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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

My RAM installation adventure


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Americain
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Some of you know that I embarked on a low cost foray into the world of Mac when I bought an older iMac G3 last month. I've installed OS X on it and am still exploring. But the machine needed RAM like nobody's business as I've been told that OS X is quite the memory hog. So...I finally found a 128 meg ram stick on E-bay for 10 bucks plus shipping. Not bad. So it arrived today and I thought I'd relate how the operation went. For purposes of illustration the following link shows the innards of the beast.

http://www.transintl.com/technotes/installram_imac.htm

The metal cage that houses the ram came off easily and I removed the board so I could gain access to the lower ram slot. The machine I was using had a paltry 64 megs of ram which made the computer very slow. I found out that the top slot had a 32 meg stick and the bottom an another 32 stick as well. I was hoping that the top slot contained a 64 meg stick so I could use all 64 megs in a machine that only had two slots. So I was doomed to using the 128 meg stick and a 32 meg stick for a total of 160 megs of ram. fair to middling but hardly a powerhouse. The 128 meg stick could only fit in the bottom slot as the top had too much stuff in the way. The ram stick went in and the board went back on but there was a problem, the metal cage that surrounded the ram wouldn't quite fit with that 128 meg ram stick in the way. So I made a small modification. The cage absolutely needed to be there as the heat sink for the processor needs to be attached to the metal cage. So since the bottom portion of the metal cage wouldn't go over the ram stick so I cut the cage with a pair of tinsnips. I cut out the bottom portion so the cage could go on and the crossbar that holds the heat sink to the processor only added more structural integrity. The rest of the operation went smoothly and the computer went back together quickly. Even with the time-out for the modification it took all of 30 minutes and computer runs so much faster. If I added another ram stick to the top slot it would have to be low profile in order to get as much ram into a small space as possible.

I must say that Mac is behaving more like a Mac should. The speed is now respectable but hardly a screamer. If I could somehow fit another 70-100 megs of ram into it I think this machine would be very nice indeed. It'll be fun to see if I can.
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Badger
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Nice link; the only thing I disagree with is using a screwdriver to pop out the processor card. I always wiggle the metal fence until it can be tilted up and off; then grip the edges of the cpu card and rock it gently until it releases. IMO, using the screwdriver risks cracking the cpu board.
Sometimes these machines had a single 64 mb module (like mine), sometimes 2 32mb modules like you got. As far as I have seen there was no pattern, it was just random. In any case, it was slick the way you got the new module in.
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Americain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger
Nice link; the only thing I disagree with is using a screwdriver to pop out the processor card. I always wiggle the metal fence until it can be tilted up and off; then grip the edges of the cpu card and rock it gently until it releases. IMO, using the screwdriver risks cracking the cpu board.
Sometimes these machines had a single 64 mb module (like mine), sometimes 2 32mb modules like you got. As far as I have seen there was no pattern, it was just random. In any case, it was slick the way you got the new module in.
Thanks, and I agree with your assessment too. I didn't use the screwdriver, I wiggled it gently on all sides until the board easily came out. I'd trade these two 32 meg units for a single 64 any day. Anything to get a little performance boost is all good. LOL.
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Americain
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OK. I'm now at 160 megs and holding. Performance is acceptable. I wanted to make the G3 really perform well but I had one little problem...how to fit enough ram into the top ram slot on this machine. Solution? Find a low profile ram stick so I found one here... http://www.powerbooktech.com/cart_it...rofile-RAM.htm
So I bought it. The price was definitely right. Will it work? We'll see when it gets here but spending an amazing $4.71 was not what I consider a big risk. More later.
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