Ram explained

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Could someone explain to me what specifications I should be looking for when buying ram. For example, what does CL3 mean, 3-3-3, and stacked or non-stacked?

Also, how can OWC sell ram so much cheaper than the name brands? Is there ram not as good?

Much appreciated.

Powerbook G4 667 DVI 512mb (I want to upgrade ram)


  • Reply 1 of 2
    ok, CAS3, or 3-3-3 refers to the rams memory refresh rate in ms, or ns, not sure which. (i may be butchering this, but i think it gets to the heart of the question)

    CAS2, ram has a faster refresh rate, and is therefore a bit quicker. will you notice a difference? not likely, and CAS2 ram costs a lot more. the main reason i know of for buying it is if you want to overclock your machine, and you expect to be overclocking the system bus as well. at that point your ram actually needs a faster refresh rate, as your pc133 ram is suddenly running at pc150.

    as for why some ram is so much cheaper than others. my best understanding is that it's all the same, it's just the level of testing done to the ram. the expensive stuff is tested out the wazoo, and is known to be good. the cheaper stuff has a few simple tests done to randomly selected peices, the really cheap stuff isn't tested at all.

    therefor you're more likely to get a bad chip with the cheap stuff, but if it's good, it'll likely be the same thing as the expensive stuff.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    Anandtech.com has some great faqs. and their forums are great if you also belong to teh dark side.

    <a href="http://www.anandtech.com/guides/faqs.html"; target="_blank">All faqs</a>

    <a href="http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=4"; target="_blank">Ram faq</a>
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