Is Crucial RAM more reliable than OWC?

divergirl

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2012
118
24
I recently bought 32gb of ram from OWC for my retina iMac late 2014 model. I was very careful installing the ram (I even stood on a tipped metal folding chair to ensure I was grounded) but I started getting kernel panics when using memory-intensive programs so I booted into single user mode and ran memtest and sure enough, the ram is faulty. I then tried testing two sticks at a time but I got errors on both sets of sticks, meaning at least two of the four sticks are faulty. I'm running memtest stick by stick now, and the first stick errored, the second stick passed, and I'm running the third stick now. But either way I'm pretty disgusted. Two out of four sticks being bad is nowhere near within acceptable parameters, no matter how good OWC'S customer service is.

I remember reading stories in these forums about Crucial ram being slightly too thick and not fitting in the iMac ram slots easily, which is why I initially went with OWC. Is this still the case with Crucial ram (for the retina iMac in particular), or is it better now?

Have people found Crucial ram more reliable than OWC, or is it basically a crapshoot either way? At this point I'm wondering whether I should just return the OWC ram and go with Crucial, or if I should send the defective sticks back to OWC and try to get a replacement. I just worry since it seems like their quality control isn't very good...
 

loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
622
206
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
4 x 8 GB Crucial here. No problem at install and works fine so far. You just have to push carefully the SO-DIMMs into their slot and make sure you don't insert them upside down.
 

charlyham

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2012
158
28
I have used only crucial ram in all my PCs and Macs for over 15 years and have never had an issue.
 
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ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
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I bought 2 crucial sticks to add 16GB to my 8GB iMac 5K Retina. These sticks caused the sleep/wake function to fail upon waking. Removed the sticks and bought OWC ones. Not a single problem since. Many have been reporting the sleep/wake issue with Crucial on the 5K platform. Not sure if yours is 5K or not. But it is funny that Crucial is an issue and OWC is not.
 

loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
622
206
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
I have a 5K Retina, but sleep mode works fine. Maybe it was caused by using 2 Crucial SO-DIMMs and two original (Micron if I'm not mistaken) 4 GB DIMMs. AFAIK, in sleep mode the DRAM is running in either dynamic refresh or self refresh mode. Maybe the refresh timing of two types is different causing the DRAM not able to retain it's contents. On the other hand, there are JEDEC specs....
 

divergirl

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2012
118
24
Update: I'm starting to wonder if this might not be a motherboard issue. I have four OWC sticks, let's call them 1, 2, 3, 4. First I tested #1 and #2 in the first two slots in the iMac. Got some failures. Then I tested #3 and #4 in the first two slots in the iMac. Got some failures. Then I tried testing the sticks individually, putting one stick in at a time in slot one. Under this test, only stick #1 failed, and the rest passed. Then I put the original Apple RAM in slots one and two and put sticks #3 and #4 in slots three and four and it passed. But if I put #3 and #4 in slots one and two and the original Apple RAM in slots three and four it fails. I tried swapping out #2 for #3 and it still failed. I'm so confused. Either at least three of the four sticks I bought are faulty, or something else is going on here. Ugh.
 

garyrh66

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2015
17
4
No problem with Crucial in my 5k Retina with the sleep/wake function. One bad memory module can be a problem because they run in pairs. You should check your memory together in slot 1&3 or slot 2&4. I think you found your problem when you said one module failed the test. The Apple ram should go in 1&3 and OWC in 2&4.
 
