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View Full Version : RAM for 13-inch MacBook Pro - 8 GB prices, etc.


Dorian Gray
2009-11-07, 12:07
Hello all,

I have the still-current "low-end" 13-inch MacBook Pro with the default 2 GB of RAM. For what I do (nothing terribly demanding, but large photos are often involved) I seem to run out of memory more frequently than I did with my PowerBook, which had just 1.25 GB of RAM. That's probably partially because the MBP's graphics processor "siphons off memory from system-level RAM" ;), and partially because Snow Leopard and its 64-bit apps are definitely bigger memory hogs than PowerPC Tiger.

The memory problem is quite acute: when I'm doing something that would be processor-intensive, I'm rarely processor-bound. Usually the very fast processor is twiddling its thumbs around 20%, with the slow hard drive working overtime.

I knew I'd want more memory when I got this notebook, but I haven't quite been able to pull the trigger. It seems wasteful to buy 4 GB of RAM now (throwing out the 2 GB currently in the machine), and then get 8 GB sometime in the future (throwing out the 4 GB then). So I've been hanging on with 2 GB and hoping for price drops on the 8 GB kits.

Here are current prices, including taxes, from Crucial France:

4 GB kit (2 GB x 2), 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-8500: 77.73 euros
8 GB Kit (4 GB x 2), 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-8500: 485.56 euros

There are cheaper options elsewhere, but not by much.

I can't afford almost 500 euros for memory I don't even strictly need today. So my question is, when will prices come down to, say, 200 euros for the 8 GB kit? Are RAM prices in any way predictable? What would you do in my situation?

pscates2.0
2009-11-07, 12:10
I'm not sure how one would/could predict that, as it just seems so random and arbitrary (RAM prices). If you're suffering now (bogging down, losing time, etc.), I'd go ahead and get the 4GB. You'll see an immediate improvement, and that buys you time (what if it took another 18-24 months for 8GB to come down to that 200 range? You'll be miserable during all that).

If I were in your shoes and faced with this exact situation, I'd definitely pull the trigger on that 4GB now...and worry about the 8GB later.

I see 8GB for the 13" MacBook Pro for US $499. That converts to 336.90 euros (if I'm doing that right, or if it even works that way). That's almost halfway between 200-500 euros. Again, if I'm reading that right (and if they even sell/ship outside the U.S...I don't have much experience with currency conversion or international sales and shipping).

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/8566DDR3S8GP/

They list a number for "international" sales: 815-338-8658

PB PM
2009-11-07, 12:13
Dorian, I can tell you from experience that 4GBs is a good balance with that machine, even if you work working with RAW files, but 8GB is just way to expensive right now, which is why I opted for 4GBs in my 13" MBP. The difference between 2GB and 4GBs is substantial when you are working with photos. Sure it peaks out still, but far less often, and the reality is you can never have enough RAM! Prices for 4GB DDR3 sticks may not fall for some time, as RAM prices have actually gone up this year, rather than down.

Dorian Gray
2009-11-09, 19:42
Thanks for your thoughts, guys.

I'd perhaps be interested in shipping the 8 GB kit from the States if it worked out to 200 euros. But it's ~340 euros before shipping and import duties. That's just too expensive for me. (Even 200 would be pushing it, to be honest.)

I've been thinking: my Mac uses about 1 GB of RAM for the OS, the video memory, and Safari (at least before I go tab-crazy). So that leaves me with about 1 GB for doing things. Upgrading to 4 GB would triple the "available" memory, so to speak. So on reflection I think that would really be quite enough for me for the foreseeable future.

If I pay ~80 euros for 4 GB now, though, that means I'm gonna have to wait for 8 GB to hit 120 euros (200 minus 80). :p That might take a while.

I think I'll keep an eye on www.crucial.com/fr and buy a 4 GB kit the next time the price changes.

pscates2.0
2009-11-09, 19:47
That's a good way of looking at it...you're tripling your overhead/play room. 4GB should be quite nice. And then you've got comfortable time to wait and watch what happens on the 8GB front. And if that takes another year or two, no big deal...you're doing okay in the meantime.

