RAM for iMac G3 350

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by buckers, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. buckers macrumors 6502

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    Anglesey, UK
    #1
    Hi, guys!

    Just installed Tiger on my old iMac G3 (350MHz, slot-loading), but was a bit slow so I thought I could see if I could up the RAM. Inside, there was an Apple 64MB RAM card and a third-party 512MB RAM card that had been installed later (so 576MB in total). Did some research and it seemed that these models were capable of coping with up to 1GB RAM, with 512MB SDRAM PC133 in each slot. Purchased another 512MB RAM card from here and was delivered today. But I can't get the computer to see it. I've tried reinserting and swapping them all around, but no joy.

    I'm not very good with RAM, but was wondering if it was because this new card was somehow incompatible with the other two? Or how can I tell if card is defective or not? Or if it's even the right RAM?

    Any help appreciated!
     
  2. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a

    madmax_2069

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    Location:
    Springfield Ohio
    #2
    I think you bought the wrong type of Ram. I always go to memoryx to look up info and sometimes buy from them, they are usually low in price and everything i have bought from them has always been correct.

    I have bought
    6mb Vram sodimm upgrade for my Beige G3 AIO
    2x512k Vram upgrade for my Performa 475
    Ram for my Beige G3 AIO (same memory constraints as the B&W G3).
    Ram for my Performa 475 before i found a 128mb Ram stick for it.
    the list the correct maximum that can be obtained for the systems (not the Apple listed ones).

    As i found out that most older Macs are very picky about what ram you try to use. they have to follow a guideline or it wont work or only half is seen, or it creates system instabilities if and when it does work. usually they have to be in matched pairs for it to work as well, sometimes you can slip by and it will work but chances are it wont.

    looked up the info on memoryx http://www.memoryx.net/imac400mhz.html

    You iMac is along the DV iMac line so anything 350-500 i think should work on your iMac 350. I think the iMac is just as picky as the B&W G3 is with its memory so you have to follow the guidelines before it will work.
     
  3. buckers thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Anglesey, UK
    #3
    Thanks for your post!

    Many sites seem to tell me my Mac needs SDRAM, but some say PC133 and others say PC100 (yours tells me PC100). Would choosing one over the other make the RAM any less compatible?

    Also, the older 512MB card doesn't have a lot of writing on it (just "512MB SDR DIMM"). Is there anyway of telling if it's a PC100 or 133?

    EDIT: I tried booting new RAM on its own, and computer couldn't detect any RAM, so I'm guessing it's either incompatible RAM or defective?
     
  4. macEfan macrumors 65816

    macEfan

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    #4
    The iMac g3 350-700mhz machines could take either PC 100 or PC 133. The problem is, the chip you ordered appears to be high density memory. The iMac will only take low density 512mb sticks.
     
  5. buckers, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011

    buckers thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Okay, thanks; I'm guessing that's why it's physically smaller than the sticks I already have? How can I tell if a stick I'm ordering is low density or not, if I go to reorder?

    EDIT: Thanks MacEfan for that link. Is there anyway of telling (when ordering from a website) whether a stick is high density or low density? I daren't reorder, lol!
     
  6. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #6
    an easy way (usually works) is to count the chips. low density would be 16 chips, or 8 per side. the high density is usually just 8 on one side, or 4 per side.

    your mileage may vary, ask the seller, etc. best of luck.
     
  7. buckers thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
  8. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #8
    The best way to guarantee that you get 512 MB of low-density RAM is to buy a stick that is specifically advertised as PC-100. Nearly all PC-133 512 MB sticks are high-density. (256 MB and below should be safe, though.)

    I will say, though, that from my own personal experience, 512 MB of RAM is plenty for an older Mac, even in Tiger. Anything BELOW 512 MB can cause issues, but once you hit 512, you tend to run into "diminishing returns". At this point, the speed of the processor and the hard drive are the major bottlenecks.

    Nothing you can do about the processor, but you can swap in a faster hard drive.

    Of course, it also depends on what you're doing with it. If you're wanting to run iMovie or Photoshop, then yes, the more RAM, the better. If you're just doing web surfing and old same-age games, more RAM won't help much.
     
  9. buckers thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    OK, thanks! When you say faster internal drive, I know how to install them and that they can take no more than 120GB, but how can I find out what type of drives are compatible?
     
  10. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #10
    Any 3.5" Parallel ATA (aka "IDE") drive will work. And you CAN put a drive larger than 120 GB in there, it's just that it won't see the full size. (There is also a commercial software driver package that can allow larger drive sizes, but I don't remember what it's called, or how much it costs.)
     
  11. buckers thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I've found supposedly compatible 120GB 7200rpm drives with 8MB buffer (apparently they come with 4400rpm drives). This combined with 1GB RAM; do you think that would make enough of a speed increase to make it worth the effort?
     
  12. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #12
    Well, what do you want to do with it? If you just want to use it to browse the web, then basically nothing you do will improve performance for that.
     
  13. buckers thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I upgraded to Tiger from Jaguar and the performance drop was pretty bad. Apps take a looong time to launch (I was thinking a faster hard-drive might help; either that or go back to Jaguar). I'd probably only use it for Skype, Spotify and web browsing; if you don't think it's worth the effort then I'd leave it :)
     
  14. Cox Orange, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #14
    whether it is worth or not is up to you.

    If you buy in online stores you will be:
    1x 512MB RAM about 20,-EUR
    1x 120GB HardDrive about 50,-EUR or 80GB for 30-40EUR
    this is the price of a PowerMac G4 2x1GHz on Ebay (and they often come with more than 512MB, up to 2GB allready installed). Well you would have to buy a display... (you can just swap you old harddrive as second drive)

    Ebay:
    1x 512MB RAM 1-5EUR
    1x 120GB HD is 15EUR max. or 1x 80GB is 8EUR max. (160GB often go for 9EUR, because people do not search so often for them, as they do for 120GB).

    this is the price of a 500-533MHz PowerMac G4, which will be 2 times faster than the G3 350MHz. (you can just swap you old harddrive as second drive).


    I am always a bit anxoius on installing hacks like the one pushing the 128GB limit, so I would go with 120GB. 80GB would do, too of course. Most 40GB models with 7200rpm (if you say you do not need the space) are older than the 80GB ones and are hotter and slower though both have 7200rpm.

    the iMac G3 350MHz is officially said to only go up to 10.3 Panther, 400MHz and more handle 10.4 officially. 10.4 will work though in your iMac. I would recommend you buy 2x512MB from a store and test, if you really see a difference ind speed for yourself. first with 1 512MB and then with both. Then send them back for reward and buy them for 5EUR each on Ebay (you will have to wait, if you do not want to take the first that comes along for 15EUR). (or you buy them on ebay and sell them there, when you see no improvement).
    You will be able to use those sticks in most PowerMac G4, too.
     
  15. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #15
    There's no spotify for G3s. There is Skype for G3s but supposedly getting video to work smoothly is a losing battle.
     

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