what kind of memory to buy

somecows

macrumors member
Original poster
May 6, 2003
62
0
Charlottesville, VA
Hi,

I have a new 12" iBook as well as a 15" aluminum 1.25 ghz powerbook. I want to buy more RAM for both of them, but am really confused about what to buy. I looked at newegg.com and there is such a range of prices - from 40 dollars for 512mb up to over 100 dollars. I'd like to spend as little as possible, but I want it to work. I have heard such conflicting things, some people say that cheap memory works fine in a mac, other people insist you need to get expensive made for mac RAM.

Can someone give me some tips or tell me about their personal experience. Also, I know I need 200 pin DDR SO-DIMM 266 speed for the iBook and 333 speed for the powerbook, but are there other specs I need to worry about?

And if I wanted to, could I put a gigabyte chip in one memory slot and have 256 in the other, or is it better to have it more "balanced", with 512 in each, or something like that? I'm not sure what the rules are...

Thanks
 

JOD8FY

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2004
633
0
United States
Go to www.crucial.com. The website will tell you what RAM fits your computer. Not only that, but all of their RAM is very reasonable in price and comes with a lifetime warranty and a compatibility guarantee. I have ordered from them and they are extremely fast at shipping - I ordered on a Tuesday and had it that Friday!

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,
JOD8FY
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
somecows said:
I have a new 12" iBook as well as a 15" aluminum 1.25 ghz powerbook. I want to buy more RAM for both of them, but am really confused about what to buy. I looked at newegg.com and there is such a range of prices - from 40 dollars for 512mb up to over 100 dollars. I'd like to spend as little as possible, but I want it to work. I have heard such conflicting things, some people say that cheap memory works fine in a mac, other people insist you need to get expensive made for mac RAM.

I need 200 pin DDR SO-DIMM 266 speed for the iBook and 333 speed for the powerbook, but are there other specs I need to worry about?

And if I wanted to, could I put a gigabyte chip in one memory slot and have 256 in the other, or is it better to have it more "balanced", with 512 in each, or something like that? I'm not sure what the rules are.
You don't have to "balance" RAM in a Powerbook 256 + 1 Gb is fine.

The problem with specifications is that the specs that count for Mac compatibility (SPD settings) are never published -- so you have no way to eyeball a spec and decide whether it will be compatible or not. Some PC generic RAM is, and some isn't.

The Powerbook has 2 memory sockets (PC2700). The iBook has 256 soldered-on and one socket (PC2100)

Your best bet is to choose RAM from a reputable vendor who tests and guarantees compatibility with your model of Mac, and offers a lifetime warranty and a no-cost return if it doesn't work.

Crucial makes good memory if you choose their Apple part numbers. The reason that they have separate Apple numbers is that some of their PC SODIMMs are not compatible. Crucial tends to be a bit higher in price.

In the USA I like Data Memory Systems http://www.datamem.com/apple-memory.asp

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 

RJP31484

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2005
184
0
Philadelphia, PA
canadaRAM suggested to me that I get my memory from datamem.com, and it worked out great. I bought a 1 gig stick for my iMac, and it is trucking along perfectly. I got it for a great price, and it got here 2 days before they estimated. I recommend them as well.
 

skubish

macrumors 68030
Feb 2, 2005
2,669
0
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Currently Crucial has a better price on the 1Gig ram
than Datamem
$136 at Crucial
$149 at Datamem

But Datamem's price on the 512mb is better than Crucial.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
skubish said:
Currently Crucial has a better price on the 1Gig ram
than Datamem
$136 at Crucial
$149 at Datamem

But Datamem's price on the 512mb is better than Crucial.
Where do you get that Crucial price?
http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp?model=iBook+(G4+1GHz)&tabid=AM
iBook G4
CT368655 US $148.47

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp?model=PowerBook+G4+1.25GHz+(15-inch+Display)&tabid=AM
15" Albook 1.25 GHz
CT368079 US $189.99

Reminder: You can't use the generic Crucial SODIMMs, especially in the 15" 1 GHz and 1.25 GHz, and 17" 1 GHz and 1.33 GHz models -- they are not compatible. You need to choose the model-specific RAM.
 

mim

macrumors 6502
I've got to say explicitly don't go with cheap "generic" ram for either laptop. I went to get some ram a few weeks ago from a local PC shop - I wanted the Kingston brand sticks they were advertising, but they didn't have any in and so offered me some generic brand instead, at $20 less.

No surprise that my powerbook was unstable to the point of uselessness after installing that. I took it back and got them to order in some Kingston sticks which have been working perfectly ever since.

It's really not worth the trouble to get a marginally cheaper ram and pay the price in hassle to swap it out, take it back, etc.
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
0
Randy's House
I've never had good luck with cheap RAM, personally.

I always buy from Crucial. Not always the cheapest, but 20 to 30 sticks later, I have had only one go bad.

Service is quick and efficient, too.