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I have a 2010 MacBook Pro with a recently replaced logic board and SSD upgrade. I haven't yet upgraded the RAM.

Currently, RAM is 4GB, one slot, Apple RAM (whichever manufacturer they use). I am thinking of buying some Crucial RAM to bump it to 8GB. Would it be better if I did 2x4GB from Crucial and put them both in the slots available, or could I get just one Crucial 4GB RAM chip and install it in the empty slot? Would there be any advantages/disadvantages to either?

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If I understand correctly your question is about whether having matched RAM modules is important. Matched RAM modules allow the motherboard to use the modules in dual channel mode, making more bandwidth available. But as far as I know for most applications it is better to have more RAM in single channel than less RAM in dual channel.

If you are going for a non-matching module, try to buy a new module with the exact same specification as the original one (same speed, same parity, same clock, same cycle time). Usually with a good look at the original module you can find identifying information that let you deduce these, or even guess the exact model. Buy from a shop with a favorable return policy just to be safe in the rare case that the non-matching modules fail to work together.

Otherwise, there are specialized vendors (like OWC) that offer trade-in upgrade packages. They will send you a matching pair of RAM modules and will ask you to send your original module back to them.

  • hear hear, that's exactly the concern - is matching important or not? Thanks for the reply! :) – ericmjl Feb 7 '15 at 16:43
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Crucial RAM will almost certainly work with the existing.

Their configurator is pretty good at getting exactly the right RAM for the machine.

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