Why is OSX picky on RAM?

Leonis

Registered
Lots of people suggest that RAM is the major factor for casuing unstable OSX environment.

but I want to know why...............
 

Leonis

Registered
OSX 10.1 keeps giving me kernel panic once every few days.

Even I still suspect it's iTunes that causes kernel panic.....many people from different sites (especially to MacFixit) say the RAM maybe the culpit....but how can I tell? If the memory fails the memory test under 9.2 with firmware 4.19 I should see the "memory not compatible" warning....but I didn't see this....

Any ideas???
 

simX

Unofficial Mac Genius
If your RAM does not work after applying the Apple Firmware Updater version 4.1.8 or 4.1.9, then you should not be using it with OS X, and it could be that that is causing your problems.

I think the reason that Apple has tightened memory restrictions that will work with their operating systems is to insure that it will be stable and work correctly. OS X uses TONS of RAM (it is advisable to get upwards of 512 MB if you use a lot of applications), especially since it is graphics oriented, and since RAM is cheap these days, it's good to get some (I got 512 megs for my cube for $54.75 -- AWESOME deal, and great RAM). The reason is because of all the calculations for the windows and such are now done by the operating system (previously the applications handled window drawing), and to handle all the transparencies, it needs a lot of RAM. OS X also does expert RAM shuffling, and it needs memory that can be relied on to get the job done.

It's actually not that big of a deal, since most RAM manufacturers comply with the standards now that Apple HAS released those firmware updaters... and your RAM doesn't, you can "retool" it by using DIMM first aid (www.versiontracker.com)... however, I do not know if this will fix stability problems with memory or not.

Hope this helps.
 

Leonis

Registered
...but all my RAM pass the memory test and such...

so...is the RAM still the cause of kernel panic? :confused:
 

simX

Unofficial Mac Genius
If they pass the memory test, and you haven't had problems with the memory in the past, then probably the answer is no, but it's a possibility.

Use a checker like TechTool Pro to see if the RAM really is OK or not -- that is one of the utilities that allows you to do that.

Are you sure you are using the latest version of iTunes (1.1.2) in the latest version of Mac OS X (10.1)? If not, you should update.
 

iFunk

Registered
I installed OSX maybe a month a go or something (a couple of weeks after 10.1 came out -- i think) and its probably crashed on me 7 or 10 times so far - and I have only used OSX since I installed it -- very much adequate for my needs.

I discovered that using iTunes 1, playing a midi in QT player, using Audion to play MP3s all made my computer come to a crashing halt (major kernel panic) after about 30 minutes of music.

At first I thought it might be classic crashin it but I had my doubts.

So for the past two weeks I have stopped using audio on my mac (i've been learning PHP and mySQL -- keeps ya occupied til early hours), and my machine has not crashed once.

So I downloaded the new version of iTunes hoping that would change (2.0.1) but that was only last night, and I haven't had the time to thoroughly test it, but it seemed OK. I have an 400 mHz iMac DV SE Graphite with 256MB RAM -- which should be enough for playing an mp3 file.

Anyway, I'll tell ya how it goes.
 

simX

Unofficial Mac Genius
testuser: I would recommend the DIMM First Aid (or DIMM Check) utility over removing the RAM. Why? It's so much simpler. Just download the less than 100 K file, and you can test your RAM. That's better to taking out RAM and trying to figure out which RAM module is bad. Also, taking out RAM can be a big hassle for computers that don't have as easy-access to RAM (mainly old computers that require screws).
 

SCrossman

MacTech
I admin about 30 macs in a software publishing company, and most run OS 9.2 using Quark. There had been two "flaky" G4s that caused corruption in Quark files, once or twice a week. I reinstalled the OS, checked fonts, and all the usual stuff one would do to fix a Mac. Still no luck! Then I replaced the RAM with new 256mb DIMMs and the problems disappeared for good. Just because a DIMM passes a test, doesn't mean it is trouble free. I would do as an earlier posted suggested, remove the suspected RAM and see if the problems persist. I know it is not easy to just go and purchase new RAM on a whim, but for the price of RAM today, and the frustration a bad mem stick can cause, just do it. If it is not the problem, you will have that much more memory.
 

cybergoober

Neomaxizoomdweebie
Why does no one mention AHT (Apple Hardware Test)? It does test the RAM, you know. That's one of the first tests I would have run.
 

SCrossman

MacTech
testuser is correct in that RAM can test good but still fail when in use. A chip that fails intermittently is the toughest thing to troubleshoot.
Like he said, "I can't state it more plainly". Take some advice from those who have had more experience. There could also be a thermal problem in other electronics in your Mac, but I would suspect the RAM first in your situation.
 

Leonis

Registered
You know what?

I am now running OSX without Kernel Panicsince I pulled out the SoundSticks


I was searching XL8yourmac.com and Macfixit.com and I saw people do have problem with Soundstick under X.

I took my Soundstick to consignment shop for over a month and seems nobody wants it :(
 
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