Who knows about RAM? (for a new 2GHz iMac)

dman8950

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 21, 2005
31
0
Lafayette, IN
I think I finally decided to buy a new iMac, but I don't like the prices Apple charges for RAM. I really don't know much about RAM manufacturers, other than that "you get what you pay for". Is this true for Apple's RAM? Are they over charging? I'd like to put the iMac up to the 2 gigs right away, but was wondering if someone knew of a economical substitute for Apple. I naturally want the best quality per dollar ratio I can find, so if anyone has bought non-Apple ram, can you let me know? Maybe some "do's & don'ts" about 3rd party RAM upgrades, or who to buy from / who NOT to buy from...

Thanks! (Going to the apple store tomorrow to get the 20" iMac!!)
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
0
England
A 2Ghz iMac will accept RAM from any iMac G5. So 1.6Ghz and 1.8Ghz iMac RAM will work. I've also managed to successfully use 2x256MB Power Mac G5 modules at one point but I'm not too sure if all Power Mac RAM works in an iMac.

And as the other guy said, Crucial is the most reliable third-party RAM manufacturer.
 

Angelus520

macrumors regular
May 22, 2003
133
0
Chicago
I just bought a 20" iMac and it's waiting at the UPS Store for me to pick it up tonight. There's also a stick of 1GB RAM waiting there for me, too, and I ordered it from Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com ). They are always a good place to check out for RAM and other Mac needs.
 

Verto

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2005
582
0
Denton, TX
dman8950 said:
I think I finally decided to buy a new iMac, but I don't like the prices Apple charges for RAM. I really don't know much about RAM manufacturers, other than that "you get what you pay for". Is this true for Apple's RAM? Are they over charging? I'd like to put the iMac up to the 2 gigs right away, but was wondering if someone knew of a economical substitute for Apple. I naturally want the best quality per dollar ratio I can find, so if anyone has bought non-Apple ram, can you let me know? Maybe some "do's & don'ts" about 3rd party RAM upgrades, or who to buy from / who NOT to buy from...

Thanks! (Going to the apple store tomorrow to get the 20" iMac!!)
I ordered a 1GB stick of RAM off of New Egg for 120$ w/ shipping incl..it'll be here Monday, so I'll see how it works.
 

rickvanr

macrumors 68040
Apr 10, 2002
3,259
11
Brockville
All you need to know is DDR RAM, PC3200, 184pin, Non-ECC, CL3 is the best type I think, but CL2 will work fine too. Size is up to you.
 

Verto

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2005
582
0
Denton, TX
rickvanr said:
Size is up to you.
True, but there is no point IMO in buying anything but a 1GB stick. With only two slots, you are just throwing your money away by buying, say, a 256 or another 512 since down the road you will have to replace it if you want more memory. Now some may argue that not everyone needs 1.5 or 2GB of RAM. This is of course gibberish and should be ignored. Everyone needs to max out their RAM; they aren't a complete person until they have.
 

Verto

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2005
582
0
Denton, TX
rickvanr said:
Do iMacs not need paired RAM or is that only the PMs? If they don't, 1GB is better then 512MB x 2.
The whole paired RAM is open to considerable debate. Suffice it to say, having a 512 and a 1GB stick is going to give you much more power than a 512 and a 512, simply because they are "paired".
 

eva01

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2005
4,715
0
Gah! Plymouth
rickvanr said:
Do iMacs not need paired RAM or is that only the PMs? If they don't, 1GB is better then 512MB x 2.
I do not believe they Need paired RAM, because if you go to the customization you can get 1.5GB of RAM put in which would mean 1GB in one slot and 512 in the other.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
rickvanr said:
All you need to know is DDR RAM, PC3200, 184pin, Non-ECC, CL3 is the best type I think, but CL2 will work fine too. Size is up to you.
Gotta disagree with you here.

The iMac G5 is the most finicky G5 machine made on RAM compatibility. If the Serial Presence Detect settings are not right, it will fail. Some RAM that is tolerated by PowerMac G5s will fail in the iMac G5. CL3 or CL2.5 or CL3 are irrelevent - according to Apple it will take all of them - and there is no indication that the motherboard is able to exploit tighter latencies.

Buy your RAM for a reputable seller that tests and guarantees the RAM in your specific model.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,652
37
San Francisco, CA
check out crucial.com
They have a product compatibility checker, and if it says it will work they guarantee it. As for myself I haven't tried putting RAM in my iMac G5, but I've looked into it a bit and from what I've heard it isn't that hard.
Also, I've seen crucial advertized on other MAC sites, so I imagine they would work well.
 

KittenKrusher

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2005
144
0
I thought the only type of memory that required an identical pair was rambus RD ram. I only know cause I still got a PC that uses RDRAM.
 

Artful Dodger

macrumors 68020

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Beta said:
No no No
That link is DDR-2 RAM, completely different stuff (gheeze... :( )
PC-4200 DDR-2 is only coincidentally similar in naming to PC3200 DDR. There are some companies that build faster DDR RAM, and call it PC4000 or PC4400 (not official nomenclature) however, these are of absolutely no benefit to a MAc because the MAc will run the RAM at a fixed 400 MHz (PC3200) speed no matter what.

I thought the only type of memory that required an identical pair was rambus RD ram. I only know cause I still got a PC that uses RDRAM.
It depends on the machine's memory controller, not the RAM. Some RAMBus motherboards take RAM singly. There have been a number of machines that require different types of RAM in pairs, including the PowerMac 6100/7100 series with 72 pin SIMMs and the Quadra 700 that required banks of 4 30 pin SIMMs.

iMac G5
------------
Maximum 2 Gb with 2 x 1 Gb PC3200 DIMMs
Can be installed singly
A theoretical improvement in speed with 128-bit access (not Dual Channel though) if you put in a matched pair. The real world improvement is arguably nil.
SPD settings are critical - many PC generic modules won't work because of improper SPDs.

> all PowerMac G5's need matched pairs
if you go to the Apple web page for the iMac you don't need matched pairs
iMac G5 does not equal PowerMac G5... :rolleyes: Completely different architecture.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 

yenko

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2005
522
0
SouthWest-USA
Verto said:
True, but there is no point IMO in buying anything but a 1GB stick. With only two slots, you are just throwing your money away by buying, say, a 256 or another 512 since down the road you will have to replace it if you want more memory. Now some may argue that not everyone needs 1.5 or 2GB of RAM. This is of course gibberish and should be ignored. Everyone needs to max out their RAM; they aren't a complete person until they have.
Not necessarily true as per this Apple article. :rolleyes:
 

yenko

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2005
522
0
SouthWest-USA
CanadaRAM said:
Apple article not necessarily true, as per this article

XBENCH SHOWS UP TO 29% GAIN WITH MATCHED PAIRS.
The classic STREAM tests (Copy, Scale, Add, Triad) in Xbench showed a consistent speed gain of up to 29% with matched pairs. The SYSTEM tests (Allocate, Fill, Copy) showed not only a 21% gain with matched pairs but a 12% gain with unmatched pairs (as opposed to single stick).
The above is memory thread related. :eek:

However, Xbench failed to show any gain in CPU, THREAD or GRAPHICS tests related to memory configuration. Ditto for Cinebech 2003 and AltiVec Fractal -- zero gains. So next we tried REAL WORLD application tests:
The above is not. :)
 
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