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Old Jul 2, 2010, 10:24 PM   #1
millertime021
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PPC G4 iMac RAM Upgrade

So my friends have an older 1.25GHz PPC G4 iMac with 256MB DDR SDRAM and they are looking to add more RAM to help speed up the computer a bit.

Since money is too tight to go out and buy a computer at the moment, RAM is the next best thing.

Do you guys have any advice on what RAM is compatible with the PPC G4 chip and what is the max amount the machine can have?

Thanks guys!
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Old Jul 2, 2010, 10:30 PM   #2
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So my friends have an older 1.25GHz PPC G4 iMac with 256MB DDR SDRAM and they are looking to add more RAM to help speed up the computer a bit.

Since money is too tight to go out and buy a computer at the moment, RAM is the next best thing.

Do you guys have any advice on what RAM is compatible with the PPC G4 chip and what is the max amount the machine can have?

Thanks guys!

------
First Post in the iMac forum. (Fun Fact of the Day)


Something like this one: http://www.offtek.co.uk/ModelData.ph...pe=&manu=Major

Apple said that the maximum was 1GB (2x512MB), but just as the eMac, they could be upgraded up to 2x1GB. Actually, PPCs are not extremely fussy about all RAM details so some people might be right to claim that other panels also fit. Enjoy your computer (or your friend)!
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Old Jul 2, 2010, 10:52 PM   #3
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Thanks kernkraft!


So would this work as well then?

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Techno.../ref=pd_cp_e_3

Just get two of those for now?
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Old Jul 6, 2010, 08:01 PM   #4
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any advice on my link? Wanna make sure before I buy.

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Techno.../ref=pd_cp_e_3
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Old Jul 6, 2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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any advice on my link? Wanna make sure before I buy.

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Techno.../ref=pd_cp_e_3
That's the correct stuff. 1Gb of memory will still provide ample improvement over 256Mb. If you're running Tiger, that bugger will fly. My iMac received similar treatment last month and it made a substantial difference even from the original 512Mb. Synopsis: Tiger really likes 1Gb of memory. 512Mb is sufficient, but 1Gb kicks butt.
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Old Jul 6, 2010, 11:23 PM   #6
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That's the correct stuff. 1Gb of memory will still provide ample improvement over 256Mb. If you're running Tiger, that bugger will fly. My iMac received similar treatment last month and it made a substantial difference even from the original 512Mb. Synopsis: Tiger really likes 1Gb of memory. 512Mb is sufficient, but 1Gb kicks butt.
Awesome! Thanks.

Also, is the RAM pretty accessible on these things? I've never messed with an iMac.

Here's a pic of the Hardware if anyone checks it out. Let me know if for some reason it seems incompatible.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 12:01 AM   #7
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Awesome! Thanks.

Also, is the RAM pretty accessible on these things? I've never messed with an iMac.

Here's a pic of the Hardware if anyone checks it out. Let me know if for some reason it seems incompatible.
It's not as difficult as they'd have you believe. I thought we were talking about an eMac, not an iMac, however, so I have to correct myself on the recommendation for memory. Your machine has two slots, but one is for laptop (or SO-DIMM) memory, and the other is for desktop size memory like your link shows. So you need one 512Mb PC2700 SO-DIMM, and one 512Mb PC2700 DIMM to make 1Gb of memory.

The laptop memory goes under the bottom steel plate and is very easy to get to (four screws for the plate and it's right there), but the desktop memory is inside the machine. You need to undo the four Torx screws holding the bottom of the machine on and open the case to get to the memory module. Two things to note: there are cables that attach various inner workings to the motherboard that DO NOT pull off, so you must be very careful taking off the bottom; do not force the bottom off and be gentle setting it down, making sure not to bend or kink the cables. Some of the cables do unfasten, like the HD cable, but not all of them. Secondly, there are two points on the motherboard that meet with the metal parts of the upper case and form thermal transfer joints. These joints have white goo on them (thermal paste). You MUST replace this paste when you put the machine back together. First of all, the paste is six to eight years old and will have dried up and lost a lot of it's function, and second of all, pull apart the two halves lessens the effectiveness of this paste even further. The paste is very cheap (got my tube for $5) and will cost you far more in repairs if you don't do it.

This will make much more sense once you look at this: http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/i...takeapart.html

Like I said, not too hard. Just keep in mind the above advice and follow the guide. You'll do fine. Good luck!
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 12:23 AM   #8
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Thanks!

