RAM - generic vs expensive

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I have tried searching for this topic, as I am sure it has been discussed before.. but couldn't find anything.

My sister is moving out, and needs to beef up the RAM in her iBook... she has asked me to order her a stick and she'll pay for it.... I checked dealram.com and found a nice range of prices. What is the difference between the generic stuff and the name brand (Kingston, Viking, Crucial etc), other than a lot of money? they all seem to have lifetime guarantees....

Whats the recommendation here? Is the name brand stuff that much better, or am I paying 30-50 bucks for the name? Is the generic stuff dangerous/lesser grade?




  • Reply 1 of 10
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    This is the tricky bit. There's three tiers: Expensive (ie Crucial, Kingston, etc), Cheap-but-works-just-as-good, and cheap and crappy.

    I've bought all three, the cheap crappy stuff from 1-800-4-memory aka Coast memory. Avoid them like the plague. Even, over a month later, when they refunded me the cash I spent on a faulty 512MB ram for my powerbook, I lost probably $60 in shipping and various fees, customs (I'm Canadian), etc. Besides, after adding hidden fees, it was the same price as marginally more expensive, but absolutely solid stable ram I later bought elsewhere.

    I recommend eshop.macsales.com. They have inexpensive but high quality ram. My powerbook has 1024MBs of it now, and it is absolutely solid/stable. Very competitive prices.

    Crappy ram may be intermittently faulty, causing random crashes. One way to be sure of the quality is boot the iBook from the hardware diagnostics CD (if you have one for the iBook) and run the memory test for hours.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    surfratsurfrat Posts: 341member
    In the past five or six years of owning various different computers, I have always purchased my RAM from ramjet.com. Excellent service, great prices, and fast shipping. They can't be beat in my opinion.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    agent302agent302 Posts: 974member
    I've purchased from both Ramjet and OWC (eshop.macsales.com) and have had no problems with either.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    normally RAM is RAM, difference is that normally higher grade gives you a warrenty and stands behind their product
  • Reply 5 of 10
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member

    Originally posted by agent302

    I've purchased from both Ramjet and OWC (eshop.macsales.com) and have had no problems with either.

    Same here. I've bought both from Ramjet and OWC (macsales.com) without any problems at relatively good prices. I've also bought and successfully used Crucial RAM, but they are too expensive IMO.

    I'd skip the rock-bottom prices, and go for the mid-range, good value, but reliable names above.

  • Reply 6 of 10
    baumanbauman Posts: 1,248member
    I'm using a 512MB stick from OWC in my iMac G4 without any problems.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    maxcom29maxcom29 Posts: 44member
    Try going with Crucial. Their good quality and are fairly cheap, as when compared with other high performance ram resellers.

    The reason Crucial has good prices is that they are a direct sub company of Micron, one of the big memory manufacturers along with Infineon, Samsung, etc. . .

    When hunting for cheaper stuff try finding out who the actual manufacturer of the RAM was, that is, which one of the giants made it. If it's a no name, basically meaning they don't have a trial pending with those damn RAMBUS bastards, skip them. An example of a shit company would be Spectek.

    Corsair is also a good company, I'd choose them when going for memory for a new G5, but only with their, slightly more expensive, XMS brand.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    This thread has been a wonderful help to me. Thanks for all the helpful comments!
  • Reply 9 of 10
    kennethkenneth Posts: 832member
    I tried several brands of RAM;


    OWC (aka macsales.com)... cheap and w/o any issue.

    Experienced with their Motorola 256k L2 cache (PM 6100), PC-133 SDRAM, 72-pin SIMM, and 144-pin SO-DIMM.

    transintl.com... the price is not bad, no problem, and good service.

    Experienced with their 144-pin SO-DIMM.

    Viking... expensive at that time (MacZone.com)... but no problem as well.

    Experienced with their 144-pin SO-DIMM, SGRAM (for iMac), and 72-pin SIMM.

    Crucial.com... the price is somewhat in the highest side.. but good service and Apple use it as OEM. (e.g. iMac Rev. A and FW800 PowerMac)

    Experienced with their 144-pin SO-DIMM and PC-2700 DDR RAM.


    When my local FutureShop went out of business, I bought some 72-pin SIMM RAM (forgot the brand..but I have never heard of that brand name), it crashed my Performa 6116CD and somehow either work/not work with my old PC.

    I kind of lean on some well-known brands here.... my advice is

    transintl.com for the price and service...

    OWC for the price, but I heard some bad things with their customer service...

    Crucial.com for the "name" and IF you have the extra $$$.

    [edit]P.S. I forgot to name one more... I bought a 256MB SO-DIMM RAM from 1-800-4memory ... no problem as well.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    albertoalberto Posts: 71member
    I had bough L2 cache for my 6100 and 256 Ram for my Pismo from OWC and both works great
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