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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > “Small” RAM for 15” AlBook

“Small” RAM for 15” AlBook
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Oisín
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Sep 27, 2007, 12:11 PM
 
(I tried finding something on this by doing a search, but as always, my search-fu hovers somewhere just below zero)

I have a classmate who has an old 15” PowerBook (bought late 2004, she thinks). It has only the preinstalled 256 MB of RAM.

Obviously, since she’s a photography and frequent user of Photoshop and InDesign, that’s not ideal (it would drive me insane in less time than it takes to listen to a Meat Loaf song all the way through—possibly even less time than it would take for the Meat Loaf song to drive me insane).

So, with my help, she bought a 1 GB stick of 333 MHz PC2700 DDR SDRAM, which was, as far as I could tell from Apples support pages, the correct type.

However, today when she brought her computer to school and I wanted to install it, I received a slight surprise: the RAM she’d received in the mail (which looked pretty much exactly like the RAM in my own PowerBook) was too big. About twice the size of the original RAM, in fact.

Apparently, Apple changed RAM types at some point back then—but I can’t find any info on actual, physical size of the RAM sticks anywhere!

Her machine has no FireWire 800 (which seems to be a defining factor in separating the models on Apple’s support pages), but it is an AlBook, not a TiBook. I forgot to check how fast the processor is, so I don’t know that. The RAM in the machine (the small stuff) said it was indeed 333 MHz PC2700 DDR SDRAM, but unlike the new RAM which informatively told me it is a 184-pin DIMM, the old RAM said nothing about pins.

So, what I need to do now, of course, is help this poor girl find the right kind of RAM for her machine, so she can send the other stuff back. And this is where I turn to you kind people—’cause I can’t seem to find any sites (locally, at least) that specify anything more detailed than clock speed and type (i.e., 333 MHz PC2700 DDR SDRAM) or provides pictures, so I’d be able to verify it’s the right size.

Can someone give me any hints or links to what kind of RAM I need for this machine?
     
seanc
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Sep 27, 2007, 12:49 PM
 
Sounds like you got desktop RAM :/ Are the pins the same size and spacing on both?
Can you provide a comparative photo of the two?
     
Oisín  (op)
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Sep 27, 2007, 01:29 PM
 
Unfortunately not—I only had them side by side at school.

Now that I look at the page I found the RAM from (I used one of those mass outlet sites where you search for the item and it tells you which online shops have it available, and you click directly to the relevant page in that store), I do see that the Proshop description page says PowerMac. I missed that the first time around (and it didn’t say it on the mass outlet site). Damn.

This site gives me about two dozen gazillion machines it might be, and they all seem to use the one with the serial number M9594G/A (1 GB). That one just doesn’t seem to be available here in Denmark.
     
Oisín  (op)
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Sep 27, 2007, 01:40 PM
 
Image Googling for the model Kingston’s site gives me as the proper one (KTA-PBG4333/1G) yields this, which has pics of both the ‘long’ and ‘square’ types. The type in her computer is the ‘square’ type.

But how the hell can the same model have two different shapes?!?
     
seanc
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Sep 27, 2007, 02:45 PM
 
Just make sure you buy the correct specified DDR RAM, but make sure it's SODIMM, that means you're getting laptop RAM.
     
mduell
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Sep 27, 2007, 02:58 PM
 
She bought the wrong RAM, and you're wrong about the larger RAM being in your PowerBook. Every Apple laptop in the last ~10 years uses SO(small outline)-DIMMs, the 'small RAM.'
     
shifuimam
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Sep 27, 2007, 03:10 PM
 
FYI - when in doubt, go to Crucial.com and use their tool to find out exactly what kind of RAM you need. It's never failed me once.
Sell or send me your vintage Mac things if you don't want them.
     
Oisín  (op)
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Sep 27, 2007, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
She bought the wrong RAM, and you're wrong about the larger RAM being in your PowerBook. Every Apple laptop in the last ~10 years uses SO(small outline)-DIMMs, the 'small RAM.'
I just looked at the old items in my drawer, and you’re right, of course. They’re much smaller than I remember them being. Dementia seems to be setting in early.

Actually knowing what all these abbreviations mean would be helpful, of course. It would also help if Kelkoo wouldn’t misrepresent their items. I just looked again and the Kelkoo page (though not the Proshop page, which is where we actually bought it) does have the wrong RAM down as SO-DIMM. It didn’t say anything about PowerMacs, either.

Just to be on the safe side: would this one be the correct type, size, shape, colour, shoe brand, and everything?
     
Oisín  (op)
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Sep 27, 2007, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
FYI - when in doubt, go to Crucial.com and use their tool to find out exactly what kind of RAM you need. It's never failed me once.
That just requires you’re able to properly identify the machine in question. I’ve just found out that it’s a 1 GHz model, which makes it easy; but ten minutes ago, I wouldn’t have been able to find it through Crucial.
     
Simon
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Sep 27, 2007, 03:17 PM
 
You need SO-DIMMs (200 pins).



And BTW, Apple has been using SO-DIMMs for ages - my Lombard uses it actually.
     
Oisín  (op)
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Sep 27, 2007, 03:22 PM
 
And the one in my last link is a 200-pin SO-DIMM, no?
     
seanc
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Sep 27, 2007, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
And the one in my last link is a 200-pin SO-DIMM, no?
It's correct.
     
ibook_steve
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Sep 27, 2007, 06:03 PM
 
Even though there probably aren't links to stores in your country, try Compare prices on Mac and PC computer RAM and digital camera memory. Find the lowest priced memory, flash, ram and USB pen drives. - dealnews.com to find links to the correct RAM based on which machine you have.

Steve
Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
     
   
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