Snow Leopard Allow 8 Gig?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jbussiere, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. jbussiere macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    #1
    Hey everyone,
    Quick question here, I was researching whether or not to wait for Snow Leopard to come out and get 8 gig of ram, or just go for 4 gig now. I would definitely choose to wait for Snow Leopard to come out. But after doing some research, is my impression wrong...which was that I could put 8 gig of ram in my unibody 15" Macbook Pro? I thought that under 64-bit, I could put as much ram as I wanted. BUt after doing some research on here, I read something about this computer being 32-bit chipset, so that limited me to 4 gig? I'm not really a computer guru, so am I right or wrong? I'm not asking whether or not I should get 8 gig, I just want to know if I can...with Snow Leopard?
     
  2. pyrodex macrumors 6502

    pyrodex

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    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    Currently OSX can handle 8GB or ram and more I believe however the 15" Unibody seems to have a firmware or some kind of code that prevents it to use more than 6GB (correct?). People on the forums are hoping a firmware update will allow all 8GB down the road but it seems maybe apple is limiting this now to push people who NEED 8GB to the 17" model they just released.
     
  3. jbussiere thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #3
    Ok, so will the release of Snow Leopard change any of this? Will it allow us to install however much ram, because it's full 64-bit? I'm not very knowledgable about this type of stuff, so any answers will do. Because if I can NEVER upgrade to 8 gig, then I might as well just do 4 gig. But, Id like to have 8 gig so I never have to worry about it later when programs start to use more resources.....
     
  4. flanamac macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2009
    #4
    I believe the new 17"Macbook Pro is geared in light of the eventual release of SnowL in 1Q 2009 and since you can order 8GB from the Apple configuration portion of the 17" MBP, then it certainly will recognize and use it. When you try to go past the recommended RAM, that is when you are flirting with the machine being possibly inefficient, resulting in wasted RAM $'s.

    If you want 8GB, best to buy a machine that the specs say is expandable to 8GB.

     
  5. Ryox macrumors 6502a

    Ryox

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    Oct 27, 2007
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    UK
    #5
    How much RAM your system can use depends on your hardware. Leopard can handle a lot more RAM than your machine is capable of.
    If its the firmware limiting the use of 8GB a simple firmware update should fix it.
    No one can really say what Snow Leopard is capable of yet but I'm sure It will be able to handle a lot more that what the current Mac Pros can use.
    If you need 8GB RAM get the hardware that can use 8GB RAM.
     
  6. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #6
    basically, currently, the hardware can support 8GB, as is shown by the 17" MacBook pro. But Apple limits this through software
     
  7. dannomac macrumors member

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    Saskatoon, SK
    #7
    But whether it's intentional or not we don't know.
     
  8. jbussiere thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #8
    Sooo, I'm guessing that is the question of the hour for this topic? If it's just software limiting it, why doesn't Apple just fix it? Why wouldn't Apple let us upgrade to whatever we wanted? I feel like I'm in Apple Jail....to be honest.
     
  9. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #9
    I'd say 90% certainly it's intentional. Because they were able to unlock 8GB in the SAME hardware on the 17", but they didn't release an update or something for the 15" to do the same.
     
  10. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Welcome to the world of Mac.
     
  11. pyrodex macrumors 6502

    pyrodex

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    #11
    So they can make you fork out 400$ to start with to move to the 17" platform versus the 15". Honestly maybe its an oversight or a marketing ploy. How many professionals who don't require higher resolution but merely 8GB would have purchased the 15" if it offered it... that is what Apple maybe thinking.
     
  12. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #12
    I need 8 gb on a MacBook Air sized computer

    I need 8 gb on a MacBook Air sized computer
     
  13. Gleadr macrumors member

    Gleadr

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    Jan 26, 2009
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    Arizona
    #13
    You cannot put 8 gigs in the 15-inch macbook pro i think the most is 6 idk if it is a hardware problem or not.
     
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #14
    People, it's not just the operating system and it's not just the firmware. There are also hardware limitations. For example, the nVidia 9400m and Intel Santa Rosa chipsets are limited to 8 gb max. No firmware update will change that since they each have 33-bit memory controllers (2^33=8 gb).
     
  15. bcaslis macrumors 68020

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    Mar 11, 2008
    #15
    I agree with Cave Man. Why do people jump on the "it's evil Apple trying to get us to buy a bigger machine?" reasons all the time? No one here has any proof of that. It's almost always an issue of the hardware configuration. If the 17" was the exact same hardware configuration as the 15" don't you think it would have been released at the same time? For issues like this, it's a combination of the CPU, chipset, and architecture involved.
     
  16. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Exactly. The 9400M is fully capable of supporting 8GB, and Mac OS X is, and Apple knows how to let it take 8GB, as the 17" shows. But the 15" doesn't have this. The hardware's identical, so the problem must lie either in the software/firmware. And Apple has Apple Software Update for a reason.
     
  17. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    It wasn't an internal hardware issue. They couldn't ramp up (or so they say) the production process fast enough to make time for the spotlight event
     
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #18
    Are you certain the 15" 9400m models cannot take 8 gb?
     
  19. darwinian macrumors 6502a

    darwinian

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    #19
    It was either iFixit or maybe XLR8 that tried it when it first came out -- same problems as the slightly older MBPs -- 8 GB was recognized, but the system slowed down dramatically when > 4 GB were addressed.
     
  20. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #20
    We only know that the 17" MBP hardware supports 8GB. We can assume that the 15" hardware wouldn't require a big change, but it is quite possible that current 15" hardware cannot support 8GB. I don't think Apple would change the 15" hardware for that reason alone; just check out the price of 4GB chips, and you see there won't be much demand for this. If Apple has a reason to release a 15" MBP with other hardware changes, then they might very well include the necessary changes to support 8GB RAM, but not as the only change.

    Maybe it can be fixed with a firmware upgrade; if that is the case, then it is independent of Snow Leopard.

    Tiger was capable of handling more than 8 GB already; the first MacPros supported 16 GB. Snow Leopard will make no difference. You can put 6 GB into the latest 15 inch MBPs already. There may or may not be a firmware upgrade that allows 8 GB, nobody can say for sure.
     
  21. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    So the 9400 is different from the 9400... hmmm...
     
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #22
    And I remember posting the link several times, and people firing back and saying that it was an issue with the SW test method the guy was using not the machine recognizing the 8GB.

    Seems the guy who did the test was right, his testing method wasn't really prolonged, but the slowdown was later confirmed in 8GB configurations by others.

    Would be nice to see an EFI/OS update to remedy the issue with the capable Intel and Nvidia chipsets but I wouldn't hold my breath.
     
  23. jbussiere thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #23
    Ok So...

    Sooo,
    I'm guessing I shouldn't hold my breath on getting 8 gig for the 15". So, now I just need to figure out whether it's 6gig for me or just 4 gig. The only reason, is cause when I run Vista via VMWare....it drives me nuts how slow my computer runs. With just Safari and VMWare running, 87% of my RAM is being used. Thanks for all the input,and knowing my luck, as soon as I make the purchase....they'll do a Firmware update to allow 8 gig lol.
     
  24. pyrodex macrumors 6502

    pyrodex

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    Atlanta, GA
    #24
    Have you tweaked Vista to not be so flashy to help on memory performance? You could install XP instead (if you have a copy) for VMware and that would use less memory.
     
  25. jbussiere thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #25
    I'd have to admit, Vista looks amazing on my Mac, so I'm guessing I haven't tweaked it to not look flashy....how would I go about doing that?
     

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