Project PowerMac: more RAM installed

PowerMac - 256k each

What would we do without eBay? Found two 256 MB RAM sticks on eBay for less than $20 (with shipping), and couldn’t pass up on the deal to boost the PowerMac G4’s RAM from 320 MB to…well, strangely, only 704 MB…

Something in this RAM equation doesn\'t add up

But before we get to the goofy math, let’s explore how we got this far.

PowerMac - RAM slot

The G4 makes it so super easy to install RAM it’s not even funny. Here we see the two empty RAM slots. There are tabs on each side of where the RAM sticks go. You simple pull them open, and when the RAM stick slides in the tabs close automatically. It’s an elegant system.

PowerMac - installed RAM

Here the two RAM sticks are installed. One is a Samsung model, and the other is some Korean RAM manufacturer that I wasn’t able to identify. But they’re both 256 MB, which should add up to 512 MB added to the 320 MB already installed in the G4. System Profiler gave some clues:

Apple\'s System Profiler agrees with my math

See if you agree: 64 MB + 128 MB + 256 MB + 256 MB = 704 MB. That’s what the “About This Mac” screen told me. So where did the G4 get the 320 MB it gave me before I installed the extra RAM? Where is this mysterious, missing 128 MB?

I’m not complaining, but it would’ve been nice to have that RAM number be 800+ MB instead of 704. Whatever. The G4 now zips along a little easier now. A processor upgrade would dramatically improve things, I think, and a graphics card upgrade wouldn’t hurt, either. Next on the agenda, however, is a USB 2.0 PCI card. I’m looking at one that also includes a gigabit Ethernet port and a few extra Firewire 400 ports. The USB part is crucial, because everything from backups to plugging in my iPod relies on the faster USB connection.

A fun project, all in all, and plenty more to come. Now if only I could find that extra 128 MB of RAM….

[Read part one of the PowerMac G4 project.]

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