Ram Upgrade: 4GB or 5GB? Same Price, Same Brand!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vader1990, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. vader1990 macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2008
    Hello All,

    I'm an Engineering college student, and I own the first generation unibody macbook pro from October 2008 (known here as Late 2008 Model). Its the 2.4Ghz, 9400/9600 GT, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD Model.

    As I said above I'm an engineering student so I use stuff like MATLAB, Eclipse (Java IDE), Xcode, SOLiD, iTunes, etc a lot. I generally have a a few word files, a few excel files, a bunch of matlab files, mail, safari with like 10 tabs, iTunes and a lot of other stuff open. As you may imagine my mac cannot handle this.

    I have a Page In / Out Ratio as follows: 2.5 Million to 750,356. And a swap file of 1.4GB/2GB.

    I recently came across the deal of Mushkin RAM for $64.99 from newegg. I definitely want to take advantage of this before its gone. The problem is that the 2X2GB and 1X4GB sticks both cost the same.

    I realize if I purchase the 4GB stick, I will have 5GB total and though that is 1GB more ram I will lose dual channel. My question is, given my needs will the loss of dual channel be compensated by the extra 1 GB of RAM?

    Links: (Note the rebate make it $64.99)
    2X2GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226019

    4GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226020

    Thanks a lot for your help guys!

  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    dual channel means just about nothing in real-world use. if you need 5GB, get that.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I agree, I'd go with the 5GB. Unfortunately you can't upgrade to 8GB with that machine (same downfall with mine - same guts), but dual channel really doesn't do a whole lot for normal use
  4. applepearpp macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2010
    or I'd suggest you to pay double the money and get 2x4GB for the sake of more ram. ram is almost always more the merrier.

    another option is you sell off my macbook pro and chip in some money for a newer model. the better CPU and GPU should give you a significant speed boost. Personally I would much rather pay some 400 bucks ever two years to keep my laptop new and high in resale value.
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    As mentioned in my above post, OP's computer cannot handle 8GB RAM, it has a max of 6GB. In this case, the bottleneck is definitely RAM, so that is what would help most.
  6. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    I'd get the 4GB stick. Dual channel isn't a killer.
  7. JodyK macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2010
    Northern Atlanta suburbs
    If you are going to do it then have you given any thoughts to maxing it out at 6GB?

    Either keep your 2 1GB sticks for when you go to sell the MBP. Or sell them to someone with an older machine.

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