Should I Upgrade My Unibody Macbook's Memory from 2GB to 4GB?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mx7, May 9, 2009.

  1. mx7 macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Hi all,

    I'm debating whether if I should double the RAM from 2GB to 4GB since it's so cheap these days.

    Here's my Mac usage: I have my machine hooked up to a 1920x1200 monitor (via monoprice's mini displayport to hdmi adapter) and Elgato's TV tuner. I watch TV while browsing the web and playing videos.

    Sometimes there's a fraction of a second lag when scrolling through websites with heavy graphics or switching between windows. If I upgrade, will that delay disappear?

  2. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020


    Mar 11, 2009
    To your left or right
    absolutely yes. i would love to hear someone try and debate why it is not a good idea. even if you are not an intensive user it still helps espicially from 2 to 4GB. maybe not 6 to 8GB but definitely the former. and like you said it is really cheap.
  3. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    The lag shouldn't disappear; the OS will always use pretty much all of the RAM that you have. I have a machine running on 1GB and it runs fine. Unless you're paging out a lot, you probably don't need to upgrade.
  4. mx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. What do you mean by paging out a lot?

    ViciousShadow, what's the noticeable difference a normal user can notice with a 2GB to 4GB upgrade?
  5. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    Yes you should, when i upgraded my ram in mine i noticed a big difference. It also allowed me to assign more resources to my virtual machines.

    More ram you have the better your computer runs.
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The short answer - yes. The long answer - absolutely positively without a doubt, YES!

    I think RAM helps most people and keeps your Mac running fast.

    At the same time, the absolute best way to speed up your Mac if you don't use very many or intensive apps is to upgrade the drive to SSD.

    But the RAM is a cheap upgrade for $48 to make it run smoother as you will probably not use more than 4 GB whereas using 2 GB is easy.

    Good luck.
  7. Pokernut macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    I'll be in the same boat as OP when I purchase a Macbook very soon.

    My concern is that I have absolutely no idea how to do something like that. I know there are instructions all over the forums, but I have never opened or even seen an inside of a computer. I pretty much know how to press the power button.

    Is it expensive to pay someone to upgrade it for me?
  8. mx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    What are the benefits of SSDs over conventional HDDs for normal usage?
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Mechanical reliability due to lack of moving parts.
  10. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    Also small reads and writes will be significantly faster i.e. faster boot time, apps loading faster.

    I haven't really brushed up on my SSD benchmarks but I'm pretty sure the only read key advantage to having a HDD over a SSD is if your doing long sustained reads/writes to the drive i.e. video editing, and the only SSD that could compare to say a RAID setup of HDD's is the Intel X-25 series of SSD's but those come at a extremely high price/space ratio.
  11. pb1300 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 29, 2008
    Aigio, Greece
    Anyone know of any websites with SSD drives for a price that doesnt affect the heart? I checked on ebay, and for a 256gb drive, its $800. Ill stick to what I have now until the price drops.
  12. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    You will find a good explanation about "page outs" here

    You can find your "page outs" by going using the Activity Monitor found in your Utilities Folder (use the System Memory tab).


    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  13. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    Please don't pay someone to do it for you. it really isn't difficult, and there is very little that can go wrong.
    If you are 'very' unsure about doing it yourself, give these instructions to someone and ask them to do it for you. It should take 10 mins absolute tops. (and thats if you have a cup of tea half way through.)
  14. mx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    Thanks everyone for your great input. I'll be upgrading my RAM soon. Will wait untill SSD becomes cheaper.

Share This Page