I was pricing up a new Macbook unibody 17" and whilst following my general rule of giving a laptop as much ram as it can physically take, I fell off my chair when I saw the price.

$1000 US for an additional 4GB of memory to bring the total to 8GB ... What the ?

I know Apple have a reputation for expensive ram but do Apple really think that people won't just upgrade themselves the day they buy the laptop to save money?

Is DDR3 really that good?


So that Apple makes a lot of profit.


Because you have to pay Apple Tax.

  • 5
    +1 for apple taking advantage of their user's lack of technical knowledge and ability to find an alternate source of ram. – Aiden Bell Jul 18 '09 at 10:38
  • 5
    Yay for capitalism! – Josh Hunt Jul 18 '09 at 12:46

Most people are deathly afraid to open their case and look at the pieces, much less replace them. Apple probably gets plenty of people who will upgrade just on the common suggestion that more is better. It's no loss to them if some of their users decide to do the manual upgrade; if they were real asses about it, they'd put some clause in the warranty to discourage such behavior.


Crucial have an automated tool which runs on your Mac and will identify the right RAM for it. Buy from them direct and it's WAY cheaper... you also get to keep whatever Apple shipped you to begin with and use it in another machine, sell it on eBay or whatever you like...

  • It's cheaper, but not WAY cheaper. $899 for an 8 gig kit from crucial. – Richard Hoskins Jul 19 '09 at 0:14
  • Sure, bleeding edge tech is expensive everywhere... but I upped my MacBook from 2Gb to 4Gb thus: Apple wanted £120 to do it in the factory, Crucial wanted £60 for 2 x 2Gb and I sold the original 2 x 1Gb sticks for £30 to a friend: total saving 75%. – avstrallen Jul 19 '09 at 10:03
  • To clarify for the OP's specific case: if you buy the 8Gb from Apple, you just get the 8GB fitted, not the base spec 4GB as well. Cost per Gb: $125. Buy the 8GB kit from Crucial and you still get the 4Gb included with the machine: cost per GB: $75. – avstrallen Jul 19 '09 at 13:16

You can use the Kingston website to get the exact model of RAM for the MacBook and by the memory from any reputable supplier and install it yourself. The manual actually has the instructions on how to do this. We do this at work regularly since we have around 75 Mac's and 40 MacBook's, old and new running around.

I did this with my MB301 Model and upgraded the RAM and HDD for the same price as buying just the RAM.


It's not really the case that Apple ram is expensive here, it's come down in price a lot recently. The thing here is that 4GB modules are expensive. Check on OWC, the price for 8GB is $700.


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