Worth upgrading from 2->4Gb?

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
40
0
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?
 

DaveTheRave

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2003
599
171
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.
 
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d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
40
0
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 :(
 

brandontheguy

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2011
6
0
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...
 

InuNacho

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2008
1,455
599
In that one place
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.
 

\-V-/

Suspended
May 3, 2012
3,155
2,688
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?
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.
 

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
40
0
I'd love to go to 6/8Gb - but since I'm running 32bit aren't I stuck at 4Gb?
 

xSPRINTERx

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2009
167
0
Leicester
I'd love to go to 6/8Gb - but since I'm running 32bit aren't I stuck at 4Gb?
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...
 

AppleFanatic10

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2010
2,589
147
Hawthorne, CA
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?
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.
 

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
40
0
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.
So I don't need to force it to run in 64-bit mode to make use of >4Gb Ram, like on Windows?

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.
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!
 

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
40
0
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?)
 

tom vilsack

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
1,880
62
ladner cdn
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?)
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...
 
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greganpace

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2011
137
0
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?
 

tom vilsack

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
1,880
62
ladner cdn

slynger

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2010
146
1
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?
 

Pinkie Pie

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2012
138
0
Los Anhelles
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!
 

jaguar451

macrumors member
Aug 21, 2002
38
0
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...
 

bozz2006

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2007
2,530
0
Minnesota
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.
 

DMacLeod12

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2012
1
0
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...

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
 
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