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MacBooks Can Rock 3GB of RAM

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Derik at MacUser has a very nicely written piece about the ability of MacBooks to handle 3GB or RAM. Apparently the Core 2 Duo based MacBooks (not to be confused with the first gen Core Duo MacBooks) are able to max out at 3 gigs of Memory. But Apple’s not keen on advertising that, as it means using mismatched pairs of Memory, which can cause a loss of system speed with the Graphics Card being tied to the same memory. Probably not worth that kind of hit, but if you absolutely must have the power, I suppose this is the way to go.

If you’ve got this setup, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on speed trade-offs.

4 Responses to “MacBooks Can Rock 3GB of RAM”

  1. Jordan, I have just upgraded two “old” macbook pros (the core duos) and I discussed this at length with the people at Crucial, and trolled the Apple support site.

    If you look at article number 303491 on, you see that it talks about 2gb… and then there is a pointer to 304662 where it talks about 3gb. That article specifically and explicitly talks about the “core 2 duo”.

    The guy at Crucial was quite adamant that their testing indicated that only the core2 duo’s could accept the 2gb module. According to him, it’s not the total memory, it’s the ability to work with the 2gb module.

    I played it safe and took my two machines to 2gb. FWIW, for those running Entourage, holy cow, that extra gig makes a huge difference.

  2. afaik all intel macbooks (core duo or otherwise) could support 3gb. The chipset on the boards hasn’t changed as the core 2 duo processors were designed so that they were able to use existing core duo chipsets. The 3gb limit comes from that though – the intel chipset cannot support more than 3gb. OSX would happily support as much as it needs to :)

  3. Aha! I knew I saw that at one point. When I bought my black macbook, the reason I bought it was because on the apple site it showed it as being able to handle more ram than the white counterpart at the time.

    After I bought it, I couldn’t find that anywhere, so thought I had dreamt it up, but I bet for a day or so the site showed the 3gb max on the black one.

    I’m very interested in the graphics performance hits myself. I wonder if having stick #1 as 2gig is any better than vice versa.