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ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,430
856
I have a 5K Retina, but sleep mode works fine. Maybe it was caused by using 2 Crucial SO-DIMMs and two original (Micron if I'm not mistaken) 4 GB DIMMs. AFAIK, in sleep mode the DRAM is running in either dynamic refresh or self refresh mode. Maybe the refresh timing of two types is different causing the DRAM not able to retain it's contents. On the other hand, there are JEDEC specs....
Maybe. Owc works fine however. Crucial has been aware of the problem since December. They continue to ignore it but there are plenty of posts on their blog from folks who have not.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
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856
No problem with Crucial in my 5k Retina with the sleep/wake function. One bad memory module can be a problem because they run in pairs. You should check your memory together in slot 1&3 or slot 2&4. I think you found your problem when you said one module failed the test. The Apple ram should go in 1&3 and OWC in 2&4.
Who are you addressing? No one discussed issues with OWC. Mixed apple memory and crucial is a reported issue.
 

divergirl

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2012
118
24
No problem with Crucial in my 5k Retina with the sleep/wake function. One bad memory module can be a problem because they run in pairs. You should check your memory together in slot 1&3 or slot 2&4. I think you found your problem when you said one module failed the test. The Apple ram should go in 1&3 and OWC in 2&4.
I've tested it now. If I put OWC in 1&3 and Apple in 2&4 memtest passes, but if I put Apple in 1&3 and OWC in 2&4 memtest fails almost immediately. If I put Apple in 1&2 and OWC in 3&4 it passes, but if I put OWC in 1&2 and Apple in 3&4, it fails in the later stages.

I have no idea what that means O_O The only common factor I can find is the tests passing when Apple is in slot two, and failing when OWC is in slot two, although I suppose that could be a coincidence.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
8,990
2,400
Seattle
I've tested it now. If I put OWC in 1&3 and Apple in 2&4 memtest passes, but if I put Apple in 1&3 and OWC in 2&4 memtest fails almost immediately. If I put Apple in 1&2 and OWC in 3&4 it passes, but if I put OWC in 1&2 and Apple in 3&4, it fails in the later stages.

I have no idea what that means O_O The only common factor I can find is the tests passing when Apple is in slot two, and failing when OWC is in slot two, although I suppose that could be a coincidence.
For whatever reason, the 2014 5K iMac is more sensitive to RAM than any previous iMac I've owned. For example, some Corsair Vengeance 1.5V RAM, AND some 1.35V Corsair Vengeance all crash my 5K iMac within a couple of days of 24/7 uptime. One set I got from Corsair would crash my 5K iMac on boot! That same memory has no issues in my 2012 27" iMac.

I ended up having to relegate the Corsair Vengeance to some other Windows systems where it works perfectly, but my 5K iMac works just fine now with Crucial memory. Go figure.

I'd say ditch the OWC. I spent WEEKS troubleshooting my RAM issues and just gave up. The 5K iMac is just inordinately more picky than previous iMacs in my experience.

Here's the thread I made on it, in case you wanted to compare...

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/5k-imac-kernel-panics.1871672/
 

WilliamG

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Mar 29, 2008
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Stuck in an extra 16GB kit from Crucial in my retina iMac, no issues whatsoever with fit or kernel panics. In fact I've never had any issues with memory from Crucial in any of my machines.

This is the exact same kit I purchased off Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-DDR3L-1600-PC3-12800-CT2K8G3S160BM-CT2C8G3S160BM/dp/B008LTBJFW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434565542&sr=8-1&keywords=crucial+16gb+ddr3
That's the memory I got for my 5K (32GB of it), and it works perfectly.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,430
856
Perhaps is memory use in combination with the Apple memory that is the issue. Or perhaps Apple engineered it to not work with other manufacturer memory.

I suspect the Apple memory is engineered differently using IC's that don't like like capable ones.
 

WilliamG

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Mar 29, 2008
8,990
2,400
Seattle
Perhaps is memory use in combination with the Apple memory that is the issue. Or perhaps Apple engineered it to not work with other manufacturer memory.

I suspect the Apple memory is engineered differently using IC's that don't like like capable ones.
I never mix memory types.
 
