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Old November 29th, 2005, 11:49 AM   #1
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Cheap Ram For My G5

Hello,

I am looking into upgrading my RAM memory on my Powerbook G5 dual 2Gz. I have currently 1.5Gb of RAM and I would like to purchase another 4Gb or so since I am upgrading my entire system for HD (Decklink HD card, Dell 2405 additional monitor, supplemental external storage etc)

Well, because of all this spendings, I am short now when it comes to buy the RAM modules, so I need to look into the cheaper ones unfortunately.

Is there a SIGNIFICANT risk in purchasing the cheaper modules of RAM? Any disadvantage that would definitely keep me away from buying those?

Or is it totally safe, aka they are generic-name products that perform equally well, it's just that they don't have any brand-name attached.

Thanks for any advice.

Mike
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Old November 29th, 2005, 12:21 PM   #2
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The one time in 8 years I bought generic RAM, I got burned. I always buy from OWC, or macsales.com. I only had a problem in dozens of sticks. It went bad 2 years after i got it, and I had a free replacement 4 days later.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 12:21 PM   #3
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yes. Significant risk. When it comes to RAM - they don't perform equally well. I'm sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear but I'm speaking from experience.

I'm a "value" type of shopper as you may be. Shortly after I bought my G5, I bought some less expensive Kingston RAM and from that point on I was living a nightmare of crashing programs. I was ready to jump out a window. Needless to say I had not connected the dots until I looked at the dated receipt for the RAM many weeks later. I then yanked out the cheap RAM ...and viola! - every crash happy piece of software would not crash no matter what I did.

AND!!! ...of all the makes of Apple computer, the one that most demands the strict specifications of the Apple brand RAM - it is the G5!!!

Speaking from experience, my recommendation to you is buy less Apple RAM if your budget is tight.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #4
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Many Mac owners swear by Crucial Memory as a second source to Apple branded ram modules. Just food for thought.

-gb-
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Old November 29th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Many Mac owners swear by Crucial Memory as a second source to Apple branded ram modules. Just food for thought.

-gb-
I second this, with a caveat. When I brought in my Powerbook to be repaired for a faulty memory slot, I asked if I needed to take my RAM with me (because I knew I had Crucial memory in there) and the Apple Tech (I refuse to call them geniuses) told me that it wasn't a problem because I had Apple RAM. When I told him it was 3rd party from Crucial he was surprised. Of course, the caveat here is that this was for a Powerbook and not a PowerMac, but I'm fairly certain it's all basically the same stuff between crucial and Apple.

mg
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Old November 29th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #6
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Mike,

You may want to check out Apple's prices again. I took a second Mac that I have in a couple of weeks ago and got 2 gig added for $433 after tax. It was a pretty big price drop from what I had paid just under two months ago when I had 4 gig added to another machine (if I remember correctly, that upgrade was $1,200). So Apple's gone from $300 per gig to $200 I guess, at least that's what it was a the Apple Store in WillowBend, and they change it out for you at the "Genius Bar."

On your question about using other brands. I've used other brands for a long time, BUT on my most recent dual 2.7 I really got burned and to make a very long story short ended up getting the hard drive replaced. Needless to say I had the old RAM uninstalled and sent back and went with the Apple brand. My 2.7 was only about 3 weeks old when all this happened. In the 8 years or so that I've used a Mac that was the first BIG problem I've ever had. But it was enough of a problem to make me decide to use Apple RAM from this point forward. I lost about 40 hours worth of work, but consider myself lucky that it was ONLY 40 hours, before "the Crash of 2005."

I'm not saying you should not use non-apple stuff, I'm just letting you know what happened one time when I did. Like I said though, up until that time I never had an issue.

Hmmm... to this point 8 people have looked at your post and 5 have responded.
Looks like everyone's got a story about RAM ;)
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Old November 29th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude Isbell
I always buy from OWC, or macsales.com
Ditto; been using OWC since the late 90's. They are my prefered place to buy RAM and other Mac-related geek goodies from. The only reason I'll buy elsewhere is if they don't sell what I need.

OWC is to my Macs -as- B&H is to my video equipment
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Old November 29th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Medavoy
Hello,

I am looking into upgrading my RAM memory on my Powerbook G5 dual 2Gz.
Hi Mike,

Maybe just nitpicking here, but I assume you meant PowerMac...not Powerbook, since the configuration you presented does not yet exist for the portable.

