Lets discuss aftermarket RAM (again)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DucktapeFanboy, May 1, 2011.

  1. DucktapeFanboy macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2011
    #1
    I'de like to gather and discuss informations and opinions on aftermarket RAM keeping in mind iMac refreshes are around the corner. I did some research in guides and forums. Here are my thoughts. I do know that some of them are contradictory or probably even plain wrong. So PLEASE feel free to add and correct.

    -Samsung, Hynix and Kingston manufactor high Quality memory
    -Apple uses memory produced by those three manufactors. You never know what you are going to get when you order your iMac
    -If you want to add Memory to your current gen iMac you have to get DDR3 So-Dimms with 204pins unbuffered 1333Mhz (PC3-10600)
    -Those specification are not going to change with the next generation of iMacs (?)
    -Some recommend to always get Samsung RAM especially if you want to upgrade to 16 Gb to minimize chance of failure
    -Others say either one of the three main manufactures is fine
    -Others say you just have to make sure to have all your modules produced by the same manufacture (which means checking the installed modules before adding new ones)
    -Others say the manufacturer doesn't really matter. You just have to make sure the specifications are correct.
    -And of course there are individual experiences and huge differences in prices to consider.

    Those points are just meant to start us off. Lets add and discuss!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Pretty much all memory chips used in RAM are made by either Hynix, Samsung or Micron. OEMs like Kingston do not make their own memory chips.

    Apple is also known to use Crucial RAM in some Macs.

    List of brands that I would consider reliable (not in any particular order):

    • Kingston
    • G.Skill
    • Crucial
    • Corsair
    • Mushkin
    • Samsung
    • Hynix
    • OWC
    • OCZ
     
  3. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #3
    I always check RAMSeeker.com for the best prices. The one rule I use is the company better guaranty their RAM.
     
  4. likegadgets macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I swear by CRUCIAL.

    Have always received correct memory fairly fast at very competitive price.

    Had some issues recently on 16GB on my iMac and I asked them 2 months after purchase to replace all 4 modules because I did not want to go through the process of troubleshooting (required overnight ON) to determine which of the 4 modules had the trouble. They replaced the 4 modules overnight without problems.
     
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #5
    Many of your points are half truths, guesses or just plain old wives tales.

    There is NOTHING special about the ram an iMac uses.

    Make sure you buy your ram someplace with a lifetime warranty and offers easy replacement.

    Even better if the place is dedicated to Macs only and tests their ram in every Mac configuration there is. Like OWC.

    But even then, there is NOTHING special about the ram an iMac uses.
     
  6. DucktapeFanboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2011
    #6
    Well, thanks for your thoughts. I'm already less worried.

    I'de just like to give an concrete exampel of why in wanted to start this old discussion all over. Since we're at least hoping for the new top of the line imacs to come with 8Gb of Ram standard i think allot of us are going to go for 16Gb instead of 12. There was this one guide i read (unfortunately i couldn't find it now) that said the only Ram working 100% in 4x4Gb configuration in the current iMac generation is Samsungs. I don't have any experience on this myself and most of you seem to doubt it.

    So where i life i got those two options:
    Original Samsung Ram 2x4Gb for 110€ or
    Kingston Value Ram 2x4Gb for 70€
    You think the gap of 40€ ist justified?

    And there's a final question i've got. What can you say about this "Value Ram" several OEMs are offering. Is this a lower quality offer?

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  7. DucktapeFanboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2011
    #7
    Today i ordered a new generation 27" i7 HDD+SSD beast with the standard 4Gb Ram which is going to arrive in something like 6 weeks :(

    Anyway, of course i am going to add more ram to satisfy my greedy video compositing needs. When placing my order over the phone the apple employe strongly recommanded making sure that all the ram modules i add myself are from the same manufactorer as the ones that are allready in it.

    If i wanna act acording to this recommendendation that leaves me with two options:
    1) Waiting for the iMac to arrive. Checking which manufactorer they used and ordering 8Gb acordingly. (easing the pain in my wallet)
    2)Just ordering 16Gb now and replacing all the modules when the iMac arrives

    What's your opinion / experience? Do you think this really is important?
     
