Generic vs. Brand Name Ram (and which brands?)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BugSitter, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. BugSitter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    #1
    I've seen some discussion of this in the other threads, but I was wondering about people's experiences with Generic and Brand Name ram. I have always bought generic, but I hear that may not be the case with the new macs. So... What have you guys bought, how much did you pay, and what are your thoughts?
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    The name brand of the RAM isn't so important.
    It's whether the RAM is tested and guaranteed compatible with your particular Mac.

    Kingston and Crucial do make good RAM; however 3996 out of the 4000 (roughly) models they sell are not the right RAM for your machine.
    Also, you can have 2 pieces of RAM with the exact same brand and model number -- one will work and one will not, depending on the values programmed into the SPD settings on the module. And, the same brand and model number could be constructed of diffferent chips in a different circuit board design, from one month to the next. So simply the name is not enough to guarantee compatibility.

    You can also get good memory from a reputable third-party vendor who tests and guarantees compatibility with your Mac. So if they are correctly configured, RAM from non-"name brands" like Samsung, Hynix, Elixer, Micron, Swissbit and Transcend, sold under the reseller's 'brand' can be excellent choices. Its up to the reseller to select and test the appropriate models.

    So look for a seller who guarantees Mac compatibility and has a good reputation in the Mac world.
     
  3. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #3
    CanadaRAM is right on the money, so I'll just add that RamSeeker is a nice price comparison site that is very mac-centric.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    Just be aware that there are some companies who 'game' RAMSeeker by offering substandard RAM at way low prices, which are there only to get the RAMSeeker ranking. If you go to those companies' websites directly to buy RAM, their recommended RAM is 2x the price.
     
  5. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #5
    I've never noticed this myself, but I tend to use the same 2-3 companies every time.
     
  6. gman71882 macrumors 6502

    gman71882

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    #6
    RAM comes in the quality batches much like cars:
    Cheap - budget
    meduim - reliable
    & High - Lifetime warranty.

    Crucial.com and Apple both sell High end ram that is guarenteed to work with your system.
    Other vendors: Chipmerchant.com, Macsales.com, etc... sell medium budget friendly RAM that has worked fine for me in my Powerbook for 3 years.

    Newegg.com usually sells the Cheap stuff that will likeyly give you some type of problem and wont last. Kingston RAM is pretty notorius for not working in MACs althou sometimes they do, if you get them through a reliable reseller.

    The price & Reseller is the best way to determine Reliablity. :cool:
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    Kingston ValueRAM is notorious for Mac incompatibility (and Kingston is upfront about saying that their KVR- series is not guaranteed compatible in Macs), but the Kingston KTA- series Apple-specific RAM is good.

    Slight modification -- the RAM that Apple sells (Samsung, Hynix, Elixer, Infineon, Micron) is often the same RAM that the reputable third-party vendors (OWC, Data Memory Systems) sell. So there isn't a quality distinction between Apple RAM and guaranteed-compatible third-party RAM from a good seller. Crucial makes good RAM (or rather, Micron does, and Crucial sells it, although Crucial will occasionally sell Samsung or Infineon modules) but it is not qualitatively better than the Grade A modules offered by others.

    I agree that BestNewTigerEggFryBuyCompDirectShopOutpostDepot.com and other online PC bulk discounters are a risky avenue for Mac owners, because these companies generally do not provide compatibility guarantees on anything, and leave it up to the consumer bear the time and expense to do the testing and returning.
     

Share This Page