After Apple generously replaced my ailing 2.4GHz MacBook Pro with the new unibody 2.4GHz MacBook Pro, I went from 4GB down to 2GB RAM. Even though the new MBP has a faster bus speed and better hard drive, I felt the shortage of RAM when using Final Cut, Photoshop and Parallels.
Here are a few shots to illustrate how easy it is to upgrade the RAM (and, coincidentally, the hard drive) in the new MacBook Pro and MacBook. Thankfully, upgrading RAM and hard drives on the new unibody MacBook Pro is easy and won’t void or risk the warranty. (Just don’t sneeze or drool onto the logic board when doing work and you should be fine.)
First, remove the battery plate and battery. This exposes the hard drive for easy replacement if you ever want to upgrade to a 320GB 7200RPM drive or even one of the new 500GB 5400RPM drives. (I wonder if the MacBook Pro could be run off an external 10,000RPM SATA drive like the VelociRaptor. That’d be awesome!)
Removing the battery plate does not expose the memory bay like in the earlier MacBook Pros, so there’s more work to do.
There are 8 screws to remove from the bottom plate of the MacBook Pro. You’ll need a simple jeweler’s screwdriver. Remember the order of screws as there are three different sizes.
Here you can see the inside of the MacBook Pro exposed. It’s gorgeous. I was pretty impressed with the exterior design of the MacBook Pro, but this shows it’s true inner beauty.
This is where the RAM chips go. There are little tabs on each side of the chips. Pulling those tabs apart by less than a millimeter will “eject” the RAM for removal.
You put the new RAM in and take the old RAM out. You do the hokey pokey and turn yourself about. (Gag, I know.)
Here you see the new RAM installed. Check out the logic board and fans. Everything is so compact, tight and compartmentalized.
Another inside shot.
Put the botom plate back on and put the screws back in. Tighten well, but not too much. You don’t want to strip the threads.
That’s it! It took less than 5 minutes for the whole operation. With 4GB RAM, boot time is marginally better, but the real benefit comes with running larger apps like Photoshop, Parallels, Final Cut, etc. I can have much more going at one time than I could before.
A side note: I also notice that the new MacBook Pro runs much cooler than the old versions. When running generic apps like Mail, Safari, Firefox, etc., the old MacBook Pro would usually keep at a warm 130°. When running Photoshop and/or Parallels for more than a few minutes on my previous MacBook Pro, the internal temp would rise to no less than 160° and would often top 185°. This new unibody MacBook Pro runs between 96° and 110° for normal apps and hasn’t risen above 130° even when running Final Cut. Very cool, indeed!