Surprised I Didn't Notice This Before...iMac Memory

RedSponge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2006
24
0
Bournemouth
So while once again adding up and comparing the specs for my impending iMac (i swear i'm not the only one who does this...please?) i noticed the Memory upgrades.

I deffinately intend to have the 1GB upgrade, but do I go for the 2x512MB cards, or the one 1GB? They are both the same price (£70.01, why on earth 1p?).

What is the reason behind having these options anyways? And what, if any, are the differences? Apart from, you know, two of them, and stuff, yeah...

Oh, and as soon as I find this out, consider an iMac sold.

Much appreciated, again,
Graeme
 

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
They must've got a deal on the 1GB RAM.

I can't see why 2x 512MB would be an advantage and a single 1GB stick will let you upgrade later with less hassle.
 
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jennysbelly

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2005
51
0
I just bought an iMac intel as well, however I took the stock memory and plan to buy from a 3rd party. The difference is that if you get the 1GB stick you can easily add another stick if you so choose. If you get the two 512MB sticks you would have to remove one to upgrade. So I guess it depends on whether you plan to max out at 1GB.
 
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neocell

macrumors 65816
May 23, 2005
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2
Great White North
I think it has something to due with it being dual channel memory and benefits of having paired DIMMs (working faster or more efficiently vs only 1). So, if I understand this correctly, 2 x 512 will work better than 1 X 1024, but then if you want to upgrade you loose out on both your 512 DIMMs, so in theory you should know exactly how much ram you're going to want/need and get that upfront in two equally sized (paired) DIMMs. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me
 
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JasonElise1983

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2003
584
0
Between a rock and a midget
i'm also pretty sure running two identical 512mb sticks would give you fast performance than one single chip. Maybe with DDR2 that isn't the case, but when then were running PC3200 they ran at Dual channel. I really don't know about DDr2 though
 
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RedSponge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2006
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0
Bournemouth
Well, I intend to keep this puppy for a number of years (3-5), and to keep my options open RAM wise, it would probably be better to get the one 1GB, there doesn't appear to be any benefit (or sense) for 1GB RAM to take up twice as much space as it needs.

1GB it is then, allows me to upgrade easier.
 
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neocell

macrumors 65816
May 23, 2005
1,074
2
Great White North
RedSponge said:
Well, I intend to keep this puppy for a number of years (3-5), and to keep my options open RAM wise, it would probably be better to get the one 1GB, there doesn't appear to be any benefit (or sense) for 1GB RAM to take up twice as much space as it needs.

1GB it is then, allows me to upgrade easier.
What would make the most sense is to just max out the RAM now, then you're sure to get matching pairs, rather than trying to track down a matching DIMM a year later. It's not really that much more right now anyways
 
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davidwsica

macrumors member
Feb 26, 2005
31
0
Where to buy

I just got my Intel iMac yesterday and it's thirsty for more RAM. I thinking to max out at 2GB. Does anyone know what 3rd party has this in-stock at a reasonable price?

Thanks,
David
 
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MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
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Interest to know the Cas Latency... Crucial list their modules as CL=5 which is quite poor. Decent fast memory usually has a CL=2

What is apple using I wonder? If it's faster memory CL=2 -3, you'd almost be better off getting your mem from apple as mixing memory with different latencys will either make the faster chip slower, or lead to possible compatability headaches in the future...
 
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geekologist

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2006
54
0
Texas
RedSponge said:
So while once again adding up and comparing the specs for my impending iMac (i swear i'm not the only one who does this...please?) i noticed the Memory upgrades.

I deffinately intend to have the 1GB upgrade, but do I go for the 2x512MB cards, or the one 1GB? They are both the same price (£70.01, why on earth 1p?).

What is the reason behind having these options anyways? And what, if any, are the differences? Apart from, you know, two of them, and stuff, yeah...

Oh, and as soon as I find this out, consider an iMac sold.

Much appreciated, again,
Graeme
It depends. Tests in the past have said that having two 512MBs is a tad faster than one 1GB. Although, if you plan to upgrade memory more in the future, then you want the one stick. That way you will have slots free to upgrade.
 
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davidwsica

macrumors member
Feb 26, 2005
31
0
AvaCam said:
Would you please pop out your RAM and share with us the specifications on it? If it doesn't show them then please let us know the model number.

Here's how to eject the RAM: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303084
Here you go, this is what is on the stick:

512MB 2Rx16 PC2-5300S-555-12
HYMP564564BP6-Y5 AB 0551

hynix
Korea 01

Doesn't mean much to me, maybe it does to you?

David
 
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Airforce

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
938
0
MacRumorUser said:
Interest to know the Cas Latency... Crucial list their modules as CL=5 which is quite poor. Decent fast memory usually has a CL=2
It is DDR2. You won't find any with CL=2
 
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RedSponge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2006
24
0
Bournemouth
Screw it then, if im going to make this baby last me, I might as well bite the bullet and get 2x 1GB RAM now, than pay possibly more 3rd party which might make it run at less than optimum due to different characteristics.