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divergirl

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2012
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I never mix memory types.
The ram failed when I had it alone in slots 1&2 without the Apple ram in as well. Just for s&g tonight I'm gonna try the two sticks that seem good but alone in slots two and four and see what happens.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
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Seattle
The ram failed when I had it alone in slots 1&2 without the Apple ram in as well. Just for s&g tonight I'm gonna try the two sticks that seem good but alone in slots two and four and see what happens.
Honestly, I wouldn't bother. Those sticks don't work right in your iMac. Send them back and get some Crucial Mac memory.
 

divergirl

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2012
118
24
We'll see im
Honestly, I wouldn't bother. Those sticks don't work right in your iMac. Send them back and get some Crucial Mac memory.
Honestly my fear is that it's the motherboard and not my ram, and that something is wrong with the ram slots themselves. It just seems so odd how changing the stick order makes memtest pass or fail D:
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
8,990
2,400
Seattle
We'll see im


Honestly my fear is that it's the motherboard and not my ram, and that something is wrong with the ram slots themselves. It just seems so odd how changing the stick order makes memtest pass or fail D:
Given my experience with the 5K iMac, it's not that weird at all. Anything's possible, but I still think the RAM is the issue.
 

garyrh66

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2015
17
4
I am using the 8GB that can with my 5K Retina and added 16GB of Crucial and had no problems. I would say send the OWC memory back.
 

Kubaton

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2013
58
5
I'm a fan of Crucial as well. I wonder why they don't sell a 32GB kit on their web site. I could have sworn I saw one when I looked previously. I couldn't find a Crucial 32GB kit on Amazon either. I've always been picky and made sure i bought matched pair RAM in my Windows days. Do y'all think it would be an issue to buy two 16GB kits? I may contact Crucial and ask about the possibility of assuring I get matched RAM across all four sticks.

I have a late 2014 retina iMac, by the way.

Edit: I just found on their forums where someone had asked a similar question and one of their employees stated to just get two of the 16GB kits so it must not be an issue. I have a Boot Camp partition running Windows 7 for gaming so that was my main concern.
 
Last edited:

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
8,990
2,400
Seattle
OH the irony. Just after posting yesterday, my iMac kernel panicked, again. So much for the Crucial memory. I guess it just takes a lot longer with the Crucial for it to panic when on 24/7. *sigh*
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
8,990
2,400
Seattle
I recently bought 32gb of ram from OWC for my retina iMac late 2014 model. I was very careful installing the ram (I even stood on a tipped metal folding chair to ensure I was grounded) but I started getting kernel panics when using memory-intensive programs so I booted into single user mode and ran memtest and sure enough, the ram is faulty. I then tried testing two sticks at a time but I got errors on both sets of sticks, meaning at least two of the four sticks are faulty. I'm running memtest stick by stick now, and the first stick errored, the second stick passed, and I'm running the third stick now. But either way I'm pretty disgusted. Two out of four sticks being bad is nowhere near within acceptable parameters, no matter how good OWC'S customer service is.

I remember reading stories in these forums about Crucial ram being slightly too thick and not fitting in the iMac ram slots easily, which is why I initially went with OWC. Is this still the case with Crucial ram (for the retina iMac in particular), or is it better now?

Have people found Crucial ram more reliable than OWC, or is it basically a crapshoot either way? At this point I'm wondering whether I should just return the OWC ram and go with Crucial, or if I should send the defective sticks back to OWC and try to get a replacement. I just worry since it seems like their quality control isn't very good...
Can you post your kernel panic so I can see what it is?
 

MSastre

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2014
525
208
I've been using Crucial ram in all my Macs for over 15 years. Never had any problems, but I do not mix ram types, so don't expect any.
 

divergirl

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2012
118
24
Can you post your kernel panic so I can see what it is?
Sure. Here's the relevant part of them (the second half of the error report is just my system specs, I think?):

