RAM Upgrade Question - New MBP 11/09

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
Heya,

Just received my Macbook Pro 15.4" 3.06GHz with 4GB RAM. I'm running Parallels and Windows 7, usually have a lot of windows open at once, and am experiencing a pretty significant delay at times when working with Outlook, etc. So, I'm thinking adding on an additional 4GB RAM will help. However, i'm quite confused as to whether I need to buy 2x2 or 4x1 since there are so many different versions of the MBP that have been released and each website says something different. And do I want 667MHz or 800MHz or something else? :confused:

There are too many options I don't know anything about so I thought I'd ask you for some help. :D

So, with a Macbook Pro purchased in November 2009, which 4GB RAM is the best for me to install to totally speed up my system? If you could recommend a specific brand/model of RAM that would be most helpful (or just a link to it on Amazon or Newegg). Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!

-Megan :p
 

thesmoth

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2008
367
0
Heya,

Just received my Macbook Pro 15.4" 3.06GHz with 4GB RAM. I'm running Parallels and Windows 7, usually have a lot of windows open at once, and am experiencing a pretty significant delay at times when working with Outlook, etc. So, I'm thinking adding on an additional 4GB RAM will help. However, i'm quite confused as to whether I need to buy 2x2 or 4x1 since there are so many different versions of the MBP that have been released and each website says something different. And do I want 667MHz or 800MHz or something else? :confused:

There are too many options I don't know anything about so I thought I'd ask you for some help. :D

So, with a Macbook Pro purchased in November 2009, which 4GB RAM is the best for me to install to totally speed up my system? If you could recommend a specific brand/model of RAM that would be most helpful (or just a link to it on Amazon or Newegg). Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!

-Megan :p
You have to buy 8 gigs of ram, since your computer only has two slots and you have 2 x 2gig chips in there right now.

I think it's around $600-800 now for 2 x 4gig chips.
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
You have to buy 8 gigs of ram, since your computer only has two slots and you have 2 x 2gig chips in there right now.

I think it's around $600-800 now for 2 x 4gig chips.
Oh Jeez, didn't know i'd have to buy 8GB, thank for the info! Which 2x4GB chips should I buy? Do you know which ones are the fastest and most reliable?

Thanks!
Megan :p
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,335
7
forlod bygningen
Processor and memory

2.53GHz or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 with processor speed; or 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache
1066MHz frontside bus
4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 memory, two SO-DIMM slots support up to 8GB


from http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/specs.html


So you need two 4GB modules of 204-pin 1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM.
Here you can find some: http://www.crucial.com/store/listpa... Duo (15-inch DDR3) Mid-2009&pl=Apple&cat=RAM or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ption=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

It will cost you around 500USD.


Also MRoogle might and will give you many threads on this subject.
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0



So you need two 4GB modules of 204-pin 1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM.
Here you can find some: http://www.crucial.com/store/listpa... Duo (15-inch DDR3) Mid-2009&pl=Apple&cat=RAM or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ption=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

It will cost you around 500USD.


Also MRoogle might and will give you many threads on this subject.


Thanks for those links. On NewEgg I found 8GB RAM for $399, expensive but doable. How does this chip look to you: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231294

I don't know how to evaluate whether it is the best performer but the reviews look good.

Thanks again!!!
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
It does look good, just make sure the RAM has at least three years of warranty though, I can't find anything on that on the webpage.
Now I'm deciding between the G.Skill and the OWC chips as the OWC is only $30 more (considering I'd have to pay tax on the G.Skill but not the OWC). Anyone have experience with either or both of these brands or chips and know which one is faster and more reliable?

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/8566DDR3S8GP/

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231294

Thanks abunch!
-M:p
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,735
159
The original poster can't buy just 1 4 GB stick now, and use it with 2 GB stick, to have 6 GB, until they felt comfortable buying another 4 GB stick?
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
The original poster can't buy just 1 4 GB stick now, and use it with 2 GB stick, to have 6 GB, until they felt comfortable buying another 4 GB stick?
All my work is run off of this mbp and a few seconds saved per hour will add up to a significant amount of time over a year. So yes, I want to upgrade to as fast a computer as I can get. I thought 4GB would work but it appears I need 8. So I'll get 8. Sorry if that offends you. :(
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,335
7
forlod bygningen
All my work is run off of this mbp and a few seconds saved per hour will add up to a significant amount of time over a year. So yes, I want to upgrade to as fast a computer as I can get. I thought 4GB would work but it appears I need 8. So I'll get 8. Sorry if that offends you. :(
If a few seconds count, than you should seriously consider an SSD as you main drive.
There are some/many threads in this MBP sub-forum.
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
If a few seconds count, than you should seriously consider an SSD as you main drive.
There are some/many threads in this MBP sub-forum.
I did consider that but I needed a larger internal harddrive then SSD comes in, unfortunately. Once they get up to 500GB then I'm definitely there!
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,735
159
All my work is run off of this mbp and a few seconds saved per hour will add up to a significant amount of time over a year. So yes, I want to upgrade to as fast a computer as I can get. I thought 4GB would work but it appears I need 8. So I'll get 8. Sorry if that offends you. :(
CerberusLA - no doesn't offend me at all. I just didn't know if you wanted to spend the money on 2, 4GB sticks. With a fast machine like yours, I think it makes sense to max out the memory and get the full performance.

