When I buy a tech gadget, whether it be a cell phone or a laptop for example, it always costs me twice as much as everyone else. No matter how good a deal I try to find, it always ends up costing me exactly twice as much as everyone else. Does this happen to you?

It is caused by Geek Wife Gadget Purchasing Syndrome, wherein I cannot buy any cool technology without also getting the same thing for my wife because she also covets cool gadgets.

We had planned to update to the latest Pro this coming January, as that would mark 3 years since we purchased our current identical in every way MacBook Pros. However, in these turbulent economic times and because of the syndrome mentioned previously, we decided to explore alternatives.

In the end we decided the laptops were not too bad and we could probably squeeze another couple of years out of them, but we had to do something about hard drive space and RAM. So this post details the RAM and I will detail the hard drive in another post.

As a starting point, here is the About This Mac window before the upgrade.

about this mac before upgrade

As you can see, a standard MacBookPro2,2 model with no upgrades, running Snow Leopard and with 2GB of RAM.

I purchased two 4GB upgrade kits from TigerDirect.

The is relatively simple, it is just a matter of flipping the laptop over, removing the battery, opening a cover that is held in place with a couple of screws and then slip out the old sticks and replace them with the new ones. For a more detailed description of the process, I looked at this Apple Knowledge Base article.

After replacing the memory cover and the battery I booted up and this is what the About This Mac window looked like.

about this mac window after upgrade

As you can see it now reports 4GB of RAM as being installed.

To objectively measure what the RAM upgrade actually means to the of the laptop I used a free tool called Xbench which is a Mac benchmarking tool. I ran version 1.3 of the benchmark prior to the upgrade and then again after the upgrade.

I am sure you are waiting to hear some astounding benchmark numbers that show massive improvements after the RAM upgrade. However, I am going to disappoint you and say that overall there were not very many data points that improved significantly. In fact the only data point that improved more than 1 or 2% was the allocation of system memory which improved by about 22%.

This however was my first time using Xbench though, so there is a chance my expectations are of track.

Fear not though, I also benchmarked the laptop before and after the hard drive upgrade I mentioned earlier and there were many more interesting numbers in those comparisons. And I will detail all of that in another post.