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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > A Guide to MacBook RAM Upgrades

A Guide to MacBook RAM Upgrades (Page 3)
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May 20, 2009, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
What web sites are telling you that a MacBook running OS X will only report 3.3GB when maxed out with 4GB of RAM?
Apple MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13" (Black) Specs (Late 2006 - MA701LL/A) @ EveryMac.com
Understanding Intel Mac RAM - Mac Guides


Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Unfortunately you have not read this thread.

Had you read the thread you would have known that your MB will show 4GB memory. You would have also known that it doesn't make any sense to install more than 3GB. And finally, you would have also learned that Corsair (in this case) is an expensive and hence not very good choice.

Note also that Xbench sucks. It has a long history of being wildly inaccurate. So any 'results' you obtained with it can be discarded. The fact that your MB takes longer to boot after the RAM installation is no surprise either.
I guess i missed that part about "showing" 4gb but not actually is.

Also understand that NOT EVERYONE is from America and that pricing differs around the world. In this case, Corsair WAS the cheapest option for me apart from generic RAM brands as well as fast local deliver rather than ordering brands like Crucial and waiting a week for it. Does Corsair RAMs have a history of bad products to be considered not good?

What do you mean it doesn't make sense to install more than 3gb? Other advice i have got, was it would be better to have matched pairs, like you have on your first post.
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
A final word on matched DIMM pairs. It is true that memory bandwidth is increased by installing matched memory modules. Therefore, if you are interested in getting the maximum possible frame rate, you would probably want to install memory in matched pairs.
As well as these benchmarks which show that matched 4gb has improvements in most categories, whereas an umatched 3gb has some drops.
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Memo...Apple_MacBook/

Why is it no surprise that my macbook takes longer to boot? what is the reason? also, what program do you suggest to better test RAM?
     
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Jun 3, 2009, 03:44 PM
 
A million internets to you sir.
     
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Jun 24, 2009, 09:42 PM
 
I purchased my white Macbook in July of 2008. I'm considering upgrading the RAM to 4GB. Does the white Macbook accept DDR3 or is it only DDR2 compatible?
     
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Jun 25, 2009, 03:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by alwang17 View Post
I purchased my white Macbook in July of 2008. I'm considering upgrading the RAM to 4GB. Does the white Macbook accept DDR3 or is it only DDR2 compatible?
It's right in the very first post. A 2008 white MB will require DDR2 SO-DIMMs.
     
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Jul 12, 2009, 07:26 PM
 
Simon,

I've got a MacBook that I purchased on March of 2008. Its 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo which originally came with 2GB of RAM. However, recently I started encountering system performance problems, after taking it to the folks at the "genious bar" at a Mac store the guy suggested upgrading the RAM. He showed me the activity monitor and how I'm using all the RAM. I purchased 2 2GB PC2-5300 667 MHz chips and rushed home to pop them in. However, when I tried to boot, nothing...just black screen. After fiddling with it a bit I tried 1 older 1GB chip and a new 2GB chip. It works, but now I've only got 3GB (still an upgrade) but still have an unused 2GB chip.

Is this a limitation of the Macbook that I have?

Any suggestions?
     
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Jul 13, 2009, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by MadManorScientist View Post
I've got a MacBook that I purchased on March of 2008. Its 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo which originally came with 2GB of RAM. However, recently I started encountering system performance problems, after taking it to the folks at the "genious bar" at a Mac store the guy suggested upgrading the RAM. He showed me the activity monitor and how I'm using all the RAM. I purchased 2 2GB PC2-5300 667 MHz chips and rushed home to pop them in. However, when I tried to boot, nothing...just black screen. After fiddling with it a bit I tried 1 older 1GB chip and a new 2GB chip. It works, but now I've only got 3GB (still an upgrade) but still have an unused 2GB chip.

Is this a limitation of the Macbook that I have?
No, your MB supports 4GB perfectly fine as detailed in the very first post of this thread.

Sounds like there might be an issue with your new DIMMs. The type is correct though.

Are you sure you had inserted both 2GB DIMMs properly/firmly?
In combination with the old 1GB DIMM, did both 2GB DIMMs work properly?
     
