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Upgrade kits boost MacBook, MacBook Pro memory to 6GB

post #1 of 30
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An Apple solutions provider on Thursday announced a family of memory upgrades for existing and previous generation MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks that raise the maximum RAM limitation from 4GB to 6GB.

Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro

The upgrades for the latest round of Apple notebooks are made possible via Other World Computing's new DDR3 4GB modules and 6GB DDR3 dual module kits that leverage the provider's long term experience using the new DDR3 memory technology.

"MacBook and MacBook Pro owners running memory intensive audio/video, 3D modeling, and image processing/management applications will find having 6GB really makes a difference in their computer's performance," said Jamie Dresser, Product Manager, OWC.

Pricing for RAM modules for the Late 2008 "Unibody" MacBook 13" and MacBook Pro 15" models are as follows:
2GB DDR3 Memory Upgrade Module - $65.99
4GB DDR3 Upgrade Kit (matched pair of 2GB memory modules) - $129.99
4GB DDR3 Memory Upgrade Module - $699.99
6GB DDR3 Memory Upgrade Kit - $749.99 (2GB + 4GB modules)
Santa Rosa MacBook and MacBook Pro

The reseller is also offering 6GB memory upgrades for previous-generation "Santa Rosa"-based Apple notebooks via a 4GB single DDR2 module upgrades and 6GB DDR2 dual module memory upgrades kits, which have reportedly been under development for nearly two years.

The modules are said to exceed Apple/Intel specifications, are RoHS compliant and fully compliant with JEDEC specifications.

Pricing for RAM modules for the 2007 "Santa Rosa" model and later (pre-Late 2008 "Unibody") MacBook 13", Macbook Pro 15", and MacBook Pro 17" models are as follows:
2GB DDR2 Memory Upgrade Module - $29.99
4GB DDR2 Upgrade Kit (matched pair of 2GB memory modules) - $59.00
4GB DDR2 Memory Upgrade Module - $449.99
6GB DDR2 Memory Upgrade Kit - $479.95 (2GB + 4GB modules)


Other World Computing says all of its new upgrades are backed with a Money Back Guarantee and the reseller's Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty. They are user-installable in 15 minutes with help from free online installation videos.

post #2 of 30
Does this mean that you cannot install 8GB? Or do they not advertise 8GB because it costs too much?
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post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by diskimage View Post

Does this mean that you cannot install 8GB? Or do they not advertise 8GB because it costs too much?

Currently, 8GB doesn't work. It may just need a software update or it may be limitation of the Nvidia HW.

Even if a SW update resolves the issue, having 2x4GB may not allow you to use all 8GB if, like the pre-Santa Rosa chipsets, the chipsets can only address 8GB total which would mean that ~750MB of addressing would go to the system and 256MB would go to the integrated GPU so you'd only get 7GB. This would be even low if you have a discrete GPU installed. Again, no one knows for sure yet if this can be resolved and to what extent, but testing shows that 6GB works and 8GB does not.
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post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An Apple solutions provider on Thursday announced a family of memory upgrades for existing and previous generation MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks that raise the maximum RAM limitation from 4GB to 6GB.

Oh that is so cool!

Now all I need is a macbook... :/

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post #5 of 30
What are the timing specifications for the 4 GB modules--e.g., do they have additional wait states compared to the 2 GB modules from OWC or Apple?
Presumably the pairing of 2 GB and 4 GB modules disables interleaving, so how much does this impact performance in various application venues? Is a 6 GB upgrade not generally recommended for people who infrequently bump up against a 4 GB limit, because the vast majority of the time, when 4 GB does suffice, the computer will run slower than if a matched pair of 2 GB modules was installed?
Will a pair of 4 GB modules not work at all, or are the entire 8 GB simply not addressable? If the latter, then does interleaving work with a pair of 4 GB modules?

How about some comparative benchmarks?
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

What are the timing specifications for the 4 GB modules--e.g., do they have additional wait states compared to the 2 GB modules from OWC or Apple?
Presumably the pairing of 2 GB and 4 GB modules disables interleaving, so how much does this impact performance in various application venues? Is a 6 GB upgrade not generally recommended for people who infrequently bump up against a 4 GB limit, because the vast majority of the time, when 4 GB does suffice, the computer will run slower than if a matched pair of 2 GB modules was installed?
Will a pair of 4 GB modules not work at all, or are the entire 8 GB simply not addressable? If the latter, then does interleaving work with a pair of 4 GB modules?

How about some comparative benchmarks?

here is some testing from BareFeats, but there are other sites if you google...

http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp11.html No, 8GB won't work. It's load and register the 8GB but it won't run correctly. You can find articles on this, too.
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

here is some testing from BareFeats, but there are other sites if you google...

http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp11.html No, 8GB won't work. It's load and register the 8GB but it won't run correctly. You can find articles on this, too.

Thanks for the info and pointer. Three of 4 tests on Barefeats appear (to me) most likely to be testing the streaming performance, not random read/write access (where timing issues are more important). I don't know what the "DLT" memory test really examines--it might also emphasize streaming.

btw: transintl.com is selling a 6 GB upgrade kit for the new MBP--the kit Barefeats tested--for $115 less than OWC.
post #8 of 30
Will this work with a 1st gen macbook (core duo)?
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonunderling View Post

Will this work with a 1st gen macbook (core duo)?

