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Thread: Adding Memory

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    Adding Memory

    I am going to up the memory in my iMac from 2gb to 4gb. The 2x2gb sticks at Crucial are $110 and Other World Computing has the 4gbs at about $96.

    This will clearly be my bargain purchase of the year (way less than the lens caps I recently bought - go figure)

    Is there a benefit of one vendor vs. the other?

    Thanks,
    terry

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Memory

    I have used both for various products and would recommend either one. If there was any question about meeting a specific RAM requirement, I'd probably go with Crucial regardless of the price. But all things being equal, a decision based on price sounds right.

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    Re: Adding Memory

    I have used all kinds of RAM in various PowerBooks, MacBook Pros, G5s, and they all seem to work fine IF they are the proper spec. I have only had one RAM issue, when a chip on one board went flaky, causing system shutdown whenever that chip got activated. The vendor (RAMDirect) replaced the entire RAM module at no charge, and things have been working great since. OWC is reputable, and I buy a lot of stuff from them, never had any issues. As long as stuff is to spec, cheap is not a problem, and OWC will stand by their product. (There are only a couple of companies that make all of the chips that go into these modules. The real variation comes in how the module is built, and if the chips are certified and tested.)

    LJ

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    Re: Adding Memory

    Thanks TR and LJ. Crucial has a little program that looks at your system specs and figures out what to use and OWC goes by models and release dates. I will order one of them when I get home tonight. I am still stunned by how cheap 4gbs is!

    Next up will be extra memory for a MacBook Pro. Just waiting for the new models to be announced.

    Terry

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Memory

    I have been using the OWC RAM in both my MBP and MacPro and have been quite satisfied. FWIW, I ran a heavy ram/IO stress test on the MacPro ram and it passed with flying colors. (Runs all 8 cores and all 10GB of RAM at 98% capacity for an hour.) One of the sticks got a bit hot in that hour, but none failed.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Adding Memory

    just out of curiosity I looked at iMac RAM pricing at Apple. To move from the standard 1gb to the 4gb is $850.....a small $750 or half a Summarit difference.

    Thanks Jack. Wish my problems on my MacBook could be solved as easily but I'm maxed out on that machine. Also with just 10gb of remaining hard drive space a simple software update ran really slowly yesterday. All the pictures are being removed tonight and migrated to the desktop computer. when things start to get bogged down I start to get really nervous.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Memory

    FWIW, I just bought this little goodie from OWC, and it actually does power itself off the FW port and is VERY fast. I got the 7200 RPM/100GB model cause it's the bargain pricepoint ($179) and I rarely need to move more than 100G of images at one time off my laptop over to something else: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other.../MS8U7100GB16/

    I have not tried it, but I suspect it may be fast enough to use a CS scratch disk on the FW 800 port, or at least faster than using the main MBP drive...

    FWIW, I did NOT opt for the eSATA connection for a couple of reasons: 1) eSATA is NOT hot-swappable so you have to boot with the drive plugged in and turned on first, 2) On sustained transfer like we do with large folders of images, FW800 is essentially as fast as SATA2, and 3) you need to use a power adapter with eSATA. Obviously however, the eSATA connection would be the preferable way to mount a CS scratch drive to a laptop --- but you'd still need to power it separately.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Adding Memory

    Jack,
    I actually have 3-4 of those OWC cases (about $80 each), into which I installed my own HDs. The first one was to hold the 120GB drive I took out of my MBP when I replaced it with a 200GB 7200rpm drive. THAT makes big difference alone inside the MBP for both space and speed. I then dropped a couple 160GB drives into other cases that I am able to daisy chain at FW800, making back-up and storage easy, redundant if needed, and all bus powered. Seems to work quite well.

    I agree on the eSata part. It looks nice, but not yet bus powered, though that is coming very soon, I hear. You still have the issue of not being able to mount and dismount an eSATA drive, so FW just seems like it still has a lot more attraction, plus the ability to be plugged into more things. (I routinely plug the FW drive into my G5 to copy loaded files to another storage system. Had I been using eSATA, I would need those connections, etc. With the FW, I can plug the drives into any of my Macs and do whatever I need.)

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Memory

    I have a few of those OWC Mercury On-The-Go drives and they've been real life savers. The ability to run the drives without AC is wicked nice. They're quick and reliable.

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    Re: Adding Memory

    I've always been inclined towards the "you get what you pay for" philosophy but RAM prices are so outrageous in Australia that, when I needed some RAM for a Mac Pro, I did some googling and found that the feedback about OWC was consistent with the positive comments in this thread. As an experiment I bought two 1GB sticks of the cheapest OWC RAM ($127.99) on the basis that, if there were problems, I hadn't spent a huge amount of money. I installed the RAM yesterday and it seems to be working fine. If it's still OK in a couple of weeks, I'll probably order another four 2GB sticks. I found OWC excellent to deal with.

    I am interested, though, in learning if anyone has a strong opinion that the Crucial RAM is superior to the OWC equivalent.

  11. #11
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    Re: Adding Memory

    RAM is RAM. Buy the cheapest you can find. That is my strong opinion, after twenty-odd years of dealing with computers and hanging out with serious hardware boffins in Silicon Valley.

    Buy from a vendor that will take exchanges, as RAM, if it is bad, will fail quickly or not work at all.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Memory

    I'm going to disagree slightly, in that all ram is NOT created equal! Cheap ram can fail in heavy I/O environments, usually due to over-heating, so look for quality heat-sinks.

    That said, I have used OWC in my MacBook and Mac Pro, and used Crucial in my PC's and had good experiences with both. HOWEVER, on my Mac pro just this past Friday, one stick is showing an error so I am keeping an eye on it. The good news is OWC is very good, and I'm sure they'll replace a defective stick.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Memory

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    HOWEVER, on my Mac pro just this past Friday, one stick is showing an error so I am keeping an eye on it. The good news is OWC is very good, and I'm sure they'll replace a defective stick.
    Jack, are you running a diagnostic program which indicates that a particular stick is showing an error? Or is there some other way to identify faulty RAM? Apart from the computer not functioning at all, of course. In which case, I guess you'd remove the RAM modules a pair at a time to narrow down the problem to one or two faulty sticks.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Memory

    Mac has it's own diagnostic under "About This Mac," then "More Info." Tag the RAM subsection and there is a status column where errors will show. This tool identifies each module separately
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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