G5 RAM: Mix and Match Okay?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by BackInTheSaddle, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. BackInTheSaddle macrumors regular


    Aug 20, 2002
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    Howdy all-

    I've been shopping around and have settled on purchasing a G5 2.0GHz MP. I'm trying to build a machine that's fast and reliable and also has some longevity, so I'm upgrading to a Radeon 9800 Pro SE (256) and a fast boot disk (WD Raptor 74GB). The question now is memory.

    The box will come with 1.5 GB (512MB Apple plus 1.0GB "free" from MacMall) and I want to get to at least 4GB. My questions:

    1. Is it okay to mix and match RAM brands? I've heard that the G5's are more sensitive to differences in RAM and I'm wondering if I should junk the included memory and just buy 4 sets of 1GB modules all from the same source?

    2. Any problems in mixing sizes (256MB, 512MB, 1GB)?

    3. What has your experience been with brands in particular? I've always used Kingston to upgrade and have never had a problem, but in reading the Apple support forums, it seems like no manufacturer (Kingston, Crucial, others) are immune to problems. How about the GVP memory MacMall sells or the memory from OWC? These have great prices but I also wonder if you get what you pay for.

    The critical factors for me are performance and reliability. Although I want to avoid parting with more dollars than I need to, I'd rather invest some bucks up front to prevent flaky memory problems from happening down the road (I read some horror stories of RAM that passed hardware tests and "seemed fine" but caused problems later when getting stressed by huge Photoshop files).

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    install in mathced pairs dont buy eec and get reputable ram.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    There are two banks of RAM.
    Install RAM symmetrically and mirrored outwards, from the centre.

    So there's prob. 2 x 256 in there from Apple & 2 x 512 from your supplier, there'll be two sticks in each bank, going outwards from the centre. Install RAM in matched pairs outwards, one of each flavour of stick in each bank...

    If you want to buy 4 x 1gb modules, then just add them to what's there -- 2 in each bank, giving you 5.5gb which should be more than enough to keep you happy...

    If you want reliability, go for Crucial. I've never had a problem with them.
    Just my opinion, though.

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