Cool Macbook Memory Upgrade trick

Almost everyone knows that upgrading your Mac to its Maximum memory makes your computer more powerful, faster, having longer battery life and so on. One neat little trick we’ve found here at Denver Mac dot com is the “half upgrade” trick with RAM. Here’s the trick: In the old days, as in pre-Intel, memory had to be added in equal pairs, preferably the same manufacturer, speed and size. With Intel processors, the need to pair memory upgrades has vanished, due to the way the new processors utilize RAM.

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If you’re on a budget and want to make your Macbook, Macbook Pro, iMac or any Intel machine faster, try adding ram in unequal pairs. For our tests, we used a 2.4 Ghz Macbook with a factory install of 1 Gb RAM (2 x 512). First we upgraded the machine to 4 Gb with 2 2 Gb (4Gb) memory modules and opened Activity Monitor.app. The caches were flushed to start the testing and when we opened a multitude of apps like Quicktime and Safari running videos from disk and internet, Pages.app and Microsoft Word and Excel, we measured Free Memory, Virtual Memory used, Real Memory and so on to see at what point the free memory became used up.

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Then one of the 2 Gb modules was removed and replaced with the original 512 Memory Module. (2.5 Gb)  The results were most impressive.

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Not only was there more free memory available compared to the 4 Gb tests, from all appearances,  the machine performed as if it had a much larger memory base installed. In fact, no matter how many apps were opened, the RAM never actually filled up. And the machine was not creating larger Virtual Memory swap files. Go figure!

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