Panic 1:
Code:
*** Panic Report ***
panic(cpu 2 caller 0xffffff8017817cc2): Kernel trap at 0xffffff80177cf283, type 14=page fault, registers:
CR0: 0x000000008001003b, CR2: 0x0000000000000030, CR3: 0x000000022a0f4058, CR4: 0x00000000001627e0
RAX: 0x0000000000000030, RBX: 0xffffff80330df9c0, RCX: 0x0000000000000030, RDX: 0x0000000000000000
RSP: 0xffffff83c2453bc0, RBP: 0xffffff83c2453bf0, RSI: 0x0000000076ef1945, RDI: 0xffffff8020e2fb00
R8:  0x0000000000000023, R9:  0x0000000000000002, R10: 0x000ffffffffff000, R11: 0x00043c40f4e15c3f
R12: 0x00000000002b560e, R13: 0xffffff801ecd5000, R14: 0xffffff8020e2fb00, R15: 0xffffff7f80000000
RFL: 0x0000000000010203, RIP: 0xffffff80177cf283, CS:  0x0000000000000008, SS:  0x0000000000000010
Fault CR2: 0x0000000000000030, Error code: 0x0000000000000000, Fault CPU: 0x2

Backtrace (CPU 2), Frame : Return Address
0xffffff83c2453870 : 0xffffff801772bda1 
0xffffff83c24538f0 : 0xffffff8017817cc2 
0xffffff83c2453ab0 : 0xffffff8017834b73 
0xffffff83c2453ad0 : 0xffffff80177cf283 
0xffffff83c2453bf0 : 0xffffff80177d19b8 
0xffffff83c2453c10 : 0xffffff80177d1b36 
0xffffff83c2453c70 : 0xffffff80177b5a23 
0xffffff83c2453cf0 : 0xffffff80177bccaa 
0xffffff83c2453d30 : 0xffffff80177bca3e 
0xffffff83c2453d60 : 0xffffff80177b3e75 
0xffffff83c2453da0 : 0xffffff80177ad38c 
0xffffff83c2453eb0 : 0xffffff80177a319c 
0xffffff83c2453ee0 : 0xffffff8017724287 
0xffffff83c2453f10 : 0xffffff80178031ea 
0xffffff83c2453fb0 : 0xffffff8017835396 

BSD process name corresponding to current thread: After Effects

Mac OS version:
14D136
Panic 2:
Code:
*** Panic Report ***
panic(cpu 5 caller 0xffffff8003017cc2): Kernel trap at 0xffffff8002ffed42, type 14=page fault, registers:
CR0: 0x0000000080010033, CR2: 0xffffff8038c20d38, CR3: 0x00000007e73110b0, CR4: 0x00000000001627e0
RAX: 0x0000000046de1f93, RBX: 0x000000000cca1d20, RCX: 0x00000000006650e9, RDX: 0xffffff803eef8ea0
RSP: 0xffffff83ccae3ca0, RBP: 0xffffff83ccae3d80, RSI: 0x000000011ac3b000, RDI: 0x000000000000003c
R8:  0x0000000000000069, R9:  0x0000000000000000, R10: 0x000000011ac3a000, R11: 0x000000011ac45000
R12: 0xfffffebd1e5661d8, R13: 0x000ffffffffff000, R14: 0xffffff802bf7f000, R15: 0xffffff8046cfb3a8
RFL: 0x0000000000010202, RIP: 0xffffff8002ffed42, CS:  0x0000000000000008, SS:  0x0000000000000010
Fault CR2: 0xffffff8038c20d38, Error code: 0x0000000000000000, Fault CPU: 0x5

Backtrace (CPU 5), Frame : Return Address
0xffffff83ccae3950 : 0xffffff8002f2bda1 
0xffffff83ccae39d0 : 0xffffff8003017cc2 
0xffffff83ccae3b90 : 0xffffff8003034b73 
0xffffff83ccae3bb0 : 0xffffff8002ffed42 
0xffffff83ccae3d80 : 0xffffff8002fff645 
0xffffff83ccae3de0 : 0xffffff8002fad505 
0xffffff83ccae3ef0 : 0xffffff8002fa319c 
0xffffff83ccae3f20 : 0xffffff80033c9999 
0xffffff83ccae3f50 : 0xffffff800344ba86 
0xffffff83ccae3fb0 : 0xffffff8003035376 

BSD process name corresponding to current thread: com.apple.WebKit

Mac OS version:
14D136