More Memory for the iMac

I’ve been putting off ordering additional memory for my iMac G5 ever sine I got it. The configuration I bought at the Apple store included 512M installed as a single DIMM, and one empty slot. The iMac G5 will support up to 2G of memory. I new when I bought I planned to add memory. Given what Apple charges for memory, I knew it wouldn’t be purchased from them.

Based on my experience adding memory to my Powerbook, I inteded to purchase my iMac memory from Crucial. Crucial is a division of Micron, and many sources state that Crucial supplies Apple with all of its memory. Indeed, the memory I purchased a couple years ago for the Powerbook seemed identical to the memory already in the machine, except for the part number (the memory sizes were different). The website has a memory selector to ensure you buy the right unit, the price was very good, and overall I was satistfied with the entire experience.

Shortly after I purchased the iMac, I looked on Crucial’s site for memory. The prices have not changed in that time (about a month), and are currently:

  • 256MB – USD 42.99
  • 512MB – USD 79.99
  • 1GB – USD 259.99

Wow! Quite a jump in price from the half gig unit to the full gig. Given that the iMac only holds two DIMMs and that any future memory upgrade will mean removing an existing chip, I’m highly inclined to buy the 1GB module. However, I really balk at the markup.

So today I’ve hit the web, looking for reputable providers of Mac memory with better prices. I’ve learned quite a bit. For example, using a single DIMM or a mixed pair of DIMMs results in your memory bus operating at half the full speed- a matched pair is faster (Apple Technote). However, I’ve also learned that in real-world tests, the net speed improvement is 0%).

I also learned about a web resource I didn’t know about- This site allows users to rate online shopping experiences, both with numerical ratings and with written reviews. As someone who always checks Amazon’s reviews when shopping for new goodies, I think I’ll be using this site quite a bit in the future.

So did I find a good deal? I’ve looked at a bunch of websites, including Smalldog, Transintl, Otherworld Computing, MacGurus, and MacSolutions. The best price so far (for a 1GB DIMM) has been 110. In addition, NewEgg has an excellent rating at ResellerRatings, based on nearly 10,000 reviews. The memory is Patriot Memory from PDP Systems. I’m not familiar with the memory, but the NewEgg site has a number of reviews for the product from iMac G5 owners. So, I ordered one. More to follow when it arrives.

  1. 50 USD at NewEgg

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6 Responses to “More Memory for the iMac”

  1. Sean Says:


    Does that mean you are going to include the existing DIMM and add the gig to it or are you just going to run the gig?

  2. Jason Says:

    More = Better<br/>

    I’m going to add the 1 gig stick along side the 512M stick… I’m not concerned about the memory bus speed issue since it’s negligible in real usage (processor and bus speed don’t change). More physical memory- even a “mismatched” pair- will always help performance. I can always buy a second 1 gig to displace the half gig if I need it.

  3. sean Says:

    More is definately better<br/>

    I just wanted to clarify that. I took both meanings from the post.

  4. chornbe Says:

    Have you cracked the case open on the iMac yet? I’m curious what you found out regarding ease of (dis)assembly, part installation and such. I’ve made my choice – the 17″ iMac Superdrive. To keep the initial purchase price down, I’ll probably just buy the stock unit and immediately get more memory for it. Add the blue-tooth console stuff later.

    If you decide to take out the 512, I can save you some trouble and me a few bucks and buy it from you.

    It’s a thought.

  5. Jason Clark Says:

    Looks easy enough<br/>

    I haven’t opened it up yet. I looked at the manual (pdf), and it looks like three phillips screws and you’re in. Hopefully I’ll be giving it a try Thursday… that’s when the shipment is due.

  6. Uncle Roger Says:

    Re: Newegg<br/>

    I’ve bought from NewEgg as have others I know and all have been happy with them. They generally have really good prices. I’ve bought CF cards and external HD cases; one friend has bought a number of Shuttle PC’s and other parts.