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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 1GB or 2GB

1GB or 2GB
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seen_xu
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Jul 7, 2006, 05:49 AM
 
Plan to sell my 3 year old pb 12, and buy a new macbook, but not sure if I shall buy 2GB ram or 1GB is already enough for macbook, or just say 2GB can not significantly increase the performance of macbook, no need to buy 2GB ram. or are there any reviews or benchmarks, which had compared the performance of macbook with different capacity of RAM. thx.
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harrisjamieh
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Jul 7, 2006, 06:41 AM
 
Depends what you are planning on doing with the machine....
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RadarBob2
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Jul 7, 2006, 08:49 AM
 
Having owned several computers for several years each I can say that you'll want to / need to max out the memory eventually.

So, rather than buying a little extra memory, either a) don't upgrade memory at all (for now) or b) max it out now.

Dong a) above saves the wasted cost of upgrading twice. You wil have to remove and replace the memory.

Doing b) just puts off maxing out memory till later. But you'll upgrade only once.

Finally you can do a "partial upgrade" and get a single memory module, leaving an open memory slot for later. As I understand the new Macbook you can have 1GB memory either as 2 512's or a single 1GB memory module. If you upgrade to a single 1GB module now you have an empty memory slot and you can get the 2nd GB module later. Also I understand that memory performance / use is optimum when one has two memory modules (i.e. filling all the available memory slots) of the same size rather than a single memory module or two memory modules of different sizes. I have no idea if the performance hit is significant or even noticeable.
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seen_xu  (op)
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Jul 7, 2006, 10:17 AM
 
ok ,thx for advice, decide to max it out to 2GB.
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iRussel
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Jul 7, 2006, 06:21 PM
 
I just bumped up my system to 2GB and I can notice a difference in speed just doing the normal day to day stuff. Programs seem to open a little faster, scrolling in Safari seems faster etc etc.
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Jul 7, 2006, 06:27 PM
 
2gb!
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seen_xu  (op)
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Jul 8, 2006, 03:30 AM
 
scrolling in Safari seems faster
that is what I want!
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Franz
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Jul 8, 2006, 04:25 AM
 
RAM is cheap enough now that you can get 2GB for only 160 bucks. It is well worth it imo.
     
Dillon-K
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Jul 12, 2006, 04:33 AM
 
well, getting a gig of RAM in a single module is basically all I can do financially at the time... unless I decide to give up my bluetooth mouse (audio editing and trackpad should not belong in the same sentence) or my Brenthaven bag I want... so basically, I'm buying a gig of RAM for now and possibly get another gig sometimes later... being that I am currently running a PC with 256 MB RAM, I'm sure I'll be absolutely fine with an entire gig! yay!
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ghporter
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Jul 12, 2006, 08:26 AM
 
More RAM is always better with OS X. So max that puppy out! Seriously, put in as much RAM as your machine will support and you'll be much happier than with any lesser upgrade.

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kentuckyfried
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Jul 13, 2006, 03:20 PM
 
I'm with Bob on this one....the memory's relatively cheap, it just costs an extra $150 at minimum to max out the memory.

I've never done anything on a mac where there's that much of a discernible difference between all the memory I threw at it, but alls I got to say is...this macbook I have is wicked fast overall. It feels snappier.



Originally Posted by RadarBob2
Having owned several computers for several years each I can say that you'll want to / need to max out the memory eventually.

So, rather than buying a little extra memory, either a) don't upgrade memory at all (for now) or b) max it out now.

Dong a) above saves the wasted cost of upgrading twice. You wil have to remove and replace the memory.

Doing b) just puts off maxing out memory till later. But you'll upgrade only once.

