Model A1181 / 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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RAM Upgrade

im not sure wether to upgrade to 4GB of RAM or 6. Does the 4 and 2GB chip imbalance pose a problem for my machine? I keep hearing conflicting stories on this issue and not sure what to do? Can someone please shed some light on this for me. Appreciate it.

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p.s. as a further point of reference, take a look at this article - it's not regarding your model MacBook but rather a newer generation unibody MacBook Pro that DOES support interleaving and prefers matched DIMM modules.

you'll see that real world testing showed almost negligible performance in that model MB Pro with mismatched 2GB+4GB modules, even though interleaving is supported.

so even if your Macbook C2D supports interleaving (again, I don't know if it does, or not), then if you are running memory-hungry apps like Photoshop etc, I think you'll be far more likely to notice an additional 2GB of RAM in day to day usage than noticing any performance difference due to interleaving. As you've clarified, your MB is a "Early 2009" version, which is a model that 6GB has been tested to work ok.

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check Mactracker for supported RAM configurations for every Mac model.

for some configurations Apple says 4GB max but others have tested and found 6GB to work (look up yours in Mactracker). I find the memory configurations reported in Mactracker to be reliable.

there would be no danger in running 2GB + 4GB if yours is a machine where 6GB works - the only possible negative is performance might not be as high as matched pari *IF* the particular machine uses interleaved memory. I don't know for a fact whether these models do or don't use interleaved memory. If the machine doesn't use interleaved memory, then there would be no difference.

however, I've seen references to the latest MacBook Pro unibody machines - supposedly they support interleaved memory, yet real world testing has shown almost negligible difference in performance.

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depending on your model of Macbook, your limit is most likely 4GB - it may not even boot if you attempt 6GB, - Plus DDR2 Memory should be in equal pairs, running otherwise may still work, still give you access to all the ram installed, its just not "ideal"

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thanx matt. i have heard that from several sources so i'll opt. for the 4gb. 2x2gb chips.

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If your computer supports 6gb, I believe more RAM would give you greater benefit than the nonexistant or negligible advantage of interleaving.

Apple's RAM limits are always based on what chips were available at the time the computer was manufactured, and they never update them to reflect current availability. Mactracker is an excellent source of information, and it's free. Online, there is http://www.everymac.com, which is a little harder to navigate.

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Colleen apple says that my machine supports 4GB, its an early 2009 Macbook. This is the problem that different people have different opinions as far as the performance being affected by unbalanced chips.

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I agree with Colleen's comment, I meant to add in my answer the same point that more memory (if supported) will probably far outweigh any possible speed advantage due to interleaving, unless you're talking about a high end machine like a Mac Pro.

again the "unbalanced" chip issue has to do with interleaving - not all machines support interleaving (accessing one bank of memory then the other in successive accesses), it depends on the particular design and chipset used.

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