No. The CD MB/MBPs can only use 2GB and the pre-Santa Rosa C2D MB/MBPs can only use 3GB.
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post #10 of 30
this includes the penryn Macbook Pros ( Early 2008) right?
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by J120387 View Post

this includes the penryn Macbook Pros ( Early 2008) right?

Yes, the 2nd half of the article talks about 6GB RAM prices for those notebooks.
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post #12 of 30
Jeezo!

6GB in a 17" MBP that platform has just matured into a true desktop replacement!
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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Jeezo!

6GB in a 17" MBP – that platform has just matured into a true desktop replacement!

Not really, 4gb of ram really wasn't the bottle neck holding laptops back in the first place. Read the barefeats article. But for all you ram junkies out there with money burning a hole in your pocket, knock yourself out.
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post #14 of 30
Will I be able to put more than 4GB in my current iMac 3.06 GHz? The FSB is 1066 as well as the new MB & MBP, or does it only work on the NVidea Chipsets?
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandiTT View Post

Will I be able to put more than 4GB in my current iMac 3.06 GHz? The FSB is 1066 as well as the new MB & MBP, or does it only work on the NVidea Chipsets?

Since the article states that MB and MBPs released in February can hold 6GB, and your iMac was released in April and is also post-Santa Rosa, there is no reason that it shouldn't work with 6GB.
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post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

here is some testing from BareFeats, but there are other sites if you google...
http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp11.html No, 8GB won't work. It's load and register the 8GB but it won't run correctly. You can find articles on this, too.

I would obviously like to see additional benchmarks, but if the rest of the benchmarks look like this I really don't see the point in the cost. Honestly, the benchmarks don't surprise me, but I wonder who is going to buy this? People with more money than brains?

Maybe a revised version of the Adobe Creative Suite written as a 64-bit app might see some difference or some other future applications that are written as 64-bit apps, but when a lot of applications are either 32-bit or too small for a 64-bit version to make a noticeable difference I wonder why people seem so fascinated by buying more than 4Gib of RAM when the benefits are so minute in most cases?
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSA View Post

I would obviously like to see additional benchmarks, but if the rest of the benchmarks look like this I really don't see the point in the cost. Honestly, the benchmarks don't surprise me, but I wonder who is going to buy this? People with more money than brains?

Maybe a revised version of the Adobe Creative Suite written as a 64-bit app might see some difference or some other future applications that are written as 64-bit apps, but when a lot of applications are either 32-bit or too small for a 64-bit version to make a noticeable difference I wonder why people seem so fascinated by buying more than 4Gib of RAM when the benefits are so minute in most cases?

There are very few people that could benefit from this at any cost, but if you do have some very RAM intensive apps then it could come in handy. If you use VMWare or Parallels and need to have multiple OSes with 1 or more GB of RAM for each instance running it be useful.
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post #18 of 30
I have already upgraded my early 2008 17" MBP up to 6gb. It's wonderful. No more pageouts!

I got my 4gb chip for $150 bucks from NewEgg and my 2gb chip for $50 - so total was $200 bucks.

The ram is the same timing as the original Apple ram and there is no noticeable hit from being non-paired. Supposedly the hit is so small and vs pageouts to harddrive, it is a major plus to have the extra ram instead.

This is very much a valuable upgrade and indeed makes the last generation machines EXTREMELY competitive with the newest models.

Now, that said, not everyone really needs 6gbs of ram, but for those pros who use photoshop, 3d progs, and multiple VMs, it is vital. There is no such thing as too much ram - anyone who tells you different is an idiot or a facebook/email surfer and doesn't need nor understand what pros do with these machines.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCARECROW View Post

I got my 4gb chip for $150 bucks from NewEgg and my 2gb chip for $50 - so total was $200 bucks.

Do you have a link, I didn't see that price on Newegg. Only 2x2GB for about $140.

[/QUOTE]The ram is the same timing as the original Apple ram and there is no noticeable hit from being non-paired. Supposedly the hit is so small and vs pageouts to harddrive, it is a major plus to have the extra ram instead.[/QUOTE]
Surprisingly, the difference in not having non-paired sticks is such a minor hit that the fear of a massive slowdown has been over exaggerated.

Quote:
This is very much a valuable upgrade and indeed makes the last generation machines EXTREMELY competitive with the newest models.

What do you do that requires an additional 2GB for $600 more? I assume it's work related.

Quote:
Now, that said, not everyone really needs 6gbs of ram, but for those pros who use photoshop, 3d progs, and multiple VMs, it is vital. There is no such thing as too much ram - anyone who tells you different is an idiot or a facebook/email surfer and doesn't need nor understand what pros do with these machines.

