Which brands of RAM are good?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by knockknock, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. knockknock macrumors member

    knockknock

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    #1
    HI guys, I just upgraded from 17"800mhz iMac to a dual2.0 PowerMac with a 20' display.I will be doing photoshop, video editing and casual gaming.I want to buy another 2 gb of memory(If you upgrade go all the way or you'll dish out more money later).
    My question is which brands are good so you don't have to return the RAM when Apple makes an update and wait a week and a half to get it back (that was the case twice with memory that Igot from OWC when I had an ibook400mhzSE;yes they changed it right away but I don't want the hazzle).
    In my imac I have Crucial(512mb) and no problems at all in almost 3 years.
    I was wondering about the other brands like Corsair, Ramjet,Edge(BTW for $280 you get 2gb AND a80gig external HD-->http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/bundle.aspx?EDC=769101).
    Thank you in advance for your response guys.
    P.S. How about the memory NewEgg sells? some of the prices are tempting...
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #2
    Crucial is my favorite - I've got over 5GB running in three machines without any problems.

    Many people here have good luck with New Egg and OWC as well...I just prefer Crucial.
     
  3. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

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    #3
    I've never had problems with ram except one DIMM one time was defective which the company replaced right away (can't remember the company name). With that in mind, go with the cheapest that still meets the specs! I have found that generally 1800-4memory is the cheapest. I have their ram in my computer right now and it has been great.
     
  4. Plastic Avatar macrumors member

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    #4
    Pricewatch and Newegg

    I used to find great deals on all sorts of computer stuff using pricewatch.com

    For my memory needs, as of late, I've been going to newegg.com

    I got a 1GB stick of Patriot RAM for my new iMac and paid $91. This particular RAM has great user reviews, and the price is pretty reasonable. There are less expensive options on the site, but the response was so overwhelmingly positive for this brand/capacity (from PC and Mac users) I felt I couldn't lose =)

    Crucial is fantastic, too, if you've got the extra cash. If I were outfitting a new PM and money wasn't an issue I'd go for Crucial just because they're a great company. If money is an issue, I suggest the Newegg path to RAM nirvana :D
     
  5. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #5
    I have two gigs of ramjet in my G4. Mine have ramjet jackets on them. Those that aren't jacketed that you can see on the ramjet site appear to all be samsung manufactured, as was my original Apple OEM RAM.

    Folks seem to like the Crucial memory made by Boise, ID-based Micron as well.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #6
    I just upgraded my 512 to 1gig with a 512 stick of kingston. Someone said if I didn't get crucial i should get kingston. I listened to them and I do not regret it. It is flawless. Also, I did not get crucial because it was out of stock at newegg. The $10 difference is nothing to me.
     
  7. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Ramseeker.com gives you prices from a number of different outlets. Usually, as spinne1 mentioned, 18004memory.com is the cheapest, and like any reputable oulet offers lifetime replacement. Crucial continues to be one of the most expensive outlets for memory, but if you want to pay more for the same exact stuff...
     
  8. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

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    #8
    Generic RAM all the way!

    Well, that's what I've been using on all my computers, and I've never had a bad stick.
     
  9. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #9
    Get crucial! The best customer service I've ever experienced, speedy delivery and they're soooooooooooo reliable!
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #10
    My recommendation is to get your memory from a reputable seller who tests and guarantees compatibility with your model Mac, offers a lifetime warranty and a no charge return if there is any problem.

    You CANNOT determine Mac compatibility from the specifications, sorry. "PC3200 184 pin CL3 2.5V DDR DIMM 400 MHz" describes the way the RAM is packaged, it does not describe the chip organization or the SPD settings which are critical for Mac compatibility.

    If you are a Mac-adept and don't mind the risk of your time and shipping costs to swap out PC generic RAM if it doesn't work, fine, you may save a few dollars (if the savings aren't eaten up in shipping and restocking charges).

    But a Mac Newbie I would not recommend taking the risk. Look for the written guarantee of compatibility with your Mac.

    Crucial (despite generally higher prices), OWC, RamJet have all been recommended here. Both Crucial and Kingston have Mac-guaranteed RAM, and generic RAM at a lower price that is not guaranteed compatible with Macs. NewEgg sells only PC generic and they don't guarantee compatibility with anything. Personally I would avoid them.

    You just can't say "Samsung or Micron are good" because these companies make a zillion different modules and only a few individual models are Mac compatible - you still have to rely on the seller to provide the correct ones, and to sell you A stock, not rejects.

    In the USA I like Data Memory Systems www.datamem.com for Mac RAM because they are Mac people and have been in business for 17 years.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  11. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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  12. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #12
    I note that www.Crucial.com (left tab at top of home window) and www.ramjet.com (mac tool is on left above the PC tool - choose desktop or laptop) both have easy to use mac memory tools. Having just looked at some powerbook ram on both sites, Crucial looks a bit cheaper and has free shipping. Although I have ramjet in my PM G4, I do like the notion that Crucial (a division of Micron) actually makes what they sell. I'd probably go with Crucial today if I was upgrading my PB.
     
  13. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #13
    You should go through the Crucial RAM link above, it will also help MacRumors. The locator is very customer friendly, so that you get the correct RAM for your Mac.
     
