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Faulty RAM and dispute with supplier - Advice needed

796 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2012 1:12 PM by The hatter RSS
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May 13, 2012 1:11 PM



A 2gb chip of RAM has developed a fault in my Mac Pro taking it from a full 16gb RAM to 12gb (that's a 4gb loss because the chips work in pairs so the paired chip is rendered useless without the faulty chip). I am currently in a bit of dispute with the company that I bought the Mac from about replacing the RAM. The Mac Pro was purchased in 2009 with the 16gb RAM pre-installed.


The RAM is Kingston RAM and comes with a "lifetime warranty". However that warranty is pretty useless since Kingston have stopped manufacturing the chip I need!! The computer supplier have offered to refund me for the 4gb of RAM that would leave me with an underpowered machine and a little extra cash that I can't even use to buy more RAM since it has to be Kingston to work with the other 12gb. Not a situation that I find in any way satisfactory for obvious reasons.


Alternatively, they have offered to pay for half the cost of replacing the entire 16gb set with new Crucial RAM (who are still making compatible RAM) with me making up the other half of the cost - this would cost me approx £200.


However, I feel that since I have been sold a piece of faulty kit that was supposedly guaranteed for a "lifetime" that it isn't right that I should now have to pay £200 to restore my Mac to it's initial RAM capacity. I have already paid for the RAM. I shouldn't have to pay twice, given it's "lifetime warranty". I feel that it was their error to use a supplier of RAM who stops production so soon of chips that are only a few years old and that therefore they should replace the entire 16gb set with Crucial RAM, free of charge.


I'm still in discussions with the company but would appreciate people's thoughts on this issue. Am I being unreasonable? How would you tackle it? What kind of service should I expect in this situation?



Mac Pro (2008), Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    There are arguments on both sides.


    This device has a lifetime warranty, and you Kingston claim they must be installed in like pairs or quads. If one fails, I will send the set to you, and you will make it right and send me a working set (from any manufacturer).


    You, Firecehair need to be forceful but businesslike. Ask to speak to the supervisor, then the person with authority to honor their warranties. Kingston wants you to be a happy customer, if possible. A lawsuit against them is like a mosquito bite on an elephant.


    If you want to force their hand, try telling them you have posted a query regarding their not honoring their warranty on a number of public discussion forums, including the Apple forums, and a lot of readers are waiting to hear back about whether Kingston really does honor their warranties in full, or tries to blow you off.


    On the other side:


    Since those initial claims of "they all have to be the same manufacturer" came out, folks have discovered that a lot of that was marketing bluster. Pairs do work better if identical, but you do not really need all the the pairs to be the same manufacturer. Lots of parts with the same chip specs will work together. So if you lose, you can usually substitute other parts -- provided the have the same speed parameters. Figuring that out will take some work decoding the chip numbers to make sure the parts are really similar. Or trying them out.


    Your Mac has Error Correcting Code (ECC) Memory. If it is not working with mismatched memories, it will be really obvious really quickly, as the error counters will increment or a Kernel Panic will ensue.


    A middle position:


    I, Fiercehair will take and install a mis-matched quad (or the payment that allows me to buy them) PROVIDED you, Kingston will stand by this configuration as well, and if they stop working for any reason, including problems with mis-matched quads, you will consider the other pair of Kingston DIMMs to have failed, and will replace the other Kingston pair (or make a payment in lieu of replacement) so that all will be the same again.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)

    OWC FBDIMMs I see posts here of having to replace after 2-3 yrs happening.


    The 2008 model is 4 yrs old, mine is the 1,1 and going on 6 and I have replaced FBDIMMs in it, twice, from 4 x 512 to 4 x 1GB to 4 x 2GB. The last set was $120 Amazon for 667MHz DDR2.


    The RAM failed. Happens. Heat kills. the best way to get longer life is to keep the fans @ 800-900 rpm and above to keep their temp under 70*C,


    Take the refund. Some places charge 15%.


    No it does not have to be Kingston - mixing brands usually works fine. In some cases even two batches made by same vendor can fail to get along also too.


    Amazon UK won't have as much or same but they usually do have Crucial or see what Crucial UK shows.



    And in case you need more than 16GB,

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    Take the money they offer and buy 2 DIMMs. Install them. If it works, Merry Christmas!


    If it does not work, THEN spend the more money.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)

    I see your thread on MacRumors.


    Your seller should put down his pipe. There is no "will not boot with both" or they aren't Mac Pro approved and standard FBDIMMs pure and simple.


    I would not replace all the RAM though unless that is the only or what seems to you like best offer or solution.


    I think it is possible to slap "Crucial" or even "Kingston" and have what is best described as 1st tier batch and yield and 2nd tier batch. All silicon is not 200% identical. And that is true of anyone working with chip wafers.


    I woudl run AHT on the new RAM with just that installed. Make sure it passes basic hardware test.


    Mixing 4GB DIMMs with 1GB DIMMs should but did not always work every user and every time.

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,250 points)

    I am having trouble following this.


    You do not "have to have Kingston RAM" you need to have RAM that meets Apple's specification. That is listed on Apple's website and on most of the RAM resellers' websites.


    Also if the RAM is under warranty it should be replaced, period. If not that is another matter and take that to a consumer watchdog if you have one that will act.


    If you just need to bite the bullet then buy the new RAM yourself, unless it is really oddball it is not that much in the scheme of things. Particularly if it is needed for work.


    Claim the cost on tax, how much time and work are you prepared to lose on a relatively minor issue?

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)

    I think this "mixing" is bogus issue and asked and answered, twice.


    There are always a few exceptions - OWC has been known to ship out replacement RAM that was defective. Things happen. But those were replaced until corrected.


    I had Apple Hynix along with RAMjet (not sure where it actually came from) along with Micron.


    Kingston is top quality usually and popular in UK, Spain Germany, Italy etc.

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,250 points)

    You keep going over this again and again. The manufacturer is not the issue, it is the specification.


    Download this and look up what you need:




  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,250 points)

    Here, bit of googling:



    Unfortunately you are paying a premium for specialty RAM.



  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    The question is can I mix different makes of RAM - Crucial & Kingston?

    As answered, Yes.

    Samsung, Hynix, Micron (Crucial), Kingston, etc.

    One pair of each is fine, as long as the specification is correct.....

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)

    As I said above... they are smoking trash.


    They don't know Jack to me, not about Mac Pro FBDIMM or yours.


    If this was 2009 and 4GB DIMMs (DDR3 ECC) had just come out, then there were issues, but you don't and this isn't that. Or using DDR3 8GB or 16GB. Not that either.








    This standard defines the electrical and mechanical requirements for 240-pin, PC2-4200/PC2-5300/PC2-6400, 72 bit-wide, Fully Buffered Double Data Rate Synchronous DRAM Dual In-Line Memory Modules (DDR2 SDRAM FB-DIMMs).These SDRAM FB-DIMMs are intended for use as main memory when installed in systems such as servers and workstations. PC2-4200/PC2-5300/PC2-6400 refers to the DIMM naming convention in which PC2-4200/PC2-5300/PC2-6400 indicates a 240-pin DDR2 DIMM running at 266/333/400 MHz DRAM clock speed and offering 4266/5333/6400 MB/s bandwidth.

    Patent(s): There are known patent issues that are common to all FBDIMM related specifications. See document for link to FBDIMM Patents.


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