Wifey has been complaining that her MacBook is realllllly slow. Slow to load Firefox, slow to start iPhoto, slow to start mail. I decided to have a look at it the other day and noticed it only had 1GB of RAM. That’s not much at all… espeically when I see that she has many applications all running at the same time (often without realising it!).
Buying the RAM
Last weekend, I googled around to find out how to upgrade the RAM. The Apple site has pretty clear instructions, so it was just a matter of buying the right type of RAM. For her MacBook, the type to get is DDR2 667MHz SO-DIMM (PC2-5300).
I decided to try buying RAM from the new MSY store in Balcatta. The store looks small, but they seem to have quite a lot of stock. The first thing that struck me as I walked in was how they had roped off multiple queues to the front counter – it must get pretty busy in there! The staff were really friendly and helpful. Unfortunately they were out of 2GB Kingston and Corsair sticks that I was after, but I was shown 3 other brands that they did have in stock, and I bought G.Skill in the end.
Each 2GB stick was $45, so the 4GB RAM upgrade came up to only $90 in the end!
Installing the RAM
To install the RAM, I basically just followed the clear instructions found on the Apple site. Apple have really designed their MacBooks well. All I needed was a coin (or flathead screwdriver) to unlock the battery, and then a small Philips screwdriver to remove 3 screws, and that’s it!
Removing the existing RAM is very easy by pushing the levers in the MacBook. My only tip is – when putting in the new RAM, once you push it in gently, give it an extra push until the top of the RAM sits flush with the casing.
I did some timings of typical user actions that Wifey did before and after the RAM upgrade. Here are the results:
Power On – 32 secs with 1GB down to 31 secs with 4GB
Mail – 9 secs with 1GB down to 3 secs with 4GB
iPhoto – 33 secs with 1GB down to 19 secs with 4GB
Opening Firefox for the 2nd time – 14 secs with 1GB down to 2 secs with 4GB
Wifey already has noticed a speed improvement when using multiple applications. All good!
Step by Step