Crucial RAM? Video Card? ...for Dual 1.8 PowerMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Peaceful, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Peaceful macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2005
    My first mac -- a Dual 1.8 GHz PowerMac -- is being given to me (so I can't do any BTO options, it's already bought and shipped). It is the stock, base model, meaning it has 256 MB RAM and a crappy Nvidia 5200 video card.

    I would like to do lots of home-video editing (just iMovie so far, may upgrade to Final Cut Express), graphic design (Adobe everything), and play Blizzard games and UT2004.

    I was thinking about upgrading the RAM and the video card:
    - 2x512 MB RAM from Crucial for $160
    - Retail ATI Radeon 9800 Mac Special Edition w/256 MB video ram from the ATI web site for $299.

    I'm most nervous about the Crucial RAM since I've heard mac's need special RAM timing. What do you guys think about this plan? Should I get Apple RAM instead? Is the video card overkill?
  2. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    That card will play UT2004 perfectly fine. Just you are looking at the future.... Prices *will* come down, but if you want mega performance (and have the money) Go ahead and get it. The Ram is nice- Crucial is a given - it will work. If you are on a budget go with RAM before the video card.


    oh ya- and i don't know about FCE, but with Final Cut Pro - You can offload most renders to the video card - to make realtime... so you will need a bigger card. If you ever plan on using motion.... GET THAT CARD!
  3. tubedogg macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2003
    Whatever you do, do not buy Apple RAM. It is ridiculously overpriced.

    (For example, they will sell you an upgrade from 256MB to 8GB for the high end Power Mac for $3250. You can get the same RAM elsewhere for $800.)

    There is nothing particularly special about RAM for Macs, just make sure if you order from Crucial you go through the wizard or they will charge a restocking fee if you send it back.

    You can also look at Off World Computing (OWC) at can be cheaper than Crucial depending on what size sticks you are buying.

    Edit: Meant to add, if you are going to be doing a lot of video editing, I would look at 2GB or more of RAM, depending on your budget. In that kind of work more RAM can never hurt.
  4. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    check this out for RAM:

    $30 cheaper, good CAS latency and name-brand with a lifetime warranty. You can also find some 512 sticks on NewEgg for $60 (so $120 for the 1GB pair), but I've never heard of the brand names so to be safe I'd say go with the kingston

    EDIT: on second look, it's not kingston, but kingmax (?). Either way you go, they all have lifetime warranties.
  5. madddogg macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2005
    I don't have a mac myself, but I'm a systems administratrator responsible for over 80 machines, including 6 PMG5s and the rest are Intel Linux and Windows machines. I'm currently debating a mac mini, possibly a 12" ibook. I found a great supplier of memory about 4 years ago, and have made probably about 50 purchases from them (I upgrade machines frequently and estimate a RAM purchase about once a month). Of those 50 purchases, I had one problem stick. It was replaced via next-day air with no shipping costs incurred. Name brand RAM is for suckers in my opinion.

    I am not affiliated with this site in any way, I just think that people are wasting their money and would like to point out a very reputable and excellent retailer.

    And before you submit an order online, I encourage you to pick up the phone and call them.

    It will take you more time to give them your CC number and shipping address than you will spend on hold or even them quoting the price of the memory you need. I usually call and have an order placed in under 3 minutes.

    And yes, they have a lifetime warranty, just like crucial.

    Good luck.

  6. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    Same price as Crucial, $160. NewEgg is still the cheapest I've seen.
  7. madddogg macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2005
    Apologies, I misread the original poster's quote. I thought he quoted 512 for $160. Not 2x512.

    Anyways, check with datamem if you live anywhere in the NE. I'm in the Boston area, and datamem is in NH. They ship UPS ground and I get it the next day.


  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    CAS latency, according to Apple and Barefeats, does not affect G5 performance.

    I second maddog's vote for, I have dealt with them for five years.

  9. neonart macrumors 65816


    Sep 4, 2002
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    Be very careful with G5's and RAM. I know from experienvce they are very picky. CL2.5 RAM made my G5 a mess. I though I was being cool, but all I got was kernel panics and crashes. I wen't to and bought 6 sticks of 256MB Samsung CL3 RAM just like the ones my G5 came with. Now I have all 8 slots full and 2GB of RAM. No problems of any kind. Of course if your machine has only 4 slots, or if you want more than 2GB, go for 512MB sticks.



    I went through 3 pairs of CL2.5 RAM before I got the right stuff. Not fun.
  10. Peaceful thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2005

    Thanks for all the good suggestions!

    Apple's official requirements for Final Cut Express include a graphics card capable of Quartz Extreme, so I would imagine the better video card would speed it up.

    I am going to get the RAM within the next few days, but I'll have to wait for my tax return before I get the video card, so maybe the price will go down a bit by then.

    Crucial says it has to collect $10 sales tax from me for the RAM since I live in Utah and Micron has a business presence there. Will datamem do that too? I tried to check myself, but datamem won't give me a final price unless I give them all my contact information first.
  11. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    where the heck can i get 1GB dimms for $100
  12. madddogg macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2005
    Like I said, call them. They are in NH, so I doubt they will charge you tax. But seriously, call them. It's a free call, and you will not wait on hold. They usually pick up the phone within a few rings. Like I said, I've been dealing with them for years. NEVER had to wait on the phone. The longest phone call I ever made with them was for an RMA on a defective stick, that call took maybe 10 minutes.

    There is something so wonderful about calling a company today and talking to a PERSON and not waiting at all. Trust me, you will feel special afterwards. Amazing in this day and age, eh?


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