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Jul 25, 2009, 03:43 PM
 
<<This post refers to a deleted spam post.>>
There's also step by step instruction in the User Manual you get with every MacBook (Pro).

MacBook
13" MacBook Pro
15" MacBook Pro
17" MacBook Pro
( Last edited by ghporter; Jul 25, 2009 at 06:03 PM. Reason: 'Splainin why Simon's post seems so odd.)
     
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Jul 28, 2009, 10:34 AM
 
Now that I have some cash available, I'm planning on upgrading the memory on my 13" 2.4GHz Unibody MacBook. I'm not much of a gamer, perhaps the odd bit of HL2 now and then at 1920x1080. I'm a little torn as to whether to get 4GB (2x2GB) or 6GB (1x4GB + 1x2GB). Advantages being more accessible memory; and possibly future proof if Apple support 8GB on original unibody MacBooks. Disadvantages being I have integrated graphics; would play a game now and then; and the lack of dual-channeling (although from reading the last paragraph this seems like a negligible issue).

Any advice, and is it technologically possible for Apple to release an update to allow original unibodys to have 8GB of RAM?

Edit: it seems the price differences over here do not justify buying 1x4GB. Looks like it'll be 2x2GB!
( Last edited by kylef; Jul 28, 2009 at 10:40 AM. )
     
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Jul 28, 2009, 11:35 AM
 
Yeah, I'd wait to get that 4 GB SO-DIMM. Once you see lots of page-outs with 4 GB you'll know it's time to get 6 GB. The page-outs will also mean that the benefits from having 6 GB unmatched will by far outweigh the dual-channel advantage of 4 GB.

In the meantime, 4 GB SO-DIMMs will come down in price.
     
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Sep 10, 2009, 09:30 PM
 
hey guys, i know my model is a little old for this thread, but I've had a recent development and couldn't find anything with the forum search. i recently upgraded an ibook g3 from 256mb to 640mb (it has 128 onboard), but now i'm getting constant kernel panics. the computer will boot to the desktop, and run fine, but die within 5-10 minutes. does this mean that it's definitely a bad ram chip, or could there be other problems?

any thoughts?
     
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Sep 17, 2009, 03:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
MacBook with Core 2 Duo and Crestline chipset (Late 2007, Early 2008, Late 2008 white): 4GB / 6GB [/color]****


****) Although Apple's official limit is 4 GB, it has been reported that the Crestline MB(P) can support up to 6 GB of RAM (one 2GB and one 4GB SO-DIMM). Of course that means you lose dual-channel memory access, but you will be able to fully address and use all of those 6 GBs.
I have an Early 2008 MacBook, GMA X3100, 2.4GHz, 800MHz FSB. From the chart, it looks like 4Gb is easy, 6Gb may be possible. Anyone have similar experiences with upgrades to this specific model.
     
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Sep 18, 2009, 03:01 AM
 
So this questions was sort of brought up, but I didn't see a definitive answer (I skimmed a bit, so apologies if there is one).

I've got the "use 3.3/see 4" model. I can save $10-20 and get 1 2GB and 1 1GB, but I'm wondering if it would it be worth the extra $15 bucks to get the matched pair of 2x2, even when it only recognizes 3.3GB. What I've read says that matched ram does make a difference, if marginal, but would my MacBook's ability to only address part of the 2nd DIMM (or is that even how RAM works?) negate the benefits of their being matched? Or would the benefit be so negligible that it's not worth the money anyway?
     
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Sep 18, 2009, 03:06 AM
 
As explained in the very first post, apart from games (since you have shared video memory) the benefit will be marginal. Note also, on a Mac you'll be seeing 3.0 GB, not 3.3 GB. The entire last GB will be wasted.

You'd rather put those $15 into something that you'll actually notice. A faster HDD or an SSD for example. Or better yet, a new MB.
     
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Sep 18, 2009, 03:13 AM
 
Thanks, Simon.
     
