RAM upgrade causing freeze/restart?

oclor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 14, 2006
211
5
Boston
Hello everyone,

I purchased a brand new late 2015 27" iMac 5k in November and it ran perfectly (I absolutely love it). I decided to finally upgrade the RAM last month and went with OWC's 32gb kit.

I installed the new RAM and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Computer recognized all 32 gigs and ran fine. But whenever I start watching video online the iMac would freeze and after about 10-15 seconds it would restart. This started happening not just with video but randomly even when I'm not using the computer.

I contacted OWC who recommended cleaning the connection on the RAM stick with a pencil eraser to remove any artifacts from the manufacturing process. I did that but nothing changed. They then asked me to send it back so they send me a new kit.

While I was waiting for the new kit to arrive I put back my original two sticks from Apple and the computer never froze/restarted even with the heaviest use.

Today I received the brand new 32gb kit from OWC, installed it right away and as soon as I started up a video online the computer froze again then restarted.

I thought maybe it was one or both of the previously unused slots on the iMac (the two bottom ones) that was the problem so I installed my original two sticks in those two slots but everything has been working perfectly. Because of this I am 100% certain that it's the RAM that is the problem but I just can't believe two new kits from OWC would be defective.

Anyone else having this problem or know of a solution? I really don't want to be stuck with just 8gigs of ram (or shell out the crazy amount Apple would charge for 32gb)
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,989
6,603
Hong Kong
OWC is almost the most expensive option, but not necessary the best choice. The nice part is they will to give you the replacement. If shipping is not an issue to you, you can keep replace it until you get a set of working RAM.
 
Last edited:
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throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,214
3,558
Perth, Western Australia
RAM is occasionally DOA. Your's seems like it is.

Doesn't matter who you buy from, there is a failure rate.

Exchange it.... OWC should replace it under warranty.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,126
2,638
Delaware
You could try again with OWC. Maybe the third time is a charm :D
As posted above, not always your best choice, but in my experience, OWC tech support is always (for me) quite helpful.
 

JorgeZ

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2016
5
1
Hello everyone,

I purchased a brand new late 2015 27" iMac 5k in November and it ran perfectly (I absolutely love it). I decided to finally upgrade the RAM last month and went with OWC's 32gb kit.

I installed the new RAM and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Computer recognized all 32 gigs and ran fine. But whenever I start watching video online the iMac would freeze and after about 10-15 seconds it would restart. This started happening not just with video but randomly even when I'm not using the computer.

I contacted OWC who recommended cleaning the connection on the RAM stick with a pencil eraser to remove any artifacts from the manufacturing process. I did that but nothing changed. They then asked me to send it back so they send me a new kit.

While I was waiting for the new kit to arrive I put back my original two sticks from Apple and the computer never froze/restarted even with the heaviest use.

Today I received the brand new 32gb kit from OWC, installed it right away and as soon as I started up a video online the computer froze again then restarted.

I thought maybe it was one or both of the previously unused slots on the iMac (the two bottom ones) that was the problem so I installed my original two sticks in those two slots but everything has been working perfectly. Because of this I am 100% certain that it's the RAM that is the problem but I just can't believe two new kits from OWC would be defective.

Anyone else having this problem or know of a solution? I really don't want to be stuck with just 8gigs of ram (or shell out the crazy amount Apple would charge for 32gb)

Hello,

I have the same issue. Were you able to fix it? I'm on the 3rd round of memory from OWC. Just picked up my iMac from the store where they ran tests on it for a week. No issues found. They said it was faulty memory sticks. I filed a complaint with Apple support. They insisted I buy their expensive RAM, which most of the employees at the store do not realize is also 3rd party.
 

oclor

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 14, 2006
211
5
Boston
Hello,

I have the same issue. Were you able to fix it? I'm on the 3rd round of memory from OWC. Just picked up my iMac from the store where they ran tests on it for a week. No issues found. They said it was faulty memory sticks. I filed a complaint with Apple support. They insisted I buy their expensive RAM, which most of the employees at the store do not realize is also 3rd party.
Nope. I went through three of their sticks as well and rubber each one of them with an eraser like they told me to and they were all faulty. Ended up returning it and they didn't even refund me the full price, I am extremely disappointed in OWC and lost all faith in them. I'm still rocking the 8gb ram the computer came with. If anyone has suggestions for reliable ram I'm all ears.
 

n8sackett

macrumors newbie
Feb 25, 2017
1
0
Richmond, VA
Really glad to find that I'm not the only one with this issue. I have a Late 2015 retina iMac and have gone through the same gyrations with OWC. This will be my second RMA now. Has anyone had any success with Data Memory or Crucial? I'm about ready to pony up but would like to know that it works. Thanks everyone!
 

