Intel Macs more forgiving about memory quality?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Heb1228, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Here's one of the main things I've been wondering about the Intel switch. I know certain Macs have been very picky about the memory they'll use and usually PowerMacs have been more forgiving.

    I know its not entirely hardware related because of Tiger. I had memory that worked fine in earlier versions of OS X but after installing Tiger I had wake-from-sleep issues that were only solved by buying better memory from I also heard of other people saying Tiger refused some of the memory they had used with Panther.

    At any rate, I'm mainly just wondering if the Intel Macs will be more forgiving. Has anybody got an Intel Mac and tried putting cheap memory in it?
  2. Shamus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2006
    intel macs use DDR RAM dont they? If so that would make them 'more forgiving'. But besides, better RAM will most probably deliver better performance than cheaper RAM so its probably worth just getting good qual. RAM for your mac
  3. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    How does DDR make RAM more forgiving?

    I think it's likely that RAM compatibility will be substantially improved (at least hardware-wise), given that the Intel chipsets have extensive testing and tend to be more flexible. Intel has a long history of building for unknown third-party components, whereas IBM could focus on a limited set of "official" hardware and likely didn't place a high priority on far-reaching compatibility with commodity parts. Of course, certain chipset and RAM combinations occasionally clash even in the "normal" PC realm, and from what I've seen of Apple's EFI, tweaking voltages and timings isn't an option they've chosen to include.
  4. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    A few years ago I remember my iMac G3 got a firmware update that was designed to make it more picker about ram. I had just upgraded from 64 MB to 1 GB at the time but my memory worked with the firm update. Some people at the time were not that lucky from what I read at

    So I think the Intel switch won't change anything. Apple doesn't want it's customers to install cheap ram that will cause frequent reboots to make their products look bad. That is the reasoning that I heard. By the way, I always buy third-party ram and never from Apple. I had 6 Macs that I upgraded memory on my own and had no issues with compatibility even with memory that wasn't made just for Apple and included memory moved from a PC to a Mac. I always upgrade to the maximum allowed so my chances of getting a incompatible chip would be higher and I always look for bargins of quality memory.
  5. behead macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2006
    my new imac had memory issues.

    just got it 5 days ago and by the end of the week, right to the repair shop. apparently my motherboard is bad? not sure, im still waiting to hear back from them. wouldnt recognize the 512 that came with it, when using the 2nd slot. then the 1 gb of ram [i got from macsolutions] wouldnt work in either slot. sent it back and the new ram wouldnt work either. hopefully ill get some good news in a day or two.
  6. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2006
    The fact that the intel based machines run in dual channel mode when 2 sticks are installed, I would think that they would be slightly pickier than 1 stick. Any PCs will exhibit this pickiness with dual-channel memory (this is why they sell "kits" that guarantee they will work in dual-channel mode).
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Does the pickiness have anything to do with the fact that lots of Macs use laptop memory? I'd guess the more compact modules have higher failure rates? But I'm not sure.

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