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heresjohnny's avatar

1 GB memory vs. 1.5 GB in Macbook?

Asked by heresjohnny (1558 points ) December 21st, 2010

Ok, I thought it was about time to ask my first question (yay!)

Anyway, I finally decided to upgrade the memory in my mid-2007 Macbook. It originally had 1 GB (2×512), and I’ve decided to upgrade to 2 GB (2×1GB). My mom just upgraded her laptop, and had one extra 1GB stick that happened to work with my laptop. In the meantime while I save up for 2 Gb (yeah, I know it’s not that much money, but I’m broke after buying Christmas gifts and, ya know, being a college student and all that), I decided to throw the 1 GB stick in there to get up to 1.5.

So, here’s my question. I know that memory isn’t as effective with mismatched sticks vs. matched sticks. Would matched sticks equaling 1GB be more effective than mismatched sticks adding up to 1.5GB? Or does it really not make a significant difference?

Sorry for being long-winded, but I wanted to give all the relevant details. Thanks in advance!

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3 Answers

mithical's avatar

Let me just clarify, you plan on taking one of your 512MB sticks and putting in the 1GB your Mom had left over?

If that’s the case, then I do believe it is possible. However, in order to verify that what you are doing is correct, you should ask your technician or whoever is going to be doing the change. Unless you are thinking of doing it; you should then call Apple care (they are always very helpful!) and ask them about your issue to get a first-hand answer to your question. :)

ratboy's avatar

This comment taken from Everymac refers to a newer model, but I suspect the same would apply to yours:

Apple likewise formally recommends that “for best performance, fill both memory slots, installing an equal memory module in each slot.”

However, after real-world testing with one 2 GB module and one 4 GB module, BareFeats found:

The difference ranged from -.5% to +1.7% or an average difference of +.28% or less than ⅓ of one percent. I call that negligible. Or, in other words, you should have no worries about a speed penalty imposed by non-matching memory modules and loss of interleaving.

The full results of the 6 GB testing—as well as the results of testing with 8 GB of RAM (which did not work properly)—should be read for the complete perspective provided by the author.

heresjohnny's avatar

Excellent, thanks @ratboy. I went ahead and installed it myself, and there does seem to be an improvement. I wasn’t sure if it was placebo effect, or the memory, but now I’m convinced. Thanks again!

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