I thought it was an eMac as well. They just described the specs to me and some other people on the forums said it should be an eMac. However after checking it out and looking at the hardware specs I changed it to the appropriate title.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 03:58 AM   #9
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My small advice: buy 1GB stick instead 512MB for internal slot. There will be no need to open your iMac for next upgrade. If your budget is tight, you can get yourself SO DIMM (for user accessible slot) later and have total 2GB RAM in future.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 05:57 AM   #10
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http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=917543

that'sa the link to my post about upgrading the imac.. maybe you'll find a good explanation on any topics you want there.. ..
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 12:24 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the help guys.

Take a look at the picture. So this is telling me that the computer has 256Mb installed in the main slot; the one inside the computer.

The user accessible RAM (the laptop RAM) has nothing installed. ya?

I know you're supposed to match up the RAM, but would 256Mb in the internal RAM and a 1Gb card in the SO-DIMM slot, would that work??
http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-PC270...8522624&sr=1-2

Kernkraft said PPC aren't very picky with RAM so would it work?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 12:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by millertime021 View Post
The user accessible RAM (the laptop RAM) has nothing installed. ya?
That appears to be what your screenshot shows. Personally, I'd just stick a 1GB stick in that slot and not worry about the internal one, since 1.25 should be pretty comfortable, and those can be a bit of a pain to open up fully. You can always crack it open and swap the 256 for a 1GB stick in the future if it becomes necessary.

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I know you're supposed to match up the RAM, but would 256Mb in the internal RAM and a 1Gb card in the SO-DIMM slot, would that work??
http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-PC270...8522624&sr=1-2
Actually, matching sticks shouldn't matter at all on that machine. That only really makes any difference on systems capable of doing dual-channel, which the G4 isn't. The stick you linked looks like it will work fine, but personally, I'd get one of these:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple...1.0GHz_1.25GHz

OWC guarantees the stuff will work in that exact computer, has a lifetime warranty, and from the looks of it it's actually cheaper than the stick you're looking at, even with shipping. Thus far had very good luck with OWC RAM, and you can find others here recommending them as well.

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Kernkraft said PPC aren't very picky with RAM so would it work?
That's not entirely true; I know from both reputation and personal experience that second-gen G4 towers are VERY picky when it comes to RAM, so saying all PPC aren't isn't true. That iMac, however, might not be picky--I've only upgraded one in the past and it was the older model.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 01:30 PM   #13
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The user accessible RAM (the laptop RAM) has nothing installed. ya?
Get small Philips screwdriver, remove bottom plate and see. It'll take 10 seconds

Quote:
Kernkraft said PPC aren't very picky with RAM so would it work?
Makosuke told something else His mileage may vary.

I can tell you from my personal experience, that almost every "branded" RAM will work. Crucial, Hynix, Nanya, Kingston, OWC for example. Avoid "no name" sticks and you'll be fine. Not only in Lamp, this is true for any G4 and G5 based Mac. It must be low density non ECC RAM.

Basically, how many people, that many opinions. From my POV opening iMac G4 is easy. 8 screws only (4 Philips, 4 Torx), i've done it many, many times. Like drewdle said: you need apply new thermal paste to thermal joints. That's all.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 03:35 PM   #14
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I can vouch for OWC as well. That's where I got the memory for my iMac, and it works great. Yes, your screenshot shows only the internal slot has a memory stick in it (as they didn't ship with the internal slot empty from the factory). Throwing a 1Gb stick in the easily accessible slot should suffice.

It depends on how long you want to keep the machine in service for. If you plan on using it for the long haul, I'd still recommend opening it up and replacing the internal stick, because these machines get very full of dust, and replacing that white thermal goo is very good for the computer's longevity, as the older the machine gets, the less effective the stuff from the factory becomes. A good cleaning before being put back into regular service never hurt anything.

If the idea is to simply use the machine until something better comes along, just do the easy-access RAM upgrade and be done with it.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Makosuke View Post
That appears to be what your screenshot shows. Personally, I'd just stick a 1GB stick in that slot and not worry about the internal one, since 1.25 should be pretty comfortable, and those can be a bit of a pain to open up fully. You can always crack it open and swap the 256 for a 1GB stick in the future if it becomes necessary.

Actually, matching sticks shouldn't matter at all on that machine. That only really makes any difference on systems capable of doing dual-channel, which the G4 isn't. The stick you linked looks like it will work fine, but personally, I'd get one of these:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple...1.0GHz_1.25GHz

OWC guarantees the stuff will work in that exact computer, has a lifetime warranty, and from the looks of it it's actually cheaper than the stick you're looking at, even with shipping. Thus far had very good luck with OWC RAM, and you can find others here recommending them as well.

That's not entirely true; I know from both reputation and personal experience that second-gen G4 towers are VERY picky when it comes to RAM, so saying all PPC aren't isn't true. That iMac, however, might not be picky--I've only upgraded one in the past and it was the older model.
THANK YOU!!
I will don't plan on opening the whole thing if I don't have too. It's not my computer so I don't wanna mess with more than I have too.

