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Macbook RAM upgrade....why "Mac RAM" ???

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January 22, 2008 8:28:55 PM

So, I just purchased a Macbook and a RAM upgrade from Newegg. First...I am not a Mac user so I know little about them and second, this is a gift for someone that I will give in May, so I cannot open it and try the RAM until then.

I was informed by the Apple store dude that these Macbooks are quite particular in the RAM that they accept and not all RAM modules will work. I was like...yeah whatever, you want to sell me the $800 upgrade but turns out this is true.

Sorry if this has been posted before but I want to catch this before Newegg ships my order if I purchased the incorrect RAM.

On the Macbook specs page, it will accept 2x2GB (4GB total) of 667 MHz of DDR2 SDRAM. I ordered the G. Skill 2x2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit from Newegg found here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I just saw that Newegg has a specific Mac laptop memory section and the G. Skill is not listed, however the exact same version is available by Patriot (same specs just "for the mac") listed below:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Reviews on the G.Skill are saying that it works in Macbook Pro...will this work in the normal Macbook then? If not...why? What makes one version "mac RAM" where an identical version is not? Basically...WTF is going on here!!??

Can anyone direct me to where this is explained within the next day? I am scurrying the apple forums but haven't found anything yet. THANKS!!!!
January 22, 2008 8:50:36 PM

It's all about specification that RAM must run within. "Mac" memory is just SODIMM that are within spec.

Whether you Macbook will support the whole 4gb or not depend on the exact model.

A good place for infos, and to buy RAM among other things is here...

www.macsales.com
January 22, 2008 8:51:32 PM

Sorry you had this experience. Your right Apple charges WAY TOO MUCH for their memory upgrades.

The whole memory thing involves timings and cas latencies, very boring to talk about. basically the Macs are very sensitive to these things. I recomend that you cancel your oder from newegg, and go here:

http://crucial.com/

Guaranteed they have memory that will work for that machine just use the memory adviser and chose your model. It may be a little bit more expensive, like 10+ more, but it's well worth not having to go through a return process.
Related resources
January 22, 2008 9:04:27 PM

I use that exact ram in my macbook, works with no issues. Don't cancel the order. No need for more expensive Crucial ram or even more expensive crApple ram.
January 22, 2008 9:23:21 PM

Corsair test it too, which is why I go there, plus the support forums are GREAT, any problems just ask. Dont work ramguy is right there offering a rma. Great co.
January 22, 2008 11:26:55 PM

trevorvdw said:
I use that exact ram in my macbook, works with no issues. Don't cancel the order. No need for more expensive Crucial ram or even more expensive crApple ram.



Cool. I emailed G.Skill today and they said it will work too. I have to say I am impressed with them getting back that quick. Also, I am impressed at Newegg's speed. I ordered it today and went to cancel it but it had shipped already!

Thanks bros!

crApple indeed. What a rip...WTF. Hey trev, is your Macbook a dual core? I am wondering if maybe the older single cores had this issue and the new chipset switch allows it?
January 22, 2008 11:43:16 PM

well..... why mac memory??? well cuz they just simply stick their prices up your read end
January 23, 2008 1:33:30 AM

Dude...I won't sleep until I figure out WTF the difference is...or is not...
January 23, 2008 2:05:14 AM

Man, this isn't even my computer and I hate Mac already. Sorry Mac lovers. What a sad scenario when Newegg has more system information than the manufacturer's web site. Macs have a user friendly / lock you out of everything because they think you are an idiot feature don't they?

Yeah it has taken me a long long time to figure out that this falls under the Santa Rosa models yet I am not quite sure because Apple reveals as little info as possible....grrr...

Thanks AMDfangirl...I am getting more and more relief each time someone says it works.
January 23, 2008 3:26:48 AM

the thing is that the average labtop memory is cas 5 latency, and mac ram is cas 2.5 they do this basically to punch u in the face, however there is a way around buying from them and haveing the correct cas, ill give you a link to a good reference site, and they happen to sell "mac" ram at a good price

http://www.kingston.com/

you have to put in what kind of computer and it specifies to macs and every type of mac, and then will give you a link to purchase it from either kingston, or sometimes newegg to, i recommend picking the ram on their list because it has been tested and its usually not a bad price, good luck
January 23, 2008 3:49:19 AM

monste4321 said:
the thing is that the average labtop memory is cas 5 latency, and mac ram is cas 2.5 they do this basically to punch u in the face, however there is a way around buying from them and haveing the correct cas, ill give you a link to a good reference site, and they happen to sell "mac" ram at a good price


Bull Crap it is.

First of all, there are no companies that make performance DDRII ram rated at CAS 2.5.. maybe DDR, but certainly not DDRII SODIMMS. Second, most off the shelf SODIMMS should work with the OPs macbook. Newegg has a section for mac compatible RAM.
January 23, 2008 3:57:18 AM

SpinachEater said:
So, I just purchased a Macbook and a RAM upgrade from Newegg. First...I am not a Mac user so I know little about them and second, this is a gift for someone that I will give in May, so I cannot open it and try the RAM until then.

I was informed by the Apple store dude that these Macbooks are quite particular in the RAM that they accept and not all RAM modules will work. I was like...yeah whatever, you want to sell me the $800 upgrade but turns out this is true.

Sorry if this has been posted before but I want to catch this before Newegg ships my order if I purchased the incorrect RAM.

On the Macbook specs page, it will accept 2x2GB (4GB total) of 667 MHz of DDR2 SDRAM. I ordered the G. Skill 2x2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit from Newegg found here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Go to Kingston, search by mfg. Looks like 65.00 per dimm to me, but they also link to Newegg for 50.00 per dimm.

I believe that Kingston will guarantee it to work.

January 23, 2008 11:15:00 AM

monste4321 said:
the thing is that the average labtop memory is cas 5 latency, and mac ram is cas 2.5



Yeah the Patriot "Mac RAM" has a CAS of 5...so I don't think that is the case. Maybe that was with older models? It seems like the core 2 switchover opened them up to a lot more versions of RAM.
January 23, 2008 11:17:25 AM

croc said:
Go to Kingston, search by mfg. Looks like 65.00 per dimm to me, but they also link to Newegg for 50.00 per dimm.

I believe that Kingston will guarantee it to work.



If I have issues with the G.SKill I will look into Kingston most likely. I do have a reply from G.Skill in writing though saying that specific model will work...so if it doesn't...they can have them back :) 
a b } Memory
January 23, 2008 12:08:20 PM

Well, you did your homework, Spinach. So you're covered in case.



But that's not going to be an issue, because the memory you bought is going to work.

OH!! Do us a favor: Photocopy the Newegg invoice, take it to the Apple store, and hand it to the guy who told you to only buy the Mac stuff. Get his reaction on video, post it on YouTube, and link it. KK??

If he's a d*ck about it, make several hundred copies (with your name/address edited out). Make sure to attach a print of the page at Apple where you can order the things so people can see the difference.


Then hand them out at the mall. <grin>
January 23, 2008 2:13:47 PM

Haha...you know...I do want to do something because people are getting ripped off with this Mac compatible crap. Want to go in on making a documentary against Apple? Tom's would back us since they did that article about their forum censoring.

What kills me is that Apple wants $800+ to put 4GB in. Are you effing kidding me? Then going back and saying...only our RAM works...that is so fraudulent. What...are they paying some @hole $700 / unit to switch the RAM out? I want that job if so. :) 


January 24, 2008 12:41:12 AM

well i just got a imac brand new, and i did a little research about their ram cause i just bought the 1 gig model with having intentions of upgrading it myself, and yes it is cas 2.5 i know a tech who works there and you said very specifically that it is 2.5, but that being said i looked for the imac, but it does you the same sodimm 667mhz ram
January 24, 2008 12:42:02 AM

and yes you can use cas5 ram combined with the cas 2.5 ram, but it will defeat the point of haveing a low cas rating as it will just raise the other one to be stable
January 24, 2008 1:23:09 PM

I just looked up RAM for iMacs and it returns CAS 5 latency modules. I think we are talking about different RAM though, 200 pin 667 Mhz DDR2 SODIMM RAM only goes down to CAS 3. DDR however does get down to CAS 2.5. Something isn’t correct because you should have DDR2 if you JUST got it. Did you use a program to read your hardware specs or did you just find it on wiki or something? I am guessing you are running CAS 5 DDR2 RAM and you came across information on an older model…but that is only a guess...I am just now learning about Macs.

Hmm...too bad CPU-z doesn't work for Macs. Does anyone know if there is a similar program that works on macs or some way to get your hardware specs?

I wasn't shooting you down by saying that 2.5 latency was impossible...I was just saying that under the newegg search for RAM specifically sold for Macs, it gives you the Patriot with CAS 5. Therefore, the CAS latency shouldn't be the determining factor because the G.Skill was CAS 5 as well but not under their Mac memory section.

Yes that is true. You can mix latencies but BIOS will lock your RAM settings to the slower module to unify the speeds.

I am getting the RAM today so I think I am going to go ahead and put it in to see WTF is going on. So I found this from the Kingston website that may be the source of all this madness:

"Composite and non-composite were terms first used by Apple Computer to explain the difference between modules of the same capacity that used a different number of chips. To illustrate: when the industry is transitioning from one chip density to another, there is normally a stage where you can build, for example, a memory module with 8 of the new density chips, or 32 of the old density chips. Apple referred to the module using the latest technology and fewer chips as "non-composite", and the version using earlier technology and greater number of chips as "composite". Because 32 chips on a module can cause heat and spacing problems, Apple would often advise customers to buy non-composite modules."
January 24, 2008 1:42:13 PM

I find it funny that you all think apple would give you quality parts. DDRII with CAS 2.5 would be some of the best ram there is (and im quite sure no one manufactures this spec). Pretty much guaranteed that apple is putting generic CAS 5 RAM into every machine. They like to skimp wherever possible (in places where the apple fanatics wont notice).
January 24, 2008 5:16:55 PM

Yeah all of the prebuilt crap does that to you. Dell does the same thing. That is how they sell their $200 desktop units. WOW...2GB of RAM...but it is the slowest speed possible like DDR2 667 which is just about frickin free these days.

Yeah I am pretty sure DDR2 with a CAS latency of 2.5 doesn't exist. Each step up of DDR...1 -> 2 -> 3 ...ect... gives rise to higher CAS latencies. Hell, who knows...maybe Apple is some sort of god-like company that makes super custom DDR2 CAS 2.5 RAM and that is why it is $850 !!! Or...maybe not.


January 24, 2008 9:57:52 PM

I like their trade in rebate deal and their OWC ram is competitive with other Mac specific RAM....but...my G.Skill kit was $79.99 versus their $99.00 and it is working nicely as others above had predicted/experienced. So, since I am a rebellious SOB I refuse to buy "Mac certified" RAM for higher prices. MWAHAHAHA :lol: 

Thanks everyone for your input! Anyone want to buy (2x512MB) of Samsung "Macbook" RAM?....I'll charge 1/2 price....so lets see....$850 for 4GB...that is 212.50 per gig....I will cut the price to $100!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH FU STEVIE POOSEY!!!
June 19, 2009 6:23:46 PM

Thanks, tomshardware.com for an awesome site.

Thanks, folks the info...I used the insights to find what I needed.

I was looking for a RAM upgrade for my iMac.

Previously, I paid $200 to Apple for my first 2GB chip.

I found the Kingston web site and phone service and price (under $35 including shipping) to be superior.

I spent a few minutes (twice as long as it took me on the kingston.com site) to find the same chip for comparison purposes...and gave up...If I want ads for unrelated products thrown in my face I can just check my inbox.

Cheers!
January 26, 2010 2:09:30 PM

SpinachEater said:
Man, this isn't even my computer and I hate Mac already. Sorry Mac lovers. What a sad scenario when Newegg has more system information than the manufacturer's web site. Macs have a user friendly / lock you out of everything because they think you are an idiot feature don't they?

Yeah it has taken me a long long time to figure out that this falls under the Santa Rosa models yet I am not quite sure because Apple reveals as little info as possible....grrr...

Thanks AMDfangirl...I am getting more and more relief each time someone says it works.



Yeah, theres alot to do with Model spec if you go to OWC or other they'll show. you can find model identifier in OS 10.5 in More about this mac in apple menu about this mac... 1,1..2,1 ect.
I think 2,1 max out at 3gig
!