Most anyone that does any computer repairs or building themselves knows that Corsair has a great name. It does not matter if you are building an enthusiast screamer or a budget e-mail/web browsing machine for Grandma, Corsair has a product that will be reliable and give you what you are looking for. I wondered if that would be true for a relatively new Mac user (been on my MacBook Pro for about 5 months or so now). So when I needed to do a memory upgrade to my MckBook Pro, I went looking… and sure enough, Corsair had what I was looking for!
Now, let me explain why I went looking. As most of our readers know, the Intel Macs brought us the ability to run Windows on Mac hardware. So, using Boot Camp, I installed WinXP SP2 on my MBP, and all was swell! I also had my copy of Vista Ultimate sitting around, so i decided I would try and install that and see how the MCP responded to it. Installation went fine, and I was running Vista on my Mac. It was not as speedy as WinXP, but I knew that already. i really had no reason to run Windows, but it was cool to do it.
Then, I found a couple programs that allow you to run Windows, in the Mac OS by using a Virtual Machine. Both Parallels and VMWare’s Fusion do a great job at this, and if you own a Mac, it worth looking at these programs if you want to run Windows in a VM. I settled on Fusion simply because at the time it was cheaper, but they both pretty much do the same thing.
Fusion worked great with WinXP, but when I used it with Vista, the machine was painfully slow. My MBP came with 2GB of ram, and has a limit of 3GB that can be used (the older MBP came with the Intel 945PM chipset that has this limitation, the newer Santa Rosa based MBP can have 4GB). Vista is a resource HOG. We all know that. So trying to run OSX and a virtual machine running Vista made for a painful experience. Imagine Vista Ultimate on 1GB of ram, and that is essentially what I had. So I went on a search to try and find a DDRII kist that could be used in my MBP.
In my search, I visited Corsair’s web site and found that they actually had a 3GB kit advertised for Mac. (The kit # is VSA3GSDSKIT667D2). So, that is what I settled on. The kit is actually 2GB and 1GB sticks of Corsair’s Value Select DDRII667 ram. Take a look…
One thing to note about this upgrade. If you use a 3GB kit, that you will not be able to take advantage of dual channel technology that the Intel chipset is built for. In the big picture, the advantage you get from more ram should overcome any hit in performance that you would get from not running in dual channel configuration.
This 3GB kit from Corsair is PC2-5300 (ddr667) rated, and runs at timings of 5-5-5-15.
So, was this upgrade what I was needing? We put it to the test to see if we could actually see any difference in benchmark scores and to subjectively see if we could notice any difference when we used the machine.