DDR 2 RAM a Blessing and a Curse.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FFTT, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    When I first read the new iMac G5's were using DDR 2 DIMMs
    it sounded very exciting.

    Then I found out that the stock 512 RAM is not replaceable.
    and that there is only one additional RAM expanson slot.

    This presents a costly problem to anyone needing 2 GB's of RAM
    to cover their work.

    If you need more that 1.5 GB RAM, your only alternative is to buy
    a single 2 GB stick, adding it to the stock RAM for a total of 2.5 GB's

    That sounds fine until you see the current prices on
    SINGLE 2GB DDR2 240 pin, CAS 4, PC2-4200 1.8volt, Non ECC, Unbuffered
    upgrade DIMMS

    ONLY $909.00 on sale at Crucial.
    Module Details: CT25672AB53E

    Part Number: CT25672AB53E
    Module Size: 2GB
    Package: 240-pin DIMM
    Feature: DDR2 PC2-4200
    Configuration: 256Meg x 72
    Error Checking: ECC
    Speed: DDR2-533
    Voltage: 1.8V
    Memory Timings: CL=4
    Specs: DDR2 PC2-4200 • CL=4 • REGISTERED • ECC • DDR2-533 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 72

    US $1010.99 Save: $101.10
    Sale Price: US $909.89 (This was Crucial's only listed price for a single
    2 GB module meeting or exceeding Mac specs)

    And $399.00 at OWC macsales.com
    2.0GB (2048MB) PC4200 DDR2 533MHz 240 Pin DIMM Module for Apple iMac G5/1.9GHz and 2.1GHz Models only. New w/LifeTime Warranty. (OWC4200DDR2M2GB) $399.00

    Even with OWC's remarkable price on single 2 GB modules,
    you're paying twice the cost for slower CAS 4, 2 GB's of RAM
    when compared to any other current Mac model using DDR SDRAM
    single 1 GB modules.

    This will be an important consideration for buyers looking at PowerBook
    updates as well.
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    There is another potential pitfal with this that I've not seen anyone else talk about. The previous generation iMac had a dual-channel memory controller. To work in dual channel mode you need a matched pair of memory modules. If the new iMac is similar you either have 1Gb RAM and maximum memory performance or more RAM and lower performance.

    It is possible that the greater bandwidth of DDR-2 has meant that a dual-channel controller is no longer needed and my comment above can be ignored.

    Does anyone know?
  3. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Dual Cahennel does not really give you the increase in performanced you would have hoped.

    However, soldering the Damn RAM chip to the motherboard is a massive limitation.

    But, the iMac is a consumer computer - very much dought this will happen with the new PB.
  4. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    I'll go out on a limb and say that if you think you need more than 1.5 gb of ram an iMac is not for you and you should get a tower. I'm willing to hear otherwise :D
  5. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    That's exactly what I was about to say. My PM only has 1gb of RAM and so far it has handled everything I have put it through. I have yet to buy FCP though, that will be the test, and I'm sure I'll need more RAM for heavy FCP use. But still, thats why I got my Power Mac. I like that it can take 8gb of RAM.
  6. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Same here, it is a great thought to know that you can install a whopping 8GB of RAM in your computer! :)
  7. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Im glad I got the Rev A dual 1.8 G5 with the 8 slots, and just recently switched out the 8X superdrive for a 16x DL superdrive out of a new G5.

    I got 2.5 in there right now and I can run FCP, PS and DVDSP, along with itunes, ichat, firefox, compressor and Azureus with no slowdown, ever.

    When I had 1GB there were "hiccups" when switching tween "pro apps", but when I hit 2.5GB, they were gone. Id love to have 8GB, but in the end I havent done much digital media work lately... so sad.
  8. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I know several people running 2GB's of RAM on their REV A and REV B
    iMac G5's

    OWC's price is not too horrific on the 2 GB module and I hope that Crucial
    and others soon update their availablity lists with something a bit more reasonable. Even so, you're still paying double for the single 2 GB modules.

    This also has me wondering IF a fully authorized Apple repair technician could replace the default 512 RAM with a 1 GB stick or higher.
    This providing that a "highly qualified technician" is more than just a parts changer.

    As far as I'm concerned, when you pay Apple's huge mark-up for BTO upgrade RAM, they should apply that upgrade to the default slot first.

    I'm venting, but that's how I feel.

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