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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > iMac 17" - 768 MB RAM?

iMac 17" - 768 MB RAM?
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cms
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Sep 24, 2006, 11:37 AM
 
Briefly, I have just been sent by Apple a 17" 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo iMac as a replacement (finally) for a G5 iMac bought 11 months ago that has undergone 5 major repairs since it was bought. I am delighted to receive my new machine, and am, of course, thrilled that Apple eventually recognised the original G5 iMac was a lemon and sorted this out for me with good grace.

I have bought an additional 512 MB module from Crucial, expecting to double the factory installed RAM to 1 GB. There is, of course, one small problem: I didn't realise that these machines shipped with 512 MB RAM on 2 DIMMS. So, can I pull one of the 256 sticks and install my new 512, making a total of 768 MB? I read somewhere that you should install in matched pairs for maximum graphics performance. But I am only using the computer for internet, spreadsheets, etc. so don't need/want spectacular graphics performance. Will I get decent performance in all other ways from this configuration?

I much appreciate any comments and/or advice, particularly from any users with the same RAM configuration as I propose.
     
iMacfan
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Sep 24, 2006, 01:29 PM
 
It should work fine, but as you have already said, the already so-so integrated graphics will take a hit.

David
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cms  (op)
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Sep 24, 2006, 01:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMacfan
It should work fine, but as you have already said, the already so-so integrated graphics will take a hit.

David
Thanks for the quick reply. Can you be a bit more specific about the effect this might have on the graphics? I won't be gaming at all -- the only thing I might want to do from time to time as far as media apps are concerned is a bit of work with iPhoto and playing music through iTunes. Will it handle that sort of stuff OK? I am assuming that 768 MB will produce better all round performance than 512 MB in terms of multi-tasking and system responsiveness -- is that correct?
     
iMacfan
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Sep 24, 2006, 04:33 PM
 
I don't see why it would be a problem with any of that, only really 3D, or maybe when playing very high res video. But take all I say with a pinch of salt - I don't have any integrated graphics macs, so this is just what I have read. And yes, that extra RAM should have a beneficial effect in situations when 512 would have needed to use the HD. Slow RAM (and its only really 15% slower at the most) is an order of magnitude faster than a fast HD.

David
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OmniX
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Sep 27, 2006, 11:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by cms
Thanks for the quick reply. Can you be a bit more specific about the effect this might have on the graphics? I won't be gaming at all -- the only thing I might want to do from time to time as far as media apps are concerned is a bit of work with iPhoto and playing music through iTunes. Will it handle that sort of stuff OK? I am assuming that 768 MB will produce better all round performance than 512 MB in terms of multi-tasking and system responsiveness -- is that correct?
The performance hit of having non-interleaved memory modules is minor compared to the boost of having more overall RAM. Definitely install the RAM; the whole machine should be snappier, and any graphics hit should be minor if not downright negligible.

ox
     
ChasingApple
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Sep 28, 2006, 01:54 AM
 
You won't notice a difference at all. Install that memory
iMac G4 / Macbook
     
dimmer
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Sep 28, 2006, 02:48 AM
 
Err, the iMac G5 and Intel Flavour have dedicated GPU with it's own memory, so your system RAM won't impact that at all. If all you use the system for is "But I am only using the computer for internet, spreadsheets, etc." I have a G3 CRT iMac that I'll swap you that runs "Resolve" like no-body's business.
     
dimmer
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Sep 28, 2006, 02:51 AM
 
Oh, but the Intel iMac and the G5 iMac use totally different memory, so put down that torx because if you boot that bad boy up with the wrong ram shoved in the wrong slot you'll be in for a whole world of major hurt.
     
cms  (op)
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Sep 28, 2006, 03:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by dimmer
Oh, but the Intel iMac and the G5 iMac use totally different memory, so put down that torx because if you boot that bad boy up with the wrong ram shoved in the wrong slot you'll be in for a whole world of major hurt.
Extra 512 MB RAM ordered direct from Crucial for the Intel iMac -- I obviously would not be stupid enough to install RAM meant for a G5...!

To all those who posted useful and relevant comments, thank you. Just to let you know that everything is running smoothly, and the system is indeed definitely "snappier" with 768 MB than with the original 512. Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. Definitely worth doing, and no major impact on the graphics as far as I can see for what I use it for.
     
jamil5454
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Sep 28, 2006, 08:55 AM
 
I don't know if you can afford it, but there are places much cheaper than Crucial and you probably should have gotten a 1GB stick so you don't have to replace it later if you want more RAM.

