Best Brands For Memory

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by thejakill, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. thejakill macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2005
    i want to upgrade my dual 2ghz Powermac from 1gig to 2gigs of RAM. what is the best brand of memory? (GVP, VIKING, KINGSTON,etc.)

    are there any that i should NOT get?
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    It is inaccurate to say that one brand of memory is good and another not. What makes the difference is whether the individual model of memory is compatible with your Mac or not.

    Kingston for example is a good memory manufacturer. However out of their 8,000 or so models, only 3 or 4 individual modules will be compatible with your machine. Kingston Apple-compatible memory part numbers all start with KTA- Their generic ValueRAM memory (KVR-) series is by and large not Mac compatible (although good memory for PC motherboards). So when you ask "Is Kingston or Viking or GVP memory good for my Mac" there is no way to give an accurate answer.

    Apple holds quite tightly to the JEDEC specifications, including the accurate setting of the Serial Presence Detect (SPD) values. Many PC Generic memory manufacturers don't bother to set all the SPD values correctly, so while their RAM may be nominally correct (PC3200, 2.5V 184 pin non-ECC DDR 400 MHz DIMM) they may not be compatible

    Different Macs also vary in their tolerance to off-spec memory. Your Dual G5 is relatively more tolerant, iMac G5's are very intolerant of off-spec memory. A problem comes in when you upgrade OS or firmware version -- OS10.4 Tiger tightened the adherence to the specifications, and some off-spec RAM that previously 'squeaked' under the test and was working, failed when the machines were upgraded to Tiger.

    Your best bet is to buy from a reputable seller who tests and guarantees compatibility with your model Mac, offers a lifetime warranty, and a no-cost return if it doesn't work.

    My bias is to avoid brands and resellers who do not state Mac compatibility, and to avoid resellers who charge a 15% restocking fee if it doesn't work and you want a refund.

  3. TodVader macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2005
    Quebec, Canada
    I've always bought my memory from and they have a test to know which RAM you need. They are reliable IMO.
  4. thejakill thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2005
    thanks. i will keep that in mind. probably upgrade after christmas season.
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I second Crucial. At BOTH of my IT jobs we order from them instead of from the manufacturers of the comptuers.
  6. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000


    Jan 30, 2005
    Greenville, NC

    I'll third Crucial. Purchased a stick of 256MB for $42, and installed it in my eMac 1.25GHz back in February 2005. Then I picked up a stick of 512MB back in September for $70 (was on sale I think) and replaced the original stick of 256MB that came with the eMac for a total of 768MB and two matched pairs of RAM. Both sticks are excellent! Crucial shipped the RAM out within 1 week, and the quality is the best. I wouldn't purchase from anywhere else! :)
  7. ajampam macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2005
    Yup...from my past experience Crucial is really good...also the general consensus at MR has always swung in their direction....:)
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Yeah, it's sad when we get remarked Crucial RAM from the original manufacturers. So we just get it from Crucial.
  9. iBS23 macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2005
    I'd also join the crucial recommendation. My iBook has crucial in it and I always orded from them in my PC using days.

    I've also heard good things about Ramjet, but I have not used them. The apple web site links to them in their hot deals site, so they can't be all bad.
  10. finalcoolman macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    In my opinion (Mac compatibility on only certian models aside) Infineon makes the best RAM out there.
  11. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004
    My perception is that there aren't really that many different ram producers out there. Micron (who run crucial) is one of the biggest ones. Oftentimes you'll find that the ram you buy has just been rebranded from one of the major manufacturers. The advanced production process of microchips means that its tough for small manufacturers to enter into the market.
    Crucial is a good vendor (albeit somewhat expensive). I bought my powerbook ram from OWC. It was the same stuff Apple uses (Samsung) for less that crucial charges for their powerbook ram. Shop around and you'll find the stuff you need!
  12. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2005
    I completely agree with the "expensive" part about Crucial. Data Memory Systems ( and OWC ( offer Mac tested and compatible RAM for a LOT LESSER.

    Moreover, the Crucial website has this nasty way of changing its RAM prices depending on which browser and operating system you visit it from (combinations of Windows, Mac OS X, Firefox, IE, Safari etc.). Only when someone carefully looks at this aspect they would realize that they could be coughing up several dollars more for the same product just because they happened to have the misfortune of using one particular browser/OS. I don't know if this has changed in the recent few months, but I've personally seen this happening about 4 months ago. :mad:

    Of course, for those who can afford a lot of money to buy quality RAM (without bothering about the price), Crucial is a good choice because of its strong reputation.

    To compare RAM prices, htttp:// is a good site.

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