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View Full Version : Need RAM advice from someone who knows!


cleo
Dec 13, 2004, 12:33 PM
Ok, let me preface this by saying that I know next to nothing about RAM (other than how to put it in an iBook, basically). So please be gentle.

I bought my grandma a G3 350 Blueberry iMac for Xmas (xMas?). All she uses is AOL, but her ancient eMachine POS isn't hacking it anymore. So, right, I got this iMac for $200 and it's in awesome condition, but I need to install OS X and, therefore, upgrade the RAM. It currently has 64 MB, and I figured I'd drop another 256 in. I used Crucial's memory finder, and these (http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp?Mfr%2BProductline=Apple%2BiMac&mfr=Apple&cat=RAM&model=iMac+%28G3-350%29&submit=Go) appear to be my options. (I was psyched to see how cheap it is... looks like I scored a nice investment.) Anyway, then this morning's Fry's Outpost ad email featured this piece of RAM (http://www.outpost.com/entry?site=op:mfe121004&sku=2662992). Obviously the price caught my eye, but what I need to know is whether this will work in the iMac, based on what Crucial is recommending. Is it, indeed, the kind of RAM I need?

(On a lesser related question, has anyone tried putting a gig of RAM in an iBook 800? I've read that it's possible, but I don't want to waste my money to find out it's not.)

pncc
Dec 13, 2004, 01:00 PM
Ok, let me preface this by saying that I know next to nothing about RAM (other than how to put it in an iBook, basically). So please be gentle.

I bought my grandma a G3 350 Blueberry iMac for Xmas (xMas?). All she uses is AOL, but her ancient eMachine POS isn't hacking it anymore. So, right, I got this iMac for $200 and it's in awesome condition, but I need to install OS X and, therefore, upgrade the RAM. It currently has 64 MB, and I figured I'd drop another 256 in. I used Crucial's memory finder, and
... then this morning's Fry's Outpost ad email featured this piece of RAM Obviously the price caught my eye, but what I need to know is whether this will work in the iMac, based on what Crucial is recommending. Is it, indeed, the kind of RAM I need?

I am not even going to look at either URL you cited. Crucial is high quality RAM that will absolutely work and won't fail. They are competitively priced too. Fry's is a discount electronics retailer and I don't waste my time and energy on them for important hardware like RAM. Buy the Crucial stick, you won't be disappointed.


(On a lesser related question, has anyone tried putting a gig of RAM in an iBook 800? I've read that it's possible, but I don't want to waste my money to find out it's not.)

I don't know if it can be done offhand, again look at the Crucial compatibility table. If they say it is OK, go with it, if you have to buy a third party stick from an unknown vendor, you roll the dice as far as I am concerned. OS X is VERY, I mean VERY!! picky about RAM quality. The vast majority (I would guess near 60-70%) of kernel panics in OS X are due to faulty RAM.

Makosuke
Dec 13, 2004, 05:14 PM
They don't tell you much, but although that Frys DIMM should work, I wouldn't even consider buying it:

A) Though it should, there's no guarantee it'll work.
B) There's only a 90-day warranty, whereas any decent memory company will stick a lifetime warranty on their stuff.
C) Though half the time it'll probably work fine, I don't trust no-name, no-warranty memory since it's far more likely to cause weird instability problems down the road.

If you want to save some money, have a look at DMS (datamem.com). They don't sell big-name memory, but they offer a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee, plus they have a memory finder that'll tell you what should work in your Mac. As it happens, I bought a 256MB DIMM for exactly the computer you're talking about from them a few weeks back.

Their 512MB sticks for your computer are only a bit cheaper than Crucial, but you'll note that they sell 256MB DIMMS for about $40, only $10 more than that Fry's deal for a guaranteed-good chip and a lifetime warranty. I use Crucial almost exclusively, but on some smaller, older chips they seriously overcharge so it pays to look elsewhere:

http://www.datamem.com/viewcat.asp?C=1080

(Also, it's worth noting that Crucial can occasionally be a bit overly optimistic about the RAM that's compatible with older computers; I was about to buy a large stick from them that they said would be compatible with an old Yikes G4 tower, but in fact isn't. DMS's memory finder, surprisingly enough, correctly informed me of this.)

cleo
Dec 13, 2004, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the help! I went ahead and bought the 512 chip from Crucial (free 2-day delivery sucked me in)... it may be overkill for Grandma's needs, but in a few years the computer will be mine again, so it's a good investment. But thanks for recommending DMS... I see that they give the thumbs-up to 1.25 gigs for my iBook, so I have it bookmarked for a Xmas gift to myself. :)

Thanks!