I mean, it's only a whole month's wages. :rolleyes:
 
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RedSponge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2006
24
0
Bournemouth
Just thought I'd bring this old dog back, rather than clog the place up with another topic along these lines...

So, i'm still quite undecided as to what is best for me memory-wise. I've been looking on the Crucial memory site (does anybody know anywhere cheaper, in the UK?) and I can get 2x 1GB RAM for about £202.

These are the options folks:

1. Get the iMAC with standard (512mb) memory then upgrade to the 2x 1GB above.

2. Get 2x 512GB and leave it alone for a bit, till I find I need some more, then upgrade to 2X 1GB (which would mean I would in the long run be spending more money on memory, just not straight away).

3. Go all out and get 2X 1GB straight from Apple when i total up and order online.

Choices...they make and break us all.

______
graeme
 
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T-Stex

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2006
470
1
Pennsylvania
Why not just order 1x1GB RAM from Apple in your iMac, and order another 1GB from Crucial or Data Memory Systems? I don't see this being a problem, and I think others have done the same thing, but correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not sure what the latency is on the stock Apple memory.
 
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~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
If the RAM works better paired, then just order one 1 GB stick with your Mac and buy another 1 GB stick from a 3rd party - then you'll be set for a long time! :cool:
 
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RedSponge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2006
24
0
Bournemouth
Is anyone aware of any drop/gain in performance when combining one Apple chip with one 3rd party chip?

With 3rd party, i'm only making a saving of £6.

I do intend to be set for a loooong time, this much is true.

EDIT: Pardon me, with a 3rd party, I get a saving of £36, which sounds a little more appealing!

But the question remains: Any noticeable drop/gain in performance by combining chips from Apple and 3rd party
 
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Airforce

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
938
0
RedSponge said:
Is anyone aware of any drop/gain in performance when combining one Apple chip with one 3rd party chip?

With 3rd party, i'm only making a saving of £6.

I do intend to be set for a loooong time, this much is true.

EDIT: Pardon me, with a 3rd party, I get a saving of £36, which sounds a little more appealing!

But the question remains: Any noticeable drop/gain in performance by combining chips from Apple and 3rd party
Hell no, save your money!
 
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CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
OK Hold Your Horses.

A variety of posts with mis-information.

1) DDR-2 667 MHz RAM is all CAS Latency 5. This is normal. There may be some premium memory out that gets down to CL4 but it will be $$
DDR-2 533 MHz is CL4
DDR-2 400 MHz is CL4 or sometimes 3
Don't make value comparisons against DDR PC3200 CL3 or CL2.5 - these are different animals

2) There is no indication at all that the intel Macs use Dual Channel access, therefore there would be NO advantage to using matched pairs (2 x 512) of memory over a single 1 Gb. None. If a 1 Gb RAM module is compatible, there would no drop in performance. Conversely, any gain in performance would be 100% attributable to the higher RAM total. Edit: Apple has stated that the intel Core Duo machines implement true Dual-Channel access -- therefore there is a benefit to installing matched pairs of RAM. However I still believe that 1.5 unmatched is better than 1.0 matched, so if you can't afford to go for a pair of 1 Gb modules, install one now.

3) Get your intel Mac with 512 Mb RAM and immediately add a 1 Gb SODIMM from a reputable third-party vendor. 1.5 Gb seems to be the sweet spot for RAM in the iMac Core Duo. 1 Gb may not be enough. Remember if you take the 1 x 1 Gb option from Apple you get the single 1 Gb module (you lose the starting 512 Mb module). For the same money, you can ADD a 1 Gb module third-party, and get 1.5 Gb total.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 
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BakedBeans

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2004
3,054
0
What's Your Favorite Posish
Peace said:
Apple doesn't make memory..

I'd personally go with the 1gig stick upgrade tho because in a few months iMacs will support 4 gigs using 2gig sticks..
i presume it will support 1x2gb chip and 1x1gb totaling 3gbs?

i see no reason why not - just thinking out loud really.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,486
2,532
CanadaRAM said:
2) There is no indication at all that the intel Macs use Dual Channel access, therefore there would be NO advantage to using matched pairs (2 x 512) of memory over a single 1 Gb. None. If a 1 Gb RAM module is compatible, there would no drop in performance. Conversely, any gain in performance would be 100% attributable to the higher RAM total.
Although dual channel memory access translating to tangible performance gain is debatable, the new iMac does indeed support it. According to Apple:

iMac computers contain 667MHz MHz double data rate, synchronous dynamic random-access memory (DDR2-SDRAM), one of the fastest memory technologies available today. All iMac systems include one 512MB SO-DIMM for a total of 512MB main memory. All systems will support up to 2GB of main memory using a maximum of two 1GB SO-DIMMs filling the two accessible memory slots. To maximize memory performance, it is recommended that memory SO-DIMMs be installed in pairs.
 
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Airforce

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
938
0
nutmac said:
Although dual channel memory access translating to tangible performance gain is debatable, the new iMac does indeed support it. According to Apple:
Yup, you see a bit better gain in AMD systems usually.
 
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