Finally you can do a "partial upgrade" and get a single memory module, leaving an open memory slot for later. As I understand the new Macbook you can have 1GB memory either as 2 512's or a single 1GB memory module. If you upgrade to a single 1GB module now you have an empty memory slot and you can get the 2nd GB module later. Also I understand that memory performance / use is optimum when one has two memory modules (i.e. filling all the available memory slots) of the same size rather than a single memory module or two memory modules of different sizes. I have no idea if the performance hit is significant or even noticeable.
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TimmyDee51
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Jul 13, 2006, 06:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Franz
RAM is cheap enough now that you can get 2GB for only 160 bucks. It is well worth it imo.
$160? Is that the el-cheapo RAM on RamSeeker? Has the quality of that stuff gotten any better? I used to use it in my rev. D iMac and was RMAing about 3 sticks a year. Since then I've stuck with Crucial, but they're almost twice as expensive.
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Dillon-K
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Jul 13, 2006, 06:55 PM
 
hmm... Will the performance be better with a single-module gig on one slot than 2 256-modules in 2 slots? THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT. kthx.
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kentuckyfried
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Jul 13, 2006, 08:22 PM
 
Supposedly this is the case but I've never seen any data confirming this statement.

Originally Posted by Dillon-K
hmm... Will the performance be better with a single-module gig on one slot than 2 256-modules in 2 slots? THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT. kthx.
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iREZ
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Jul 13, 2006, 09:31 PM
 
get you macbook and pop in a gig stick when you receive it giving you 1.25 and then go for the other gig when you want more umph. thats what i did with my intel imac, and am going to do that now with my macbook pro.
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unixfool
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Jul 13, 2006, 10:02 PM
 
You guys keep saying things like "its only $160". The kicker is the word "only"...that word is relative to an individual's financial state. To many, $160 is quite alot of money, even if the expenditure may be justified.

If a person actually thinks that $160 is a good chunk of change, I'd say opt for the 1GB brick and save for the other 1GB brick during the next month or so. 1GB itself should speed up your macbook noticably.
( Last edited by unixfool; Jul 17, 2006 at 02:25 AM. )
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kentuckyfried
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Jul 13, 2006, 11:47 PM
 
Very good, save the gas. You know you want to do it anyhow. hehehe.

Originally Posted by seen_xu
ok ,thx for advice, decide to max it out to 2GB.
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kentuckyfried
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Jul 13, 2006, 11:49 PM
 
In the big scheme of things, $160 is a pittance. It's better than the days when memory was at a premium.
Back when I first got my G5, going to 2 GB would've cost me on the order of...$400? I can't remember but it was something obscene.

Currently, that $160t's cheaper than a speeding ticket!



Originally Posted by unixfool
You guys keep saying things like "its only $160". The kicker is the word only...that work is relative to an individual's financial state. To many, $160 is quite alot of money, even if the expenditure may be justified.

If a person actually thinks that $160 is a good chunk of change, I'd say opt for the 1GB brick and save for the other 1GB brick during the next month or so. 1GB itself should speed up your macbook noticably.
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Dillon-K
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Jul 14, 2006, 06:19 AM
 
yes, but don't modules have to match? 1.25 GB... I don't know about that... any advice for a mac n00b *slaps forehead*
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kentuckyfried
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Jul 14, 2006, 07:00 AM
 
i've heard it's better but like i said, there's no data to corroborate this. i mixed memory on my old ibook and on my desktop and it worked without any noticeable decrease in performance (at least to my untrained eye)

Originally Posted by Dillon-K
yes, but don't modules have to match? 1.25 GB... I don't know about that... any advice for a mac n00b *slaps forehead*
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pheonixash
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Jul 14, 2006, 07:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by kentuckyfried
i've heard it's better but like i said, there's no data to corroborate this. i mixed memory on my old ibook and on my desktop and it worked without any noticeable decrease in performance (at least to my untrained eye)
That's because your iBook and desktop (assuming u don't have an Intel based one) didn't take advantage of dual-channel memory.
Also it won't be so noticable on an Intel iMac because it has a discrete GPU, unlike the shared memory integrated graphics chipset in the MacBook.
     