Hope you enjoy the performance boost after the upgrade! You can always sell your 2 2GB sticks for a little bit on the marketplace section, if you don't need them.
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
CerberusLA - no doesn't offend me at all. I just didn't know if you wanted to spend the money on 2, 4GB sticks. With a fast machine like yours, I think it makes sense to max out the memory and get the full performance.

Hope you enjoy the performance boost after the upgrade! You can always sell your 2 2GB sticks for a little bit on the marketplace section, if you don't need them.
No worries and thank you for the info - i didn't even know about the marketplace section. I wonder if I can get more for them there then the OWC rebate program, which is offering $45 for both of them (2x2GB). I'll check it out now. Thanks!
 

Surely

Guest
Oct 27, 2007
15,042
8
Los Angeles, CA
No worries and thank you for the info - i didn't even know about the marketplace section. I wonder if I can get more for them there then the OWC rebate program, which is offering $45 for both of them (2x2GB). I'll check it out now. Thanks!
Unfortunately, you don't qualify for the Marketplace forum yet:
Only users with a history of 250 posts (user title 6502 or higher) and membership for at least 6 months can access the Marketplace forum.

Before you make your RAM purchase, you should find out if more RAM is the solution to your apparent slowdown. Are you running any iStat-like applications that show your RAM usage? For example, iStat Pro, the iStat nano widget, or iStat Menus.
 

jxh4400

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2009
7
0
This is my first post so please be nice. What I did was buy an Intel X-25M for the boot drive and then used the Optibay optical drive replacement to stuff another 320 Gig hardrive in my 13" MBP. I also upgrades from 2G of ram up to 4G. I am very happy with this configuration....
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
Have you optimized performance for OSX or for the VM in parallel's options?
I have a win 7 VM with 2GB of ram allocated to it and I use it for office and SPSS daily and it doesn't lag at all. When I had only 2GB of ram and allocated 1GB to the VM it was pretty bad though.

I've also had a PC laptop with windows 7 and 2GB of ram and didn't have any performance issues. Have you installed Parallels' tools? So before parting with 500 dollars you might want to check out Parallel's options and play with them a bit.

Also I've noticed that my VM feels much faster and more responsive when run in full screen mode. Modality, Crystal etc are pretty sweet but I think that they consume more resources.
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
Have you optimized performance for OSX or for the VM in parallel's options?
I have a win 7 VM with 2GB of ram allocated to it and I use it for office and SPSS daily and it doesn't lag at all. When I had only 2GB of ram and allocated 1GB to the VM it was pretty bad though.

I've also had a PC laptop with windows 7 and 2GB of ram and didn't have any performance issues. Have you installed Parallels' tools? So before parting with 500 dollars you might want to check out Parallel's options and play with them a bit.

Also I've noticed that my VM feels much faster and more responsive when run in full screen mode. Modality, Crystal etc are pretty sweet but I think that they consume more resources.
Gabriel - Wow! Thank you so much. I thought the allocation for performance would be done automatically but when I checked the configuration of Parallels 5, it was only allocating 1 Core and 1GB RAM to my virtual machine. I've now increased that to 2 Cores and 2488MB RAM, and it seems to be working a lot faster.

However, I've noticed that everything is fine while I'm using a program in Windows 7, such as now when I'm typing this there aren't any abnormalities but if the system rests for more than 30 seconds (where I'm not hitting any keys or moving the mouse) then I've noticed the screen flickers and turns black for a few seconds and then back to normal. I never noticed this before increasing the # of cores and RAM for my virtual machine but now it happens every time. Not a big deal but I just wanted to know if you've experienced or heard of this issue and if there is any way to fix it.

Thank you again for your comments - you may have just saved me $450!:D

-M:p
 

phishindsn

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2009
146
1
No worries and thank you for the info - i didn't even know about the marketplace section. I wonder if I can get more for them there then the OWC rebate program, which is offering $45 for both of them (2x2GB). I'll check it out now. Thanks!
I will buy them off from you. If you decide to get them send me a message. I would love to upgrade my MacBook Pro from 2GB to 4GB.
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
Gabriel - Wow! Thank you so much. I thought the allocation for performance would be done automatically but when I checked the configuration of Parallels 5, it was only allocating 1 Core and 1GB RAM to my virtual machine. I've now increased that to 2 Cores and 2488MB RAM, and it seems to be working a lot faster.

