iBook for the hard of thinking...
May 18, 2006 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone added RAM to an iBook G4?

My son says that my 1.2 GHz PowerPC G4 iBook will run much faster with more RAM. It has 256 MB built-in. He's suggesting 1G. If I add that much, will the little beast run faster? Any recommendations about where to purchase, on-line or otherwise. And thirdly, do I dare attempt to install it myself? I'm only marginally computer-savvy but not in the hardware aspects. Any advice appreciated!
posted by lois1950 to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
256 megs on a machine running OSX is really sad. Even doubling it will make a great difference in performance, and a gig would really give it room to breathe. If you are careful and can read and interpret simple instructions (easily googleable), you shouldn't have any trouble installing it yourself. Annnd lots of people say Crucial (crucial.com) sells the best RAM, but I purchased some off-brand stick from taiwan a year ago and haven't had any trouble.
posted by thedaniel at 1:42 PM on May 18, 2006

I've supported a bunch of iBooks at work for the past few years and installed memory quite often. It really does give quite a performance boost, and is well worth it. Crucial is the vendor I've used, and have had a good experience, plus you can just plug in your iBook model and they'll tell you which memory you need. Installing it really isn't that hard, as Apple themselves will tell you (PDF download). I say go for it-- one caveat: it always seems to me like it takes more pressure than it should to insert a memory stick, but I haven't broken one yet.
posted by hwickline at 1:43 PM on May 18, 2006

er, rather than saying "from taiwan" it would have been more useful to say "from newegg.com"
posted by thedaniel at 1:43 PM on May 18, 2006

I had an ibook G4 with 256 and I upgraded it to 768 and you wouldn't believe the difference. Yes, it's a huge difference. I don't like to take my computers into my own hand so I did let Apple do it at the Apple store -- it wasn't so expensive either, not for the performance jump. I definitely recommend it.
posted by visual mechanic at 1:53 PM on May 18, 2006

i added a 512 dimm to a machine that only came with 256k. was easy to do (just wear the grounding strap!!) and worked just fine.
posted by luriete at 1:53 PM on May 18, 2006

I just did this. It's pretty easy if you have the right tools. My fave site for mac repair is iFixIt. Choose the model, etc, and it'll give you detailed, step-by-step guides. They also sell parts.
posted by chota at 1:56 PM on May 18, 2006

I doubled the RAM on mine and it made a noticable difference. If you have OS 10.4, it makes a huge difference with how efficiently Dashboard works.

Installation is no problem - the Apple website has very clear instructions on how to do it. The only thing is, you need to purchase a tiny, tiny screwdriver [easily found at Home Depot or whatever other hardware store you prefer]

The easiest place to purchase it is from Apple online.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 1:58 PM on May 18, 2006

It makes it significantly faster because the Mac will swap what's in memory to disk if there isn't enough memory (and back from disk) as needed.

More memory, less (or zero) swapping from disk = much faster machine.
posted by filmgeek at 2:00 PM on May 18, 2006

I've got an additional 1Gb in my iBook. It makes a heck of a difference. You need 200-pin SO-DIMMs (PC-2100 or PC-2700), but the Crucial site will guide you to the exact modules compatible with your iBook. You can get it cheaper from Memory to Go, but I haven't bought from them.

Installation? Not difficult. The manual explains how to do it: you just need to lift up the keyboard and use a jeweller's screwdriver to unscrew the metal plate hiding the RAM slot. (Depending on the model, you may also need to unplug the Airport Extreme card.)
posted by holgate at 2:01 PM on May 18, 2006

It was definitiely worth it to me. I purchased mine from http://www.memorytogo.com/ a year and a half ago and haven't had any problems. I installed it myself using the instructions in the iBook manual.
posted by bwilms at 2:03 PM on May 18, 2006

Bought a 1GB SODIMM for my 1.33GHz iBook G4 and it definitely runs more clippy. Overall startup is faster, many large app startups are faster, and it's less sluggish when running multiple apps. I bought mine from newegg.com as well. Spring for the full 1GB.
posted by junesix at 2:20 PM on May 18, 2006

I'll second the recommendations for both getting the gig and from Crucial.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 3:03 PM on May 18, 2006

The easiest place to purchase it is from Apple online

There is nothing easier about buying it from apple. Unless you like to waste money, don't do it.
posted by justgary at 3:12 PM on May 18, 2006

Also, it was easy to install. If you can't spring for the one gig, just double what you've got. It will make a difference.
posted by justgary at 3:13 PM on May 18, 2006

Yes; yes; The Chip Merchant; yes.

This is a no-brainer. Do it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:16 PM on May 18, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you all for such good advice. 1G it is!
posted by lois1950 at 10:58 PM on May 18, 2006

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