I would argue that you can have too much RAM or HDD space, but having them won't hurt you, expect in your pocket book. But as you mention, if you are a hardcore user with Adobe and VMs the RAM can be very useful. I had 4GB in my previous MB, but now only have 2GB in the new MB and it's considerably faster with only 52% being used with 7 apps running. I will be buying 4GB soon enough though.
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post #20 of 30
solipsism, the prices I quoted were for ddr2 5300 ram, not the new stuff in the new books.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231202

So, again, I stand by my claim that maxing out the ram is more than worth the price of admission here... (the new DDR3 ram is still very expensive, but it will fall quite quickly within the next 6 months)
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCARECROW View Post

solipsism, the prices I quoted were for ddr2 5300 ram, not the new stuff in the new books.

That is a good price.
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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Do you have a link, I didn't see that price on Newegg. Only 2x2GB for about $140.

The ram is the same timing as the original Apple ram and there is no noticeable hit from being non-paired. Supposedly the hit is so small and vs pageouts to harddrive, it is a major plus to have the extra ram instead.
Surprisingly, the difference in not having non-paired sticks is such a minor hit that the fear of a massive slowdown has been over exaggerated.

The biggest performance 'hit' of going from dual-channel to single-channel RAM would be to the integrated graphics. Other than that, you'd need to run benchmarks to see the difference. It's not something that would be noticeable in actual use.
post #23 of 30
please clarify. I get the impression from the article that my 2007 MacBook Pro which used to have a limit of 3GB max can now at least go to 4GB with the kit? Just wondered cause want to max out my ram and would like to keep it even (4GB) instead of making it odd (3GB).
post #24 of 30
So I currently have 2x2GB in my MBP, do I need to just buy a 4GB chip and replace one of my current ones or do I have to buy 6 of the very same kind? You think they'll have deals for black friday?
post #25 of 30
Those prices are insane. I've gotten all my RAM upgrades through OWC because they have good prices and good memory. But they want people to pay $500 for a single 4 GB stick? Gimme a break.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rudebwoy View Post

So I currently have 2x2GB in my MBP, do I need to just buy a 4GB chip and replace one of my current ones or do I have to buy 6 of the very same kind? You think they'll have deals for black friday?

You would just need to replace one of the 2GB sticks with a 4GB stick.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John French View Post

Those prices are insane. I've gotten all my RAM upgrades through OWC because they have good prices and good memory. But they want people to pay $500 for a single 4 GB stick? Gimme a break.



You would just need to replace one of the 2GB sticks with a 4GB stick.

Awesome, thanks!
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cop2paramedic View Post

please clarify. I get the impression from the article that my 2007 MacBook Pro which used to have a limit of 3GB max can now at least go to 4GB with the kit? Just wondered cause want to max out my ram and would like to keep it even (4GB) instead of making it odd (3GB).

If your MBP can only utilize 3 or 4GB, that will not change with that higher density RAM. That issue is with memory address space with pre-Santa Rosa chipsets.

However, you may be mistaken on which MBP you have since the Santa Rosa MBPs that can handle 4GB RAM (and now 6GB) were first introduced in June 2007). Use MacTracker to verify which MBP you have.
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post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking View Post

Not really, 4gb of ram really wasn't the bottle neck holding laptops back in the first place. Read the barefeats article. But for all you ram junkies out there with money burning a hole in your pocket, knock yourself out.

Somewhat related... I have a Mac Pro with 4GB of RAM. When running VMWare (1 CPU and 1 GB allocated) and compiling a large XCode project, I find it hits a point where it just chokes and starts swapping madly to disk (whole machine is pretty much locked). Whereas if VMWare isn't running, the compilation runs very smoothly.

I'm pretty sure the loss of one of the CPUs to VMWare isn't the bottleneck in that equation. So having an extra GB or two can make a difference in some situations.
 
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post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSA View Post

I would obviously like to see additional benchmarks, but if the rest of the benchmarks look like this I really don't see the point in the cost. Honestly, the benchmarks don't surprise me, but I wonder who is going to buy this? People with more money than brains?

Maybe a revised version of the Adobe Creative Suite written as a 64-bit app might see some difference or some other future applications that are written as 64-bit apps, but when a lot of applications are either 32-bit or too small for a 64-bit version to make a noticeable difference I wonder why people seem so fascinated by buying more than 4Gib of RAM when the benefits are so minute in most cases?

Keep in mind that each app can use 2GB, and those benchmarks really only test one app at a time. If you use two or more big apps, or use a lot of smaller ones, then it can be helpful to keep those apps in memory so programs aren't paged in and out so much. I don't know if there are any benchmarks that test swap time when switching between apps, and I don't think there are any benchmarks that test anything like using another app while a render or other intensive task is running, but those are the kind of things that more memory (and more cores) would help, but it's kind of a ghost in the machine the way computers are tested right now.
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Keep in mind that each app can use 2GB, ...

...meaning each app can use **only** 2GB?

I use a processor-intensive app -- Nikon Scan, for film scanning. Would upgrading my Santa Rosa Macbook from its current 4GB to 6GB RAM therefore **not** shorten the time it takes to scan images, do you think?

I ask because the price of the 4GB sticks has now (June 2010) fallen to $130.....

I also find that I get program crashes using Nikon Scan, when I have too many images in the process queue. MIght extra memory help with that problem, or make no difference? What do you think?
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