How to buy Aftermarket RAM for new iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mikebike125, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Mikebike125 macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2007
    I want to get a new iMac but I heard that I can buy one 2GB RAM chip and install it myself for less than Apple wants to upgrade plus I will then have 3GB of RAM.

    What type of RAM should I buy and is one brand better than another???
  2. pcorajr macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Hello i am also doing the same as you. I currently have the new 20" imac with 1GB module in it. I would like to buy one 2gb module but im not sure what brand/spec is the best for an The new iMac.
  3. Blackhood macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2007
  4. quarksta macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2007
    Hendersonville, TN

    I bought 4 GB for about $230 from That's a lot better than the riduculous $795 that Apple wants to charge you.

    You don't want to buy the cheapest RAM, but you also don't really need to buy the most expensive. Macsales provides a lifetime warranty with their RAM so you can't really go wrong.

    Hope this helps!
  5. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    if i bought 2 4gb ram sticks would they work[ 8 gm ram] or would it just crash?

    im just curious, i ordered my imac with 2x 1gb sticks

  6. mothergoose45 macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2006
    I did the same and it shipped today. Heard its great Ram and at a good price. Now if my Imac would just ship!!
    Also you want for the Ram to be paired b/c its dual channel.
  7. MikeT125 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    What does that mean? Does that mean if it has a 1GB single chip in it that you should only buy another 1GB chip or can I buy a 2GB and end up with a total of 3GB????
  8. newkeyboard macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2007
    Sussex, UK
    3 will be fine... no need to match.
  9. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    i am not to knowledgable about this but im pretty sure that you SHOULD have matching sticks
    but i think if u had a 1 gb and a 2gb stick you should be ok cus thats the way apple shipped there iMacs before
  10. ffakr macrumors 6502a

    Jul 2, 2002

    Micron Memory's on-line presence is at [aka Crucial Memory].
    We usually go there first since it's in our ordering system and because they have a very good compatability checker. Just enter the Make and Model of your computer (including Macs) and it will recommend the correct memory.

    Micron/Crucial was also one of the first vendors that had the extra large heat spreaders on the FBDIMMS for the Mac Pro.

    Crucial is usually reasonable but not the cheapest. With memory you never buy the cheapest though. Memory problems are often subtle and hard to diagnose.. you're best to stay away from extremely cheap memory because you don't want to deal with diagnosing random hangs and crashes (because your memory returns a 0 in one cell instead of a 1).

  11. MikeT125 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    From the Crucial Memory website I found this looking up the 2.4 20" iMac

    " Q: Do I have to install matching pairs?

    A: No.

    No, you can install modules one at a time, and you can mix different densities of modules in your computer. But if your computer supports dual-channel memory configurations, you should install in identical pairs (preferably in kits) for optimal performance.

    Q: Does my computer support dual-channel memory?

    A: No.

    Your system does not support dual channel."
  12. rds macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2007
    If you use a memory configuration jobby of any kind, pick one of the latest MacBook Pro models over the iMac Core 2 Duo (even if it shows the new generation) as the memory selection shown for the MacBook Pro is more accurate.

    E.g. they don't show 4GB kit's and may come up with PC2-6400 modules (which are supported but would run at 667MHz (PC2-5300) not 800MHz.)
  13. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    Are you sure that the iMac doesn't support dual-channel? So installing 1+2GB will not make it perform worse than 1+1?

    That's good to know. I guess I'll order a 2GB stick for my new iMac then.
  14. MikeT125 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    You obviously know bookoos about memory and I didn't even know about the option you just mentioned. Might you recommend a single 2GB chip (brand, type) for my 2.4 20" iMac? I want to add the 2GB to my 1GB for a total of 3GB.

    Thanks in advance.
  15. rds macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2007
    No, no dual-channel support. If you are just going to add another stick, it shouldn't matter either way. However, if you were to buy a "kit" of 2 sticks, they will have been paired together as they are two identical sticks for better performance.
  16. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    The new iMac only supports up to 4 gb of RAM total so you could not stick in two 4gb sticks.
  17. rds macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2007
    Living in the UK, I'd only ever buy branded Kingston or Crucial to pretty much guarantee a quality working product. Kingston's KTA-MB667/2G or Crucial's CT687609 should do the trick.

