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Can an 2009 iMac have an odd total amount of RAM?

Yeah, I'm still trying to kick it old school.

I have a Macbook 2.1 (2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of Memory, 667 MHz Bus speed) that I recently installed 10.6 on (thanks to help from stack exchange). Unfortunately, between snow leopard and upgraded internet browser, I have about 20 MB of free memory just when checking my email. Lots of loading time and spinning wheel (aka Steve Jobs' eternal flame).

I've heard that since I have a dual core that I should always keep the two memory modules paired for best performance, which would make my best option two 1GB modules. But then I read on Crucial's website that the mid2007 macbook has a max of 3GB of memory, and that the an upaired set of 1GB and 2GB would be better than two 1 GB.

On a related note, will I notice a big difference with 3 GB vs. 2 GB of memory?

Thoughts? Answers?

  • Pairing RAM gives you a modest speed performance (~5%) and wouldn't even come close to offsetting an additional 33% more RAM. With that said, it's probably a better choice to buy two sticks of 2GB. It would not only be more cost effective but you give you both the speed boast and the full capacity of RAM available for your system. – user10355 Oct 15 '11 at 21:33

You're not the first person to wonder about this. Yes, matched pairs are good for speed. More RAM is also good for speed. In my experience, and in what I've read, the speed boost from more RAM more than offset the penalty for mismatched pairs.

  • Oops, thanks. I skipped over that one because I assumed it was too new to apply to me. Thanks. – Jake Baker Oct 15 '11 at 21:38
  • It's hard for me to consider anything in the Intel Age "Old School" when I'm writing this on a CRT G4 eMac. :-) – Daniel Oct 15 '11 at 21:44

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