I will definitely check out that RAM and probably actually get it.

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Get small Philips screwdriver, remove bottom plate and see. It'll take 10 seconds
Don't have the computer in font of me or at my house for that matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 666sheep View Post
Makosuke told something else His mileage may vary.

I can tell you from my personal experience, that almost every "branded" RAM will work. Crucial, Hynix, Nanya, Kingston, OWC for example. Avoid "no name" sticks and you'll be fine. Not only in Lamp, this is true for any G4 and G5 based Mac. It must be low density non ECC RAM.

Basically, how many people, that many opinions. From my POV opening iMac G4 is easy. 8 screws only (4 Philips, 4 Torx), i've done it many, many times. Like drewdle said: you need apply new thermal paste to thermal joints. That's all.
Awesome thanks!

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Originally Posted by drewdle View Post
I can vouch for OWC as well. That's where I got the memory for my iMac, and it works great. Yes, your screenshot shows only the internal slot has a memory stick in it (as they didn't ship with the internal slot empty from the factory). Throwing a 1Gb stick in the easily accessible slot should suffice.

It depends on how long you want to keep the machine in service for. If you plan on using it for the long haul, I'd still recommend opening it up and replacing the internal stick, because these machines get very full of dust, and replacing that white thermal goo is very good for the computer's longevity, as the older the machine gets, the less effective the stuff from the factory becomes. A good cleaning before being put back into regular service never hurt anything.

If the idea is to simply use the machine until something better comes along, just do the easy-access RAM upgrade and be done with it.
Basically, they just want to get it working for some school work. Have it last a year longer (maybe two tops) and then end up going with a new computer. It's just not in the budget right now.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 06:22 PM   #16
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Basically, they just want to get it working for some school work. Have it last a year longer (maybe two tops) and then end up going with a new computer. It's just not in the budget right now.
In which case just sticking a gig in the more easily-accessible slot and calling it good is probably both the easiest and most cost-effective thing to do.

I should add that, in absolute terms, I'll agree it's not that hard to get to the internal slot. But if you're not comfortable working with electronics even the concept of thermal paste and getting at the internal connectors might be a little nerve-wracking, so avoiding that if it's not necessary is a plus (as is the fact that they get to keep the 256M stick that's in that slot--tossing it in favor of a larger stick would be silly unless you're also putting 1GB in the small accessible slot).

And while RAM compatibility on older systems is a YMMV thing--some people do fine with cheaper sticks, some have trouble--it's a fact that Apple systems of a slightly older vintage than the iMac in question could have problems recognizing some RAM--there was a big brouhaha in 2001 when an Apple firmware update disabled marginal 3rd party RAM for a lot of people. I've personally bought RAM from a junk electronics shop that wouldn't work in a AGP G4 tower (again, older than this iMac); when I brought it back, the owner--who sees more ancient Macs that just about anybody--wasn't surprised, because "Those tend to be picky about RAM." He had a separate box of superficially-identical sticks that would work in old G4 towers.

Not nearly as much of a problem these days, and entirely possible that it wasn't for that vintage iMac either, but OWC is a guaranteed safe bet at a reasonable price.
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Old Jul 7, 2010, 07:45 PM   #17
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In which case just sticking a gig in the more easily-accessible slot and calling it good is probably both the easiest and most cost-effective thing to do.

I should add that, in absolute terms, I'll agree it's not that hard to get to the internal slot. But if you're not comfortable working with electronics even the concept of thermal paste and getting at the internal connectors might be a little nerve-wracking, so avoiding that if it's not necessary is a plus (as is the fact that they get to keep the 256M stick that's in that slot--tossing it in favor of a larger stick would be silly unless you're also putting 1GB in the small accessible slot).

And while RAM compatibility on older systems is a YMMV thing--some people do fine with cheaper sticks, some have trouble--it's a fact that Apple systems of a slightly older vintage than the iMac in question could have problems recognizing some RAM--there was a big brouhaha in 2001 when an Apple firmware update disabled marginal 3rd party RAM for a lot of people. I've personally bought RAM from a junk electronics shop that wouldn't work in a AGP G4 tower (again, older than this iMac); when I brought it back, the owner--who sees more ancient Macs that just about anybody--wasn't surprised, because "Those tend to be picky about RAM." He had a separate box of superficially-identical sticks that would work in old G4 towers.

Not nearly as much of a problem these days, and entirely possible that it wasn't for that vintage iMac either, but OWC is a guaranteed safe bet at a reasonable price.
I think I'll go with the easier route for now at least. See how that goes and the performance boost. If needed, we shall venture into the other RAM spot.

I will go with OWC as it's cheap and guaranteed. Thanks for all the help!
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