buying dual channel memory

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 2ms, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #1
    Is it required to buy memory in "kits" for the Core 2 iMacs or is it just fine to buy individual SODIMMS from a top-quality source such as Crucial/Micron or Corsair etc? I ask because the correct individual 1GB sodimms from Crucial are about $105 each whereas a 2GB kit is $340!

    Why are the damn kits so expensive? If you really have to get kits, then memory cost is a Major issue with these dual channel computers with only 2 slots.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    You can buy single SO-DIMMs. The kits are simply 2 of the single DIMMS that are guaranteed to have the same specs so will work in Dual-Channel mode. If you buy two SO-DIMMs with the same specs at the same time from the same manufacturer you should be fine.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    You haven't supplied links, so I venture to guess you are comparing single Generic DDR2-667 with the Apple-specific Kit. Crucial charges more when you select the brand specific memory than when you choose the generic by type and speed...

    The Crucial Apple memory is $175 1 Gb single / $333 2 Gb kit when I checked just now. Hmm, the CT12864AC667 generic is $175 as well. Dunno where you're getting your $105 price from.
     
  4. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #4
    well I guess the Crucial memory is a bit more than $105. At Newegg it is $125. I guess I was thinking of all the other very high quality sodimms at Newegg that are more like $105 and still way better than any generic or value ram if not just as good as the Crucial ram. Is there any reason to believe just getting a couple individual 1GB, reputable, brand-name, SODIMMs for like $235 wouldnt be every bit as good as getting a $335 kit?
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Do you get that NewEgg Crucial Generic and Crucial's Apple-specific RAM are different part numbers?

    Also, NewEgg do not guarantee compatibility on ANYthing, and if it doesn't work, they have the ability to charge your shipping and a 15% restocking fee if you want a refund. (also, what basis do you have for knowing that the RAM is very high quality?) Also: the NewEgg RAM page you have referenced is all DDR2-533 -- it WILL NOT WORK in your intel Mac. Kinda makes my point right there.

    Yes: You can always find generic RAM cheaper, somewhere, if you try. Buying the cheap RAM puts the onus of compatibility testing, return shipping cost, time and data risk onto you. That's OK if you're good with the risks and are techically capable (including, say, knowing the speed of RAM your machine needs).

    If you don't want to take that on, however, I recommend purchasing tested and guaranteed Mac-compatible RAM from a reputable seller who offers a no-cost return if it doesn't work. Crucial, OWC (MacSales) and Data Memory Systems are the US vendors most-often recommended by MR readers.

    The other part of the question, which I think someone has already posted the answer to, is that there is no difference between a Dual Channel Kit, and two identically matched single SODIMMs of the same make and model. A Dual Channel Kit simply ensures that the two units match.
     
  6. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #6
    ok so the particular Crucial sodimm on that page was a different speed. However, if you look at the other sodimms on the page you see that there are PC5300 SODIMMs from practically every other top quality memory company out there, all for between $105 and $122. So, that's OCZ, Corsair, Mushkin, Patriot, etc -- ie the ones you see topping all the tests in memory performance and quality you can find eg Toms Hardware etc. These are the memory manufacturers that produce memory of the kind quality that they operate completely reliably when operated even way beyond their listed spec ie overclocking -- level of quality that provides much more headroom than standard ram. To be more specific, the Corsair, Mushkin, OCZ, Patriot stuff is the most opposite of generic out there -- they're the ones that use the most carefully tested and selected Micron et al chips in their products. What comes standard from Apple certainly the much less tested and standardized stuff that is bought in mass quantities as more generic.

    But anyway, I guess noone here is citing any particular reasons why kits are necessary. Basically, if you are buying two very high quality SODIMMS from the same manufacturer that all have the same chips and specs, then it's as good as buying an kit. Am I wrong?
     
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #7
    CanadaRAM is one of our BEST PRO advisors.

    He really does know what he's talking about.

    Some DIMMS may look like they have the proper specification, but
    may not meet Apple's SPD specifications.
     

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