Mac OS

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Adding ram to an older imac

by etancixelsyd / December 8, 2005 7:23 AM PST

Hey i've got a G3 imac (600 mhz processor, 256 mb ram 40 gb H.d.) and its been running slow lately. i want to speed it up, and i think adding more ram will give it the kick it needs. i think its the ram thats the prob because me and my dad (on separate computers) are running the same os (10.3.x) and he has a 667 mhz processor, so i dont think thats too huge of a gap. he has 768 mb ram i think, and his runs tons faster than mine. Do you think this will speed up my computer? what kind of ram should i get (graphite imac g3)? any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks

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RAM for iMac
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 8, 2005 7:46 AM PST

Adding RAM to your machine would certainly help.
Fortunately it is easy to add RAM to your machine and it takes standard size RAM. PC133 with 168 pins. It can be easily installed by you.
Check the system profiler, under the Apple Menu, for exact memory configuration.
If you have 256MB right now, you almost certainly have two 128MB sticks in the machine. To increase the RAM you will have to sacrifice one or possibly both existing sticks. The next size RAM stick is 256MB ($57)followed by 512MB ($86). This iMac tops out at 1GB of RAM which will set you back $172 (2 x 512). 512 + 256 ($143) or 512 + 128 ($$86)
The site I used to price this RAM is www.memorytogo.com

Hope this helps

P

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thanks
by etancixelsyd / December 8, 2005 9:51 AM PST
In reply to: RAM for iMac

thank you. is there any specific brand i need?/ or one you suggest?

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No specific brand
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 8, 2005 10:33 AM PST
In reply to: thanks

the website I mentioned carries good memory which has a lifetime warranty.
They will replace RAM without question if there is a suggestion that it is faulty.

P

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RAM for iMac
by RaeAtkinson / December 8, 2005 9:23 PM PST
In reply to: RAM for iMac

I have an iMac G3 as well as my friend. Mine has 512 mb of RAM and hers had 256, so I added another 256 mb and it ramped up her computer wonderfully. It is easy to add RAM into the G3's as they are slot loading. It made Panther run much faster with an extra 256mb's.
A good way to find RAM is through eBay. Make sure it is compatible with Apple. Sometimes cheap, generic pc RAM makes an apple run yucky, so check the System Profiler in the Apple menu and check for configurations of the memory. So Good Luck. I really prefer MAC's and an iMac g3 is a great little computer. Mine, unlike my brand new Windoze laptop, is called the old stable workhorse in our house. It just works...

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Be careful
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 8, 2005 11:14 PM PST
In reply to: RAM for iMac

when buying RAM through eBay. A lot of the stuff is pulled from old machines. Not all of it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Buyer beware

P

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You are right
by RaeAtkinson / December 8, 2005 11:40 PM PST
In reply to: Be careful

I should have gone into more detail. My apologies. Mrmacfixit is right, make sure it is new RAM and it has a lifetime warranty, as the RAM I bought had.

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thanks
by etancixelsyd / December 9, 2005 1:22 AM PST
In reply to: You are right

thank you all very much. Im definitly going to be upgrading my ram. I've read about using a grounding strap, and i was just wondering if this was necessary. and should i use the instructions on "theimac.com" (http://www.theimac.com/ram_under.shtml) i've used instructions on this site before, and theyve seemed good. sorry to be so annoying, but im nervous about screwing up my computer. Thanks

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iMac Help
by RaeAtkinson / December 9, 2005 1:25 AM PST
In reply to: thanks

Grounding strap would not hurt, or take it into a room with no carpet. The RAM just slides in, but you are right, you dont wanna risk it and screw something up.

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RAM Install
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 9, 2005 2:33 AM PST
In reply to: iMac Help

As mentioned, the grounding strap will not hurt. Avoid touching the connectors on the RAM stick. Handle by the edges only.
"just slides in" is a little over simplification. While the RAM does sit inside a slot, it has to be FIRMLY pushed straight down at each end to make sure the white clips are correctly located. The RAM actually snaps in.