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Sep 18, 2009, 09:02 PM
 
I wish to thank all for this most interesting information. I have the original MacBook 13, so it's the old 2X1GB for me. Thanks for Simon for having the patience of Jobe. I only think he had to mention 20 times to read the first post. All others were just filling.
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Sep 25, 2009, 10:30 PM
 
Simon Wrote: " ****Both the unibody MB and MBP are specified by Apple to support up to 4 GB of RAM. The MB and MBP however have already been shown to accept, recognize, and use 6 GB of RAM (one 2 GB and one 4 GB SO-DIMM). It will boot and run with 8 GB (two 4 GB SO-DIMMs) too, but as of right now, it is not stable. It has been rumored that a future firmware update could change this."
--------------------------------------------------(sorry, I still don't know how to quote properly).

Simon, Stellar post! You get the "Contributor of the Day" Award for this post! I tip off my hat to you, Sir.

I think that the quotation above is going to be my case pretty soon after I buy my new MBP this week. I want to get up to 8GB and I will install it myself on my new machine since it's much cheaper. But please help me understand your post further: are you saying that the 8GBs that come with the machine is still not stable? Or are you saying that if I buy after-market the 8GB RAM options out there are still not stable? Please clarify for me. Also, what brand of RAM would you recommend that I buy? From what I read the Newegg is the best place for RAM, or one of the best? Sure don't want to shoot myself on the foot! -Thank you!-
     
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Sep 26, 2009, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by angela.adelle View Post
Simon, Stellar post! You get the "Contributor of the Day" Award for this post! I tip off my hat to you, Sir.
Thanks.

I think that the quotation above is going to be my case pretty soon after I buy my new MBP this week. I want to get up to 8GB and I will install it myself on my new machine since it's much cheaper. But please help me understand your post further: are you saying that the 8GBs that come with the machine is still not stable? Or are you saying that if I buy after-market the 8GB RAM options out there are still not stable? Please clarify for me. Also, what brand of RAM would you recommend that I buy? From what I read the Newegg is the best place for RAM, or one of the best? Sure don't want to shoot myself on the foot! -Thank you!-
That comment pertains to the original 15" UB models. With the current models Apple even offers an 8GB BTO upgrades themselves. You can definitely buy and use 8GB of RAM on a current MBP. No problem as long as it's the right type.

Apple's 8GB RAM BTO price is very high. You can save a lot of money if you look elsewhere.

I like Newegg. If you want brand name RAM (like Crucial) you can get that there too. 2x4GB DDR3 $500 shipped
( Last edited by Simon; Sep 26, 2009 at 09:59 AM. )
     
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Nov 4, 2009, 05:57 PM
 
Hello Simon, and the nnforums membership: I am a newbie but I have a Macbook Pro 2.4 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo Penrynn I think.. Anyway I read through this topic, and think it is great that it is a stickie.

Back in July I upgraded from 2 GB Ram to 4 GB ram, got a great deal at OWC. They advertise a lifetime warranty.

Then a few days ago I get a beeping sound when I turn the computer on. Grey screen and beeping, indicating either poorly-seated or bad RAM. So I pulled it out and put it back in. Still beeps. Then I searched the house and found the old (1GB per card) RAM and pulled one out then the other. I isolated the beeping sound to one of the 2 newer OWC 2GB RAM cards. Then I called OWC and they sent me a return authorization number and an email detailing the process of returning the RAM along with a link to Apple support showing the "RAM burning in" process. I tried reformatting the RAM and still got the error from the one card so I'm pretty sure it is defective.

On the phone call, the CSA suggested I return both RAM cards because some people prefer a "matched pair." Is this necessary? I have searched and that's when I found this forum and this excellent RAM upgrade topic. However as I understand it, a matched pair of RAM memory simply indicates the same-type RAM with the same amount of memory in each card. Is this correct? If so, there should be no need to send back the "good" RAM card, and I can just send the one bad one and have them send me a new replacement.

Is there any advantage to sending both back? I'm wondering.. They say "a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush." If there is no advantage I'll just send them the one faulty card. Is there a possibility that other card had a factor in causing the one to malfunction? Exactly what means "matched pair?"Thanks for responding.. And apologies if I have somehow mistakenly placed this question on the wrong topic--I'll gladly put it into a new topic if necessary.
     
