Cat For Hare


(Yes, that's a literal translation. It is the colloquial Portuguese expression for "duped")

Update: I e-mailed Kreton and got an interesting reply back. See below.

So, half an hour ago I found (via System Profiler) that half my RAM seemed different. I've just opened my iMac G5 (the one that I had so much trouble getting hold of), and my heart sank.

But let me show you some photos - I'm sick and tired of writing about my troubles with this machine.

These are the DIMMs FNAC installed:

And these are the boxes they are supposed to have come in, with my original Apple 256MB DIMM inside:

Yes, I kept the original packaging. I always keep this sort of thing around for a year, just in case.

The DIMMs are obviously not identical (you can go over to my photo album, pick a photo and click on the date link to get a zoomed view). It could even be considered charitable to think that they could be similar.

I'm still trying to find a reasonable explanation as to why the casings are the same. Maybe Kreton dual-sources their stuff. But shouldn't the DIMMs carry their brand?

Because, you see, they apparently do - this is an image taken from Kreton's site:

So I e-mailed Kreton and sent them links to the photos above, asking if the DIMMs matched the packaging. Here's the reply I got (contact info removed):

Both of 512MB DDR-400 are not Kreton Value Buy memory.
One of the 512MB DIMM was Elixir brand and the other is PQI brand.
We do sell Elixir memory, but we sell it in bulk package to distributors and
not in value buy retail package.
As for PQI, we never carry that brand.

Basically, these DIMMs were not packaged in these casings - the casings are supposed to be sold to end customers, and carry Kreton-branded DIMMs.

So I did not get what I paid for, and even though I can admit to someone having swapped the casings by mistake, I was led into thinking I had bought identical, branded DRAM modules.

Two questions remain (and I'm getting pretty sure that the first one is true):

  • Is this enough to justify the lock-ups? I'm not sure. A lot of what I previously read about G5s leads me to believe that it might.
  • Why did this happen? Were the guys who assembled this in a hurry? Were they unaware of the possible issues?

I'm too damn tired and aggravated to do something about this right now, so I'm just going to switch off the machine and try to cool off.

What really annoys me is this:

  • Getting mismatched DIMMs (in both brand and speed rating) is not what I paid for, no matter what else went wrong in the first place.
  • I still have to go through the hassle of trying to establish if this is, in fact, why my machine locks up.

And I can't just take the machine back and be without it for days while someone else tries to reproduce a random issue - especially one related to RAM, which is usually a major pain to deal with.

Yep, I hate Mondays.

Update: In the meantime, I'm still considering what to do. My first instinct is to solve this on my own - transfer the bulk of my donation cash to my account, follow Nuno's example and get RAM from Crucial (which also happens to be what I did for most of my other Macs).

I can always try to use the DIMMs on PCs (or put one in my Mac mini - I assume it's adequate, although I haven't checked yet).

My second impulse is to go back to the store and file a complaint. But I won't take the machine out of the house for this sort of thing - I haven't got the time or the patience to pack it, carry it there, leave it for whatever time it takes (even if it's only a couple of hours) and cart it back home. I might print out the photos and take them in, though.

Any which way, I simply don't have the time, period.


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