Is Apple Ram Different?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by disdat, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #1
    I have a dilemma.

    I have posted on another thread previously, but now I have a new question about Apple ram.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=5053960

    To summarize my problem, I am having issues with a brand new Leopard install on my MacBook Pro. Immediately after a fresh install, when I try to access the Applications folder, Finder crashes, and re-launches itself.

    I have reinstalled Leopard I believe a total of 6 times now. Every time it's the same issue, except for the one instance when I installed with only the original 2gb Apple ram in my MBP.

    All other times, I had 3 gb total, with a OWC 2gb stick and one 1gb Apple ram stick.

    After calling OWC, they suggested ram tests, so I installed the OWC 2gb stick in the bottom slot and the test showed it passed (I did 10 tests)

    The tech at OWC had also mentioned that Apple might only like apple ram when installing Leopard, so maybe I should install Leopard using the original ram, and then add in the OWC 3rd party ram later.

    Does this make sense? After looking at some prior posts on this forum, so many believe that ram is ram is ram.

    Could Apple ram be "different" ? And could the 3rd party ram be 100% okay except for installing Leopard??

    Or maybe I should complete the rember tests using each stick separately, including the Apple ram???

    I am really confused, and I hope someone might help.

    Thank you so much!!
     
  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #2
    The only difference is apple RAM is a rip off
     
  3. jeffmc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #3
    and that it's supported and under warranty by apple

    you really shouldn't mix and match different sized pieces of RAM in that machine, especially different sizes AND different manufacturers.
     
  4. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

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    Jul 21, 2005
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    #4
    So, do you think it would help if I upgraded to 4 gb with two OWC (2gb) sticks?
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    There is no issue with having different sized modules, other than you won't get Dual Channel access with a mismatched pair.
     
  6. stevegmu macrumors regular

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    A stone's throw from the White House.
    #6
    I'm starting to think Apple RAM is different, and that there is a reason it is more expensive- other than for huge profits. Maybe it is just coincidence, but it seems most with problems happen to have after-market RAM installed.
     
  7. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #7
    Our resident RAM guru CanadaRAM can probably comment accurately on that claim. Personally, I do not think there is anything different with Apple RAM at all. Any problems experienced due to 3rd party RAM is probably the fault of the user for not installing 100% Mac-compatible memory in their system.
     
  8. Wiredrawn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #8
    If your running a Santa Rosa MacBook (Nov 2007), then 3gb of third party Ram should work fine, as these machines are limited to 4gb in total.

    From the sound of it, you bought your machine before Nov. 2007, so you'll have a pre-santa rosa MacBook. You'll find that 3gb won't work well...

    If it is pre-santa rosa, you might find that anything over 2gb won't work correctly. All pre-santa rosa MacBooks are limited to 2gb, which may be why you have trouble installing Leopard with 3gb of Ram. I am not exactly sure how this applies to MacBook Pro's, but for MacBooks, it is unwise to put more that 2gb in a pre-santa rosa model.

    Also, you'll find your Ram will work better if you use matching chips, i.e. 2x1gb or 2x2gb.

    Overall, there is no real difference between Apple and third party Ram, I personally run 2x2gb Kingston Ram modules in my MacBook without a problem.

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #9
    I do have a Santa Rosa MBP, purchased in June 2007.

    I didn't have any major problems before upgrading to Leopard.

    I put back in both Apple ram sticks this afternoon, and installed Leopard again. All went well.

    I am a little nervous to put in the OWC ram, and yes, to answer the other poster's comment it *IS* certified compatible ram from OWC. I made sure of it before I bought it.

    Well thank you all for your posts. I don't know what will happen now. I will keep using the 2gb original ram from Apple for a few days to make sure all is well, and then I will put back the 2gb stick from OWC.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. Wiredrawn macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2008
    #10
    No problem, keep us posted as to what happens next!
     
  11. ToastyX macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2005
    #11
    That would only happen if the RAM was defective or incompatible. There's nothing special about Apple RAM. It's usually just RAM from Crucial.
     
  12. AndyK macrumors 65816

    AndyK

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #12
    Always install ram in matched pairs, it'll cause you far less trouble.
     
  13. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #13
    In general you can always refer to our RAM Guide here on MacRumors for assistance as well. :cool:
     
  14. sidharth80 macrumors member

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    Chicago,IL
  15. disdat thread starter macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #15
    Thanks for the remind. I was going to post an update, but forgot.

    Anyway, I bought another 2gb from OWC, added that back in after a few days of just using Apple ram.

    So now, I am up to 4gb of ram. All seems well. But it is hard to tell.

