Macbook 2009 takes 8GB max RAM !!! (or NOT)

UPDATE I recieved a Response from OWC, I am very glad for their input and can only recommend you stick to their recommendation of 6GB, here is their response:

“Here’s the scoop….

Yes – all of the models that take DDR2 and which we support 6GB on (4GB + 2GB) will allow 8GB installed and show it too.

But – there is a problem… As soon as you actually are using more than 6GB or thereabouts of physical memory active, the performance nose dives. Doesn’t crash, but the operational performance plunges. This is why we have maintained the 6GB maximum. With 6GB installed, it’s within the limits of the controller/chipset and no issues + the slow down that occurs when you start to actually utilize more than 6GB in active app space also gives the benefit to 6GB vs. 8GB anyway.”


     Long time no see, initially I couldn’t find this online so I thought it warranted a posting. My early 2009 Macbook (Macbook 5,2 2ghz) apparently supports 8gb of ram (shown in Activity Monitor). In my case it reads 8gb, but if OWC, Mactracker and Everymac are right it supports only 6gb. I have a C2D iMac (iMac 5,1), it supports 3gb of RAM but has 4gb installed, so Activity Monitor only shows 3gb. The RAM I used is CORSAIR VS8GSDSKIT800D2. To the right is a screenshot showing my Macbooks details and memory usage. At the top of the post I have shown OWC’s response to my query and can only recommend you stick to their advised 6GB (though I am tempted to try it out for awhile).


     Just as an FYI I am not really an SSD guy, but I do believe in upgrading HDDs and usually upgrade once a year, this years upgrade is a 750GB WD Scorpio Black and it performs wonderfully; enough to put off upgrading for now (I am dying to get my hands on FW800 & Thunderbolt though). I never used my Macbooks stock HDD, WD Scorpio Blue 500gb, 750gb and now black 750gb. Until SSD capacity hits 1TB and I have external transfer speeds practical enough to make fresh mirror backups once a week & reliability is proven I am sticking to mechanical storage. In terms of reliability and overall performance Intel’s 600GB SSD looks pretty good (not the fastest performer but Intel has been proven to be reliable). OWC also has some very enticing offerings especially for more performance oriented setups.


     UPDATE I have contacted OWC Everymac & Barefeats. OWC an expert source for performance oriented computer upgrades (especially for Macs) and once they certify something for a platform and offer it for sale it is a guarantee on getting your monies worth. Barefeats is a performance bencmark Mac focused site. Everymac is a Apple/Mac centric specification database and guide. All 3 are quite well respected and hopefully I can get a nod or confirmation from one of them. I have recieved a response from OWC (shown at the top), I hope Everymac will add the info th their FAQ as well in case of future misinformation from people like me.

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