Want to configure purchase of MacBook Pro with single memory chip

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by llee, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. llee macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2008
    Last time I bought a MacBook Pro, Apple offered an option to configure it with with a single chip so i could buy memory cheaper from a third party. That option is gone, so I either have to lay aside a two-gig chip and but a four-gig chip to get a total of 6, or lay aside both original chips and buy two four-gig chips to bring it up to 8, either of which choice saves me hundreds of dollars compared to accepting the Apple memory upgrade option, which for educational purchases is $900. I don't want to buy memory that won't be used. Are their any merchants that offer the MacBook Pro
    1) originally equipped entirely with third party memory at a cost savings, or
    2) originally equipped with a single 2G chip at a cost savings over the standard 2 chip configuration, or
    3) with no internal memory at all?

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    1. Some resellers might do
    2. Some resellers might do, but I doubt it
    3. I guess no
  3. oculus42 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2002
    Call the Apple Store

    Call the Apple Store number. They may be able to perform custom configurations. Remember, if you order a customized system, it disqualifies you from returning it for a restocking fee (at least it used to).
  4. llee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2008
    Already tried, they said "no".
  5. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Maybe there are memory sellers that do trade-in? Seems like you want to trade in your old memory (whatever you get from the laptop seller) and buy larger size sticks.

    OWC ((eshop.macsales.com) does it, but the prices aren't very high. Search for their rebate page.
  6. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    I'm not sure I follow your logic. Using, retail pricing, if you buy your MBP with 4GB (2GBx2) of DDR3, the most you stand to "lose" is about $60 if you swap out both chips.

    2 gig chips are a commodity products these days and rough cost about $30.

    OTOH, 4GB DDR3 chips are at least $300 each.

    It's neither economical or realistic to expect Apple to put in 1x4GB chip in lieu of 2x2GB chips.

    On the technical side, you're better off with a matched pair anyway.

    If cost is an issue, just sell the old RAM on Craigslist.

    If you're talking about the 2x1GB option for the lowest end MBP... Those things are so cheap, they practically give them away.
  7. llee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2008
    No, upgrading from 4G to 8G using Apple's online store option costs educational buyers $900.

    The MBP comes with two of these chips. If I just needed 4G RAM, I wouldn't have asked for help.

    That's why I save hundreds of dollars by removing the default configuration of two 2G chips and replacing with 2 third party 4G chips. My point is that Apple charges me $900 dollars to do it, while I could do it with third party chips for somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 to $650.

    That may be true, but Apple promoted the expectation of such an accommodation by allowing me to configure my 2006 purchase of a MacBook Pro with 1x1GB chip instead of 2X512M chips pre-installed.

    That consideration provides little or no benefit for the MPB.

    I don't expect that there would be much demand for that memory at the moment. I do suspect that many MBP buyers might be in the position of needing to sell that commodity, however.

    I never mentioned anything about buying 1G chips. I wouldn't consider any options involving that.
  8. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    The problem here is that you're asking for help but you weren't very clear about what you wanted in your post. You never stated which model you purchasing and what you were buying. Default RAM is different, depending on the model. It could be 2GB or 4GB. You asked a general question and I gave you a general reply.

    Furthermore, I don't think you fully understood what I was said and why I said what I did.

    If you go with the 4GB option on your MBP (I'm assuming 15"), the most you stand to lose in terms of buying stuff you'll never use (in case you swap out to 8GB) is about $60, the retail cost of 4GB of DDR3.

    I don't know about your area, but going rate in these parts for 4GB of DDR3 is about $30-35 on Craiglist. You can do it or not do it, that's your choice. If you do, that means the RAM in the MBP is only costing you $25-30.

    The 8GB is something you can get on your own for about $600-$650. That price consideration is a separate issue from any potential monetary loss by not being able to purchase just one chip.

    You are asking what is essentially a nonsensical question.

    You want Apple to give you 1x4GB chip, which costs at least $300+ retail in exchange for 2x2GB which costs around $60 retail. That's if you were expecting them to do it for free. Why should Apple take a ~$200-250 hit so you can save yourself a few bucks?

    OTOH, if you pay Apple for 1x4GB chip, that's at least $500 ($450 if we consider educational discount) by Apple pricing when you could just pay ~$150 more and get 2x4GB from NewEgg?

    So how does either of those two scenarios begin to make any sense?

    When difference in cost between 512MB and 1GB chips hasn't been more than $25 in years, so it probably wasn't that unreasonable if Apple did it for you in the past, but now we're talking about what's essentially a $250+ difference in value.
  9. llee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2008
    I understand that you think I shouldn't be concerned about laying aside either 2G or 4G worth of 2G chips because the price of 2G chips is inconsequential when compared to the price of a 4G chip. You've dismissed possible concerns on my part about taking on the encumbrances of becoming a merchant myself using a service such as Craiglist, but surely it makes some sense to you that I would prefer not to buy any memory that I would have to set aside as soon as I made my purchase of a new MacBook Pro. I'm just asking whether there might be any cost effective way for me to equip a new MacBook Pro with 8G of memory without having to lay aside any memory that is shipped with the product. If you know of a way for me to do that, please tell me. If not, then I still thank you at least for attempting to enlighten me as to how little value there is in the memory that Apple ships in their MacBook Pro models.
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Apple is a business and what do businesses do? They make money; they can't make money selling a zillion different configurations—makes it too complicated for most consumers; they also want to sell you something they think will perform the best; that said the only machine Apple sells right now with a 1 stick is the base model Mac mini (E2009).
  11. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Denver, CO
    This is why I suggested finding a memory seller/reseller and having them buy your chips from you as a "rebate". You'll get a worse price, but won't have the encumbrances of becoming a merchant.

    That said, I've never noticed whether those memory sellers claim to be selling you brand-new chips or not. Seems like if they are buying memory from customers, then they could be selling used memory as well. Of course, if the memory works then it's fine and I'm sure they test before selling.
  12. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    I work for an apple reseller...we can do this and occasionally get requests for it, but the cost to do it is an additionally $350 over the cost of the computer. That covers the ram chip and also our time to open the computer, install the single chip, and test everything before sending it out. Therefore, given that cost, and the $400 price to get a second 4gb chip, it is often more cost effective for our clients to do the 8gb upgrade at that time, which we charge $800 for.

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