If You Go MacBook Pro, Go 2GBs Ram

by Derrick Story

MacBook Pro 17

The MacBook Pro 17" ships with 1GB 667 DDR2 - 1 SO-DIMM Ram in a single chip, which I very much appreciate. The laptop only has two Ram slots, and you certainly don't want to mess around with 512MB DIMMs... you might as well put potato chips in those slots.

But don't stop at 1GB, leaving that second slot open. As you calculate your budget for this machine, figure on 2GBs Ram. I ordered my additional Ram separately ($200 from 3rd party vs $300 from the Apple Store for a 1GB DIMM). The upshot is that I went 3 days working with the MacBook Pro on 1GB Ram. That was 3 days too long. Don't let this happen to you...


Fraser Speirs
2006-05-15 07:53:48
Derrick, this goes double if you use Aperture. Running Safari, Mail, Aperture and NetNewsWire in 1Gb of RAM is really very painful indeed.

-- Currently running a 15" MPB w/1Gb :-(

Andy Lee
2006-05-15 08:06:06
I *may* have reason to buy a MacBook Pro soon, so I'm delighted to see that it's dead simple to upgrade RAM: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303491. I don't want to pay Apple's prices for memory, but I also don't trust myself with any hardware task more complicated than hammering a nail.

2006-05-15 08:08:14
Odd, the link I gave works even though the period at the end of my sentence got included in the URL. [shrug]
Shashwat Parhi
2006-05-15 08:15:04
You can get 1GB RAM for a little more than $100 at newegg.com. And that too Crucial memory. I got mine for my 15" Powerbook. Best upgrade money can buy.
2006-05-15 08:22:21
I shopped around and went with www.MemoryX.net because they were offering the OEM Samsung module that Apple uses for $199. I did see better deals on the net however.
Bill Gates
2006-05-15 10:21:55
Nobody will ever need more than 128k.


Sancho Neves-Gra├ža
2006-05-15 11:45:58
I wish Apple had redesigned the case in order to allow 4 GB of RAM. In most respects MacBook Pro 17" is a very good high-end laptop, but as far as memory expansion is concerned it is falling behind models from HP and Lenovo which are designed for 2 GB RAM memory chips. In addition to video editing applications, users of Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X would benefit from the extra memory as it would allow running several virtual machines, each with 1 GB of RAM. I guess this will come when 64-bit processors for laptops are introduced by Intel.
2006-05-15 12:46:48
"Nobody will ever need more than 128k."

Maybe he was talking about cash (not cache) in the bank (not ram bank).

2006-05-15 13:18:13
Actually, I'm a little surprised too that the 17" MBP tops out at 2GBs Ram. In other respects, this is a capable high end machine. Because I use Aperture a lot, for example, I opted for the 7200 RPM drive... that's a nice touch for a laptop. But there's nothing like good old fashioned Ram to make work a better place. Two gigs just seems in adequate.
Mike Nowak
2006-05-15 13:52:46
If you stick with Universal applications, is the memory burden reduced?
Ross Brown
2006-05-15 17:45:08
Yeah, I'd love to have a MacBook Pro as my primary machine but the 2 GB RAM is too limited for having a bunch of pro apps and other stuff open at once. Getting 4 GB in my G5 prevents the system from grinding to a halt when switching applications.

When will we see a laptop than can take > 2 GB? Is there any way they can engineer more slots into the computer (seems more likely with the 17" than the 15") or do we have to wait for super-expensive 2 GB SO-DIMMs?

George Lien
2006-05-15 20:55:19
Agreed. When I first saw the MacBook Pro at the MacWorld SF 2006, early this year, it ran fast because every floor sample was running with 2GB of RAM. My last generation PowerBook G4 didn't seem to run much behind the MacBook Pros because it too was running 2GB of RAM. Thus, 2GB of RAM is highly recommended for all serious mobile computing users. Not to mention, the more physical memory you have the less you will need disk access, the less you need disk access the longer your battery life.
2006-05-15 22:18:30
The original quote referred to 640k of RAM and was debunked by David Pogue. He tried to find the original citation and eventually concluded it was apocryphal.
2006-07-11 19:55:49
That's very helpful. Thanks.

Let me just pull out a few diamonds out of my treasure chest and sell them on eBay.

hip hop anonymous
2006-07-16 23:55:55
you know, it's probably better to get the 2 512mb of ram, that would save u $90 dollars from apple. THen buy 2 gigs of ram on ebay for 200, and you can sell the 512s to people on ebay who have empty slots.
2006-07-31 19:08:28
On July 4, Amazon spammed its customers with advertisement of Norman Finkelstein's virulently anti-Semitic book, Image and Reality of the Israeli-Palestine Conflict. On May 30, Amazon similarly advertised Beyond Chutzpah: on the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. I have never received any other ad from Amazon.

On April 4, in an unprecedented move, Amazon deleted all reviews of Obadiah Shoher's Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict. A few days later, Amazon forced its subsidiary Booksurge to terminate publishing contract with Shoher whose book is now available for download from www.samsonblinded.info . Google earlier banned advertising of the Samson Blinded for "unacceptable content." Shoher, indeed, is pro-Israeli, yet realistic and critical of Israeli policies.

Obadiah Shoher, an anonymous politician, abandons myths and moralizing in favor of realpolitik. He argues for raw efficiency of antiterrorist operations and shedding liberal idealism. Shoher asks inconvenient questions and gives honest answers. Amazon does not like that. Anti-Semitic lampoons by Norman Finkelstein are more to Amazon's taste.

2006-09-01 01:43:12
I have the 15 inch 2.16 intel core duo mac book pro with 1 gb ram that came in it. I'm debating buying another 1gb chip to put in the extra slot. Do you think i'll notice much of a difference if I do buy it? and if so, how?


2006-09-01 01:47:11
P.S. I'm also wondering if my computer can take any more ram. It says it came with:

1GB 667 DDR2 - 1 SO-DIMM

Is that able to add another 1GB chip?


2006-12-24 22:05:49
Nice info, big thx.
2007-02-19 09:27:58
Armagedon Piter

2007-03-20 09:03:46
I'm glad you wrote about this, Derrick. I'm suffering the same problem, although I did not order the additional 1GB Ram.

Does the memory module you ordered have ECC? Do you mind sharing who you purchased the module from? I took a look at Crucial, who has very competitive prices, but the non-ECC has me a bit concerned. In fact, they have a 2GB module for $167.99, which seems a little too good to be true. Have you heard any news - positive or negative - about non-ECC modules?

2007-03-26 09:13:09
Hi all!

2007-04-18 09:59:25
Peace people

We love you
2007-11-04 00:27:53
The MacBook Pro uses nonECC, unbuffered memory. So no worries there.
Search Apple.com for memory upgrade for more info.