October 31, 2003

Kernel Panicing

From time to time, my new laptop has taken to spontaneously crashing with a frequency which is hardly customary for Mac OS X. The working hypothesis is that the source of the problem is the free RAM upgrade that MacConnection provided. They replaced the two original 256 MB chips with two 512 MB chips. I’ve read at Macintouch that some RAM is particularly unfriendly to the new 15-inch PowerBook G4s. I tried reseating the chips and it crashed again so I’ve reinstalled the original chips. So far, no crashes. If it keeps running smooth then I get to begin the unenviable process of haggling with the reseller about making good on these shoddy chips. I sure don’t want two more of the same brand but I doubt they’re going to give me cash. Sigh.

[Also: I’m just glad that the infamous defective screen problem hasn’t affected me, yet. (MacMinute, News.com, Apple Discussion Forum, PetitionOnline.com, BoingBoing.)]

[Update: No crashes yet with the original RAM installed. MacConnection is going to send me replacement chips of a different brand. So we’ll see if that works.]

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I bought a Kingston 512 meg upgrade a few weeks ago and was concerned about getting Kernel panicks. I’ve had the ram installed along with my factory 256 megs for the past two weeks, its been solid.

I saw that macconnection.com upgrade and never heard of the manufacturer, which prompted me not to buy it. I guess I’m just paranoid of getting no-name brand RAM, done it before and been burned. Some recommendations if you’re looking to get some new sticks (my experience is limited to pc hardware but you should have the same experiences on mac):

Corsair (fast and stable, got it in my pc.. not sure if they make mac ram, great for overclocking) Mushkin (fast as Corsair, meant for overclocking, stable) Micron (nice and stable, on the fast side) Kingston (stable, not reknowned for their speed but competent) Samsung (good) NEC (good)

Anything else I wouldn’t buy. Yeah, theres some good deals out there for cheap ram, but you run the risk of shoddy components, or, my worst fear, slow performance. Hope you get it resolved Walt!

Walt Dickinson

Yeah. Not the brightest move in the world on my part but they lured me in. Usually I buy RAM from The Chip Merchant in San Digeo. I don’t know what brand they sell but they’re never steered me wrong. Thanks for the suggestions Chris. =-)

Don’t blame yourself, macconnection is a reputable dealer, they should really test out the components they sell together when they make bundles like that. Not your fault at all m8.

Btw, I just found the apple + tab feature in 10.3. Tried that once in 10.2 and realized it didn’t work, then never tried it until last night on 10.3 (purely accidental too). Now, if only I can apple + tab out of a full screen game, that would rule! :D

Daniel McCoy

Mmmmm, mystery chips. I had the same problem a few months ago, and I vowed never to buy bargain RAM again.

Stewart Bradford

get crucial ram, its great i have it in two of my pcs (one which has been runnign for 4 months straight - seriously win2000 is stable as hell!)

Rachelle Bowden

the chip merchant rules…. ruby has some RAM from there..

Walt Dickinson

Fortunately I didn’t buy it, it was a free upgrade. But it’s costing me in headaches and wasted time.