Will 4GB upgrade improve Macbook Aluminium games performance (9400M)?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Mac-Rumours, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I have the "collectors edition" Macbook aluminium with 2GB of RAM. I want to upgrade to 4GB now that it's cheap – £34.59 after rebate from crucial.com/uk (rebate via quidco.com).

    Will upgrading RAM improve games performance in BootCamp? I'm running Windows 7. I know the graphics card is using RAM also.

    I also read you should always use matched pairs for speed. Will 2 x 2GB run faster than 1 x 4GB? 1 x 4GB is cheaper than 2 x 2Gb and will leave one RAM slot free.

    What exactly does matched pair mean? Two chips exactly the same, manufactured at the same time, or just 2 chips of the same RAM capacity?

    Lots of questions I know. :)
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #2
    Your Mac (I have one too) was recently the recipient of a firmware upgrade that enabled 8 GB of RAM to be addressed, so consider that too.

    The more RAM you have, the more can be set aside for the video card and also for disk caching, so yes performance will improve.

    Note that for 4 GB or more, you need to be running the 64 bit version of Windows 7 to realize any benefit. If you are already running 64 bit on 2 GB of RAM, you will see a decent improvement since you are running at the minimum system requirements.

    Matched pair is more than just the same capacity, manufactured at the same time would guarantee a matched pair, but is not necessary.

    B
     
  3. Hastings101 macrumors 68010

    Hastings101

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    #3
    Because the 9400m is an integrated graphics card you might see some improvement if you increase the ram, but probably not much. The increase in ram will boost your computer's speed while multitasking though so it's worth the upgrade.
     
  4. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #4
    4gb system ram allows the 9400M to use 256mb of system ram for its own purposes instead of just 128mb.

    I'm guessing it won't help much. NOt sure the 9400M has enough power to make use of the extra ram and run games at higher resolutions/settings than it does now.

    the amount of video ram should be correctly matched to the gpu processing power. Too much is overkill. Your gpu can't keep up anyway so it's a waste. Too little bottlenecks it and the power of your gpu is overkill.
     
  5. edddeduck, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

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    Mar 26, 2004
    #5
    1.) More RAM will make a pretty big difference in Mac OS X gaming as 2GB is barely enough to run a modern game and the OS never mind share some of the RAM with graphics. It also will make the entire OS quicker.
    2.) Don't know about Windows 7 I don't dual boot into Win 7 enough to say.
    3.) You only get a very small boost if any by installing Matched pairs you don't need them for the MacBook. Matched pairs means putting two identical memory chips into two connected memory slots this allows for some performance boost compared to different size RAM chips. However this was more prevalent and useful with old RAM chips from years ago than the modern stuff in your MacBook.

    Bumping to 4 (or 8GB) is the most cost effective boost for your MacBook once you have boosted the memory the next upgrade after that is a SSD HD upgrade or a new MacBook.

    I say have a look at the 2x4GB combo crucial deal if you can afford it that would be the best option. if not that then go with the single 4GB chip you can always buy another later. If you do this you should be able to leave one of your 1GB chips installed for a total of 5GB installed.

    Edwin
     
  6. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

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    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    #6
    Hi balamw, do you have a link to the firmware upgrade? Or any MacRumors threads on it? I have the same "Collector's Edition" Aluminum Macbook, and I have 6GB RAM on it (2GB+4GB) as that was the max that would work on this model. If there's a firmware upgrade that supports 8GB, I could get another 4GB stick considering they come cheap now. Although a firmware upgrade of this sort seems a very Un-Apple thing to do!
     
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    On the fence
    #7
    It's one of the more recent stories in the Page 2 section.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
  9. Mac-Rumours thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8B117)

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I read about the firmware upgrade. I doubt I'd need 8GB. :?

    I mainly use the machine for graphic design work for the web so even though I use Photoshop a lot it is only for small 72dpi images.

    Crucial.com/uk only show 4GB and 2x2GB for the MacBook. How much is their combo deal?

    Is buying a 4GB chip now and another later (from the same place) going to provide 'matched' pairs?

    EDIT: I just found this 8GB kit which is more than I want to spend

    http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT2KIT51264BC1067

    So my choices are either 2 x 2GB for £34.59 or ebuyer.com have 4GB for £32.99

    Is there any difference buying a matched pair of 2GB or a single 4GB chip in terms of speed?
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #10
    Depends on how much later...

    B
     
  11. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    Sep 17, 2009
    #11


    Yes, buy matched pair. Dont be cheap and save 2pounds
     

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