And guys, remember, the graphics card in the 1.83 model of the Core 2 Duo 17" iMac is the GMA950, so memory bandwidth is an issue, but really only for games though.
     
discotronic
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Sep 28, 2006, 09:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by cms
Briefly, I have just been sent by Apple a 17" 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo iMac as a replacement (finally) for a G5 iMac bought 11 months ago that has undergone 5 major repairs since it was bought. I am delighted to receive my new machine, and am, of course, thrilled that Apple eventually recognised the original G5 iMac was a lemon and sorted this out for me with good grace.
So Apple sent you a $1000 machine as a replacement for a lemon that you paid $1300-$1500 for? Doesn't sound like much of a deal to me. Unless the G5 was a refurb and the price you paid is the same as the replacement you should be upset.

I had the first release iMac G5 17" replaced because it was a piece of crap. I was given a machine that was of equal value. I didn't want another iMac so I received a PowerMac G5 1.8GHz single processor as the replacement. I had to pay for the upgraded video card but it wasn't a big deal since I only had to pay $50.

My point is that you received a machine that was a lemon. Apple replaced it with a machine of lesser value. That is like buying a Honda Accord that is a lemon and getting it replaced with a Civic.
     
cms  (op)
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Sep 28, 2006, 10:59 AM
 
I take your point. discotronic. But the whole episode has been a complete nightmare from start to finish. This new Intel machine actually WORKS. I can get on with my stuff, and therefore my life. I am not about to pick a fight with Apple over the fact that hardware prices have decreased so significantly in the 11 months since I bought the G5. While it is I suppose true that I have received as a replacement a machine of less than equivalent VALUE than the one it was sent to replace, the cheaper Intel iMac is VASTLY SUPERIOR in terms of speed, power and "stuff" (webcam, software, etc.) than the G5 machine ever was or could hope to be without expensive and cumbersome add-ons.

I'm happy.....
     
discotronic
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Sep 28, 2006, 12:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by cms
I take your point. discotronic. But the whole episode has been a complete nightmare from start to finish. This new Intel machine actually WORKS. I can get on with my stuff, and therefore my life. I am not about to pick a fight with Apple over the fact that hardware prices have decreased so significantly in the 11 months since I bought the G5. While it is I suppose true that I have received as a replacement a machine of less than equivalent VALUE than the one it was sent to replace, the cheaper Intel iMac is VASTLY SUPERIOR in terms of speed, power and "stuff" (webcam, software, etc.) than the G5 machine ever was or could hope to be without expensive and cumbersome add-ons.

I'm happy.....
I feel you. It was like pulling teeth to get mine replaced and I have been happy for the most part. The PowerMac did have problems after I got it. I had to get the video card replaced as soon as I got it and it would freeze all the time. Good thing a firmware update fixed the freezing. After that it has been rock solid since.

Glad they did give you a replacement and you are right about the performance.
     
jamil5454
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Sep 28, 2006, 01:23 PM
 
The only problem is that the video card in your replacement is crappier than the one you had in your G5.
     
iMacfan
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Sep 28, 2006, 05:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by jamil5454
The only problem is that the video card in your replacement is crappier than the one you had in your G5.
Maybe, but if he doesn't do anything that taxes the GPU, that's neither here nor there. I've just had a huge flame war with someone who took a disliking to my choice of admittedly expensive and esoteric speakers for my iMac. Now more than ever I realise that it's horses for courses.

David
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Sep 28, 2006, 06:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by jamil5454
The only problem is that the video card in your replacement is crappier than the one you had in your G5.
Performance-wise, the G5's is actually a bit worse, since the Core 2 Duo's can actually use more than 64Mb if needed, depending on how much RAM you have.
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houstonmacbro
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Sep 28, 2006, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMacfan
It should work fine, but as you have already said, the already so-so integrated graphics will take a hit.

David
i thought these had the x1600 graphics card?
     
houstonmacbro
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Sep 28, 2006, 07:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by discotronic
So Apple sent you a $1000 machine as a replacement for a lemon that you paid $1300-$1500 for? Doesn't sound like much of a deal to me. Unless the G5 was a refurb and the price you paid is the same as the replacement you should be upset.

I had the first release iMac G5 17" replaced because it was a piece of crap. I was given a machine that was of equal value. I didn't want another iMac so I received a PowerMac G5 1.8GHz single processor as the replacement. I had to pay for the upgraded video card but it wasn't a big deal since I only had to pay $50.

My point is that you received a machine that was a lemon. Apple replaced it with a machine of lesser value. That is like buying a Honda Accord that is a lemon and getting it replaced with a Civic.
albeit a new 2006 civic... possibly a hybrid.

i think it's a better machine IF you got the 17" with the x1600 graphics card and not the one with the integrated graphics.
     
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Sep 28, 2006, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by houstonmacbro
i thought these had the x1600 graphics card?
The 1.83GHz iMac Core 2 Duo has 64Mb GMA950 integrated graphics.
-
     
   
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