Part 2, page 2
Updating your early iMac G3,

For a very long time it was believed that you cold not put more than 192 MB of RAM in these iMacs, primarily because of Apple's technical data. When I worked for a memory manufacturer from Santa Ana, California, their tech staff swore over and over that you couldn't add more, just because Apple said so! "It's the Bios, ya know. . . . "Ha!

Thank goodness some of the other memory module makers experimented, and what do you know, 512 MB can be stuffed into your early iMac! But wait; there are two caveats here. One is that the lower memory slot must use a 1" specification "Low Profile" SODIMM. Second, don't you ever dare put anything less than a 2-2-2 or otherwise known as CL2 timing RAM modules in any Macintosh! As I discussed in the G3 Wallstreet PowerBook article, 2-2-2 refers to the refresh timing cycles of a RAM module. The lower the numbers in the series, the faster the RAM is. 2-2-2 is much faster than 3-2-3 or 3-3-3 (slowest, and cheapest). Believe me, you WILL see the difference the speed between these modules. See, there's that speed thing you can never have enough of.

There are a number of manufacturers of SODIMM modules, some good and some VERY good. We choose Viking Components once again for RAM duty here because of quality and speed. We received one MPG3/256L 1" 256 MB low profile module for the lower memory slot and a MPG3/256 standard 256 MB module for the upper memory slot. Both modules are also used in the G3 PowerBooks and are PC-100 compatible and CL2 (2-2-2) timing. You can't buy any better.

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You are probably wondering here if you can do the RAM installation deed yourself? You bet you can! To help you along we put together a little pictorial on how to crack open a "tray (CD) loader" iMac and change out the RAM and hard drive. If you click right HERE, it will take you to that separate section.

...don't you ever dare put anything less than a 2-2-2 or otherwise known as CL2 timing RAM modules in any Macintosh!

Al in all, with the addition of a 7200 RPM hard disk drive and fast quality RAM, our speed check stats showed a 18% in HDD access times of 20 MB sized files, Photoshop 6.0 opened 16% faster, our 333 MHz Rev D iMac started up from cold 11% faster than the with the original 5400 RPM 6 GB HDD and the original CL3 (3-2-3) 128 MB RAM it had in it. Some programs may actually run faster than before depending on RAM related processes that are going on and if HDD access is part of what you are doing. Certainly file opening and saves will benefit from the much faster 7200 RPM HDD, but things that rely on pure processor speed will be no faster. But you know what? That 266 or 333 MHz G3 that your iMac came with is still a speedy little devil! Don't underrate it and keep using your early iMac as very useful tool like all Macs are for a very long, long time.

If you come across any new upgrade ideas, have any interesting experiences, or comments, please pass them along. Write us.

Download Link to Apple's iMac manual page.

NEW! Part 3 Addition to the iMac upgrade story, The Final Chapter of Keeping an early iMac Current


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