I think I would like to take my iMac from 3GB to 4GB at some point. That odd number just bugs me...

:D

Dorian Gray
2009-11-25, 19:36
The price did change. It went from €77.73 to €90.88. :lol: :grumble: Should have bought it a couple of weeks ago.

I think I would like to take my iMac from 3GB to 4GB at some point. That odd number just bugs me...
That's a good reason. :p

PB PM
2009-11-25, 20:07
It may sound silly, but even 3-4GB makes a difference. My old MBP had 3GBs (its max) and the difference in photo editing between that 3GB-4GB is often the difference between the system bogging down or not.

Dorian Gray
2010-02-25, 17:03
Bump.

Prices for 4GB DDR3 sticks may not fall for some time, as RAM prices have actually gone up this year, rather than down.

The price did change. It went from €77.73 to €90.88. :lol: :grumble: Should have bought it a couple of weeks ago.

I'm still waiting for that price drop and it went up again! It's now €102.84. At this point I'm willing to concede you had a good point about not waiting for price drops, PB PM. :lol:

PB PM
2010-02-25, 17:09
Yup, RAM prices are going up, because sales have fallen off. The chip makers are also using new processes (small dies), which means prices will continue to go up for a while.

Luca
2010-02-25, 17:09
Man, I noticed this too. I haven't looked at computer parts for a while but DDR2 is like twice as expensive as when I built my current PC! Sort of wish I had picked up more, although I'm not sure how much better 8 GB is than 6 GB. And forget 4 GB DIMMs, even for a desktop. 2x4 GB DDR2 kits are $200+.

PB PM
2010-02-25, 17:12
Its funny, but Apple RAM price upgrades don't look too bad the way prices are now. In some cases it is actually cheaper to buy the upgrade (BTO for new machines) from Apple than getting it yourself! *** ducks for cover ***

Luca
2010-02-25, 17:39
Its funny, but Apple RAM price upgrades don't look too bad the way prices are now. In some cases it is actually cheaper to buy the upgrade (BTO for new machines) from Apple than getting it yourself! *** ducks for cover ***

A broken clock is still correct twice a day. :lol:

Dorian Gray
2010-09-08, 14:38
Night of the living thread.

My MacBook Pro is now over a year old and still chugging along with 2 GB of memory. It's driving me crazy. Somebody make me buy RAM, please.

Here's a summary of the Crucial France prices over time, from earlier in this thread:

7th November 2009:
4 GB kit: 77.73 euros
8 GB kit: 485.56 euros

26th November 2009:
4 GB kit: 90.88 euros

25th February 2010:
4 GB kit: 102.84 euros

8th September 2010:
4 GB kit: 88.49 euros
8 GB kit: 242.78 euros

So the original price of 77.73 euros for the 4 GB kit never returned. In an eerie coincidence (?), the price of the 8 GB kit precisely halved, right down to the last cent! But it's still a little more than the 200 euros I said I'd be willing to pay.

However, www.materiel.net are selling (http://www.materiel.net/ctl/PC_portables1/59259-SO_DIMM_DDR3_2_x_4_Go_PC10600_SQ.html) slightly faster G.Skill memory in an 8 GB kit for 189.89 euros. I believe this would also work in my 13-inch mid-2009 MacBook Pro.

Question: the product photo shows modules with tightly packed, doubled-up chips. Does this suggest they're using an older process node that's likely to draw more power?

Anyone use G.Skill memory in their Mac?

See you next year! :p

Dorian Gray
2010-11-04, 17:25
7th November 2009:
8 GB kit: 485.56 euros

8th September 2010:
8 GB kit: 242.78 euros

Today on www.crucial.com/fr:

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/4282/crucialorder.png

Good things come to those who wait?

Maciej
2010-11-04, 17:45
Wowie! That's a steal compared to your previous quotes.

remlemasi
2010-11-04, 18:29
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226021

Mushkin 2 x 4GB --- $109.99 after MIR!!! So tempted.

NOTE: Last day today!!! Should I do it? How much could I sell my Crucial 2 x 2GB kit for? How long would you guys fathom it'll take for normal prices to drop below this $110 mark?

