(another) RAM question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Benjamin Black, May 29, 2006.

  1. Benjamin Black macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    Dalls, TX
    #1
    I'm not fully understanding the "matched pairs" terminology. Does that just mean two or more same brand, same model memory sticks? Or are the memory modules actually paired to work with each other.

    In other words, can will two individually packaged 1GB RAM sticks work as well as two that are listed as being "matched" and sold together?

    My advance apologies if this is a retarded question.
     
  2. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #2
    Generally, but not necessarily. Matched RAM is the same manufacturer, the same model, and the same lot number/production run. Sometimes minor revisions to module design occur over time that will result in a mismatch. If you buy two individual modules of the same brand and model number at the same time, they are very likely to work together as "matched" RAM, but not guaranteed to do so.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    Matched pairs means the modules need to be the same size, the same speed, the number of chips must be the same, and the modules must be of the same "composition" - Apple doesn't specify what thay means, but it is safe to assume that the logical organization of the rows and columns of memory within the chips must be the same, and the SPD settings must be the same.

    So it is possible that two different brands could match, if they meet all of the above. Equally, two modules of the same brand purchased months apart may have different compositions. Problem is, you have no way of determining composition.

    So the safe thing to do if you want matched pairs is to buy two at once of the same module from the same supplier. Even then, it is useful to specify that you want a matched pair, incase they sloppily include ram from different batches.
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #4
    Pretty sure that it does not really matter if the RAM is from the same manufacturer or not- as long as it is the same speed and amount, it should be able to run in dual channel mode.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Nope, speed and amount aren't enough - they have to match for composition as well.
     
  6. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #6
    They have to be the exact same type of sticks/modules but they don't necessarily have to come from the same manufacturer....they often just do.
     
  7. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #7
    hmm. I was going to swap a 256MB stick in my MB for a gig, and do the other one later. Should i do both at the same time?
     
  8. Benjamin Black thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    Dalls, TX
    #8
    Thank you for the input.

    I am leaning towards purchasing my RAM upgrade via OWC (macsales dot com) in order to avoid any "matched pairs" mishaps. I would hate to waste time/money on return shipment if for some reason the cheaper, separately sold modules at newegg didn't match exactly.

    Also...

    If you are one of the many people debating RAM or hard drive replacement, I've just discovered that OWC offers a rebate for the original RAM and/or HD from your (new) Mac. It's not a lot of money, but it is nice to get something in return. I would have just left my spare parts lying around. You can view their rebate info here:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/money-back-rebate/macbook-memory-harddrive-hd
     
  9. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #9

    Darn, I had a feeling that I would be proven wrong. :eek:


    Thanks for showing me the error of my ways CanadaRAM! :D
     

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