Worth upgrading from 2->4Gb?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by d000hg, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. d000hg macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #1
    I have a late 2008 MacBook (one of the unibody ones) running 10.6 in 32bit mode.
    It has 2Gb of RAM and the Crucial scanner (http://www.crucial.com/mac/) says it can accept 4Gb. I imagine I'd have to buy 4Gb rather than an additional 2Gb (right?), that's priced about $35US.

    I was wondering if I'm likely to notice the benefit? Anyone done similar things on older MacBooks?
     
  2. DaveTheRave, Jun 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012

    DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I recently did this on my late 2009 Macbook. I saw an improvement and would recommend it. Not a gigantic improvement, but an improvement that's definitely worth the $ spent on more RAM. Macbook seems to run smoother when more programs are open. I recommend it. And yes, you'll have to remove the old RAM and stick in a drawer.

    They say for the big performance improvements get a SSD, but they are still very expensive compared to standard hard drives. But do a search for MacBooks SSD vs HD startup times. You'll be drooling for one when you see how fast they boot up.

    Edit: Kind of off-topic but just noticed on Crucial that a 512Gig SSD is about $450. A few weeks ago it was around $600. I guess prices are finally coming down.
     
  3. d000hg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the review :)

    I would love to get a SSD in my next PC but wasn't aware you could retrofit them to an older MacBook. I'm thinking of doing just that to my main Windows desktop but they sure are expensive :(
     
  4. brandontheguy macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2011
    #4
    I just upgraded my 2009 unibody from 2 gigs to 8 gigs... its incredibly fast...

    the original specs only allowed for 4 gigs, but apparently, the hardware could accept up to 8 all along, which was unleashed by the latest software update...

    anyway, its working well so far, and I've noticed a huge upgrade...

    I've been editing RAW format pictures and had a lot of lag before, but I have hardly any since...
     
  5. InuNacho macrumors 65816

    InuNacho

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    #5
    Went from 2 to 4 in my early 08 Macbook and it made a HUGE difference, would have gone to 6 but thats an extra $60-$80 depending on where you go.

    I play Unreal 2004 on my Macbook quite a bit and saw a 10 FPS jump.
     
  6. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

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    #6
    It helps immensely. I had an older MBP I bought for cheap and maxed out the RAM on it and it's a very noticeable performance boost.
     
  7. d000hg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #7
    I'd love to go to 6/8Gb - but since I'm running 32bit aren't I stuck at 4Gb?
     
  8. xSPRINTERx macrumors regular

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    Leicester
    #8
    OSX 10.6 (Snow leopard) is 64bit.
    By default, your Snow Leopard system boots into a 32-bit kernel, even on the latest Macs. That doesn't keep you from running 64-bit applications and addressing more than 2 GB of RAM.

    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/checking_32_or_64-bit_kernel_boot_mode_in_snow_leopard/

    I have the 5,1 version of the unibody macbook (running lion) I have upgraded the RAM to 8gb and installed an SSD into the superdrive bay. its given my ageing machine a new lease of life, i won't need to replace it now for at least another 12 -18 months.

    spent £130 to save £1100...
     
  9. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030

    AppleFanatic10

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    #9
    I'm assuming the 08 unibody macbook is the aluminum one, so I'd suggest you upgrade to 8GB instead of 4GB.. it'll be much faster that way.
     
  10. d000hg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #10
    So I don't need to force it to run in 64-bit mode to make use of >4Gb Ram, like on Windows?

    Yes that's what I've got. The concern I have is making sure I get compatible RAM for it - in the UK Crucial guarantee their 4Gb set will be compatible so I'd want to be super-sure I don't get the wrong stuff!
     
  11. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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  12. d000hg thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2012
    #12
    I'd love to go SSD but there are two problems with doing so on the MacBook...

    1)I haven't even gone SSD on my main machine yet!
    2)How could I clone my existing disk when the MacBook only supports one HDD (correct?)
     
  13. xSPRINTERx, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012

    xSPRINTERx macrumors regular

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  14. tom vilsack, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012

    tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #14
    you can use carbon copy and make a disk image (source=harddrive...destination=new disk image) then let carbon copy save to desktop...when done....format a usb stick and stick image on that...install new drive...plug in usb stick...then boot mac from osx dvd and then open disk utility and pick restore tab,image will be on usb stick,destination=drag harddrive location and click restore....done

    or

    use carbon copy and clone your drive to a usb stick,install new drive...boot from usb stick,start carbon copy and clone usb stick to new ssd drive...
     
  15. greganpace macrumors regular

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    Aug 9, 2011
    #15
    So just to clarify a couple posts, with Lion, older macbooks (mine is the mid 2009, not unibody yet) should be able to support 8gb of ram?
     
  16. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #16
  17. d000hg thread starter macrumors newbie

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  18. slynger macrumors regular

    slynger

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #18
    so if I'm reading that correctly my '09 macbook can take 8 GB?

    So now the question becomes, do I go from 4 to 8 GB or do I go SSD, or do I do both and have a solid laptop for a few more years?

    Thoughts?
     
  19. Pinkie Pie macrumors regular

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    #19
    I did this for my MacBook and the improvement was HUGE for basic tasks like browsing the Internet while listening to music. It's definitely worth it!
     
  20. jaguar451 macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2002
    #20
    I updated my unibody, late 2008 MacBook5,1 2.4Ghz yesterday from 2GB to 8GB. It's made a HUGE difference. Although for my usage so far, 4GB might have been enough, but I figured err on the side of more room for $25ish more...
     
  21. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #21
    2->4 would be a huge upgrade. And if you have one of the aluminum MacBooks, you can even upgrade to 8GB. That would be even better.
     
  22. .mmon macrumors newbie

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    #22
  23. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #23
    Yes. RAM is so cheap now there's no reason not to. It's super easy to install
     
  24. DMacLeod12 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2012
    #24

    I just finished the same upgrade on my late 2009 unibody. This was the first time I ever opened a laptop and it was easy. Performance difference is unbelievable.

    I'm happy:D
     
  25. MasterMacBook macrumors member

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    #25

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