RAM for OS X

cutman1000

Registered
I know that with OS X, the more Ram the better, so my question is: What kind of Ram should I get and where should I get it from? I have a G4 500 Mhz (single processor) with 256 MB in a single Dimm. I would like a minimum of 512 so that my computer lasts until the G5 is released (I try to upgrade at every major chip advancement). I don't want any budget, cheap ram, only quality stuff. I also don't want to go through all those incompatibilites with Firmware. Price isn't too much of an issue. Thanks in advance.

Cutman
 
http://www.macresource.com/

has a nice RamWatch feature that lists several vendors, high/low/average prices listed by memory type and graphs trends in memory prices over time.

Over the years, I have purchased from almost every one of the vendors listed and have had no problems. My last purchase was a 256MB PC-133 for US$36.00 yesterday. Next day (by 3pm) delivery was US$7.00.
 

cutman1000

Registered
I think I have the Sawtooth Motherboard, because my computer has an AGP slot. Is PC-100 (or whatever it's called) the only type of RAM that I can get, or is PC-133 an option? 512 MB of PC-100 would help OS X, wouldn't it? Thanks.
 

endian

Dis Member
PC-133 will work, but it'll run slightly slower than PC-100 would. Of course, you'll be able to use PC-133 RAM in a new G4, at least until they switch to DDR RAM.
 

knighthawk

Registered
I buy RAM from www.crucial.com for all of my macs. It costs a little more, but it is in the same league as Kensington.

No matter which Mac I buy it for, I have been buying the memory for the new PC133 G4s. I even put a PC133 256mb chip in a Blue & White (not that it does anything special).

When I recommended this memory to a friend who had just bought the (now old) 533 mhz Dual Processor mac, he opened the case and told me that the memory that was shipped with the mac was the exact same brand!

I guess that means that Crucial memory is compatible, eh? =)
 

cutman1000

Registered
I just looked at the RAM on crucial.com, and the price difference between 512 MB of SD-RAM PC-133 and 256 MB of SD-RAM PC-100 is huge! $269 for 512 or $39 for 256! Is PC-133 really going to be slower in my Sawtooth G4 than PC-100 will be? I don't want to get anything that will slow me down. Also, is crucial.com's memory worth the extra price? It seems to be twice as much for PC-133 RAM as other places. Thanks.

cutman
 
PC-133 will be slower. Whether you notice the difference or not is another story.

One plus to buying the PC-133 (at least for now) is that it will be reusable should you purchase a 'new' G4.

I have never purchased from crucial.com so I cannot say if it's "worth" the price difference. My gut feeling is that it is not. As long as your memory is guaranteed to work in the machine for which you buy it and the vendor agrees to replace it with working memory if it does not, I see no difference. As I said, I just got 256MB PC-133 for $36 US a couple days ago. It is guaranteed for my life (assuming I don't throw it around the room or take a bath with my mac). As with knighthawk's experience, when i opened the machine to install the new RAM, it turns out that it's the same as the RAM which came with my machine.
 

knighthawk

Registered
How would PC133 memory run slower? The latency is the same. I thought the only difference between PC66, PC100, PC133, & PC150 was the bus speed tolerances. I understood that PC100 memory was guaranteed to be stable at 100 mhz bus, but could perform just as well at a 133 mhz bus.

Why then, would PC133 perform SLOWER than the PC100 in a 100 mhz bus system? Or is this something specifically with the Mac hardware?
 

knighthawk

Registered
Crucial does seem to be very expensive for their 512mb. I really do not know why this is. It seems that whenever a new type of memory becomes available, Crucials price is very high. They generally seem to be about 10% above what the "average" price is.

One advantage with Crucial is that they do not charge shipping for UPS second day.
 

Larry

Registered
Originally posted by knighthawk
How would PC133 memory run slower? The latency is the same. I thought the only difference between PC66, PC100, PC133, & PC150 was the bus speed tolerances. I understood that PC100 memory was guaranteed to be stable at 100 mhz bus, but could perform just as well at a 133 mhz bus.

Why then, would PC133 perform SLOWER than the PC100 in a 100 mhz bus system? Or is this something specifically with the Mac hardware?
I have been wondering the same thing while I read the thread. I was definitely under the impression that the PCxxx rating was an indicator of bus speed stability. I feel pretty certain that in the PC world no one spouts out that PC133/150 will slow down your 100 MHz FSB machine.

