Ram Matching Question


macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 18, 2004
I understand that this was briefly mentioned in a recent thread (which I can't locate now) so if I'm just causing trouble by posting this feel free to lock but I'm still curious.

Up until now I'd never heard anything regarding matching RAM amounts when upgrading (ie: 512+512 vs. 512+1gb) and how it's better than mixing RAM amounts but after reading a recent thread became interested.

I'm buying an iMac G5 next week and planned on buying a 1gb RAM stick (not from Apple, most likely CompUSA) but from what I understand, it would make more sense for me to have 512+512 rather than 512+1gb.

I was just wondering if I completely read that wrong or not. It seems to me that it would make more sense to buy a 1gb stick but.. eh, I don't know.



macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2003
I think if you're pushing the boundaries of performance with a machine, then having matched memory will give a small fraction of extra performance.

However, I think with an iMac you're unlikely to be doing that (and perhaps a powermac would be better if you are), so provided you buy reputable brand memory, you shouldn't see a difference.

I think the memory dealers push that idea as a way to get peeps to spend more.

That's my $0.02 - as you'll see from my sig. that's I went the 1.5Gb way. Bought my 1Gb stick from crucial (the same make as comes withh the iMac). :)

If you are keen on the matched memory, or you get a good deal, I'd go with two 1Gb sticks instead. That way you max out your iMac, and won't have to throw away two good 512mb sticks when you need more RAM.


macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
I would recommend checking the Crucial RAM link above. They have an easy locator to find the proper RAM for your iMac. They have a lifetime warranty.


macrumors G5
Couple of things - the real-world performance advantage of matching RAM for 128-bit access is doubtful.

When Apple says "matching" they don't define what they mean other then the RAM modules ust be "identical in composition". This means that matching a 3rd party module to the Apple 512 is a crapshoot.

You will (in my estimation) get far more benefit from 1.5 Gb of non-matching RAM than from 1 Gb of matching RAM.

Check www.datamem.com for pricing as well.