It goes without saying that the more memory your Mac has access to, the smoother it will run. This is particularly true in the age of 64-bit operating systems like OS X Lion and apps that can take advantage of all available RAM you can throw at it. But do you know where to find the best deals on memory -- and does it make sense to pay more?
Summer is icumen in, as the poet of olde once wrote, and maybe you spent a lot of time this week out doors and weren't at your computer, glued to the latest in Mac and Apple news. Maybe you were off camping or exercising or gardening or sunbathing or who-knows-what-ing. Well, if you were, and if the rain drove you back inside, have a seat right here, that's it, pull up a chair, sit down, and take a look at the news we have for you.
A dozen or so years ago, RAM was relatively pricey and you couldn’t simply buy it online. But as computers started getting faster and performing more intensive operations, cheap, readily available memory became a necessity. Conveniently, that also makes it one of the best, easiest upgrades you can make to your machine. After all, as your Mac’s hardware becomes dated, it may not run as fast as when you first took it out of the box. A little boost in memory could give it that new lease on life you’ve been hoping for -- and save you from having to purchase a whole new system just yet.
Got one of those newfangled Mac Pros recently? Those things pack a ton of power, and they've got plenty of slots for extra RAM. Need to give your powerful rig a little boost in memory so that your 64-bit applications move a little faster? Plop in another pair of memory sticks and bump it up to 8GB. We'll show you how.
If you're having some serious performance issues with your Mac -- say, applications seem to crash randomly when you start them up, your Mac is incessantly freezing, or some software just hangs without really loading -- you'll want to check to see that the RAM is really the issue and you're not simply in need of a software update. Use Memtest to run a Unix command that checks on your bad RAM.
Got a need for speed? Or perhaps you're just aching for a bit more power? RAM is a cheap solution for giving your Mac a little boost without having to purchase a whole new system. Better yet, it's really easy to install, too, and especially so in a unibody MacBook Pro.
Need to do a little tinkering? Follow the gallery to see how easy it is to install your RAM yourself.
Timed perfectly with the release of the brand-new, Thunderbolt-enabled MacBook Pro, memory manufacturer Ramjet has announced the availability of a heaping helping of DDR3-1333 RAM, just for the shiny new block of aluminum wonderfulness.
My 2008 Mac Pro was limping along with the supplied 2GB of RAM, so I bought a couple more 1GB sticks. I know for sure that the sticks and the risers were pushed all the way in. But System Profiler still showed 2GB, instead of the 4GB installed. I downloaded the tech manual for the system and found that one of the original Apple-supplied sticks had gone bad.
So I bought another 2GB. This time around there were no LEDs lit on either riser, but the system still insists it has only 2GB installed! I put two modules on each riser (but I also tried putting all four on one riser), and they are the same brand as the ones supplied by Apple. The System Profiler report is only registering the module installed in the first slot of each riser—according to the tech manual, if the risers were bad, then all four LEDs would be solid red.
Your Mac is a hefty investment, so it’s in your best interest to keep it running well for as long as you can. Upgrading its components instead of going for a new machine is a smart idea. (Bonus: Better components will also increase the resale value.)
Still, like we said, your Mac is a hefty investment. So before you crack it open to drop in a larger and faster hard drive, add more system memory, or even slap on a fresh new battery, you’ll have questions. You’ll want to be confident in choosing components, finding the right tools, and knowing what to do before you find yourself digging into your Mac’s circuitry.