If using the PowerMac G5, I have heard many Mac users swear by Crucial....I even understand that Apple uses exactly the same products that crucial is selling, but Apple just slaps their name on it and sells it at a higher price. This may be true, but there is something to consider. If you go with a 3rd party option, you may pay a lower price, and get identical sticks- but if something goes wrong that requires repair - depending on the nature of the problem - if it can be in any way affected by the RAM, Apple can choose to charge full rates for repair, even if the unit is under AppleCare warranty - because 3rd party RAM and related incidental repair can easily fall outside the scope of AppleCare. For this reason, I have chosen to stick with the Apple RAM - so if anything goes wrong, it's all Apple and falls inline with my AppleCare warranty plan.

About a month after I bought 2 gigs of RAM for my Powerbook ($1000 - yikes!) my logic board failed. I am guessing that if Apple wanted to they could have proclaimed cheap RAM and faulty installation if I had done it myself with 3rd party RAM, but since I was using theirs, and it was installed by their techs through my ProCare Card program - it was all on Apple and they rolled out the red carpet to see to my repair at no cost to me. They even gave me a loaner to meet a deadline while my unit was begin shipped to a repair depot - (technically a temp purchase with full refund and no restocking fee when bringing it back to pick up my repaired unit (because I really pressed them with desperation).

The RAM was a business expense for me and my business relies on it so in this way I found it a cinch to justify the higher priced RAM.

Hope this helps.
Good luck.
-Jon
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Old November 29th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #9
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Yes, of course, Powermac G5 not Powerbook...

After reading this I have bought 2Gb of Samsung original RAM...

I still have 1.5Gb inside - 512Mb Apple original and 2x512Mb cheap RAM I bought 1 year ago. About 6 months ago, my logic board failed, too. Sent it to Apple care and it was replaced no problems, although inside I still had the cheap 3rd party product.

Hope it won't happen again, but I wonder if my new 2Gb will be compatible with the old sticks (PC3200). The new ones are PC4200. In the worst case, I will remove the old sticks and gradually build up my RAM from original Apple sticks to 4Gb or so...
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Old November 29th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #10
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Mike, I could be wrong, but it sounds like your're running an older dual processor, not the dual-core, and I think that the pc4200 you just ordered may only work on the new dual-core machines. Like I said I'm not sure but I thought I would just give you a heads-up.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 04:13 PM   #11
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Ufff...

You were right... I don't know for sure either but didn't want to take any chances and switched to the PC3200, I was able to exchange.

Yes indeed I have the first generation of dual 2Gz G5.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #12
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I didn't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I know what it's like to have something arrive only to find out that it won't work :-)
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Old November 29th, 2005, 05:25 PM   #13
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I also buy all my RAM from OWC. I have it on both Powerbooks (older G3), a dual 800 G4 and my dual 2.5 GHz G5. Never had a problem and all of them are stable.

There's a buyer's guide online at their website and that can help you select the right ram for your particular Mac.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 11:45 AM   #14
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On my Mac Mini, I purchased a 1gb stick of Corsair XMS3200 Perfomance RAM. It's worked flawlessly. The only thing is that you can't use cheap brand of RAM, such as the Value Select RAM from Kingston or Corsair. I tried a stick of Mushkin-brand High Performance Black PC3200 DDRSDRAM in the Mac Mini and that didn't boot up at all, so you can't go REALLY third party like that. From reading through this thread, Corsair apparently seems the way to go.

I paid about $130 or so for the 1gb stick back then (even though the Mac Mini doesn't use PC3200 to its full extent, I could use it in the future), it would have been an additional $250 or something like that in the system configurator before Apple lowered the prices on the RAM, now it's only $100 more. In all honesty, only on the higher models and in bigger quantities will you be saving a lot on third-party RAM. For example, if I wanted 8gb of RAM in the Dual 2.7ghz before it got replaced with the Quad, it was an additional $3,000 or so, but if I bought Corsair, it would have been about $1,500 which is obviously half the price of the Apple deal. I would say the same about the DDR2 situation and going with 16gb but that seems to be kind of a waste at the moment unless you're setting up a big render farm and need one bad arse server to be the main machine. Still you'd save a lot in higher quantities.

Laptop memory is the same, third-party PC133 SDRAM for my old 550mhz Powerbook Titanium would be about $220 bucks for two 512mb sticks. Apple charges $150 per stick, so I'd save $80 on it. Not much, but it's a saving nonetheless.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #15
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I use Geil Ram they make MAC versions of their ram im not sure what type the powerbook uses compared to the powermac....and i purchased it through www.newegg.com
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