High-end RAM Experience?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Makosuke, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Anybody out there have experience with using fancy high-end RAM in their Mac?

    I've got a G5 on order, but am at a bit of a loss as to what brand/model of RAM to put in the thing if it ever ships. I assume that any PC3200 DIMMs will work in the DP2.0, and that Apple uses NECC chips (though they don't seem to say anywhere, nothing but servers seem to use ECC RAM).

    I've usually bought bargain-bin RAM in the past, but I've been looking at Corsair after reading some positive reviews at PC sites.

    But what I'm not entirely clear on are what the potential differences between cheap-ass RAM (seems to work out to about $200/GiB in 512MiB pairs after shipping regardless of the manufacturer or where I get it), decent name-brand RAM (about $260 for the same), or really expensive RAM (about $300; specifically Corsair's Pro series with the silly LEDs).

    I know that there's a somewhat smaller chance of getting a bad stick if you avoid generic (though I've done ok so far), and the really high end money gets you a bigger heat sink and some LED indicators (which would sure be cool in a G5 with the side panel removed), but past that are there any noticible differences to people outside the PC gamer/tweaker crowd?

    Anybody ever used fancy gamer RAM in their Mac? Anybody know enough to analyze the difference/non-difference? Is the stuff even going to be compatible with a G5?
  2. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Forgot a couple of pieces of follow-up info:

    There is a short thread discussing G5 compatibility in Corsair's forums:


    Basically, two different people said that Corsair value select RAM (their cheapest stuff, if memory serves) didn't work in their new G5s. However, Corsair's hardware guru also points out that although they do no testing with Macs (at least they're honest) Corsair Value Select isn't JEDEC-compliant, which is probably why the G5 doesn't like it.

    Their high-end stuff is JEDEC compliant (at least according to ZipZoomFly's item page (formerly GoogleGear), so in theory it should workd. Makes me nervous, though--at least Crucial's auto-ram-picker points you directly to a certain product if you ask about the G5.

    Also looks like I was right about NECC.
  3. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2003
    Another company is Kingston; they have memory that meets the manufacturers specs. Your best bet is to stay away from generic memory and get memory that a manufacturer says is compatible with the system you have.
  4. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yeah, Crucial and Kingston are generally the first two places I look for RAM; Crucial's prices are pretty much inline with generic PC3200 for 512MiB modules (~$95), and at least in theory they're a name brand.

    Kingston is the big-name reliable brand people always talk about, but at least direct from them you pay over $300 for 2-DIMM 1GiB G5 kit. For that much, I'd rather get some eye candy (as shallow and lame as that is) if the Corsair stuff is actually as good as it sounds and compatible.

    If not, no sense in wasting money or running into problems down the road, of course.
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    all i can say is osX loves good clean and lots of it memory. dont cheat yourself nor your computer get good quality ram and lots of it.
  6. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2001
    Dana Elec modules work fine too. I got the DA-PMG5400-512, 4 of them. G5 specific modules, so I trusted they would work and they did.
    They have a 10 year warranty, not as much as Kingston's life long warranty but enough I guess. ;)
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Re: High-end RAM Experience?

    Looking at the installs that some of the memory companies have shown with multiple pairs of DIMMs with the heatsinks attached inside the G5, it looks like the heatsinks may be counterproductive in the G5 installation -- being that they probably will block the airflow between the DIMMs.

    Sure this 2 GB (2x1GB) DDR 400 Memory Upgrade looks cool...

    When you put 4 Heatsinked memory modules in a G5 the clearance between the DIMMs vanishes.
  8. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Re: Re: High-end RAM Experience?

    Woo... now there's a downside I never even considered. Guess those big, pretty, colorful heatsinks swing both ways when your slots are tight.

    Taking that and the uncertainty of the whole mess into account, as much fun as it'd be to show off some blinking LEDs or gold-colored heatsinks on my G5 RAM, going with budget priced and reliable Crucial memory that is guaranteed to work is probably the safest bet. Oh well.

    Say, anybody have experience with OWC's RAM? Their regular stuff (not the blue heatsinked chips in the pictures above) are about $20 more than Crucial modules, but they are a Mac-centric store and their "Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty" at least sounds a little better than Crucial's "Limited Lifetime Warranty".

    I prefer going with smaller resellers if I trust them and the prices are in line--I figure they're going to try harder to please their customers and care more than a big ol' company.
  9. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    I've always used Crucial in all my Macs, and have been extremely pleased. It's really quality stuff, and the price is very reasonable.
  10. VegetaPunk macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2002
    I bought some nice Kensington ram form Newegg.com They have LOW prices for good products anyways you can check it out and see what you think :)
  11. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Digging up a very old topic of my own, but I thought I might as well leave some final info for future reference.

    There is a report on today's MacFixit from somebody who tried installing a pair of the Corsair Pro LED-equipped RAM modules in a G5. The modules did work fine, but they were too tall to properly install the fans.

    So, the end result is they're a no-go, but not for the reason I was thinking. Oh well, guess my Crucial decision was a wise one.
  12. Richie03 macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2003
    I checked out Newegg.com and ordered a kingston 1GB kit with Free shipping. Thanks for the link VegetaPunk!
  13. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    high-quality ram is made for one thing: Overclocking. If you are NOT doing this, then do not waste your money, and just stick with Crucial.

    On the other hand, I bought Crucial thinking I wouldn't overclock, but here we are...

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