Dillon-K
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Jul 14, 2006, 07:16 AM
 
so would it be better to use a one-gig module or use one of the included ones and have 1.25 GB. someone just answer this directly for me. my brain hurts. .
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kentuckyfried
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Jul 14, 2006, 07:16 AM
 
Thanks for that insight. Can you elaborate more on how that matching memory modules will improve speed on the new macbooks? I know nothing about the current innovations in PC hardware.

So in essence if I'm playing any games on the Macbook, maxing out the memory is highly desired b/c of the that shared memory chip design?

Lastly...what's the big brouhaha behind the newer intel chip coming out in Q3 of this year (that some on this board are holding out for in hopes of getting it in the MBP or MB)?

Originally Posted by pheonixash
That's because your iBook and desktop (assuming u don't have an Intel based one) didn't take advantage of dual-channel memory.
Also it won't be so noticable on an Intel iMac because it has a discrete GPU, unlike the shared memory integrated graphics chipset in the MacBook.
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seen_xu  (op)
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Jul 15, 2006, 03:35 AM
 
guys, have a look at here, there are plenty of benchmarks about macbook and macbook pro.

http://www.geekpatrol.ca/
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seen_xu  (op)
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Jul 15, 2006, 03:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dillon-K
so would it be better to use a one-gig module or use one of the included ones and have 1.25 GB. someone just answer this directly for me. my brain hurts. .
you'd better or recommended to have matched ram installed to gain the max speed.
but you are not forced to installed them matched.
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Dillon-K
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Jul 15, 2006, 03:03 PM
 
ok .
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Yakov
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Jul 15, 2006, 09:34 PM
 
i don't feel like doing hardware updates or spending more money than necessary, so i got the one gig. beachballs are very, very rare (mostly with wireless weirdness, but i doubt that would change with more ram...)
     
SLiMeX
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Jul 15, 2006, 10:13 PM
 
I've got 1GB of RAM, and I find everything to be running extremely smooth.
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MiniMoe
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Jul 15, 2006, 11:17 PM
 
The Apple 1GB in the MacBook is plenty for me. With the factory widgets plus weather radar, Safari, AdiumX, and Mail all hidden, and one of the MS Office documents up, I rarely get page-outs and even then it's only 2-3 thousand. Usually, I have a few hundred MB free. However, I generally don't have as many documents open on the 13" display as I do on the 23" display with the Mini. There, the 2GB comes in handy at times.
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Dillon-K
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Jul 15, 2006, 11:47 PM
 
Yeah... for now it looks like I'm gonna get a single stick of 1gig RAM for my BlackBook till I can get another 80 bucks.

I don't doubt in the least that it will be fast, as I'm currently using a PC with 256 MB of RAM. I just wanna max that puppy out... MORE POWER! *

*twitch, twitch* I'm ok... reallly...
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AC Rempt
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Jul 16, 2006, 01:46 AM
 
And for variety's sake . . .

I was running my BlacBook with 1 Gig since I got it, but when I decided to opt for Parallels over Boot Camp (I need some small Winblows apps for work), I definitely felt the pinch. I noticed a real lag in apps needing Rosetta when I had Parallels running.

So now it's up to 2 Gigs, and everything seems zippier. No more Rosetta lags with Parallels running.

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SLiMeX
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Jul 16, 2006, 01:52 AM
 
Well when you order the 1GB option, doesn't Apple put in two 512's? Thus making it more expensive to put in 2GB, as you'd need to buy 2 full sticks for the 2 slots?
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Dillon-K
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Jul 16, 2006, 02:53 AM
 
yes, they do.
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Jul 16, 2006, 03:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by RadarBob2
Also I understand that memory performance / use is optimum when one has two memory modules (i.e. filling all the available memory slots) of the same size rather than a single memory module or two memory modules of different sizes. I have no idea if the performance hit is significant or even noticeable.
http://www.barefeats.com/mincd.html

The link goes to a performance test on the Intel Mac Mini, but of course component-wise that's very similar to the MacBook.

