Memory Question
July 30, 2008 10:45 AM   Subscribe

I have an iMac. I have 2GB. My iMac says I only have 1GB. Why?

I bought some memory for my iMac G5 1.8ghz 17". I read that it would take up to two gigs.

Today, I installed two 1GB sticks. But, on clicking About this Mac, I was told I only had 1GB installed.

I took one of the sticks out. ...iMac said I only had 512MB installed.

I bought the memory from a reputable supplier. The specs are:

Kingston Value RAM. 2GB PC3200 CL3 184-Pin DIMM

Did I do something wrong?
posted by popcassady to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
You need two 1GB sticks, not one 2GB.

From - Each memory slot can hold DDR PC3200 with a maximum of 1GB per slot.*
posted by wongcorgi at 10:58 AM on July 30, 2008

Reading again, I'm confused. You installed two 1GB sticks, but the memory is labelled as a 2GB stick?
posted by wongcorgi at 10:59 AM on July 30, 2008

Response by poster: As I said. I did install two 1GB sticks.
posted by popcassady at 10:59 AM on July 30, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry. I see where I confused you. The memory came as a pair. The box was labeled 2GB -- two 1GB sticks.
posted by popcassady at 11:01 AM on July 30, 2008

Did you install 2x1GB or 1 x 2GB because you mention both in your question?

Also, from the Buying RAM guide of Macrumors, specifically for the G5 Imac:

(These machines are very sensitive to out of spec RAM - generic PC DIMMs are not recommended)
posted by sharkfu at 11:02 AM on July 30, 2008

(sorry, i was typing as you were replying)
posted by sharkfu at 11:03 AM on July 30, 2008

RAM installs can be flaky sometimes. I've run into this with Mac Pros... Put the original RAM back in zap the PRAM. Install new RAM, Zap the PRAM again. (HOld down Apple, option, P, R, let it chime 3-4 Times). You can also hold down Apple + S on start up, and type in "top" at the prompt if you don't want to wait for everything to load to check RAM installs. just make sure you type "halt" instead of just holding down the power button to shut the machine off.
posted by Debaser626 at 11:04 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Can you try one at a time. Also, try just one, but try the other slot.

Is there a kingston part number on the sticks?

wongcori: Kingston will label a kit like this -- 2GB = 2x1GB sticks.
posted by eriko at 11:06 AM on July 30, 2008

Response by poster: I tried zapping the PRAM, but things haven't changed.

The part number is KVR400X64C3AK2/2G
posted by popcassady at 11:25 AM on July 30, 2008

From the description, it seems likely to me that they gave you 1GB (512MB x 2) instead of 2GB, maybe by accident.
posted by dixie flatline at 11:37 AM on July 30, 2008

Yeah.. That looks like the right RAM... PC 3200 200 Mhz... could either be bad, mislabeled, or wrong parts... Try returning it.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:43 PM on July 30, 2008

Contact kingston and see if they can find out the size from the serial number, it sounds like the shop sent you the wrong product.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:50 PM on July 30, 2008

Response by poster: I swapped the sticks, tried them one at a time etc...

Both together -- 1GB. One stick on its own -- 1GB (tried in both slots). The other stick on its own -- 512MB (tried in both slots).

I also tried them in my PC. The sticks show up as 1GB and 512MB respectively. So much for buying a matched pair!

I'll give a call tomorrow. I don't have much hope for a refund though, as -- despite only opening the packet today -- I bought the memory a few months ago.
posted by popcassady at 1:53 PM on July 30, 2008

Check to make sure your firmware if updated on your iMac as well.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:18 PM on July 30, 2008

Do the two sticks look identical and are they labeled identically? I wonder if the stick that shows up as 512MB is simply defective in which case Kingston should replace it under warranty.
posted by junesix at 7:15 PM on July 30, 2008

Response by poster: Both sticks look identical.
posted by popcassady at 7:14 AM on July 31, 2008

FYI... RAM usually has a lifetime warranty. If the label on the RAM says 1GB and it's showing up as 512 MB in multiple units it's probably defective. It can be a PITA to contact someone to get the RAM replaced as defective, but I guess if you have the time/luck in finding a relative easy contact, it may be worth it.
posted by Debaser626 at 8:49 AM on July 31, 2008

You can find out more detailed information by running System Profiler and selecting Hardware -> Memory.
posted by kenliu at 6:02 PM on July 31, 2008

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