My MacBook Pro RAM install moment arrived today, following a frustrating couple of hours of trying to do work that involved me switching from my OS X environment to my Windows 7 install, running in a virtual machine courtesy of Parallels.
Other that the slower boot up time that I moaned about here, I had been largely pleased not to have noticed a drop in performance since upgrading to OS X Lion. Sadly it all came unstuck when using Parallels. Whereas under Snow Leopard, switching between the operating systems had been pleasingly snappy, under Lion it became frustratingly slow, leading to my first truly annoying working day on my MacBook Pro.
So, I hunted down my miniature screwdriver and unpacked the new RAM modules, and set about upgrading my MacBook Pro RAM from 4gb to 8gb.
The process was a lot easier than the last RAM upgrade I had to do on a Mac, which was on one of the first white MacBooks, and required a lot of brute force and contortionism (if that is a word) to get to the RAM chips hidden underneath the battery.
This process just involved removing all of the screws on the MacBook Pro base, which lifted off to provide very easy access to the memory slots (and, for my future reference, the hard drive).
All that said, upgrading the RAM in a MacBook Pro is not recommended to people without a very steady hand. The combination of tiny, tiny screws and an aluminum body which is very easy to scratch with a thin screwdriver did result in a couple of minor cosmetic injuries to the base of my laptop. I certainly feel for Apple Store employees who have to do these upgrades – I certainly wouldn’t want to try to do it with a hangover.
With the RAM upgraded, I was pleased to notice a considerable boost in performance, and my Windows 7 install is happy again, having been given 3gb of its own to play with. My bootup time seems to be a little quicker too, though still not as fast as it was under Snow Leopard.
All in all though, it was a worthwhile upgrade, and as a geek whose first computer had 32K of RAM, I am slightly in awe of the fact I have a laptop with 8gb inside it!