P

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RAM install
by RaeAtkinson / December 9, 2005 5:46 AM PST
In reply to: RAM Install

so technical! He's right...;)

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Consider
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 9, 2005 5:54 AM PST
In reply to: RAM install

the target audience. Reading the whole thread will indicate that this poster is not used to poking around inside their machine, not everyone is comfortable doing that.
By saying that the RAM just slides in, would suggest that once the RAM stick is inside the slot, it is installed.
You and I know that this is not correct. It actually sits in there quite nicely without really being correctly installed. It may even stay in place once the machine is the correct side up, but it will NOT run. Imaging the damage if it falls out. Little gold pins rampaging around a live motherboard! Just being careful

Happy

P

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Uh Oh
by RaeAtkinson / December 9, 2005 6:00 AM PST
In reply to: Consider

That would be a scary thing if those little gold pins are poking holes into the motherboard. Sad that would be terrible Plain
Alrighty, I will be more thorough in my explanations. You are surely right about someone poking around not knowing what they are doing.

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Cheap ram for iMac
by taboma / December 18, 2005 10:17 AM PST
In reply to: RAM for iMac

Check out NewEgg.com in California for memory also. I recently purchased 512M for $79. Ram gets cheaper every day. Wherever you go try to get free shipping.
Peter suggested 1GB. Go for it. You will love it!

-Kevin

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Yes, Get More RAM Now.
by Bellette / December 15, 2005 7:52 PM PST

More RAM will improve the performance of your Mac. Easy to install, ask you AppleStore for where and price (your model), Ross.

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Absolutely!
by jrhmobile / December 15, 2005 8:40 PM PST

I know I'm just joining in the choir, but I have to chime in.

I'm a print production designer, and I run a number of graphics intensive applications. I have your same system as my ''older'' backup system. Tossing the two 128MB chips and replacing them with two 512MB chips (1GB total) makes my work much faster on that backup box. It's not using swapfiles from the hard drive to make up for RAM deficiencies, so it runs MUCH better.

That box is also the one my daughter uses for the internet (I think Macs are the safest way to go online -- if only because most all the malware online is targeted to infect Windows PCs). With our Time-Warner RoadRunner service, that system streams rich media much more easily and consistently with more RAM installed.

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Absolutely
by taboma / December 22, 2005 2:01 PM PST
In reply to: Absolutely!

Nice post back and good info.

-Kevin

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It Should Help...
by muncyweb / December 15, 2005 11:44 PM PST

I myself have an even older iMac, believe it or not. It's a G3 266 Mhz. I upgraded that computer from whatever it came with stock, up to 288MB. The speed increase on that machine was drastic. Now of course, it's running OS 9, not OS X. But from what I know of OS X so far (I have a Mac Mini as well), RAM is even more important for OS X. OS X has a feature that automatically uses Virtual Memory. This means that if you're low on memory, OS X tries to use the hard disk as memory. That will slow you down quite a bit. I would highly recommend the RAM upgrade. Also, with some of the iMacs, you can actually go higher than what the instructions say (more RAM per slot). Be sure to do your research, and put as much memory in as possible. I've often read that OS X likes a minimum of 512MB. Good luck!

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adding ram to an older imac
by NeilFiertel / December 15, 2005 11:54 PM PST

There is no question that adding RAM will speed up many processes on an older iMac...I have experimented with this exact scenario. Maximize the RAM and the OS will be faster and such programs as image processing such as with Photoshop and so forth will be MUCH improved. Remember, that some programs have in their preferences choices as to how much of the RAM can be alloted to run their program. Photoshop is one such example. Run the program with no more than 70% of the total RAM allocated in such a program. Normally, most applications take dynamically what they need to run or should I say, the OS allows this to happen. If there is insufficient RAM then the hard drive acts as the RAM source and this is very slow relative to RAM which means the computer runs slowly. You mention that the computer seems to be running slower than it used to. There are two reasons for this...the newer programs presume that you have lots of RAM and CPU speed first of all but there is a second factor that is a free repair as it were...go to applications/utilities/disk utility and run that program to repair permissions. I warrant that you will find that the computer runs much faster just by doing that! Permissions when they are in error slow the computer down substantially or they cause squirrely behaviour. Do that task first and then decide if you want to spend the money on RAM. No doubt though RAM at maximum is a nice improvement and will make substantial gains in operating speed. Buy good RAM that is fully Mac compatible...much is NOT!
Neil Fiertel

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Two places to check
by batavier / December 16, 2005 7:22 AM PST

Two places to check
- To find the specs on your computer:
EveryMac http://www.everymac.com/

- A single source for mac upgrades:
Other World Computing: http://www.macsales.com/

Adding RAM will not speed up the computer,
but will make it run more efficiently.

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