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Nov 5, 2009, 12:47 AM
 
In terms of performance matched means the same type of RAM, not the same make. So if you keep one, you have to make sure the new one matches the old one in terms of its specifications (which it probably will). OTOH if they offer to exchange both for free, you might as well take them up on the offer. That way you are sure to get a matched pair that should work fine.
     
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Nov 5, 2009, 03:34 AM
 
OK thanks. I was just concerned that I was turning back in a good RAM card, still suspicious that they'll send me the replacements as RAM has gone up in price lately. I know they still offer this RAM with the same order number(s).
     
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Nov 5, 2009, 03:39 AM
 
If it's the exact same part/order number you should be fine. You'll be as matched as can be.
     
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Nov 5, 2009, 08:08 AM
 
The days of carefully "matched" parts, with special tests being done to make sure the parts were as identical as possible are long gone. Current RAM devices are rated at the lowest performance of their batch, so that means they're almost all better than rated-which makes for easier matching. Just like Simon points out, if the units are the same part number, they're "matched" more than well enough.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Dec 6, 2009, 12:47 AM
 
Thanks for the great post Simon. I'm not sure I could've gotten to this point without it. That said, I still have a question:

I want to buy a RAM upgrade for my sister, who has a Core Duo 1.83mHz Macbook 1,1 (which should be a Calistoga 667 FSB if I'm following correctly). She currently has only the original matched pair of 2 x 256MB chips for a pathetic 512 MB. I'd like to buy her 2GB of RAM (it's a Christmas gift), but am trying to figure out whether a matched pair of 2 x 1GB or a single 2GB would give her the best performance upgrade.

In reading through this post, it seems to me that the additional 256MB that she'd gain from the 1 x 2GB (for a total of 2.25GB) might not be significant enough to be faster than a matched pair of 1GB chips (2GB), but I haven't seen this directly addressed.

Since the single 2GB chip is actually slightly cheaper than the matched pairs right now, it'd be a great option, but I want to give her the best performance upgrade possible for 2GB, regardless of the (modest) difference in cost.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
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Dec 6, 2009, 10:29 AM
 
drewdraws, that Core Duo MB can't take more than 2 GB. So even if a single 2 GB DIMM is cheaper, you'd have to remove the 256 MB DIMM. And then you're stuck with single channel access. Hence, I think the best is indeed to get two 1 GB DIMMs and install those. The difference can't be more than about $5, right.

Maybe on Craigslist or similar you can find somebody who's got two cheap 1 GB DIMMs for sale. A lot of people with newer MB(P)s must be trying to get rid of those when they upgrade form 2x1GB to 2x2GB.

Newegg has 2x1GB DDR2 SO-DIMMs for $47.
     
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Dec 6, 2009, 12:00 PM
 
Thanks so much Simon. I misunderstood the 4GB/3GB discussion I guess. I'll definitely go with the 2 x 1GB then, and I'm glad I asked.

Thanks for the help.
     
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Dec 17, 2009, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
No, as I already said, 6 GB works properly. All 6 GB are addressed and used. It's the 7th and 8th GB that cause problems right now.

6GB of RAM possible in new MacBook and MBP | The Apple Core | ZDNet.com
Quick Takes on Mac Performance Products and Issues
I bough my unibody Macbook Pro 15" with 2.53GHz CPU in Nov 2008.
I chose "current families" here:
Memory - Apple Store (U.S.)
And according to this guide - I can buy 8GB RAM kit.

Or is it not a "current family"?
     
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Dec 17, 2009, 10:55 AM
 
That's not the same MBP as the "current family" 2.53 GHz 15" MBP.

Yours has a removable battery, a dedicated GPU, and was the first generation 15" unibody. For this model Apple never sold 8 GB RAM upgrades.
Memory - Apple Store (U.S.)
And tests with third-party upgrades to 8 GB RAM were inconsistent last I checked. Maybe things have changed in the meantime. I'm not entirely up-to-date.

