Memory & Hard Drives

Mac OS X is a memory-hungry operating system and benefits from having a lot of RAM. In our testing, we’ve found that 4 GB is the minimum RAM for the typical user. If you’re doing extensive image processing, video or audio production or other intensive tasks, you likely want at least 8 GB.

You might be surprised to hear us say that when it comes to the RAM in your Mac, you don’t want to buy from Apple. That’s because Apple massively overcharges for RAM, though admittedly less so now than in the past. The vast majority of the time when you buy a new Mac, you want to buy it with the least amount of memory possible, and buy less expensive, high quality third- party memory—exactly like what you can get from MacAtoZ.

Besides having better pricing than Apple, our memory also comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee. That means if, through normal usage, the RAM somehow goes bad, we will replace it for free. Apple’s memory warranty only lasts for the length of the computer’s warranty, either 1 year or 3 years if you have AppleCare.

Whether you buy your RAM from us or not, make sure to purchase memory that’s certified, or tested, to insure that it’s functioning correctly. Some vendors only test every 20th chip or so in a batch, leaving you with no guarantee that the RAM you’ve purchased works. As RAM-based errors are notoriously difficult to diagnose, it is always worth it to buy only certified memory.

On most Macs RAM installation is not difficult. If you’re a MacAtoZ Service Suite (MSS) member in the Salem-Keizer area, though, we’ll even come out and install the RAM you buy from us for free.

RAM prices fluctuate regularly. Please call MacAtoZ at 503-507-0410 for a price quote.

Hard drives
Mac OS X 10.5 and later have a Time Machine backup feature that requires an external hard drive. Backing up your files regularly to an external drive is cheap insurance for when—not if—your main hard drive fails.

You can get a large external drive for $100 or less. This is a small price to pay relative to the cost of losing every picture in your iPhoto library, every song in your iTunes library, and every word processing or email text you’ve written. Sure a data recovery company like DriveSavers can probably recover your data for hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. But why not invest a little now and sleep soundly?

Our last hard drive crash occurred in January 2007. Our PowerBook’s internal hard drive went from fine to utterly unusable in less than two hours, and thanks to an external hard drive back up we lost nothing.

If you don’t already have an automated backup system in place, do yourself a favor and call MacAtoZ at (503) 507-0410 and let us help you get one set up. Remember, hard drives are physical devices and they will fail. Don’t wait until that happens to backup your important data. Call us today.