(1.83GHz C2D, Snow Leopard) could overload the processor. What could they have meant by that?
Apple officially lists it as supporting 2GB of memory but when that wasn't proving to be enough for my mom's uses (she basically keeps all her applications open always) I installed 3GB (1GB+2GB) after researching to find it would work. Low End Mac
confirms the 3GB option, as do various online discussions
. It's been a while since I looked into it but I think the 3GB limit (or technically ~3.25GB if you installed 2+2) is due to the 32-bit address space limitation.
She'd been happily running 3GB for a couple years until April when her computer had to be sent to Apple for a logic board replacement (yay! for Applecare) from an unrelated issue: the USB ports were working intermittently. I don't know if there was a physical problem with the ports or if it was something else like the USB controller.
When she got the machine back it was running very slowly, although I didn't know this until last weekend when I was in town and she asked me about it. Checked the machine and found it had 512MB of RAM installed, what her model originally shipped with, and that she had some crazy high Page Out listed in the Activity Monitor. She talked to her local Mac shop who had her call Apple. The guy she talked to there said it was listed as having 3GB when it arrived at Apple and they normally return what comes with the computer but it wasn't documented that they had done so. He asks if she wants 2GB or 3GB sent and "that they recommend 2GB because 3GB could overload the processor" (quoting from my mom). She says send 3GB.
I've been trying to figure out what the Apple guy could have meant. I know that unbalanced RAM (like 2+1 vs 1+1 or 2+2) can hurt performance under certain applications, maybe graphics intensive ones. But I can't figure out what overloading the processor could mean nor why 3GB memory could do that. The quote is as close to verbatim as my mom recalls. I'd like her to be able to continue using 3GB if it's a non-issue but I'd hate to have it cause a problem if it can do so.