709
2010-11-04, 18:42
If anything, this only pisses me off more at Apple's "2GB is enough" bullshit. For such a progressive company they've always always found ways to just be fucking idiots in the most mundane and obvious of things.

PB PM
2010-11-05, 02:14
I got 2 4GB sticks for $185 Cdn a few weeks ago, same Mushkin sticks, but of course they are always more expensive here.

chucker
2010-11-05, 02:20
My MBP (early 2010) currently has 2x2GB, DDR3, at 1067 MHz. I see that I can get 2x4GB, also DDR3, at either 1067 or 1333 MHz for around 120€. Would the higher clock rate benefit me at all, or can the chipset not handle that?

Dorian Gray
2010-11-05, 02:25
My MBP (early 2010) currently has 2x2GB, DDR3, at 1067 MHz. I see that I can get 2x4GB, also DDR3, at either 1067 or 1333 MHz for around 120€. Would the higher clock rate benefit me at all, or can the chipset not handle that?
I don't know for sure, but when I looked into that some people were reporting that the chipset detects the higher memory speed and runs at that speed, leading to stability issues. The internet being the internet, they may be talking nonsense - but I'd want to be pretty sure it runs at 1067 MHz before buying faster RAM.

PB PM
2010-11-05, 02:28
I believe that only the newest generation MBPs use the 1333Mhz sticks.

Maciej
2010-11-05, 11:06
I bought my MBP on August 24th and it has 1067MHz sticks.

PB PM
2010-11-05, 13:42
Oh, looks like it is only the current iMacs that use 1333Mhz sticks.

chucker
2010-11-05, 13:52
So, can anyone answer if 1333MHz would work, and if so, if they would boost performance?

FFL
2010-11-05, 16:31
So, can anyone answer if 1333MHz would work, and if so, if they would boost performance?

I'm not absolutely positive, but I'm fairly sure that's a "no".

chucker
2010-11-05, 16:38
Yeah, that's what I fear. Seems the Intel page also says 1066 is the max. (http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=47341)

Maciej
2010-11-05, 23:18
I need to buy some RAM for my dad, what do you guys know about G.Skill?

PB PM
2010-11-06, 02:40
G.Skill is okay, just not the "value" stuff.

remlemasi
2010-12-08, 21:12
DDR3 prices are really, really low right now! Get 'em while you can!

Crucial 4GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Laptop Memory Model CT51264BC1067 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148289&Tpk=ct51264bc1067) - $50.99 (as of 8-Dec.)

It went out-of-stock for a few days and I thought I'd missed it, but it came back today... $101.98 for 8GB (2 x 4GB) of Crucial is amazing! Interestingly, the kit with two of those modules is still $156.99 on newegg.

Anyway, just thought I'd fill you guys in. Some memory trackers are predicting the prices to rise again in 2011. This is pretty much on par with the over-supply prices of about two years ago, when I got a 4GB kit (2 x 2GB) for $55 (it's gone up to $110 in those two years and is now sitting pretty at $64).

turtle
2010-12-08, 22:04
Is PC3 8500 the best RAM for the current MBP? Would faster RAM be better or even noticeable?

Edit: Just read the the read. Never mind. :)

remlemasi
2010-12-10, 17:06
I now have 8GB of glorious DDR3 RAM. It's so strange. I'm looking at my memory usage and I have 6.5GB of free memory! Granted, the MBP hasn't been booted up for very long, but still. Such a large number.

Remember when we'd freak out when Safari is using up more than 100MB? We'd have to quit and relaunch. 400MB is not an issue anymore... :)

The type of performance increase isn't nearly as "impressive" as a new SSD (which is on the way... :) ). They're of totally different types.

I figure when my SSD gets here, my virtual Windows XP machine (Fusion) will be FLYING!!! Giving it 2GB of virtual RAM and keeping the usual apps open will not longer bring the system to a crawl!!! With 4GB, and only giving the VM 1GB, I'd still need to close all non-essential apps to make it run OK. NOT ANYMORE!!!

BTW, what do you recommend of making sure the RAM is all good... Apple Hardware Test?

