Which RAM set-up do you think would be the most efficient?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PieMac, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    A 1.67 MacBook Pro with two matched RAM chips of 512 MB for a total of 1 GB to take advantage of the dual channel architecture or a total of 1.5 GB RAM?
  2. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    you're probably better off with the 1gb+512mb for 1.5gb. the gain in speed for the dual-channel would be negligible at best, and you would appreciate the 512mb difference. more ram is always better than less ram.
  3. arcsbite Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    the extra power from paired RAm won't equal the extra 512mb you'd get from sticking a 1GB stick in there.
    so head for the 1GB and don't look back!
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    ^ What they said. 1.5 Gb unmatched trumps 1.0 Gb matched.
  5. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005
    Would someone be so kind as to explaining what kind of dual channel mode the MacBook has and to how it works? thanks
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    In Dual-Channel Mode, (whether in a PowerMac G5, Mac Intel, or modern PCs), the memory controller addresses a pair of matched modules as if they were one big module. This doubles the theoretical bandwidth of the memory. Benchmark improvement of memory performance can be up to 40%, typically around 20%, but real-world improvement to application performance will be just a few percent because your machine spends a lot of time on tasks other than waiting for the memory.


    In order for dual channel to work, the two memory modules have to be identical in size, speed, and composition -- that is, the number and capacity of chips and the organization of the rows and columns on the chips. Note that they don';t HAVE to be the same brand and model, as long as all the other things match... but it is much easier to assure that they will match if two of the same modules are bought together at the same time or as a dual-channel kit. It's important to note that there is no difference to the individual memory module whether it is single or dual channel - Dual Channel refers only to the use of two modules as a matched pair.
  7. PieMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    So, looks like more RAM is the way to go over less, dual channel RAM. Now I just need to decide which MacBook Pro to go with...1.67 or 1.83...trying to keep the expense down as much as possible while still meeting my needs-I do a lot of photo editing in addition to the usual surfing, email, etc.
    Thanks for everyone's input so far.
  8. arcsbite Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    as insane as it sounds and as much as it goes against my "scrimp and save" policy.
    when it comes to a new mac, my advice is to go wild.
    if you have the budget, even if it stretches it to it's limit, always go for the next model up.
    always choose un-upgradebles first...so if it's a toss up...take the 1.83 with less RAM over the 1.67 with RAM,
    you can always buy RAM when you have more money...you can't upgrade the processor.
    anyway, either way hope you love your new mbp (when/if it ever ships)
    I wish I could get one, but after the core duo iMac and saving for a future intel powermac my mbp budget would be...lint..and a few buttons.
  9. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    agreed. get the best you can...upgrade stuff like ram and hard drives as you need them...but get the big monitor, the fast processor, the upgraded vram up front because you can't upgrade those later. you'll be happy you did later...
  10. mac.head.high macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Too true. And as much as I love and trust Apple; don't throw your money away on their RAM. Get the faster Macbook like arcsbite said, and then jam a crap load of crucial (or whomever) RAM in it when you can afford to. That's what I have in my G5 and it's cost effective too.

    Now I know you haven't received the computer yet, but I personally recommend New Egg for Crucial RAM because it's super affordable.

    Here I did the leg work for you:


    Just to note, I'm a super worrier, so I made sure all the Crucial RAM at New Egg is Mac compatible before I dropped a lot of cash on 8 gigs of dual-channel RAM. Just don't get confused by the product numbers. If that becomes an issue or you too are a worrier too, just check out this earlier post on RAM and Crucial product numbering system:




    Best of luck in your endeavors.
  11. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    Your crucial ram from newegg is too slow. It will work, but won't give you the full capacity of your macbook. You selected pc2 - 4200 which runs at 533 mhz, not the pc2-5300, which runs at 667 mhz, which is significantly more expensive at $172 per 1gig stick. ebay may have better prices; I was able to pick up 2 1gig sticks for $119 apiece.
  12. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2006
    Athens, Georgia
    For that Crucial you would need it running in Dual Channel to keep up with your CPU but it could be faster all in all if you did the correct RAM. It really depends on how high end you want to go. If you want to go all the way then you can do the 2x1GB in Dual Channel. If you are going to go 2x512 or 1.5 then you have to decide. The statement that 1.5 always trumps 2x512 is not always true. If you are not running RAM intensive programs and not using much of it then the 2x512 would be faster but if you are planning on Running anything in Rossetta then I would go with 1.5 if that was the only option.

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