Questions about memory upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Loft, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Loft macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    #1
    greeting! i am planning to upgrade my powerbooks memory and i just wanted to get an opinion, i saw this ad on outpost.com, i was wondering if this RAM is compatible to my PB. i don't know too much about macs so i was wondering if anyone here can help me. thanks!

    this is the link

    http://shop2.outpost.com/product/4389075
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #2
    Not familiar with Outpost, but I have had nothing but good luck with Crucial.

    www.crucial.com
     
  3. AstroManLuca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #3
    That should work fine. Outpost is a huge and reputable online store. Great deal too.

    Crucial is great but they charge way too much for 1 GB SODIMMs. You'll easily pay twice as much.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    Astro, what does that have to do with it? Nowhere does Outpost say that this RAM is Mac compatible. There's no detailed description, and under warranty it says "Send us Snail-mail and we'll send you back the warranty terms". It's a Kingston module, and the only 1 Gb module that Kingston guarantees for the DDR Powerbooks is KTA-PBG4333/1G. This ain't it.

    Loft, if you are happy taking a chance on installing it and perhaps sending it back and losing your shipping money, then you might go for this. Otherwise, and especially since you are a new Mac owner, I would stick to a Mac-oriented seller who provides a guarantee of compatibility and a lifetime warranty. My recommendation is Data Memory Systems http://www.datamem.com

    Also, nobody can say what is compatible with your Powerbook unless we know what model of 'book you have. :confused:

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  5. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #5
    Macs are rather finicky with RAM. If it doesn't say "For Macs" then you might be hedging your bet of "will it work?"

    Go for something that will work as opposed to a maybe. You won't regret it.
     
  6. AstroManLuca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #6
    Settle down, guys.

    Okay, you're right, it'll probably work but not for sure. Then again, I've heard reports of Crucial not working either. Either way, if it doesn't work, you can send it back and get a new one. It's not a compatibility issue since technically the PowerBook uses that exact type of RAM (even if it doesn't adhere perfectly to the Apple spec). So if it doesn't work, it means it's defective. Maybe a PC would work with it, since PCs tend to be less picky, but it's not incompatible with Macs.

    I'm not sure if "a bit more likely to work as soon as I get it" is worth spending $136-$216 extra for. Crucial is great, I agree, but they charge SO much for 1 GB SODIMMs. $150 at Outpost vs. $286 at Crucial. In fact, Crucial even manages to ream Mac users more by making the RAM pulled up by their system configurator cost $80 extra for no reason.

    1 GB, PC2700, CL 2.5, DDR333, 2.5V, 128Mx64, $286
    1 GB, PC2700, CL 2.5, DDR333, 2.5V, 128Mx64, found using system configurator, $366

    Several people I know have purchased this Kingmax 1 GB SODIMM from NewEgg (it's slightly over $150 now) and have had no problems. I have also heard from a few people who got defective modules. The great thing is that since NewEgg's RMA procedure is so easy and effective, they got working replacement modules very quickly. I don't have experience with Outpost's RMA so it may not be as good (and you should always check; one time I went to a place that claimed to test all returned items and charged you $30 if they found it to be not defective), but I know that NewEgg is a perfectly safe place to order from.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    Quite simply, the generic Crucial SODIMM does not work in many Powerbooks. Crucial changed their design and all their underlying Mac part numbers. CT12864X335 is no longer Apple compatible, which is why the Apple part is $366 ($611 in Canada if you want to know). According to two other posters, they are also not guaranteeing that their RAM will work together with the Apple stock RAM.

    And technically, it IS a compatibility issue. Relying on the "spec" - PC2700 - is about as accurate as saying "It's a V-8 motor so any 8 pistons will fit". Technically the organization of the rows and columns of the chips has to match, and the SPD settings have to be correct or it ain't gonna work.

    The difference between Outpost and a real Mac vendor is $43 -- Data Memory Systems' 1 Gb is $193 (or $209 for the 1st generation Aluminums 15" 1 GHz and 1.25 GHz, 17" 1 GHz and 1.33 GHz, for which I guarantee the Kingston will fail)

    I don't agree that it is good advice to send a new Mac owner sailing into "swap 'em til it works" territory. He'll burn up his $43 savings in shipping charges, because Outpost does not pay for the shipping on returns. Taking the risk may be worth it for an experienced Mac Jockey with a Fry's nearby, but that's up to the hassle-tolerance of the individual.
     
  8. AstroManLuca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #8
    First of all, I didn't only compare the memory speeds. I didn't just say "PC2700 is PC2700." Both the Crucial modules I linked to have the same speed, voltage, latency, and chip arrangement. I guess there's more to it than that? If so, let me know what more there is to it because I sure don't see anything. A "Mac compatible" label isn't enough to convince me it's worth $80 more.

    Also, no way can you "guarantee" that the Kingston won't work. I know that anecdotal evidence cannot be used to generalize, but at the very least it can be used to rule out absolutes. While I can't say it about the Kingston module from Outpost, I can say that the $155 Kingmax module from NewEgg is not guaranteed to fail. Maybe the five or six people I've talked to about that particular one are exceptions to the rule, but you can't generalize. And to be fair, although everyone I know who bought that module got it working in the end, at least a couple of them had to send it back once.

    Oh, and would you also explain to me why my Geil PC3200 DIMM, installed in my Mac mini, is working perfectly despite the lack of a "Mac compatible" label? You seem to think that any memory not specifically advertised as Mac compatible is doomed to fail no matter what. That just doesn't make sense. Go ahead and tell people to be careful and to play it safe by buying Mac compatible RAM, but don't spread FUD by lying about it.

    I can't say for certain what the exact situation is right now regarding RAM for Macs. However, based on my experiences, it seems that Macs are picky about RAM and that newbies should strongly consider paying a small premium to buy from a Mac shop like Other World Computing, WeLoveMacs, or something like that. Still, that doesn't mean that non-"Mac compatible" RAM will automatically fail. In most cases, the cheaper stuff will work too, but new users need to understand the risks they take to save some cash.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    I didn't say that your Kingmax or someone else's TP RAM will automatically fail no matter what. In fact what I said was for someone who was Mac savvy it may be worth taking the risk.

    I did say that that particular Kingston will fail on certain models of Powerbook because I have customers who have Kingstons failing in those models of Powerbook.

    You're right, you didn't say PC2700 is PC2700 -- you simply assured the new Powerbook user that an unknown Kingston PC2700 module "should work fine" in their unknown Powerbook based on nothing more than the fact it is a PC2700 SODIMM.

    If you got a PC Generic RAM working first time in your Mac, good, you were fortunate.

    There is a small chance of failure in the future when you load up Final Cut Pro or some application that really exercises the RAM hard (this happens, where RAM passes the Hardware test and works in undemanding use but panics when the pedal hits the metal).

    > I guess there's more to it than that? If so, let me know what more there is to it because I sure don't see anything.

    You are exactly right, there is more to it than chip count, PC2700, latency, voltage and JEDEC standards. There are for example the SPD settings, which if they are not set right, will allow or prevent the same module from working in a Mac. You cannot see it and you cannot read it in the specifications. A big box or discount seller isn't going to look at the SPD settings at all, let alone program the chips for Mac compatibility, which is one reason why RAM from those sources are a risk.

    A good RAM seller's job is to test the RAM in Macs, and then guarantee compatibility with specific models of Mac. The buyer's job is to find a seller who does.

    > newbies should strongly consider paying a small premium to buy from a Mac shop ...new users need to understand the risks they take

    Which is exactly why I challenged your first post. We agree on this point. ;)
     

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