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nic 10-14-2007 02:57 PM

Memory - RAM
I have the first model iMac, 17", 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo, with 512MB RAM. My friend bought a macbook and upgraded the memory, taking out 2 256's and replacing it with 2 512's.
I am wondering if I can put one of his 256MB RAM's in my desktop? Is laptop and desktop RAM interchangeable?
And is it worth it to add 256 to 512?

His RAM says: 256MB 1Rx16 PC2-5300S-555-12

Pax Christi, - Nic Carvalho

Stretch 10-14-2007 03:04 PM

His RAM should fit, but it is a little slower than yours. But the addition of more RAM should still help your computer.

nic 10-14-2007 03:07 PM

Ok, thanks man.
So I'm assuming that laptop and desktop memory is interchangeable?

nic 10-14-2007 03:10 PM

Oh, and how would I install it? Just unplug the computer, turn it upside down, open the bottom and push it in?

Stretch 10-14-2007 03:27 PM

sounds about right. There should be instructions in your manual too about how to do it.

Geeky1 10-14-2007 04:36 PM

Laptop RAM and desktop ram is NOT interchangeable. HOWEVER, your iMac doesn't use desktop RAM. Or a desktop CPU, for that matter.

The iMac is, functionally speaking, a battery-less laptop that sits on your desk. So yes, the ram out of your friend's MacBook should fit and work fine. That being said, DDR2 is *dirt cheap* right now. 768MB of RAM is better than 512, but OSX would benefit greatly from a gig or two. You should seriously consider spending some money and upgrading to a full 2GB.

Here's a 2GB kit which will work just fine in your iMac that's less than $70CAD:

For that price, you'd be crazy NOT to buy it. You'll see a massive speed improvement in *everything*

PACPhD 10-15-2007 03:39 AM

I have a new iMac 24 2.8 Extreme. It came with 1gb ram in one slot. I read you need to upgrade both sides equally or it doesn't run effeciently. WOuld I be better off putting 1gb in the other side for now or can I put 2 gb on the empty side for a total of 3gb? I can't afford to go the 2+2gb right now.

I also was told Macs are very sensitive to RAM and I need to buy decent quality. Is Samsung ($79/1gb vs $39/gb for the cheap stuff) a good product? Any recommendations for a good internet site and which RAM to purchase? Thanks.

Geeky1 10-15-2007 04:10 AM

It'll run better either way (with 1+2 or 1+1) than it does now. I *believe*, though I'm not sure, that it'll run in dual channel mode for 2GB of the 3, if you put in a 2GB stick in addition to the 1GB that's in it now. Even if it doesn't, though, you won't see any performance hit to speak of. You're running in single-channel now, so...

I'd get the 2GB stick for now. And that whole "Macs are very sensitive..." thing is only half true. You should get decent quality RAM no matter what system you run. Cheap (not to be confused with inexpensive... the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive) RAM can cause all kinds of weird issues. Get something with a lifetime warranty... that's generally a pretty good indicator that it's a quality product. Samsung is good (though it's rare to find Samsung-manufactured sticks on the retail market; they sell their chips to other companies which sell modules, but they don't generally sell RAM of their own brand anymore, at least that I see), OCZ, Patriot, Corsair, Kingston, Crucial, Transcend, and Mushkin are good as well.

You need PC5300 or PC5400 DDR2/667 SODIMMs. is good, as is (they have a store in Vegas, btw; should run newspaper ads on Fridays) and is good too.

These are the cheapest 2GB sticks I can find on each site that's in stock that I'd recommend:
ZipZoomFly (hideously expensive, in this case, btw):

And here's Crucial's page thrown in for good measure... (even more expensive... o.o) They're a good company to deal with as well:

onesixduce 10-15-2007 06:29 PM

Is this RAM any good? If it is, what a deal!

Geeky1 10-15-2007 06:32 PM

I have no idea what brand of chips they're using, but OWC has a good reputation, and it has a lifetime warranty. I'd have no problem recommending it.

Sandwichman 10-15-2007 07:02 PM

This looks pretty good to me:

50 reviews, most 5/5 stars... the rest 4/5 stars.

Geeky1 10-15-2007 08:27 PM

Good? Yes. Ripoff? Absolutely.

There's no reason to buy memory that's specifically labeled as "Mac compatible" on the new Intel Macs. Just about any DDR2 SODIMMs will work fine in the Mini, iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro, as long as it's half decent RAM to begin with. If you can find "Mac" RAM that's as cheap as or cheaper than "non-Mac" RAM, by all means go for it. But this is a much better deal than that "Mac compatible" Corsair stuff:

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