    I am planning on running another ram test soon, just need to find time. And I ordered a copy of XP so I will be installing on Bootcamp soon. That might be a good test as well.

    Oh and a funny thing happened. About a week ago, I got a call on my voice mail from the customer relations manager over at OWC. He read my blog where I explained my problems with the Leopard install.

    I thought it was very nice that he was checking up on my progress. I didn't call him back because I wanted to give it some more time. I left a message last night on his voice mail, but will follow up with another call today.

    So that is my update. I will post again after the bootcamp install. Probably won't be for another few days.

    Thanks all!
     
  16. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #16
    notice how half of the people posting here are saying things about RAM needing to be in matched pairs or needing to be Apple-sourced or other things?

    please ignore that. If a computer needs matched pairs of RAM to function, it will only work with matched pairs, and it will have an even number of RAM slots. I don't think there are any laptops that have this restriction, certainly not Apple ones.

    The dual and quad-processor G5 towers and the Mac Pro require matched pairs.

    If you put a single stick of RAM in one of those, they won't boot.

    All other Macs can use any combination of RAM chips as long as they meet the type (DDR, DDR2, or what-have you.), size, and speed requirements for the machine. You can't use chips that are too big for the machine. You can't use chips that are too slow for the machine, and in some cases, can't use chips that are too fast, (but usually they will throttle down to the machine's desired speed). You can't put more RAM into a machine than the motherboard supports, even if it is physically possible (old macbook could accept 2 x 2GB chips, but couldn't "see" all of it, which causes problems).

    Different manufacturers make essentially the same chips at the same specs. Sometimes a manufacturer will add a different heat sink or a different colored circuit board, but usually the "higher quality" RAM gets designated for faster speed classes with lower latencies and faster timings...that means it won't be PC5300 or whatever your application calls for...it will be PC6000 or something faster...it's just like processors...they test a batch of processors, and the ones that can pass 3.2 ghz in their tests will be put into the higher-end Mac Pro, whereas the less-reliable chips will be down-clocked to 3.0 or 2.8 ghz in the case of the Mac Pro. They all come from the same big wafer.

    Apple buys their RAM from various RAM suppliers that also sell directly to consumers. They buy RAM of a particular quality (not the highest) that has a particular set of specs, and that's that. There is no difference between the RAM you buy at OWC and Apple RAM. No magic pixie dust. No secret decoder message, no mystic Apple approval process that weeds out bad RAM that a RAM manufacturer didn't notice.

    Every single person on these forums who indicates anything else to you is spreading the FUD and in their own way is helping to ensure that Apple can continue to obscenely overcharge for this easiest of hardware upgrades. I am willing to bet that these are the same people who ignorantly bought RAM upgrades through Apple at one point, and are now trying to either justify their foolishness by believing that there is something "special" about Apple's RAM, or to add to their ranks so they don't feel so alone in their ineptitude.

    If your RAM from OWC isn't working right, send it back and they will take care of you, just like Apple would if their RAM wasn't working right. Sometimes things get beat up in shipping. If you've ever been to a fedex, UPS, or USPS distribution center, you're probably amazed that ANY electronics make it to their destinations unscathed.
     
  17. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #17
    most cars work fine until aftermarket gas is installed.
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #18
    It's not. It's just that some RAM is cheaper. Sometimes it's cheaper for a reason, like it's not very well made. Sometimes it's fine. I use OWC, or Newegg if it's good stuff at a good price. Like with Crucial or Samsung. We use Kingston at work. They get a bulk discount buying direct, but it's still a rip off if you ask me. Apple installed RAM can go bad just like any other, especially if installed incorrectly or if it gets zapped by static. "Apple RAM" though is usually just the same as anything you could buy in the stores. Crucial/Micron, Samsung, Hynix, etc.

    I was going to post something snarky, but I'll keep it in the PRSI forums.
     
  19. wilfried macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #19
    This is clearly not the case, as my iMac shipped with one 1gb card in one of the two slots, and my factory configured machine of course didn't have any trouble running with one stick of RAM. :rolleyes:

    I later installed 2gb in the other slot, for an unmatched total of 3gb, which was also fine. Now I have 4gb, matched but whatever, and my Mac sings. :D
     
  20. Wiredrawn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #20
    It's not necessarily that it WON'T work, it's just that it MAY work better.

    I know people who use one slot or have unmatched pairs and they run fine, and I know other people that used unmatched pairs and had a lot of problems, solved by installing matched pairs.

    The point is, it seems to be different for everyone, and although it may not cause a problem installing in unmatched pairs, it may well fix one installing in matched pairs.
     
  21. stevegmu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    A stone's throw from the White House.
    #21
    One of my cars will run on regular gasoline, but not as well as it does with premium.
     

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