Speed/cost/worth of apple RAM vs buying later.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Danielclark, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Danielclark macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    Hey everyone.

    I am a longtime follower of the waiting for arrandale thread and i have over average knowledge about computers and how they work. This thread is for questioning the situation about RAM in the new macbook pro. I have a few questions regarding the current situation to compare what might happen with the (hopeful) release on Tuesday.

    Yes, i checked Mroggle before posting

    1)My first question is the speed of the current apple ram in the macbook pros. I know they run 1066 and are DDR3, but what are the latency timings. Is there anywhere i can find someone who has tested them. The reason for this is the difference from a thirdparty ram (besides the price).

    2)As far as i know, the 13" macbook low-end uses 2x1 GB sticks. This would mean you would have to buy 2x2 GB sticks anyways. The cheapest 2x2 GB sticks i found in Denmark (thirdparty) was around 800 DKK (147 U.S. dollars) and it only costs 750 DKK to upgrade to 4 GB in the apple store. Therefore its important for me to know if the latency timings are better to see improved performance.

    3)I actually saw some cheap 2x2 GB sticks rated for 1333. Would they be backward compatible in the macbook pros to match the FSB?

    The questions come down to if its worth to just upgrade in the apple store instead of buying third party. YES i know that in the US, third party ram is much cheaper than apples but it is actually not here. Hope that someone has some insight that could help me choose right. If the thirdparty ram is worth it more, then i might aswell wait and buy some later on when prices go down, but if the apple ram is just as fast (latency) and seems the same price to get a total of 4GB ram, then i would just upgrade it when i bougt it. This is the current sitiuation i am talking about. Maybe it will change with the new models, but im just trying to understand it now, and transfer that knowledge to the new products.

    - Daniel
  2. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Hi Danielclark... when I first bought my macbook, the low end 13" like you describe, I paid for the in store 4 GB upgrade, at $100 USD. This was in the States, and the situation is as you described, the pricing was competitive, and even better. The reason was because the store gave me a "credit" for the old ram.

    Since then, however, I have upgraded again to 8GB. There was no competition between and Apple upgrade vs an aftermarket. I paid $367 USD at Other World Computing for 8GB, the Apple Store wanted $700 USD.

    As for performance and latency. I am out, not a memory afficianado - I just know more is better.
  3. Danielclark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    Hey. Yeah i am in the same situation where at the moment i cant see an advantage in buying third party ram since, as you mentioned, apple just keeps the stock 2x1 GB ram in the low end and replaces them with 2x2GB therefore not increasing the price "that much". I can totally follow you in your 8GB purchase. Half price is ALOT!. Just curious, do you do alot of heavy stuff since you bought 8 GB and can you feel a difference? I plan to use the macbook pro 13" im buying (when the upgrade comes) as a home studie, hook it up to my soundcard and a external monitor while taking it to school during the day. I use Logic Pro.

    Still, i am very curious about the RAM timings (the latency) since they have a huge impact in the performance in ram. Usually on websites they mark the ram the CLx (x being a number usually 4-9 -- lower being faster ram timing). I have overclocked my PC and when tuning RAM clock speed, timings come into play, thats why i know something about it. If your interested, check this thread out = http://www.overclock.net/intel-memory/9981-ram-timing-explained.html
  4. hamlinspahn macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    Apple Ram

    Apple RAM is covered by your warranty and Apple Care third party is not. Also I have never gotten a bad stick of Apple RAM I can't say that about third party. Latency is only an issue if you are running performance test or doing something really intensive. I don't know how you use your machine but tiny thousandths of a second difference I'm never going to notice. So I guess for me I would go with the Apple RAM and I would wait until I needed it not just because I wanted it.
  5. Danielclark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
  6. Danielclark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    Well, the thing is, you can only get the 4GB Apple ram upgrade cheap when you buy the mbp. Not when you buy it afterwards in their shop.

    I upgraded my old 800 mhz DDR2 ram rated at CL5 to 1066 mhz rated CL4 (also DDR2) and i could feel a major performance increase, but that was maybe because of the FSB bottleneck before?
  7. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    I agree with the attitude that "safe and supported" is best. That is why I opted for OWC to purchase my ram. As far as after market sources, they have been great. Providing videos on how to install etc. DISCLAIMER: I am not an employee or representative of OWC, and do not in any way represent them. My relationship is purely as a satisfied customer.

