2006
289
0
MattDell said:
I see that crucial only charges $290 for 2 1GB sticks of RAM for Macbook. Is there a downside to just going that route?

-Matt
Yes, you can get it cheaper somewhere else, such as Newegg. In fact, you can get 2 x 1GB of Crucial from them for around $238.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
At that kind of pricing I will just go with the online store upgrades. I noticed that Apple has the decency to cut the prices to more REASONABLE levels. They still aren't cheap, but they are decent now... at least when compared to US$125 per gig.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
You might want to re-read Apple's RAM upgrade descriptions.

When you buy a system with a default 1 GB RAM and you pay Apple's price for a
2 GB upgrade, they are only selling you an extra 1 GB for a TOTAL of 2 GB.

The two suppliers I mentioned above are pretty close averaging around $125.00 per single GB DIMM.

AT EDUCATION PRICING

Apple charges $90.00 to ADD 512MB for a total of 1 GB
Or........ $450.00 to ADD 1.5 GB for a total of 2 GB

So I'd have to say that a 2 GB kit @ $250.00 (2 X 1) GB is a pretty good deal
for MacBook compatible RAM.
 

smythson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2005
17
0
I see all these threads but here's another question:

Can I go ahead and buy two one-gig ram chips at seperate times or will that muck up the system? Like buy one now and one in three months, I heard they need to be the same in the Kit.
huh?
 

dreamsINdigital

macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2006
289
0
smythson said:
I see all these threads but here's another question:

Can I go ahead and buy two one-gig ram chips at seperate times or will that muck up the system? Like buy one now and one in three months, I heard they need to be the same in the Kit.
huh?
Yes, you can use a single stick, but you won't get as good of performance as if you were running two sticks. Having two identical sticks allows the memory to run in dual-channel, which increases performance.