Resolved Is no-name RAM okay for my PowerBook G4? (need answer, buying today)

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Hey everyone,

So I am getting 2GB (2x1GB) of RAM for my (2004) PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz 15". I am being cheap and wanting to buy the $22 sticks instead of the $24 sticks, yet the $22 are no-name and the $24 are various brands depending on availability. My question is: Is it bad to get this no-name brand, which has a lifetime warranty, or should I just stop being cheap and spend the extra $2 for Samsung or something. (whichever they have in stock at the time)

No-name:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2GB-2x1GB-PC2700-DDR333-333MHz-200pin-Sodimm-Laptop-Notebook-Memory-NON-ECC-/151434905274?pt=US_Memory_RAM_&hash=item23423946ba

Various brands:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2GB-2X1GB-PC2700-DDR333-333Mhz-200pin-DDR1-Sodimm-Laptop-RAM-Memory-/121436177282?pt=US_Memory_RAM_&hash=item1c46290382

Thanks.
 
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poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
I never really understood the thing about non-brands...
What's up with them?
 

happyfrappy

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2007
343
49
Location eh?
poiihy, you need to be extremely careful with non-brands as they *may* promise a lifetime warranty for pure marketing/price strategy... you're at the mercy of their testing process/supplier chain. Keep in mind sometimes they're rebranding OEM sticks so chip suppliers can vary(Hynix, Samsung, NEC & even Crucial chips). For a few years in 2000-2005 Best Buy sold Centon RAM(rebranded OEM Hynix used by most PC makers), they were more reliable than PNY and sold at a more affordable price but things changed quickly(BB inked a deal with PNY as DDR2 became the next big thing for 2005). If you can't afford Crucial on a modern PC/Mac, there is a RAM company called "Team" who uses Crucial chips and seems to be only a NewEgg exclusive thing.

On the name-brand front their warranty holds more value as they won't disappear in say 3-5yrs, on the other hand some will sell different editions(value w/1-3yr warranty vs extra $10 per stick lifetime warranty). In my experience PNY is a crapshot for Macs, Kingston is a mixed bag and Corsair "Value" & GSkill are the better options if you can't afford Crucial.

...for PowerPC Macs, a rule of thumb is buy *good* RAM as G3/G4 Macs were more picky on the timings and "non-branded" are risky. When I got my 12" PowerBook G4 back in 2004, I had to do two exchanges at CompUSA for a usable PNY stick if it wasn't for the price I would have opted for Crucial.
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,665
1,656
I just tried some spare RAM sticks on a DLSD HR 15" Powerbook G4 I got recently. This takes PC2-4200 sodimms and one slot was empty. I tried a pair of Elpida PC2-5300 , which should clock down and the Powerbook did not want to know. ASD reported the memory as 'bad' although there was nothing wrong with either sodimm. Elpida would not be my first choice for RAM but it is hardly a no-name brand. I ended up with an obscure Hypertec PC2-4200 but even then System Profiler is reporting it as PC2-3200 with a clock rating of 288 instead of its rated 444. Even my antique Pismo gave me less bother when it came to RAM.

On the other hand, I have no-name dimms operating happily in my Quicksilver. Macs are finicky when it comes to memory, even with popular brands like Kingston.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,718
3,271
Kentucky
I ended up with an obscure Hypertec PC2-4200 but even then System Profiler is reporting it as PC2-3200 with a clock rating of 288 instead of its rated 444. Even my antique Pismo gave me less bother when it came to RAM.
I'm still learning my way around my DLSD(it's been in my hands a little over 24 hours) and haven't had the memory cover off yet. I just opened system profiler, however, and noticed this.

EDIT:

After pulling the memory cover and checking, both of mine are Samsung brand. One is PC2-4200, and the one registering as 3200 is actually PC2-5300.
 

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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,665
1,656
Yeah, I kept getting that no matter what RAM I tried, even when the spec was identical. It seems to be a thing with the A1138 as I noticed when I checked forums online. Geekbench seemed to think I had 2GB of PC2-4200, however, and gave me 975, which seems to be there or thereabouts.

At least the RAM for the DLSDs is dirt cheap compared with earlier PBG4s.
 
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