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Dual Channel Ram-isizing

xWonderboyxxWonderboyx Registered User regular
So my wife and I both have late 2008 white macbooks. We ordered them at the same time with the same specs, but somehow one of them came with 2 gigs of ram vice 1, a bigger hdd and a slightly faster processor.

Due to the nature in which we chose our computers (ie randomly picking a box and going to town) I got the 'nicer' one. She finally convinced me to buy her more ram so I figured I'd go all out and get her 4 gigs, which according to apple her computer supports.

The package is due to be delivered today (go go newegg!) and I'm starting to feel the itch of jealousy. I know it's best to put two sticks of the same everything to get the better speeds. However, would the speed decrease outweigh the benefit of the extra ram if I were to rock 3 gigs in both machines? It would be one 1 gig stick and one 2 gig stick in each box making us nearly identical.

Basically is it better to have 2 gigs ram that dual channel over 3 gigs ram not dual channel? Either way my wife is getting an upgrade and she isn't technical at all so whatever, but I'm getting into virtualization and stuff so the extra gig could give me the kick in the pants I need.

Taking the 4 gigs for myself and giving her the two is out of the question. I thought about it, but I don't think it's worth the struggle.

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Posts

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Will a Mac even use all 4 gigs?

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  • xWonderboyxxWonderboyx Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Will a Mac even use all 4 gigs?

    According to apple's website, yes. Hang on and let me find a link real quick-like.

    Edit:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/sp5

    Relevant part:
    Apple wrote:
    1GB (two 512MB) of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300); supports up to 4GB

    Her computer now sports the two 512MB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300). If it somehow doesn't recognize all 4, I will go with three in both systems and have a damn good excuse!

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  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    My early '08 Macbook recognizes and addresses all 4GB, so yours will too Wonderboy.

    As to the dual-channel question I'm not actually sure. I would think it'd probably be better overall to go with 3GB over the 2GB though. At least until you can order yourself another 2 x 2GB sticks. :wink:

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  • xWonderboyxxWonderboyx Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I've decided I'm gonna tell her that the computer can't address all 4 gigs and it would be better if we both ran with 3. I recently tried to explain the limitations of a 32 bit system with memory addressing when I was upgrading our PC, so maybe that stuck and I get get away with a little white lie so I can have a performance boost.

    Either way, she wins because 1 gig causes a lot of minor hangs when doing things ( < 1 second even, but it's annoying going from my mac to hers).

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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    2 Gigs dual-channel is probably faster than 3 without.

    I'm not sure though, load it up each way and do some benchmarks.

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  • xWonderboyxxWonderboyx Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    For those following the story with bated breath, know that my wife found out about my antics and got mad for me wanting us both to have 3 gigs when she could have 4.

    grumble grumble.

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