What type of Ram for Intel iMac? (details inside)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kntgsp, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. kntgsp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    Ok I've been searching for good deals on either 1gig simms or 2gig (2x1) setups for my Intel iMac. Anyway, I would like to buy Samsung ram, as it's never failed me, and most people seem to like it.

    Newegg doesn't have it.
    Macsales.com doesn't have it.

    And I'm positive it's pc5300, 677mhz (pc2, pc, whatever, i know what it is)

    So I go to Samsungs website. But I find two different kinds:

    PC2-5300 DDR2-667 non-ECC DIMM Memory (also non-registered) - 119.98
    PC2-5300 DDR2-667, ECC, non-Registered DIMM - 199.98

    So one with ECC and one without it, the difference being ECC makes it cost 80 dollars more.

    Does it matter which I get, and why? I can't seem to find if the 512 installed in my iMac is ECC or not.

    Help appreciated.
  2. bigfib macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2006
    You need non-ecc for the intel imacs.
    But beware, you need soddimms (ie laptop format) memory....
    Your specification could also apply to normal pc memory...
    You want this:-
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/5300DDR2S1GB/ (what i bought)
    Or this -
  3. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    As bigfib said, you want non-ECC, and you want to make sure to get a '200-pin SO-DIMM', not a 240-pin DIMM. (Nor a 184-pin, nor a 144-pin.)

    And it is specifically PC2-5300. PC2- and PC- are not interchangable.

    As for the difference between ECC and non-ECC? ECC stands for 'Error Correcting Code', and means that the module has extra parity bits (they are technically 72-bit accesses instead of 64-bit.) This extra parity can be used by the chipset to determine if there is an error in the memory. If it is a single bit of error, it can be automatically corrected; more than one bit cannot be corrected, but can be detected, and the OS can be alerted that memory has become corrupted. Normal, non-ECC memory does not support any form of error detection, much less correction.

    The chipset used by the Intel Macs (the Intel 945M) does not support ECC, but ECC is backwards compatible, so putting an ECC module in wouldn't break anything. It would just be paying money for nothing. (The chipset just ignores the 'extra' 8 bits of data space.)

    The main purpose of ECC is for systems where minimal downtime is needed, and accuracy is prized. Thus, ECC is mostly used in servers, and, indeed, the Xserve supports ECC. ECC does incur a slight performance hit over non-ECC; so if performance is more important than reliability, as in the Xserve 'cluster node', non-ECC is preferred.
  4. Steve1496 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2004
    For what it's worth, I bought this for my 20" Intel iMac and it works great. Only $105 for 1GB too.

  5. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    yeah, i saw this one and was tempted...but they charge tax in cali so the OWC ram was about the same price and i like OWC's customer service and support...but the specs are exactly the same. good deal for those living outside of california.
  6. alep85 macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2005
    Go to www.dealram.com my friend, and look for a PC2-5300 SODIMM stick. I bought a 512MB Corsair one from ZipZoomFly.com for 59 dollars shipped! As for the people who say you need Apple memory, ignore them. These Intel Macs no longer use Apple specific components, we are talking about generic Intel MB's and processors. Most PC parts like that will take any RAM you throw in it. Although I STILL avoid Generic memory, I would think any value-priced RAM like Corsair ValueRAM, Micron, Kingmax, Viking, etc. will do just fine as it does in any other Intel PC.

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