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Mac Plus with 4MB of RAM

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I have a Mac Plus that has 4 MB of RAM.  Does anyone have experience with this configuration?

 

I haven't used it much since I remember reading a long time ago that Mac Plus systems with that much RAM tend to have overheating issues.  I don't remember when or where I read it but it seems to me that, at the time, it came from a reputable source.  Of course, I'm going by memory here, so who knows.

 

Probably sometime I'll get a Kensington System Saver for it to help with cooling.

 

But, other than that, are there many problems with overheating?  Having 4 MB of RAM might be handy sometimes, but I don't know that I want to burn out the machine.

 

Thanks!

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My Mac Plus never really had overheating problems, although the analog board did indeed produce a good deal of heat.

 

There were times when it just served as my clock (having no keyboard at the time), and while it got warm, I never felt it getting dangerously so. Adding more RAM up to 4MB never really seemed to make a heat difference, in my experience anyhow. I never measured heat at the logic board, so I can't confirm that, but in all, the hottest part was the analog board.

 

 

The RAM upgrade makes using multifinder a much more pleasant experience, however that particular system software config can cause older (1st gen mac) software crash, like MusicWorks. I could never get it to work with multifinder. I was running 6.0.3 and then 6.0.8

My first plus, back in the late '90s, was run a lot more though its paces. I upgraded the RAM myself, which I considered a feat for a teenager, and it ran wonderfully. I had a full setup, including external drive and secondary floppy, which made duplication much faster. I wrote nearly every paper from 11th and 12th grade English with MS Word v.3—my bridge machine was a Quadra 610, which would dial-up making getting the old files nice.

Edited by jessenator

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I would actually like to run my Plus with 4MB. It has one right now, it’s totally stock. I’ve got a spare logic board that I’ll use to do that. Anyone know how to obtain 1 MB SIMMs now? Which are compatible? How can you tell 1 MB and 256k ones apart?

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1 hour ago, LaPorta said:

Anyone know how to obtain 1 MB SIMMs now? Which are compatible? How can you tell 1 MB and 256k ones apart?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/132101576971

 

Steer clear of the 2-chip sets. At least, most have said they don't work. Mine had them and they were fine, but something like this would work just fine.

They just need to be 30-pin SIMMs at 80ns or higher FPM (fast page memory) types. I've seen 70 and 60 ns sets as well. Don't worry about parity, as the Macs of this vintage ignore it, but make sure the SIMMs are all the same spec if you're not buying a set.

 

As for telling them apart if you have a bunch of SIMMs sitting around, I'm not sure. My first inclination would be to search the chip P/Ns and see what they come up with, but most of them are so old, they don't have cross-referenced, modern equivalents. I had a devil of a time looking up some of the ICs...

Edited by jessenator

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I’ve run a couple Pluses with 4MB. Never had a problem with heat. I always meant to install a fan in one myself just to get some air flow going anyway though. Pina’s book shows one way to do it by connecting directly to the switch as I recall. If you run that config a RAM disk becomes a great option!  

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Thanks all.  Maybe the info didn't come from a reputable source after all.

 

Still, I think I will eventually get a System Saver for it, just for the extra bit of cooling.

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In the Larry Pina Mac Repair Secrets book, he says that many people say it’s not neccessary to add a fan when you upgrade the RAM.  He disagrees and says those people are wrong and you absolutely should be adding a fan at the time of RAM installation.

 

This might be where you heard it.

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Having been around these Macs since Larry Pina was writing, I can say that I've used Pluses with 4MB and no fan without a problem.

 

The likely reason Pina writes this is because the Plus (and earlier) had no fan and were prone to overheating when used in, say, a 9-to-5 environment, five days per week. This is what led to so many analog board failures in these computers.

 

Since the upgrader already had the Mac open at the time, it was likely included as a reference for convenience. