Tuesday, March 15, 2005

iBook RAM Upgrade

A little package from Crucial was waiting for me when I got home tonight -- the 512 meg SODIMM I ordered last week. I installed it after dinner.

This was the first time I'd popped open the iBook. Per Apple's instructions in the iBook owner's manual, I removed the battery, then flipped the box over and took off the keyboard. With the keyboard off I was able to get to the Airport Extreme wireless card, which sits over the RAM slot and so needed to be removed. Under the Airport Extreme is a protective metal plate held on with four tiny Phillips head screws. Luckily, the small Phillips bit on my Victorinox Cybertool fit the screws or I'd have to go find my jeweler's screwdrivers. With the plate out of the way I was able to access the DIMM slot and install the new stick. Reassembly was in reverse order.

The iBook recognized the new RAM without problems. You can check this by going to the Apple menu and selecting "About this Mac."

So far the upgrade seems worthwhile. The machine is noticeably better running when I have multiple apps running. After logging in I opened Thunderbird, Firefox, IE, Safari, iChat, and Yahoo! Messenger. With the stock 256 megs of RAM everything would've opened much more slowly. And it may be just me, but several graphics-intensive sites, e.g., Foxnews.com, seem to render faster now.

So, I definitely recommend upgrading if you're running OS-X on only 256 megs of RAM. 512 should be good, and 768 is great. OS-X will use it.

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