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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 10:52 PM   #1
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Mac Mini RAM memory clarification please

For those of us 'MINI' users, who are trying to figure out the mac system:
Could somebody clarify what numbers refer simply to speed and what number must match identically for my computer. Just to save a bit of time, I do realize that pin number must match.
I am using a Mac Mini G4 1.5 Ghz OSX 10.4.8

For example, I would like to upgrade (second hand preferably) to 1G RAM.
1) Does the RAM need to say SDRAM?
2) Does the RAM need to say SODIMM or simply DIMM?
3) I gather that PC2700 and PC3200 are simply speed. What would happen if I bought PC2100 instead? Would it be terribly slower?
4) Is there anything else that I should consider?
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #2
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Rely on your supplier - it's not all that straight forward but not something you need to delve into.
You want a 3200 1 gig dimm..period.
Just make sure it's returnable.



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Old Oct 6th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #3
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Hi flybenjefly

The most important thing, like MacDoc says, is to buy from a supplier who guarantees Mac compatibility with your specific model of Mac.

All the specs still won't allow you to tell whether one specific PC3200 184 pin DDR 400 MHz Non-ECC CL3 2.5V DIMM will work in your Mac or not. While PC's often will let slightly out of spec RAM slide through, Macs require the Serial Presence Detect settings to be correctly set on the module: you never get to know what those settings are, so you have to trust that the supplier HAS checked and verified them.

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Old Oct 6th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaRAM
Macs require the Serial Presence Detect settings to be correctly set on the module: you never get to know what those settings are, so you have to trust that the supplier HAS checked and verified them.
Thanks, that is valuable information.
Now, in the past, on my previous computer iMac G3 600, I purchased RAM from private sellers without knowing those kinds of details, maybe I got lucky. Of course, I am more concerned this time, as I am more concerned with damaging my system and potentially spending more money.
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Old Oct 7th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #5
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More clarification:
SODIMM vs DIMM
the mini is mostly laptop components, does this mean only SODIMMs or will DIMMs fit too?
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Old Oct 7th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #6
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The Mini G4 machines use desktop DIMMs, whereas the intel Minis moved to laptop SO-DIMMs.

Yes, it is possible to get lucky when putting random memory into a Mac; but memory (even memory with the same model number from the same manufacturer) can differ in its components and logical organization. So what worked last year may not work this year.

For example, the Crucial DDR-333 SODIMMs for Aluminum Powerbook G4s work great; except for the 15" 1.0 and 1.25 GHz and 17" 1.0 and 1.33 GHz Powerbooks, where the internal build of Crucial's standard chip is incompatible with the Powerbook and will crash within the first hour or so of operation. Compatibility is very specific and almost impossible to guess with 100% certainty from the consumer's point of view.

And different Macs have different tolerances, so it's quite possible for a particular PC3200 DIMM to work in a MDD G4 tower and then fail in an iMac G5 or a Mini G4 -- because the G4 tower is more tolerant of slightly out of spec RAM, while the iMac G5 is the fussiest Apple desktop going.

For this reason, you cannot rely very much on people's posting "I tried it and it worked fine" because that is a sample size of one -- one specific module in one specific Mac. Extrapolating that to "Brand XYZ works in Macs" is completely unsupportable.

So: For the lowest risk/highest success, ask your RAM supplier if they have tested the RAM in Macintoshes and are willing to guarantee compatibility with your specific model of Mac in writing.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #7
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I agree with MacDOc and CanadaRam, if you want it to work for sure you have to get it from a Mac Dealer, PC vendors have not and will not test their ram in Macs, most will not guarantee that it will work and most will not take it back if it's used.

You pay for that guarantee and it is normally expensive.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #8
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When I upgraded the RAM on my G4 Mini I went to Westworld here in Calgary and they gave me a stick of Kingston Value RAM. I asked them if they were sure about this and they said they were.

Installed it without any problems and significantly cheaper than what Apple offers.

I agree with those above who say go to a Mac dealer to get it.
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 03:03 PM   #9
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Another question:
What will I notice if I buy a PC2100 instead of a PC3200 or PC2700? I realize it is a speed thing, but really, what will I notice?
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #10
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Nothing.
But if it came to moving the RAM to a different machine or selling it later the faser RAM has more marketability/usability.



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