The current generation 2.53 GHz 15" has 9400M shared graphics. It's basically the same chipset as the 13" MBP, but with a 15" screen. For this model Apple offers 8 GB RAM upgrades.
Memory - Apple Store (U.S.)
     
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Dec 22, 2009, 06:32 AM
 
Corsair Memory VS4GSDSKIT667D2 4 GB PC2-5300 667MHz 200-Pin DDR2 SODIMM Laptop Memory Kit.

Are they good for my May 2007 black macbook?
     
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Dec 22, 2009, 09:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by variozin View Post
Corsair Memory VS4GSDSKIT667D2 4 GB PC2-5300 667MHz 200-Pin DDR2 SODIMM Laptop Memory Kit.

Are they good for my May 2007 black macbook?
From the first post:

Originally Posted by Simon
MacBook
• All pre-unibody MacBooks have two RAM slots for SO-DIMMs (DDR2-SDRAM, PC2-5300, 667 MHz, 200 pins *).
...
MacBook with Core 2 Duo and Calistoga chipset (Late 2006, Mid 2007): 3GB / 4GB ***
So yes, you have the right type. Just make sure you're not getting ripped off. 4 GB for your MB are $72 shipped here.
     
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Jan 7, 2010, 01:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by edbcn View Post
I bough my unibody Macbook Pro 15" with 2.53GHz CPU in Nov 2008.
I chose "current families" here:
Memory - Apple Store (U.S.)
And according to this guide - I can buy 8GB RAM kit.

Or is it not a "current family"?
I have the Late 2008 MBP 2.53 Model 5,1 and it will only take 6 GB. The latest firmware was tested by OWC and 6GB is still the limit. I tried multiple Hynix modules and they would not work. OWC finally sent me Micron RAM and that 6GB has been working working without a hitch. A coworker with the same machine had the same problem and OWC sent him Crucial which worked fine (Crucial and Micron is really the same)
     
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Jan 13, 2010, 10:17 AM
 
So what's the problem? Just go to Newegg. 2x2GB DDR2 SO-DIMM from Crucial for $84 shiped.
     
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Jan 29, 2010, 04:20 PM
 
Thank you so much for this thread, I just spent an hour going through it and looking up things on the side. I didn't even know what kind of MacBook I had, but now I defined it as a Calistoga C2D MB. =) I've decided to give it a little boost and buy a 2GB ram stick to update my MB to a total of 3GB.
     
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Jan 29, 2010, 05:48 PM
 
Glad you liked it.
     
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Apr 9, 2010, 02:48 PM
 
Just got a new Macbook Pro 17 unibody with 8GB (MacBookPro5,2).

About this Mac says that I have 8 GB available but in the Activity Monitor, my RAM totals 7.75 GB.

I upgraded from a 17 MacBook Pro (pre-unibody) that I was using successfully with 6 GB total and for this machine, both About this Mac and Activity Monitor both reported 6 GB total memory.

What gives? Is it the Video card inside the new computer that is claiming the 256 MB that I am missing?

I upgraded the memory myself -- apple's price to go to 8GB was much higher than I wanted to pay. If I had gone with the Apple upgrade, would I still see the same value in the Activity monitor?

Jim
( Last edited by jjs357; Apr 9, 2010 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Added detail)
     
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May 16, 2010, 12:16 AM
 
What about macbooks bought in late 2009 with 2.26 intel core duo and 2 GB ram.
     
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May 16, 2010, 03:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kingmeyya View Post
What about macbooks bought in late 2009 with 2.26 intel core duo and 2 GB ram.
It's right in the very first post:

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
MacBook white with Core 2 Duo "Penryn" and 9400M G chipset (Late 2009): 8GB (PC3-8500 DDR3, 204 pins, 1066 MHz)
( Last edited by Simon; May 16, 2010 at 03:30 AM. Reason: typo)
     
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May 27, 2010, 12:19 AM
 
Looks like a good deal on 8 GB RAM upgrade. Better than what I've seen on newegg.

