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Buffered vs. Unbuffered DIMMs

Posted on 2000-03-03
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What's the difference?

I'm again trying to understand the many features of computer memory.  Boy oh boy!  After just a year, there's so much more jargon to worry about regarding simple memory!  DIMM, 5V, EDO vs. FPM, 4K refresh vs. 2k refresh, parity vs. non-parity, 60ns, 8x64 vs. 8x72.  Now buffered, non-buffered.  What's the difference?  All I need is the best memory for the lowest price for my PowerMac 9500 with a G3/333 upgrade processor.  Even the Kingston web page for generic memory shows FIVE different types of EDO memory that seem to work for my computer.  And worse of all, vendor's prices range from $79 to $230 for just ONE 64MB DIMM!!  Please help me understand all this *&^@##*!!  I just need to get two DIMMs!!

OR is there ONE web site that explains all?

[Weed, please do not answer]
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Question by:archken
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TheHub earned 300 total points
ID: 2582392
Download GURU:
http://www.newertech.com/

GURU = GUide to Ram Upgrades.

You may also want to download the AppleSpec database at:
ftp://ftp.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/Utilities/

I purchase all of my RAM from:
http://www.datamem.com/dimms.asp

Call Data Memory Systems (800.662.7466), tell tham what machine you have, how much more RAM you want, and poof, yer done. I have ordered RAM several times from them and they have never screwed up my order. Check GURU first for config options.

The DIMMs for your machine are:
non-EDO (Extended Data Output), non-parity, 60ns, 5v, FPM (Fast Page Mode), 168pin.

Their prices are competitive and the chips, so far, have never failed.

Good Luck,
-TheHub
http://www.MacintoshMagician.com/
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Author Comment

by:archken
ID: 2583789
Well, I can easily call anybody and shove out $230 per 64MB DIMM.

Thanks for the links.  I've been looking at that exact web page (datamem).  I can either get the special $79 DIMM or, looking down the list, the $110 EDO DIMM.  The question is, why should I spend the extra $31 per DIMM (I need two) if the cheaper one is equally warranted for lifetime?

Also, it's extra confusing when GURU says something like, "you will not derive any benefits using EDO."  But EDO is usually a few dollars cheaper, so would I hurt if got them anyway to save some money?  Especially if they're newer/faster/better/whoknowswhat?

I suppose it's just the peace of mind I need from NOT OVERPAYING for equal (or adequate) quality.
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Author Comment

by:archken
ID: 2589595
Well, for lack of more info, I've went ahead and ordered two DIMMs from Datamem via phone.  I suppose it's convincing enough that the guy said "unbuffered memory will NOT work in the PowerMac 9500."  He gave me a fairly good price -- $102 per 64MB DIMM.  Other vendors may have equally compatible DIMMs for less cost, but it's probably not worth the extra effort.  I guess.

Now I only hope that these DIMMs are the fastest I can get for that price, and that performance will not be compromised.  They'll be interleaved, but I only wish there's an easy test I can perform after installing them.
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