PB PM
2010-12-10, 17:21
I find the POST on Macs to be very effective at rooting out bad RAM. When I upgraded to 8GBs the first two sticks I got were so bad wouldn't even work (kernel panic right away at the Apple screen).

Maciej
2010-12-10, 17:40
Yeah, I BTO'ed 8GB into my MBP and I never ever reboot... I just never think about it. It's glorious.

What is POST?

remlemasi
2010-12-11, 00:33
I find the POST on Macs to be very effective at rooting out bad RAM.

[QUOTE=Maciej;713369What is POST?[/QUOTE]

Ditto... I did a quick google with no good hits.

Brad
2010-12-11, 00:48
POST = power-on self test

POST is a basic hardware check that just verifies that the hardware is functional at the most basic level. It's one of the first things any PC or Mac does when you first power it on. With PCs, it typically POSTs when you first hear a beep or see a black screen and some white text or a splash logo. With Macs, I believe the POST occurs just before the chime.

Maciej
2010-12-11, 01:17
In that case, I agree with PB PM. I've had an instance or two in the past where bad ram has caused KP right at the Apple screen.

Oh, and thanks Brad.

Dorian Gray
2010-12-11, 20:29
Crucial France prices for the 8 GB kit over time, including taxes and shipping:

7th November 2009: 485.56 euros
8th September 2010: 242.78 euros
5th November 2010 :144.70 euros
12 December 2010: 105.48 euros

So tonight I ordered it at last!

Theelmerguy: which SSD did you spring for? And don't forget to update your computer profile! It still says 4 GB of RAM.

turtle
2010-12-11, 22:18
Figured I'd chime in here too to say that I ordered my 8GB of RAM last night too! :)

Maciej
2010-12-11, 22:57
You've gotta go for an SF-1200 based drive if you're in the market at this point...

remlemasi
2010-12-14, 06:25
Crucial France prices for the 8 GB kit over time, including taxes and shipping:

7th November 2009: 485.56 euros
8th September 2010: 242.78 euros
5th November 2010 :144.70 euros
12 December 2010: 105.48 euros

So tonight I ordered it at last!

Theelmerguy: which SSD did you spring for? And don't forget to update your computer profile! It still says 4 GB of RAM.

I was under the impression you bought it when you made your 5-Nov post about good things for those who wait... Haha.

You've gotta go for an SF-1200 based drive if you're in the market at this point...

SF-1200 all the way... OCZ Vertex 2 90GB (extended) to be exact! It's so fast. Wow. Mail.app is loaded and ready LIKE THAT! Same for iTunes. It's too bad it's not good as a scrub drive for editing. I read the read/write/read/write of scrubbing really messes it up, SF-1200 or not.

Update profile now!

EDIT:

13" MacBook Pro (5,5)
- 2.26 GHz Intel Core2 Duo
- 8 GB glorious Crucial memory
- 90 GB OCZ Vertex 2 (extended) boot drive
- 500GB WD Scorpio Blue

Dorian Gray
2010-12-14, 19:17
I was under the impression you bought it when you made your 5-Nov post about good things for those who wait... Haha.
I did in fact order it then, but Crucial immediately sent me an email saying it was out of stock, and they reduced the price on their website by another 20 euros. So I had ordered RAM that was out of stock all along—with an estimated week-long wait for new stock—while sitting looking at prices that were lower than the price at which I'd ordered. So I wrote them a note saying, literally, I've had good experiences with you in the past, but that's a bit cheeky, isn't it? They were nice enough to cancel my order.

This time it's for real, since they've shipped it (seemingly from somewhere in the UK).

13" MacBook Pro (5,5)
- 2.26 GHz Intel Core2 Duo
- 8 GB glorious Crucial memory
- 90 GB OCZ Vertex 2 (extended) boot drive
- 500GB WD Scorpio Blue
Nice! I'm happy with my 500 GB Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 drive (though this (http://www.hitachigst.com/internal-drives/mobile/travelstar/travelstar-7k750) looks good), but looking forward to the 8 gigs.

remlemasi
2010-12-14, 23:23
I did in fact order it then, but Crucial immediately sent me an email saying it was out of stock, and they reduced the price on their website by another 20 euros. So I had ordered RAM that was out of stock all along—with an estimated week-long wait for new stock—while sitting looking at prices that were lower than the price at which I'd ordered. So I wrote them a note saying, literally, I've had good experiences with you in the past, but that's a bit cheeky, isn't it? They were nice enough to cancel my order.