JorgeZ

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2016
5
1
Really glad to find that I'm not the only one with this issue. I have a Late 2015 retina iMac and have gone through the same gyrations with OWC. This will be my second RMA now. Has anyone had any success with Data Memory or Crucial? I'm about ready to pony up but would like to know that it works. Thanks everyone!
[doublepost=1488126981][/doublepost]Try installing the apple memory in slots 1 and 3 and the third party in slots 2 and 4. I think this may have solved the freezing on my iMac.

Good luck.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,504
2,148
Between the coasts
Hello,

I have the same issue. Were you able to fix it? I'm on the 3rd round of memory from OWC. Just picked up my iMac from the store where they ran tests on it for a week. No issues found. They said it was faulty memory sticks. I filed a complaint with Apple support. They insisted I buy their expensive RAM, which most of the employees at the store do not realize is also 3rd party.
Which was it, "no issues found" or "faulty memory sticks?"

My understanding is that Apple will remove 3rd-party RAM and then test with standard Apple RAM - if it tests OK with Apple RAM, they've confirmed the Mac is working as designed, built, and sold to you. That is likely what "no issues found" meant. "Faulty memory sticks" would then mean, "When we replaced your RAM with our RAM, it worked fine." It's a pretty straightforward cause-and-effect.

No computer maker promises that their machine will work with any RAM you put into the thing, any more than they'd promise that any USB accessory you plug in will work. It's up to the people who make and sell RAM (and USB accessories) to make sure their stuff works. If you think it's some sort of Apple conspiracy, then everyone who bought RAM for Macs from anyone other than Apple would be having the same problem. Since I (and many other people) have purchased RAM for my Macs from other sources, and it works fine... accept the possibility that sometimes bad RAM happens to good people.

I doubt the store staff is unaware that Apple's RAM is 3rd party. That's not what matters. If OWC's warranty is on the RAM, then it's OWC's problem, not Apple's.

Why did you file a complaint with Apple support? It sounds like they did their job. "You should have found something wrong with your product instead of OWC's" is a hard argument to win, if removing OWC's RAM fixed the problem.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,214
3,558
Perth, Western Australia
Really glad to find that I'm not the only one with this issue. I have a Late 2015 retina iMac and have gone through the same gyrations with OWC. This will be my second RMA now. Has anyone had any success with Data Memory or Crucial? I'm about ready to pony up but would like to know that it works. Thanks everyone!
Memory has a failure rate. Whoever you buy from.

iMacs dont' need any particularly special memory. Look up spec in the manual, buy some from a reputable brand, job done.

I've used Corsair, Geil and Kingston memory and have yet to have a dead stick in the past 10-15 years.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,871
After a spell of bad ram in various PC's I've owned I've been very fortunate to never have a problem (knock on wood) with Crucial. My current iMac has been using 16gb crucial + 8gb stock for years now without a problem.

I'm sure plenty of people have had no problems with OWC. But if you have any warranty remaining I would try more RAM from a different manufacturer (buy it from Amazon so you don't need to worry about refunds and returns) and test it out. If it does it again I would think something is wrong with the Mac.

Also make sure you are getting all the proper specs. Personally unless you have a dedicated task that can benefit from it I use the stock speed too.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,214
3,558
Perth, Western Australia
Also make sure you are getting all the proper specs. Personally unless you have a dedicated task that can benefit from it I use the stock speed too.
Yup. difference in performance between stock speed memory and faster is minimal outside of sisoft memory benchmarks.

Also, clock speed isn't everything. "Faster" (in terms of Mhz) memory is often no faster or can also even be slower depending on the memory timings. Modern CPUs have plenty of cache too so i also tend to go for stability via "stock" memory speeds rather than as fast RAM as possible...
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,284
Silicon Valley
OWC had always been my go-to source for Mac memory for years and I've never had any problems with memory that I bought from them. I haven't needed to buy memory from them in a number of years, but in the past I bought memory from them for my old Mac Pro towers and for two past MBPs. All worked as expected.
 

eric bartlett

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2017
2
0
Hello everyone,

I purchased a brand new late 2015 27" iMac 5k in November and it ran perfectly (I absolutely love it). I decided to finally upgrade the RAM last month and went with OWC's 32gb kit.

I installed the new RAM and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Computer recognized all 32 gigs and ran fine. But whenever I start watching video online the iMac would freeze and after about 10-15 seconds it would restart. This started happening not just with video but randomly even when I'm not using the computer.