Perhaps it *is* a strange Mac problem or just part of the Mac lore. :)

--Larry
 
Looking for the (maybe imagined in my own mind) article that discussed this issue. If I am able to locate it, I'll post a link.
 
misunderstood the issue. My statement that PC133 would run slower was assuming he had pc100 installed already. My understanding is that 1) the PC133 would be limited by the motherboard speed and 2) the PC133 would be limited by the existing PC100 DIMM. Actually, I've seen #2 above debated. A debatewhich, I feel, is pretty pointless as the 'typical' user would never notice the difference between 100 and 133.
PCxxx is the measure of bus speed stability. I've seen PC133 work up to 140mhz and PC100 stable up to 133mhz. Your mileage may vary.
So, the only thing worth reading in my post above is that:

Buying the pc-133 ram will allow you to use it in new (for now) macs when/if you upgrade.

:eek:
 

knighthawk

Registered
this is copied from the crucial website explaining what Latency is...

CL=2 vs. CL=3
In general, CL=2 is better than CL=3, particularly if you are a gamer or have a high-performance system. However, if you are an average user, you probably won't notice the difference between the two parts. (CL stands for "CAS latency," which is the number of clock cycles it takes before data starts to flow once a command is received.)
When I was on the phone with crucial, the rep told me that in general, the CL=2 chip runs about 10% faster compared to a CL=3 chip. This obviously requires you to have all of your chips to be the same latency in order for your system to have that performance increase. If your Mac came shipped with a CL=2 chip and you bought a CL=3 chip, it could actually slow you down!

The current web price for a 256mb PC133 CL=2 SDRAM from crucial is $41.39 plus sales tax (if required), and no shipping charge if you are willing to wait about 3 days. Their 512mb chip is way overpriced at $269.00.

Another related, but similar subject:
I was sorting through some old papers and ran across an apple article about the Sawtooth G4. It has 4 memory slots instead of the 3 of the newer G4s. Apple says that the hardware will support up to 2 gb of SDRAM, but that the Operating System will not.

So the question is, will Mac OSX support up to 2 gbs of memory? And when will the mac hardware support 1g chips?
 

knighthawk

Registered
this is copied from the crucial website explaining what Latency is...

CL=2 vs. CL=3
In general, CL=2 is better than CL=3, particularly if you are a gamer or have a high-performance system. However, if you are an average user, you probably won't notice the difference between the two parts. (CL stands for "CAS latency," which is the number of clock cycles it takes before data starts to flow once a command is received.)
When I was on the phone with crucial, the rep told me that in general, the CL=2 chip runs about 10% faster compared to a CL=3 chip. This obviously requires you to have all of your chips to be the same latency in order for your system to have that performance increase. If your Mac came shipped with a CL=2 chip and you bought a CL=3 chip, it could actually slow you down!

The current web price for a 256mb PC133 CL=2 SDRAM from crucial is $41.39 plus sales tax (if required), and no shipping charge if you are willing to wait about 3 days. Their 512mb chip is way overpriced at $269.00.

Another related, but similar subject:
I was sorting through some old papers and ran across an apple article about the Sawtooth G4. It has 4 memory slots instead of the 3 of the newer G4s. Apple says that the hardware will support up to 2 gb of SDRAM, but that the Operating System will not.

So the question is, will Mac OSX support up to 2 gbs of memory? And when will the mac hardware support 1g chips?
 

cutman1000

Registered
I looked at the RAM that came with my computer, and it is Samsung PC-100 (256 DIMM). If I removed the PC-100 and replaced it with 2 512 PC-133, would the PC-133 still run slower? I would like to have the PC-133 in case I upgrade, but I don't want it to slow down my current machine.
 

peppermg

Registered
From what i understand if you put PC-133 memory in a system that is designed for PC-100 the PC-133 ram will run the speed of PC-100. So the ram will run slower than its designed to run, but its the fastest your sytstem can handle. I just installed PC-133 ram in my iMac and it runs fine and is fast. And i got my memory from http://www.otherworldcomputing.com/
512MB PC133 CL3 168 Pin SDRam 3-2-2 (32x8 based)1.15" w/ Lifetime Warranty for PowerMac G4 AGP Models 350-867MHz (TP32X8PC133SD512) $75.97

Direct Link:
http://eshop.macsales.com/Catalog_Page.cfm?Parent=24&Title=G3 and G4 SDRAM&Template=
 

Matrix Agent

Masochist Mascot
With the advent of OS X and WinXP, the world's official "I eat RAM for breakfast" operating systems, how long do you think it is before we start seeing 1024 MB chips?
 
Top