This time it's for real, since they've shipped it (seemingly from somewhere in the UK).

"Sorry, sir, we've just shipped your memory modules not 30 seconds before you wrote us! Uhhh... at least you'll get them sooner? Oh yeah, and 10% restocking fee applies to returns..." -__-

Nice! I'm happy with my 500 GB Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 drive (though this (http://www.hitachigst.com/internal-drives/mobile/travelstar/travelstar-7k750) looks good), but looking forward to the 8 gigs.

I must say that a super-fast SSD doesn't make as big an impact when you're not even using a bit (literal) of swap space. If I had to choose between 8 GB memory or an SSD, I'd choose the memory. Luckily, I got both... :)

Maciej
2010-12-14, 23:45
I disagree; I think an SSD upgrade rivals the RAM upgrade as the single most noticeable upgrade you can perform, for everyday use that is. Only problem is the cost...

In fact, I'm gonna pick up another one of those Vertex 2 90GB drives mentioned above. They're only $145 on Newegg right now (including Mail-In Rebate), as a Christmas gift for my dad that can't be beat!

remlemasi
2010-12-15, 03:42
Yeah, I got that same deal on macmall.com.

And I see what you mean about the SSD vs RAM upgrades. And I don't necessarily disagree. But here's how I see it...

An SSD makes your computer faster, no doubt. But extra RAM prevents it from slowing down when it gets used up. IMO, the most frustrating thing to the majority of consumers is not slow boot times or application loading (which is "solved" by an SSD), but experiencing less "stalling" or "lagging" due to virtual memory. Yes, an SSD will make virtual memory faster, but it's still not match to DRAM.

Is essence, upgrading RAM will solve many of the issues that consumers associate with slow computers. An SSD upgrade would only appeal to those who are actually inhibited by slow hard drives, which I would argue does not matter to the vast majority of consumers.

The culprit of a "slow" computer is most likely insufficient RAM, not a slow hard drive, which is why I argue that RAM is a more relevant upgrade. Or... at least the more important one to consider before upgrading to SSD.

remlemasi
2011-07-13, 02:05
WHAT??? http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT2KIT51264BC1067-204-PIN-PC3-8500-SODIMM/dp/B001MX5YWI ($59.99 for a 2 x 4GB kit)

I knew it was getting less expensive. But not this cheap, this fast. Apple is once again: WAY OVERPRICED ($200 upgrade). (They were okay for a little bit).

PB PM
2011-07-13, 02:37
The prices have dropped off a lot in the last few months. What cost $150 in January now can be had for $60.

Xaqtly
2011-07-13, 11:20
I was poking around in Activity Monitor and noticed that I had used all my memory and it had begun paging out to VM. This is on my Mac Pro which I never turn off, and I do use pro level programs on it like Logic and CS5, so I figured it was time for some more. I had the 6GB it came with, so I bought a 12GB kit from OWC and installed it last night.

Memory is so relatively affordable at this point, why even bother letting it get to the point where it's paging out? That's how I see it. Go 8+GB or more and be happy. :)

PB PM
2011-07-13, 13:19
Oh I agree. I upgraded my iMac to 12GB. It still pages from time to time when I'm using Aperture 3 (man is it ever a RAM hog!).

torifile
2011-07-13, 14:37
WHAT??? http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT2KIT51264BC1067-204-PIN-PC3-8500-SODIMM/dp/B001MX5YWI ($59.99 for a 2 x 4GB kit)

I knew it was getting less expensive. But not this cheap, this fast. Apple is once again: WAY OVERPRICED ($200 upgrade). (They were okay for a little bit).
Jeez. I just bought that kit not even a week ago for $69. I'm going to see if I can get a price adjustment. Since going from 2 GB in the mini to 8, things are so much better. It makes me wonder why it doesn't come with more standard. 2 gigs was just unbearable for some reason.