I contacted OWC who recommended cleaning the connection on the RAM stick with a pencil eraser to remove any artifacts from the manufacturing process. I did that but nothing changed. They then asked me to send it back so they send me a new kit.

While I was waiting for the new kit to arrive I put back my original two sticks from Apple and the computer never froze/restarted even with the heaviest use.

Today I received the brand new 32gb kit from OWC, installed it right away and as soon as I started up a video online the computer froze again then restarted.

I thought maybe it was one or both of the previously unused slots on the iMac (the two bottom ones) that was the problem so I installed my original two sticks in those two slots but everything has been working perfectly. Because of this I am 100% certain that it's the RAM that is the problem but I just can't believe two new kits from OWC would be defective.

Anyone else having this problem or know of a solution? I really don't want to be stuck with just 8gigs of ram (or shell out the crazy amount Apple would charge for 32gb)
[doublepost=1497489181][/doublepost]I have the exact same problem. Second set of OWC RAM 32 go (4 X8gb) and still causing problem. When I use the original 8gb which came with the computer from Apple the problem goes away. My problem is intermittent . Any solution found by anyone?
 

JorgeZ

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2016
5
1
[doublepost=1497489181][/doublepost]I have the exact same problem. Second set of OWC RAM 32 go (4 X8gb) and still causing problem. When I use the original 8gb which came with the computer from Apple the problem goes away. My problem is intermittent . Any solution found by anyone?
[doublepost=1497534641][/doublepost]Alternating slots for the OWC and Apple RAM seems to be working. I still think it's a bit slow for 40gb.

I still find it hard to believe the four sets of new ram I tried are all defective. The Apple tech admitted to me many customers were having the same problem. Good luck.
 
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eric bartlett

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2017
2
0
[doublepost=1497534641][/doublepost]Alternating slots for the OWC and Apple RAM seems to be working. I still think it's a bit slow for 40gb.

I still find it hard to believe the four sets of new ram I tried are all defective. The Apple tech admitted to me many customers were having the same problem. Good luck.
[doublepost=1497534641][/doublepost]Alternating slots for the OWC and Apple RAM seems to be working. I still think it's a bit slow for 40gb.

I still find it hard to believe the four sets of new ram I tried are all defective. The Apple tech admitted to me many customers were having the same problem. Good luck.
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm with you. Something strange going on with Apple. I even dealt with the engineers at Apple after extensive testing of my computer and they told the problem points to RAM as the problem. So, my 2nd set still gave me problems? I somehow doubt OWC have so many defective RAM kits. Strange enough, last 2days no crashes or freezes so I'm praying things stay that way. When you say you alternated, did you mix in Apple RAM with OWC? Is slot 1first from the top? I have 4 8gb OWC an 2 4gb Apple. OWC recommends paring. 2 8gb and 2 8gb. I guess I could try 2 8gb OWC and 2 4 GB Apple for 24gb versus the 32 GB I have now. I'll try this if crashes and freezes persist.
 

JorgeZ

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2016
5
1
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm with you. Something strange going on with Apple. I even dealt with the engineers at Apple after extensive testing of my computer and they told the problem points to RAM as the problem. So, my 2nd set still gave me problems? I somehow doubt OWC have so many defective RAM kits. Strange enough, last 2days no crashes or freezes so I'm praying things stay that way. When you say you alternated, did you mix in Apple RAM with OWC? Is slot 1first from the top? I have 4 8gb OWC an 2 4gb Apple. OWC recommends paring. 2 8gb and 2 8gb. I guess I could try 2 8gb OWC and 2 4 GB Apple for 24gb versus the 32 GB I have now. I'll try this if crashes and freezes persist.
[doublepost=1497712283][/doublepost]Hi Eric,

I believe I installed Apple 4gb in slots 1 and 3, and OWC 16gb in 2 and 4. My friends son works at Apple in Cupertino and suggested this. He also acknowledged that they are having issues with the iMac accepting third party RAM. Seems stable for now.
 

lovelybai

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2012
47
9
I used two original rams and owc rams. Having the same problem. Later I removed original ram, everything works fone now
 

dsc888

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
305
62
Boston, MA USA
I used two original rams and owc rams. Having the same problem. Later I removed original ram, everything works fone now
That's one of the reasons why I decided to buy 4 new sticks of 8GB HyperX RAM instead of combining different sizes and speeds. I know you can do it and many folks here swear by it. But I took out the mystery of possible compatibility and speed issues by keeping all the sticks identical. Good Luck!
 

mlibrescu

macrumors newbie
Jul 30, 2008
24
6
California
Hello everyone,

I purchased a brand new late 2015 27" iMac 5k in November and it ran perfectly (I absolutely love it). I decided to finally upgrade the RAM last month and went with OWC's 32gb kit.