  14. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #14
    Crucial as well. Their website makes selecting the right RAM for your computer very easy and painless. Their prices are also even cheaper than my local OEM reseller, that's with shipping included!
     
  15. Plastic Avatar macrumors member

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    #15
    Red Cross and a Question.

    Trevor, very cool thing the canadaram.com site is doing with the Red Cross donations. Much respect.

    A question on compatibility:

    I haven't had any troubles using generic RAM in my Macs (or the ones I've serviced) for the past 5 years, save for the Quicksilvers. I thought Mac-specific RAM had gone the way of the Dodo. Would you happen to have a link/reference that explains the technical side of your compatibility point in more detail?
     
  16. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #16
    There was an extensive discussion on Macintouch.com under the heading Bad RAM.

    There isn't "Mac only" RAM per se. There are some chip configurations that aren't compatible, but the essence of compatibility is that Apple is VERY strict about the SPD settings on the RAM being correct - and many PC generic manufacturers are not strict about those settings. The Serial Presence Detect chip on the module stores data on the parameters of the RAM module - it's how the Mac knows what the RAM is. To a certain extent, the way the module functions is settable in the PROM on the module. A good memory manufacturer (like the one we use) will ensure that all of the SPD settings are correct for the Mac (this doesn't affect its use in PC's at all) and will test the RAM in Macs before selling them.

    The Macs to watch out for memory compatibility these days are:
    iMac G5 (the most fussy Mac when it comes to memory), Mac Mini, Powerbook 15" 1 GHz and 1.25 GHz, Powerbook 17" 1 GHz and 1.33 GHz. The rest of the current Macs are a bit more lenient to RAM that isn't 100% accurate on the SPD. This leads to RAM that will work in the PowerMac G5 not working in the iMac or Mini. Can you see why you can't say simply "Brand X memory is good for Macs"?

    Older Macs with issues were the Rev A through D iMac G3 (some take 2 x 256 Mb SODIMMs, some can only handle 1 x 128 and 1 x 256), and the Beige and B&W G3's. Many of the 601-604 processor Macs (7200-9600) used buffered DIMMs that pre-dated the PC66 standard, so were not used in PC's much - so although they were not Mac-specific RAM, they were 99% sold to Mac owners. The 7200 was odd in that it only took Fast Page Mode DIMMs, not EDO or FPM interchageably like the rest could. The PowerMac 4400 and the Motorola Starmax machines took a EDO 3.3V DIMM that was different than the rest of the Mac line. Some of the 5400/6400 era machines needed a specific buffer size. Hopefully that's all ancient history now... ;)
     
  17. Plastic Avatar macrumors member

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    #17
    I'll check out the Bad RAM discussion- thanks for the link =)

    SPD: Neat. I never knew that.

    Fussy Macs: Wow. Dag-gone-it! Why can't we all just get along?

    On the old Macs: I used to *HATE* getting memory for my old machines (230, 540, 6100). It was always sooooooo much more expensive than PC RAM =(

    Thanks again for the info. Much appreciated.
     
  18. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    #18
    I've always seen you post that web site, and when just recently needed RAM, I decided to try it. I'm glad I did. The RAM was at a fair price and good quality. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  19. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Yes it does affect some PCs. I've had trouble using such RAM in several Dell Dimension models.
     
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #20
    Ah, OK. We sell a LOT of RAM into Dells, and we use the same RAM that we put in PowerMacs and Powerbooks. We've never had a failure with "Apple-grade" SPD RAM (which is more rigidly correct to the JEDEC standards than others) in any PCs, including Dell Dimensions, but it stands to reason that there will be some PCs out there with divergent requirements.

    Was your Dell problem one of incorrectly set SPD's in general, or Apple-compatible RAM in specific?

    What I didn't write clearly in the quote above is that setting the SPDs accurately for Apple doesn't make it incompatible with PCs. Interested to know what your experience was.
     
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #21
    Much of the early laptop RAM was proprietary, before manufacturers started using the standardized SODIMM formats. So prices are wild on those early ones (both Mac and PC)

    The PowerMac 6100 on the other hand used the same 72 pin SIMMs that were used in PC's of the day (and are still used in laser printers and electronic music samplers today)
     
  22. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #22
    I have been very happy with OWC.

    And from the browser games that Crucial plays, I will never buy a thing from them again (bought from them in the past).
     
  23. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #23
    i just buy what's cheap from newegg--no problems so far :)
    rosewill in my emac, transcend in my dell, a stick of viking coming for my mom's pc, like tuesday or something. 512mb pc3200 dimm for $21.72 after rebate! :eek: i figure if it doesnt work it's i can just rma it and try a new one, and then if that doesn't work i'll just return it and try another brand, although that's never happened yet. just seems silly to me to pay more for a "premium brand" or w/e when a cheaper brand has same specs and a lifetime warranty for much cheaper...
     
  24. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #24
    CanadaRAM, I've never had any trouble using Apple-compatible RAM in the Dell Dimensions (they were PIIs and PIIIs IIRC). The memory in question wouldn't work in a beige or a blue G3 either. It did however work correctly in a no-name box.
     
  25. knockknock thread starter macrumors member

    knockknock

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    #25
    Thank you all for your reponses (CanadaRam thank you for the insight look.).
    I'm still debating wich one to get .i'll make mind after lunch

    :p

    now last question do heat spreaders really work?
     

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