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  1. #1
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM
    Interstellar's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 09, 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    111
    Specs:
    24" iMac 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM 320GB HD, 15" Macbook Pro 2.53 Ghz 4GB RAM 320 GB HDD
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM
    I was going to see if this money saving technique will be worth the effort.

    If I buy the 20" iMac with the basic 1 GB of RAM (2x512) for $1570

    but then buy 3 GB of RAM from Crucial.com for $360, and install I can save around $300 by not using Appple's $675 3GB upgrade. Only having two extra 512 MB RAM chips lying around.

    Any advice from those have tried this before?

  2. #2
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM

    Member Since
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location
    Hamilton College
    Posts
    6,999
    Specs:
    20" iMac C2D 2.16ghz, 13" MacBook 2.0ghz, 60gb iPod vid, 1gb nano
    I'm doing the exact same thing (Except I'm only going for 2gb of ram). RAM arrived yesterday and the iMac should be here by friday (I hope)
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  3. #3
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM
    Interstellar's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 09, 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    111
    Specs:
    24" iMac 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM 320GB HD, 15" Macbook Pro 2.53 Ghz 4GB RAM 320 GB HDD
    I was reading on another post and they said that if you have (1) 2GB chip and (1) 1GB chip, the dual something won't be in effect, resulting in a slower machine.

    Is that true?

  4. #4
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM

    Member Since
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location
    Hamilton College
    Posts
    6,999
    Specs:
    20" iMac C2D 2.16ghz, 13" MacBook 2.0ghz, 60gb iPod vid, 1gb nano
    The memory is Dual Channel memory that works best when paired. But the logic board in the iMac can only handle 3gb so its impossible to pair it. 2 1gb sticks will operate in dual channel mode and will give a performance increase, but 3gb will allow you to do more work.

    Basically the performance loss by not using matched pairs is outweighed by you having 3 gb.
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  5. #5
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM
    Kash's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2006
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    9,385
    Specs:
    Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G
    A lot of members go with the method you're describing, and everybody is happy with their purchase (I know I am )

    Like trpnmonkey said, dual channel doesn't really offer much in tangible performance benefits. It's only in synthetic benchmarks where you see a boost, which don't translate to real world use

    June 2007
    July 2009

  6. #6
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM

    Member Since
    May 16, 2007
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by trpnmonkey41 View Post
    The memory is Dual Channel memory that works best when paired. But the logic board in the iMac can only handle 3gb so its impossible to pair it. 2 1gb sticks will operate in dual channel mode and will give a performance increase, but 3gb will allow you to do more work.

    Basically the performance loss by not using matched pairs is outweighed by you having 3 gb.
    According to crucial website, the iMac does not support dual-channel memory so you do not need to install identical pairs for optimal performance. The mini, on the other hand, does support dual-channel memory, as with the macbook.

  7. #7
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM
    Kash's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2006
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    9,385
    Specs:
    Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G
    Crucial's website is wrong, the chipset in iMacs most definitely support dual channel RAM. In fact, they use the same chipset that are in the Macbook/Macbook Pro, so it would be odd for dual channel not to work.

    In fact, dual channel has been a feature in all motherboards for several years now

    June 2007
    July 2009

  8. #8
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM

    Member Since
    May 16, 2007
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Kash View Post
    Crucial's website is wrong, the chipset in iMacs most definitely support dual channel RAM. In fact, they use the same chipset that are in the Macbook/Macbook Pro, so it would be odd for dual channel not to work.

    In fact, dual channel has been a feature in all motherboards for several years now
    I got the following off other forums:

    "The iMac G5 does not do Dual Channel access, it does a junior version called 128-bit access. To achieve this, Apple says that the RAM modules must be the same size, speed and 'composition' - but they din't define that very well."

    "The people at Crucial tell me that since the new(iSight) iMac has one chip soldered to the motherboard, it's not a dual channel. As a result, the matching of memory sizes will not come into play on the new one."

    Can anybody confirm this?

  9. #9
    Buying new iMac but using Crucial.com RAM

    Member Since
    May 16, 2007
    Posts
    15
    Checking more of the iMac lines on crucial.com, the older iMac G5 does support dual-channel (or rather 128-bit access), but this ended with the iMac G5 with DDR2, as well as the iMac G5 iSight. All of the Intel iMac lines don't support it, according to the website, but it would be nice if someone could confirm it.

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