However, I've noticed that everything is fine while I'm using a program in Windows 7, such as now when I'm typing this there aren't any abnormalities but if the system rests for more than 30 seconds (where I'm not hitting any keys or moving the mouse) then I've noticed the screen flickers and turns black for a few seconds and then back to normal. I never noticed this before increasing the # of cores and RAM for my virtual machine but now it happens every time. Not a big deal but I just wanted to know if you've experienced or heard of this issue and if there is any way to fix it.

Thank you again for your comments - you may have just saved me $450!:D

-M:p
It may happen because windows is offloading stuff from RAM to the virtual HDD. Virtual expanding partitions are IMO the No.1 reason after insufficient RAM for poor performance in virtualization as data is written in a virtual filesystem, on top of OSX's journal and then compressed/expanding. I am going to toy with installing a VM in a NTFS partition (bootcamp) and some other options to see if it helps.

Generally speaking play with the options in Paralllels configuration to optimize performance. The worst thing that can happen would be having your VM crash as if it ran out of memory and having to restart it (given that you have saved all your work inside it).

As far as RAM is concerned, make sure that the total RAM parallel uses is slightly more (100-200mb) than the maximum RAM allocated to your virtual machine. Parallels still needs some RAM to run properly and the VM tends to ignore that fact and grabs it all for itself. As a result parallels crashes and the transition between the virtualized OS and Mac OS is not smooth.
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
As far as RAM is concerned, make sure that the total RAM parallel uses is slightly more (100-200mb) than the maximum RAM allocated to your virtual machine. Parallels still needs some RAM to run properly and the VM tends to ignore that fact and grabs it all for itself. As a result parallels crashes and the transition between the virtualized OS and Mac OS is not smooth.
Thanks for the additional info but how do I do this? Under "General" in Parallel 5's "Virtual Machine Configuration" I allocated for Main Memory "2844MB". When I tried to allocated more it advised that 2844MB is the most I should allocate. However, I'm not sure how to find out the total RAM parallel uses and if this is more than the maximum RAM allocated to my virtual machine (which I believe is the 2844MB number). Sorry for my newbieness to all of this but hopefully you can point me in the right direction as I do want to heed your advice. :)
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
Thanks for the additional info but how do I do this? Under "General" in Parallel 5's "Virtual Machine Configuration" I allocated for Main Memory "2844MB". When I tried to allocated more it advised that 2844MB is the most I should allocate. However, I'm not sure how to find out the total RAM parallel uses and if this is more than the maximum RAM allocated to my virtual machine (which I believe is the 2844MB number). Sorry for my newbieness to all of this but hopefully you can point me in the right direction as I do want to heed your advice. :)
Open parallels. Click parallels desktop on your top bar and go to preferences in the memory tab click automatically. This way parallels grabs the RAM the VM needs plus the RAM the virtualizing program needs. Stop any VM's that are open. Click the menu virtual machine and then "configure". In the "general" tab allocate 2GB of Main memory to the VM.

Giving 2844 to the VM is as bad as giving it less RAM than it needs. Because this way the entire computer runs out of memory and neither parallels can work properly nor the other mac programs.
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
Open parallels. Click parallels desktop on your top bar and go to preferences in the memory tab click automatically. This way parallels grabs the RAM the VM needs plus the RAM the virtualizing program needs. Stop any VM's that are open. Click the menu virtual machine and then "configure". In the "general" tab allocate 2GB of Main memory to the VM.

Giving 2844 to the VM is as bad as giving it less RAM than it needs. Because this way the entire computer runs out of memory and neither parallels can work properly nor the other mac programs.
Thanks for the instructions - I'll do that now!:eek:
 

CerberusLA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2009
17
0
Open parallels. Click parallels desktop on your top bar and go to preferences in the memory tab click automatically. This way parallels grabs the RAM the VM needs plus the RAM the virtualizing program needs. Stop any VM's that are open. Click the menu virtual machine and then "configure". In the "general" tab allocate 2GB of Main memory to the VM.

Giving 2844 to the VM is as bad as giving it less RAM than it needs. Because this way the entire computer runs out of memory and neither parallels can work properly nor the other mac programs.
Unfortunately, that didn't help - my system still flickers (now it's actually doing it even when I'm using the computer). It occurs about once every 2-3 minutes. Any other ideas on how to fix this? Perhaps I should decrease the RAM allocated to my VM even further?
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
Unfortunately, that didn't help - my system still flickers (now it's actually doing it even when I'm using the computer). It occurs about once every 2-3 minutes. Any other ideas on how to fix this? Perhaps I should decrease the RAM allocated to my VM even further?
Hmm. In the VM configuration menu, go to the options tab and then optimization. Click Enable Adaptive Hypervisor and Tune Windows for speed.

Also with your VM open and all, open the activity monitor, go to the system memory tab, and when the flickerin happens take a screenshot and post it.
 

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