    Obviously, those over the pond will give you some more US options such as OWC.
  18. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Durham, NC
    Bear in mind that Crucial (which is one of Apple's OEM suppliers for memory) may vary the price of the same item based on:
    • The browser you use to access the site,
    • The method of navigation you used to access the item page (direct link vs. assistant vs. PN lookup),
    • The color of your computer (the memory for the black MacBook costs more than the same memory for the white MacBook), and/or
    • Time of day that you're viewing the page.

    OWC, Data Memory Systems and Crucial all have excellent warranties and strong track records of supplying good products and standing behind them in the long-term.

    Personally, I use to determine the best price amongst the three and buy from that supplier.
  19. Klisk macrumors member

    May 27, 2007
    This thread rocks. Thanks. Just ordered an additional 1GB for my new iMac. ;) I'm really lovin' it so far!
  20. Pleiades macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2007
    Pacific Northwest
    I actually ordered some RAM from TransIntl the same day I ordered my new iMac, but since they didn't have 2x2GB for iMac until today, I just purchased the 2x2GB for the Santa Rosa MacBook Pros. They're both Santa Rosa chipsets using the same 2.4GHz CPU's with the same DDR2 PC-5300. The iMac is basically a MacBook Pro in another form factor.

    Does anybody see any problems with buying MBP RAM? I haven't gotten the RAM nor the iMac yet so I haven't had a chance to try them out. I'm thinking that they're all the same RAM chips and when a vendor says they now have RAM for the new iMacs, they're just new entries on their website using the same old RAM.
  21. Squidgy macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2006
    new iMac memory not dual-channel?

    Can someone please confirm this? I assumed that since the (2006) Intel iMacs were able to attain 128-bit memory addressing through the use of matching SO-DIMMs, the new chipset would support this. Thanks!
  22. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    By Jiminy, the guesswork posters are out in force - suggestion -- if'n you don't know the answer please don't fake it just for the sake of posting. Either do your research first, or wait and learn.

    This is an omnibus answer.

    1) All intel Macs support Dual Channel memory access if matching modules are installed. The customary estimate is that this gives a 6% - 8% real world performance benefit

    2) All intel Corexxxx Macs will run with mismatched RAM, at the loss of the Dual Channel speedup. This means

    3) All Core2Duo (and Core2Extreme) Macs can run a 3 Gb configuration (1 Gb + 2 Gb) which on average can be faster than a 2 Gb matched pair if you are using heavy programs like Photoshop that can benefit from the extra 1 Gg.

    4) All Corexxx Macs use the same DDR2-667 (PC2-5300) SODIMMs. Therefore, choosing MacBook Pro RAM for the new iMacs is correct.

    5)They do not benefit from 800 MHz SODIMMs. This is a hardware limitation of the memory controller on the motherboard.

    6) Core2Duo Santa Rosa machines, (MBP and the new iMacs) can recognize a full 4 Gb of RAM.
    Core2Duo machines can recognize a potential 3.3 Gb (with 2 x 2 Gb installed... the top 700 Mb is wasted),
    CoreDuo and CoreSolo machines max out at 2.0 Gb.
    Again, this is a hardware memory controller limitation of each chipset.

    7) 4 Gb SODIMMs (if you could find any) will not work in any Mac to date.

    8) Points 5) 6) and 7) will NOT be altered by a future OS or firmware update.

    The most-recommended USA sellers on MR are Data Memory Systems, OWC (MacSales) and Crucial (use the link at the top of the page)
    As mentioned, the Kingston KTA-MBP667xxx series are good too. Look for a reputable seller with good shipping and return policies (no shipping or restocking charges on DOA RAM, for example), and good customer service.

    Installing third party RAM is fine with Apple and does not void a warranty. Instructions for D.I.Y. installation are on the Apple Support site.
  23. Squidgy macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2006
    Thanks, CanadaRAM, that's what I thought.

    So the most logical thing to do would be to purchase the iMac with the base (1GB) RAM, and get another 1GB DIMM aftermarket. I assume that any reasonable DIMM module (e.g. OWC, Techworks, Samsung, Crucial) will "match" the stock DIMM and allow for the dual-channel addressing. Then again, in order to be absolutely sure, one could get matching 2GB DIMMs...:rolleyes:
  24. erandall38 macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2007
    Wow, what a great post, it was very helpful to many besides me I am sure. BTW D.I.Y. installation are in the users manual as well if you are more comfortable taking instructions there.
  25. pcorajr macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Sir, You just answered every single question i had about Mac Ram, Thank you very much for this great post

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