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Thread: RAM Brand Names...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default RAM Brand Names...

    I'm planning on purchasing a mac pro soon with the basic, least amount of memory, then buying up to 16gb of 3rd party RAM... My question is - Is there really that much difference in the the performance depending on the manufacturer??? I know some is apple certified or apple qualified or whatever, so i assume that is better, but does one brand honestly perform better than another? If so, could you describe HOW one might perform better or worse? And also if that is true, what are some of the BEST brands?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
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    9,124

    Default

    Jesse,

    Several factors go into choosing RAM.

    There are only a few name brand chip manufacturers: Micron, Samsung, Hynix and so on.

    These companies also make complete modules using those chips. When a major manufacturer makes the module these are called 'original'.

    There are loads of 'third party' module assemblers. These companies buy chips and assemble their own modules, they program them and sell them on the market under other names. So even though they may have top end Samsung, Micron or Hynix chips, they are not 'Samsung originals' and the programming may not be industry standard nor the module layout standard. This can cause unexpected performance and or compatibility issues.

    MacGurus only sells originals from the few high end manufacturers. Mainly the afore mentioned Samsung, Micron or Hynix.

    Our RAM lab also sells to Apple on contract.

    The ONLY guarantees you have is that you buy from a reputable supplier of tested specific memory that is qualified for Macs. The only long term protection is that the vendor is standing behind the memory. The manufacturer is not who you would get support and or replacements from, that comes from the retail source that took your money. So make sure you buy from a retailer who answers their phone and will still be around over the years that memory requires possible support.

    Performance:

    There may or may not be a performance difference between brands of memory, originals usually perform identically. Mostly the question is reliability and support. If everything is done correctly, an in-specification module will work the same from one manufacturer to the next. Where the problems occur is when the module does not meet standard spec. As a rule, original ARE the standard spec. 3rd party modules are the source of most of the problems since they may take shortcuts or take a cheaper route.

    Hence the reason MacGurus sticks with only original.

    It is possible to create modules that will run in a RAM bus using minimum quality chips. Slower chips will run a bit slower. Your computer's memory bus can and usually will make adjustments to account for that. (basically slowing the bus) The only way you can be sure of quality is to buy from a quality source.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks Rick! That answers a lot of question. Good info =)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    That does answer most of it.

    Two things I would like to add:

    1. Some Apple hardware is just flat out picky about RAM, so be sure that the vender is the type that you can call and ask them to swap parts if you do have an issue.

    2. Though very rare, RAM does sometimes age and malfunction, so don't take the lifetime warranty thing too lightly. Good to know you can swap RAM days—or years—after you bought it, should there be a problem with it.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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