  8. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #8
    Just to add my two cents

    You get memory chips and then you get memory modules (what you actually buy)

    * Some manufacturers only make memory chips
    * Some manufacturers make memory chips and memory modules
    * Some manufacturers buy memory chips and make memory modules
    * Some resell memory modules and brand them as their own
     
  9. Calbretto macrumors member

    Calbretto

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    #9
    Will I have any problems installing two 4GB sticks of RAM to go along side the two 2GB sticks that I will get from Apple? Does everything have to be the same size to be compatible? (Sorry if this is a dumb question. A buddy of mine put the doubt in my head the other day)
     
  10. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #10
    There are four memory slots. As long as you match in pairs, everything will be fine. So yes, you can install 4 4 2 2 to get 12 GB.
     
  11. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #11
    Apple employee fed you a crock of BS. He had to lie in order to make it seem like he knew what he was talking about -- which clearly he doesnt.

    1) total waste of time

    2) why not try with 4 gigs first?

    skip the 16 gig upgrade, go with 12.

    figure 8 gigs costs 100 sheckles. That gives you 12 gigs when added to the original 4 gigs.

    but to go to 16 gigs you will need to spend 200 sheckles (8 gigs x 2) -- meaning the difference in price from 12 to 16 is 100 sheckles. and then you have 4 gigs of ram just sitting in a drawer.

    So 100 sheckles for 4 gigs of ram. Ouch.
     
  12. DucktapeFanboy, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    DucktapeFanboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2011
    #12
    Badger, i hear you. That was my calculation, too. Altough AfterEffects will eat as much memory as i feed to it. And besides i'm spending all my savings on this beast computer anyway so adding 70€ to the bill to go 16Gb doesn't really seem to make a big difference. And i'm thinking some poeple might be intereste in bying those 4Gb of "original iMac memory" on eBay. So in the end the 12Gb vs 16Gb isn't really a decision based on how much in want to spend.

    Of course that's only true if i go with less expensive ram. I couldn't afford to buy 16Gb of Samsung Ram (220€). So i'de rather go with 16Gb of Kingston Value Ram (140€). That brings me to a question i asked before. Does anyone know what this "Value Ram" Kingston is offering is supposed to be? Is it lower Quality? Would it be a whise decision to go for it? Here is a link to the Memory i'm talking about:
    http://www.mylemon.at/artikel,nr,24...ls,KINGSTON,4GB_DDR3_1333_MHz_Non-ECC_CL9.htm

    Any opinion is appreciated!

    *Edit*
    I just found this comment on ValueRam in another thread:
    Do you agree?
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
    Kingston ValueRAM is just a name for Kingston's RAM designed for consumers. The other lineup is HyperX which is meant for enthusiasts and overclockers. It is the same stuff as other RAM. It being "value" does not mean that it is lower quality than something else.

    I have used Kingston's ValueRAM in various machines without any issues.
     
  14. DucktapeFanboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2011
    #14
    Since Hellhammer already mentioned the HyperX Series. Lets talk about faster solutions (if any exist). As far as i understand Ram has two indicators of its speed: The clocking and the timings. So what would give me the best performance if i replaced all the Ram my new iMac comes delivered with?

    If I went for better timings (something like Cl7) would the iMac / MacOS even recognize the difference? And if it does, would there really be a difference in performance?

    And what about higher clockings? The new i7 cpu and the new z68 chip both seem to support 1600Mhz Ram. But will the Ram be recognized as such? And something i'de be worrieng about as well is might this faster Ram produce more heat? Or is it absolutely pointless because higher clocked Ram doesn't show any real life advantages but is just for people who want to show off with their benchmarks?

    Questions, questions, so many questions...
    I'm close to admitting that one reason of contributing to this thread might just be to kill those 4-6 weeks till my new Computer arrives... :p
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    Lets put down some numbers.

    DDR3 1333MHz CAS 7 = latency of 10.5ns
    DDR3 1333MHz CAS 9 = latency of 13.5ns
    DDR3 1600MHz CAS 9 = latency of 11.25ns
    DDR3 1600MHz CAS 11 = latency of 13.75ns

    DDR3 1333MHz maximum memory bandwidth = 170.6Gb/s (dual-channel) - 85.3Gb/s (single-channel)
    DDR3 1600MHz maximum memory bandwidth = 204.8Gb/s (dual-channel) - 102.4Gb/s (single-channel)

    So, 1333MHz CAS 9 has 6.4% lower latency but 1600MHz has 20% higher memory bandwidth.