I installed the new RAM and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Computer recognized all 32 gigs and ran fine. But whenever I start watching video online the iMac would freeze and after about 10-15 seconds it would restart. This started happening not just with video but randomly even when I'm not using the computer.

I contacted OWC who recommended cleaning the connection on the RAM stick with a pencil eraser to remove any artifacts from the manufacturing process. I did that but nothing changed. They then asked me to send it back so they send me a new kit.

While I was waiting for the new kit to arrive I put back my original two sticks from Apple and the computer never froze/restarted even with the heaviest use.

Today I received the brand new 32gb kit from OWC, installed it right away and as soon as I started up a video online the computer froze again then restarted.

I thought maybe it was one or both of the previously unused slots on the iMac (the two bottom ones) that was the problem so I installed my original two sticks in those two slots but everything has been working perfectly. Because of this I am 100% certain that it's the RAM that is the problem but I just can't believe two new kits from OWC would be defective.

Anyone else having this problem or know of a solution? I really don't want to be stuck with just 8gigs of ram (or shell out the crazy amount Apple would charge for 32gb)
I know it's three years since the original post, but I wanted to let people know that I just had the exact same problem. I have a late 2015 27" iMac. I decided to upgrade the RAM. I was running two 4GB Apple RAM and two 8GB OWC Ram. I replaced the Apple RAM chips with two more 8GB OWC RAM chips from Mac Sales.

My Mac began rebooting when it was idling and when I was using Apple TV, which was running off my Mac's iTunes. This happened a couple of times a day. At first, I didn't associate the rebooting with the RAM upgrade and I tried any number of things to fix the problem. Then I thought it could be the RAM. Then I found this thread. When I called Mac Sales, I was offered the same pencil eraser fix. I told them that no one on this forum reported the fix worked, so I didn't want to waste my time. I just wanted their RAM out of my Mac. They gave me an RMA.

I decided that before I ordered new RAM and lost $100 (they will only refund the two new chips I bought), I'd try the pencil eraser routine. Needless to say, it didn't work and my iMac continued to reboot. I ordered four Crucial 8GB chips from Amazon, installed the RAM, and left my iMac running over the weekend. The iMac didn't reboot.

Bad RAM can come from any supplier. But after reading this thread and considering my experience, I would not recommend buying OWC RAM from Mac Sales.
 
Last edited:

UbuntuFu

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2007
228
128
Bad RAM can come from any supplier. But after reading this thread and considering my experience, I would not recommend buying OWC RAM from Mac Sales.
I have a 2013 iMac and added 2x8 Crucial ram as soon as I brought the imac home. A couple of years ago my iMac would randomly freeze. Did a Diagnostic test and it turned out 1 of the Crucial sticks was bad, so I removed it. Was gonna get it replaced through Crucial's lifetime warranty but was too lazy. So instead 24gb I've been on 16gb. Honestly, didn't notice any difference lol. That bad 8gb crucial ram is sitting in my desk still.
 

mlibrescu

macrumors newbie
Jul 30, 2008
24
6
California
I have a 2013 iMac and added 2x8 Crucial ram as soon as I brought the imac home. A couple of years ago my iMac would randomly freeze. Did a Diagnostic test and it turned out 1 of the Crucial sticks was bad, so I removed it. Was gonna get it replaced through Crucial's lifetime warranty but was too lazy. So instead 24gb I've been on 16gb. Honestly, didn't notice any difference lol. That bad 8gb crucial ram is sitting in my desk still.
You know, I had the same problem as you with my previous 13” Mac. I added a Crucial RAM. The machine started freezing. I brought it to an authorized repair shop and they replaced the video card. The iMac continued to have problems and I got rid of it. Now I wonder if it was the RAM.
 

ThugFreak

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2018
112
44
California
I just recieved 32 megs (4x8) of "OWC" memory for my late 2013 iMac.
1 memory stick is defective. My iMac does the 3 beeps sound and won't boot.
The other 3 sticks are good. The pencil eraser trick didn't work.
Moving the sticks around didn't work.
I re-installed the original Apple 16 megs (4x4) of memory for now.
I don't really need 32 megs of ram, but I just installed a 1 terabyte SSD & decided to max out the ram.
I already issued a RMA online with OWC.
Not sure yet if I have to return 1 memory stick, or all 4.
 

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