    Yes, I am an independent enterprise software consultant. I specialize in a large application suite (of a well known brand)... whose tools are let's just say "heavy". I use a few virtual machines to operate off my laptop. The RAM makes all the difference in the world.
  8. Danielclark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    Yeah i can see where the 8 Gigs of ram come in handy. Especially with the virtual machines your running. Well, i hope someone comes by and reads this and has knowledge on precisely how the apple RAM is timed. Would be interesting to find out.

    Well isn't most third party RAM on a lifetime warranty by most of the manufacturers?
  9. Relznuk macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2009
    UT, USA
    Non-Apple RAM is generally cheaper. Depends on whether Apple's warranty coverage of the RAM is important to you (good companies warranty the ram they sell anyhow).
  10. Danielclark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    Well, in Denmark all electronic stuff has a two year warranty (by law - though not if it is a malfunktion caused by yourself or wear) so warranty wouldn't make a difference for me. And as i said, companies like corsair has lifetime warranty on their RAM modules. as i said in my post, it would actually be cheaper to buy a BTO low end 13" with 4GB ram instead of buying 2x2GB ram kit (its only 10 $ cheaper) so i want to know what the latency timings are on the apple RAM to compare.
  11. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    DDR3 1066 is mostly CL7. Thats what the macbook pro comes with and that what I bought when I upgraded to 4GB. Most 1333MHz DDR3 is CL9.
  12. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Apple is going to buy the cheapest ram they can, I would rather upgrade my self later and save some money.
  13. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Apple doesn't make ram.
  14. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I also got my RAM from OWC. They're great to deal with. If you run VM's, RAM is very handy. It definitely makes a difference.
  15. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    I spent 150+4 on 4gb ddr3, crucial.
    Also popped in an Intel SSD gen2 80gb.

    Those two upgrades will breathe some fire into your macbook! Seriously. Get some 3rd party ddr3 and an ssd. You wont be sorry.

    150+ Ram
    230$ish for the SSD

    The performance you get is awe inspiring.
  16. dnguyen macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2008
    this is true but usually other brands have lifetime warrantys on their ram as well. My experience with crucial ram / rma was good.
  17. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    They don't.

    Actually, they are buying it in from Samsung and those are decent modules. They just pay less for them due to the bulk orders and the general business relationship with between Apple & Samsung.

    One can buy the very same Samsung modules on OWC usually for much less than Apple is selling them in the aftermarket albeit still more expensive than the cheapest OWC choices.
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    For the recent Macs, Apple has been using Hynix chips.
  19. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    My oem 2x1GB are micron which I believe is the same ram crucial sells.
  20. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    If cost is your concern it isn't that hard to compare, but if you are talking about getting the fastest RAM possible, I think you should stop worrying.
    Fact is the coming Arrendales have no FSB but the Memory Controller is the same as before it just is not as optimised as before and as a result has "awful" latency. Thus if you have CL7 or anything else doesn't make any noticeable difference (as in hardly noticeable in any benchmark).
    While bandwidth can increase as QPI is quite a bit faster than the good old FSB it really doesn't translate into a significant performance advantage. I am also quite sure Apple puts only DDR3 1066 into those notebooks as they are pretty smart and although the controller can take 1333 it takes away some batterylife and doesn't improve performance enough to be worth the extra money. Bandwidth helps a little with IGP (GPU) performance but I hope that Apple gives every MBP a dedicated switchable GPU and nobody will have to game on the IGP.
    I'd be really surprised if there was anything else but DDR3 1066 in any of the Apple Notebooks.
    I don't know if Arrendale support DDR3L but if it did this is the only thing worth consideration IMO.

    Anybody who looses faith in Arrendale now? The new CPU is still faster then the old one because of an extremely fast L2 cache and Hyperthreading. Intel took the old and slow IMC instead of the new one that is in the Clarksfield probably because it was the easy thing to do and it will enable them to show a significant performance improvement with Sandy Bridge clock for clock. Almost twice the time to get Data from RAM makes a huge difference in some applications like games. The CL stuff of the RAM can improve this only a little bit as it is only one link in the chain. Relatively fast RAM makes in Arrendale a much smaller difference than with Clarksfield. BTW this is also the reason why clarksfield is in every Benchmark faster than Arrendale even though it has lower top speeds then the fastest Arrendale.
  21. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Which was found in my Dell Xps 1530 when I opened it.

Share This Page