8.0GB NuRAM (4.0GB + 4.0GB Kit) PC8500... (NWT8566DDR3S8GP) at OWC

update: I ordered this mid-week, got it today, installed and running 8 GB in my 13" MBP mid 2009.
( Last edited by Cold Warrior; May 29, 2010 at 04:49 PM. Reason: update)
     
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Jun 30, 2010, 09:02 AM
 
I just bought kvr ddr3 for my macbook pro. after running memtest in single user mode, i'm more convinced that it will run on my mac without problem , run memtest with your new ram before running full applications on your mac.
     
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Jun 30, 2010, 09:55 AM
 
I finally picked up the 6Gb kit for my black MacBook from OWC. It works perfectly, best upgrade yet. Gaming and video rendering are the main reasons for doing this, and it's well worth it. The price came down since I last checked as well: $180.

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Jun 30, 2010, 12:35 PM
 
6GB ain't going to help gaming.
     
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Jul 2, 2010, 06:38 PM
 
Hey all!

I am thinking of taking my MBP to 6GB per the 1st page but am hoping someone can recommend a 6GB solution (2GB and 4GB So-Dimm). Ant advice?

Also, as of 2008, it was noted on the first page that the max was 4GB but could use 6GB (as outlined above) AND that while 8GB could be input there were issues. Has this changed?

Great info and thread!!
     
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Jul 3, 2010, 01:26 PM
 
What's your MBP?
     
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Jul 3, 2010, 09:37 PM
 
2.4 GHz processor, 667 MHz (currently 2GB) DDR2 SDRAM.

Looking t do an upgrade to at least 6GB of RAM.
     
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Jul 3, 2010, 10:40 PM
 
Yea, your MBP supports 4GB officially and 6GB unoffically.
( Last edited by mduell; Jul 4, 2010 at 01:07 PM. )
     
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Jul 4, 2010, 05:10 AM
 
Hi,

I'm looking to upgrade the memory in my 2.26GHz mid-2009 MBP from 2GB to either 4, 6 or 8GB. I see from reading the initial post that it supports up to 8GB DDR3. Also, from reading throughout the thread, I see that Simon has recommended Newegg memory in many occasions. However, I'm not based in the States and have been checking RAM prices on eBay and some online retail vendors and I can see that the prices for the "Mac compatible" are significantly higher than other PC3-8500 memory prices not declared to be "Mac compatible". I also saw that Simon had commented in the thread about the marketing gimmick.

What I'd like to know is whether it's pretty much safe for me to buy any brand of the PC3-8500 memory for my MBP (with a return policy of course ) or should I go ahead and pay an arm and a leg for the "Mac Compatible" sticks?
( Last edited by bbluvva; Jul 4, 2010 at 05:14 AM. Reason: Accuracy)
     
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Jul 4, 2010, 08:43 AM
 
Mduell - when I open "About this Mac" the info shows that the processor is 2.4 GHz and that Memory is 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. So you're saying that even though it says 2.4 GHz it is actually 2.33 GHz?
     
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Jul 4, 2010, 11:07 AM
 
Which version of the MBP do you have? ALL of the "Late 2007" MBPs used DDR2, 667MHz RAM, whether they had the 2.2GHz or 2.4GHz processors.

Processor clock and RAM bus clock are not necessarily identical on any "current" computer. My first gen aluminum iMac has the same processor and RAM timing numbers in "About this Mac." As "About this Mac" is based on the machine's sensing of the equipment installed, the numbers are accurate for both of us.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 4, 2010, 01:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by haasport View Post
Mduell - when I open "About this Mac" the info shows that the processor is 2.4 GHz and that Memory is 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. So you're saying that even though it says 2.4 GHz it is actually 2.33 GHz?
I forgot Apple stayed with 667Mhz RAM even when the FSB went to 800Mhz. See revised post, you're OK for 6GB.
     
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Jul 4, 2010, 01:18 PM
 
Thanks Mduell!!

ghporter - it is a late model 2007 / early 2008 (may have been a leftover)

6GB here I come! Just need to find a good set up. I found an OWC 6GB package for $177. Unless someone can recommend a better solution I think this is what I'm getting.

Glad I found this forum!
     
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Jul 5, 2010, 02:39 PM
 
Hi,

Any word on my memory question?

Thanks.
     
 
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