    To be honest, you are not going to notice ANY difference between the RAMs. This shows how single, dual and triple-channel affect performance. Int theory, DC offer 100% faster memory bandwidth than SC and TC offers 150% faster than SC. In real world, the difference is negligible.

    With latencies, we are talking about nanoseconds! One nanosecond is the same as 0.000000001 seconds, or 1E-9 seconds. Again, nothing you would notice in real world.

    At least the MBPs support 1600MHz RAM so I can't see why iMacs would not. The voltage is the same 1.5V for 1333MHz and 1600MHz so I doubt you would see much difference in temps.
     
  16. tulsamal macrumors newbie

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    Vinita, OK
    #16
    That's exactly the conclusion I came to. I went to OWC to order some RAM. The OWC RAM was around $104 for two 4 gigs. So around $210 for four 4 gigs. I liked the idea of having 16 gigs of RAM but it was hard to justify spending twice as much money to move from 12 to 16. So I decided to just order the two 4 gig modules. I should be able to somehow deal with the agony of only 12 gigs of RAM for a year or two. Then when I'm inevitably trying to find a way to speed the top of the line i7 up, I'll be able to either bump up to 16 or maybe the giant jump to 8 gig sticks will have gone away. Then I could get two 8 gig to add to my two 4's. Then I would have 24!

    ("Giant bump" in RAM prices when you move from 4 gig to 8. Right now at OWC, going to 16 gig with four 4 gig sticks will cost you $208. Going to 16 with two 8 gig modules will run you a cool $1500. Wow!)

    Gregg
     
  17. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    #17
    Guys I want to bump my new iMac to 12gb of ram from the 4th that I have now.

    Which is a quality brand that I can trust? I know kingston is very good right? So I need 2 4gb sticks. Which one should I buy ? The other one i know is good is the owc but a 100 bucks is a little expensive but i want good quality ram and not some cheaply made ram
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231295

    There is no need to spend extra $ on certain brand. I've seen a lot MBP users buying that RAM for their 2011 MBP and it works flawlessly.
     
  19. Benz63amg, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    #19
    I never heared of g skill though? What about the Kingston valueram, is that better than the g skill? Or the corsair 8gb kit which is also 8gb

    Which one Did u buy hellhammer. I don't want to put cheap ram in my iMac you know, I don't want to take risks.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #20
    I don't have 2011 iMac or MBP. All RAM is basically the same so you can't say Kingston is better than G.Skill. Personally, I just go with the cheapest brand as long as it has good reviews. No matter what brand you buy, it may be DOA or fail at some point, although the possibility of those is very small.
     
  21. archer75 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    For the things you said you use your computer for you don't need more ram.

    And we've been over it before, brand doesn't matter.
     
  22. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Crucial is Micron. It's their consumer-facing brand.
     
  23. DucktapeFanboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2011
    #23
    About the money issue:
    I can see why people don't wanna waste money on 16Gb and if you won't use it anyway there's no reason getting it. But i'm sure i could put them to good rendering use. And finacially i like to look at things this way:

    As soon as my iMac arrives and i confirm it works the way it should i rip out its stock Ram and sell it on eBay. Shouldn't be hard selling "original iMac Ram". So suddenly 16Gb isn't twice as much as 12Gb.
    But the bigger benefit i'm keeping in mind is the increased resell value of the whole computer. So spending this extra bucks might really pay off in two or three years when i sell it, don't you think?


    And one more time about the choice of Ram:
    Well i see now that there isn't a big performance reason for putting in "faster Ram". But is there a real reason NOT to put it in? I'm asking because where i live i can get the Kingston HyperX modules for almoest the same money as their so called ValueRam.

    I am starting to enjoy those nerdy discussions.
     
  24. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #24
    G skill is well rated in the PC overclocking market.
     
  25. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    #25
    So iv done some research on sites and narrowed down to 2 products ,one from G Skill and one form Crucial to being the best Ram for the new 2011 iMac(Other than OWC but thats too expensive)

    G skill : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...rue&Keywords=(keywords)&Page=1#scrollFullInfo



    Crucial: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...m_re=8gb_ddr3_1333_204-_-20-148-345-_-Product


    Now, between the 2, which one should i get? they both have a couple of bad reviews but mostly are positive, kingston has too many bad reviews and so did corsair so these are crossed out in my book.

    I want the absolute best performance, im leaning towards the Crucial, what do u guys think?
     

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