How Can I Max Out the RAM on My Friend's iMac Rev. A?
December 27, 2003 10:18 PM   Subscribe

AppleFilter: I am trying to upgrade memory for an old Mac [more inside]

A friend of mine has an iMac Rev. A and I tried to install two 256 MB memory cards to allow him to use OS X (previously, the machine had only the factory-installed 32 MB). After I tried all possible configurations, I found that the computer would only work with the original 32 MB. Should I install two 128 cards? Or is there some trick that will allow the 512 to work? Would it help to install OS X, then the memory? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
posted by lackutrol to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
According to Everymac Apple iMac Rev. A & B Specs @ - the max for the rev A is 384 megs of ram. which is a 128 with a 256; Plenty hardy for Panther (albeit a bit slow).

My favorite place to look at ram is DealRam as it's an easy price comparator along with shipping and model.

dealram: 256MB Apple iMac G3 (233-333) Computer Memory (PC100 SO-DIMMs)
posted by filmgeek at 3:33 AM on December 28, 2003

Does anyone have any recommendations for brands or companies to go with or ones that are best avoided?

I'm about to (finally) RAM out my G3 iMac (slot-loading Flower Power edition, I'm such a hippy) and get it OSX-ified. This is the first time I've upgraded memory/OS myself, in the past I've upgraded machines entirely and passed older models on to my kids and others in my family, but I love this computer and my entire life is on it and I'd just as soon keep it for a while and boost its capabilities, as it is in fine shape.

I'm worried about going with something that might come back to bite me later, I use this machine to the extent that a day without it would just about break my heart. Any advice? Am I best off biting the (price) bullet and buy memory directly from Apple themselves, or are there aftermarket dealers/brands that are just as good?
posted by Dreama at 7:34 AM on December 28, 2003

Dreama -- I bought a second hand iMac [indigo] over the summer and bought a crucial [micron] stick from [it was cheaper than through directly]. It worked like a charm and really added some zip to the machine. It is running Panther now with no problems.

Going to OS X could mess up your files. Since my system came with OS X I didn't have any issues upgrading from Jaguar to Panther. Going from 9 to X could be trickier though.
posted by birdherder at 8:05 AM on December 28, 2003

Going to OSX will not mess up your files.

It will reorganize stuff based on the MacOSX file system. You'll need new Carbonized apps (OSX apps) for things like Word, etc.

But the OS is stable as all hell.

You're going to need at least 2 gig (I'm guessing around this) free on your HD - and since it's it's an older machine, it probably only has around 6. You could get an external USB burner while you're at it.

Go over to a local apple store (if there is one) to take a quick look at where OSX puts Apps and your "user" files.
posted by filmgeek at 8:53 AM on December 28, 2003

Dreama, the days of having to buy Apple RAM in order to ensure stability are fortunately gone. I've had good luck buying RAM from CDW - since they own the MacWarehouse brand now, too.

As filmgeek already mentioned, if you're as attached to your FlowerMac as you sound, a trip to an Apple retail store might be well worth your time. The Geniuses on staff really do know what they're doing. If you buy Apple RAM, they'll install it for you. In fact, they'll upgrade your FlowerMac to Panther if you're at all concerned about losing anything, etc., and when they're done, they'll sit down and walk you through where all the "parts" you're familiar with have moved to. Yes, there's a premium associated with that kind of service, but in the long run, if you're more comfortable with your Mac and you're up and running faster, the premium may be worth it to you.

(No, I don't work for Apple. I'm just a big fan of their retail operations and, after what I went through with a trashed Titanium PowerBook recently, an even bigger fan of their in-store Geniuses.)
posted by JollyWanker at 10:07 AM on December 28, 2003

I'm already prepared for OSX native versions of all of my apps -- fortunately I'm not running anything which will have costly upgrade involved. I'm using OSX on other machines -- we have 8 Macs in the household and this is the only one still using OS9 -- so I'm aware of all of the differences in file structure and whatnot.

You're going to need at least 2 gig (I'm guessing around this) free on your HD - and since it's it's an older machine, it probably only has around 6. You could get an external USB burner while you're at it.

I've got a 40GB HD with 20+ free. The Flower Power version isn't that antiquated! Built in burner too, and Firewire, so no way would I burden myself with an external USB burner. I actually have one that I've been trying to unload. No one wants the damnable thing, but then I don't know why anyone would. But I digress.

As for an Apple Store, I'd love to visit one, but that would mean driving to Philadelphia, DC or Cleveland. They refuse to open a store in the Pittsburgh area, despite the massive number of Mac users at the universities. (CMU offices are Mac heavy and have been for a decade.) If someone could tell me exactly who would need to receive illicit favors in order for Mac users to be freed from the prison of the back corner of CompUSA, I'd be en route to Apple HQ on the first plane out.
posted by Dreama at 10:36 AM on December 28, 2003

Dreama, as you already know, I'm in Pittsburgh as well. Every CompUSA in the area has an Apple store and there is one dedicated store in Cranberry called MacOutfitters. I recently had a fiasco with my g/f's Powerbook and am heading up there tomorrow.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:53 AM on December 28, 2003

Do share how things go at MacOutfitters -- I've never been, but I've got the feeling that most anything would be better than the ghetto corners of the CompUSAs. The last time I was in one, the supposed rep from Apple was there, and he couldn't answer the simplest of questions about anything or do much more than shill for the highest end machine that they had on site with a cinema display that was $200 more than Apple's online store price. Thanks, but no thanks.
posted by Dreama at 6:32 PM on December 28, 2003

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