How many RAM manufacturers are there?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
With all the talk about cheap RAM, expensive RAM, who is best, et cetera, I would like to know how many companies actually manufacture RAM modules? How many make the chips that go on the sticks? How many just assemble other folks' chips on someone's sticks, and the like.



There are only a few makers of LCDs, for instance, with a lot of rebranding and repackaging. If there are only a few RAM-makers, then the bigoted reviews of various vendors become suspect. I'm sure there are top-tier and lower-tier mfrs, but how many, and who are they?



Micron, I know, is one.

Viking

Kingston

Mushkin

But how many are just assemblers?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    jccbin, you are correct, many memory "manufacturers" are actually just assemblers, they do not fabricate the memory chips. I don't really know the best way to determine which companies manufacture RAM.



    Going over to Wikipedia and looking up "RAM" suggests the following as the major memory manufacturers in 2005:



    Corsair Memory

    Crucial Technology

    EDGE Tech Corp

    GEIL

    G.Skill

    Hynix

    Infineon Technologies

    Kingston Technologies

    Micron Technology

    PNY

    OCZ Technology

    Rambus

    Samsung

    SimpleTech
  • Reply 2 of 6
    jccbinjccbin Posts: 476member
    ah! I should have wikipedia'd the term! Thanks Mr. H.



    So, there are 14-15 manufacturers, according to wikipedia. Making some assumptions about assembly, I would guess most of the RAM chips themselves are of workable quality and a lot of the issues arise due to improper assembly. The chips themselves are probably batch tested at the factories and accepted based on statistical error analysis. The upper tier assemblers and manufacturer-assemblers accept only the best chips and sets of chips (ie with the fewest errors), then use a higher-quality assembly process, followed by more testing.



    So, cheap RAM may, may, may be as good as more expensive RAM. But as sure as that assembler realizes he has mastered this level of quality control, he gets to graduate to higher prices, I bet. Thus the higher-quality assemblers get absorbed by the big names or join the list, while the lower-quality ones make their living on undiagnosed RAM Problems and lazy no-returns.



    Thus, if your RAM reseller offers a lifetime warranty and honest, no penality returns or exchanges, you can buy on price if you are able to live with possibly having to return a back stick or two over time.



    Now that things like Memtest and the Microsoft memory tester are available for Mac (Msft only on MacTels, of course), we have a decent set of test apps to run on our memory.



    So, if better statistical chances are worth the price to you, buy from the creme-de-la-creme. If not, but from who you like with the foreknowledge that you may be playing musical RAM somewhat more often.



    Right?
  • Reply 3 of 6
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    I've been using corsair for a very long time in all of my macs and at least 9 PCs I've built.



    In total, I've bought about 20 gigs of corsair memory, run memory tests after installation (you DID know you're supposed to do that, right?), and found no errors and have had no problems to date.



    The stuff is cheaper than most. it get's 5/5 purple guys:

  • Reply 4 of 6
    jccbinjccbin Posts: 476member
    Okay, but there is a massive problem with the Corsair site: They don't list memory under the MacBook Pro or MacBook name. Ordinary users will have trouble finding the right module with certainty.



    Not a very Mac-like experience.



    Now, I also got a database error when I looked up the memory by spec, so could not get a price from Corsair's links.



    Sorry, but that's a deal killer for Corsair being recommended to my clients - until the RAM can be found by product name.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jccbin

    Okay, but there is a massive problem with the Corsair site: They don't list memory under the MacBook Pro or MacBook name.



    ...



    Sorry, but that's a deal killer for Corsair being recommended to my clients - until the RAM can be found by product name.




    Well, there's a problem with that approach (using manufacturer's RAM guides to pick RAM for your machine), as some manufacturers (Crucial, I'm looking at you) read "Mac Users" as "suckers", and charge twice as much for same-specification RAM if you use their RAM chooser.



    e.g. Go to this page and you will see they charge around $68 for 512 MB PC2700 SO-DIMM.



    However, use their "memory advisor" to choose RAM for a 1.33 GHz iBook G4, and it takes you here, where exactly the same specification RAM costs $103.



    hmmm... just noticed that the iBook 1 GB module is cheaper than the standard one... very odd.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Well, there's a problem with that approach (using manufacturer's RAM guides to pick RAM for your machine), as some manufacturers (Crucial, I'm looking at you) read "Mac Users" as "suckers", and charge twice as much for same-specification RAM if you use their RAM chooser.



    Seconded!



    As for corsair's site not working.. I wouldn't know, I've never been to their site
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