From the article: "The Intel mini seemed only slightly affected by unmatched memory pairs until we ran Quake 3. In that test, matching memory was 51% faster. We recommend matching memory of either two 512MB modules or two 1GB modules. Just booting up the mini and doing nothing else consumes 270MB, so two 256MB modules just doesn't cut it."

So it seems to make quite a significant difference in 3D apps.

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Jul 16, 2006, 07:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ
get you macbook and pop in a gig stick when you receive it giving you 1.25 and then go for the other gig when you want more umph. thats what i did with my intel imac, and am going to do that now with my macbook pro.
This is the same thing that I did with mine however, if you feel that 1gb would be suitable for your needs and you won't feel the need to upgrade in the near future just buy 2 x 512mb, but my suggestion is to do as this poster recommended, pop in a 1gb with one of the original 256mb RAM and just upgrade the 2nd slot to another 1gb when you can afford it...no rush. Yes dual RAM works better with two same specd ram working together but I've heard that performance wasn't really that much of a difference unless you are using intensive programs your the only one that would know your needs
     
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Jul 16, 2006, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by kentuckyfried
In the big scheme of things, $160 is a pittance. It's better than the days when memory was at a premium.
Back when I first got my G5, going to 2 GB would've cost me on the order of...$400? I can't remember but it was something obscene.

Currently, that $160t's cheaper than a speeding ticket!
[oldtimer]2 GIGS FOR $400!!!!!
That's cheap I remember when 1 meg was $500[/oldtimer]
     
unixfool
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Jul 17, 2006, 02:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by kentuckyfried
In the big scheme of things, $160 is a pittance. It's better than the days when memory was at a premium.
Back when I first got my G5, going to 2 GB would've cost me on the order of...$400? I can't remember but it was something obscene.

Currently, that $160t's cheaper than a speeding ticket!
OK.

I make enough money to where I'm close to $100K/yr. That doesn't mean $160 is chumpchange, IMO. When you've 3 kids to feed, have two vehicles that need to be maintained (not to mention property taxes, gas, insurance....), RENT, and other basic necessities nowadays, $160 may mean a lot.

Forget the fact that memory cost a lot back in, say, '97. As I said before, everything is relative. Sure, RAM is cheaper now, in comparison to 1997, BUT that doesn't mean its cheap. It all depends on what's in your pocket after paying bills.

To be honest, if I were in college or had issues financially, I'd rather feed myself than spend $160 on RAM just because an online acquaintance said $160 RAM is cheap.

Just my .02
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ghporter
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Jul 17, 2006, 11:42 AM
 
unixfool, at that salary point you should be able to invest a few fillups-worth of cash in RAM that will reduce your computer's processing time and make you a happier and more productive user. My family income is a lot (a LOT) less than yours, and I'd do it in a heartbeat. And I have a teenager, two cars, a mortgage, taxes, taxes, taxes... too.

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Jul 17, 2006, 11:46 AM
 
I got two sticks of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820208037

Works fine.
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Jul 17, 2006, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
unixfool, at that salary point you should be able to invest a few fillups-worth of cash in RAM that will reduce your computer's processing time and make you a happier and more productive user. My family income is a lot (a LOT) less than yours, and I'd do it in a heartbeat.
This is just preference and what we personally hold to be important. I know of ppl that would never ever dream of spending that much for computer memory that work with the memory they get when first purchased regardless of whether they have too many apps they just make do whilst the rest of us that are into computers so to speak find that this is worth it. It's just a matter of personal opinion and importance...does not make one wrong or right
     
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Jul 17, 2006, 11:48 PM
 
If your going to dual boot into XP or use Paralells to run XP or some other OS, 2gigs is the best deal. I can run down to 200 megs free while running Paralells and other OSX apps. If your just going to be using OSX, a gig is enough. I had a gig in my PB and rarely used more then 700 megs at one time. YMMV
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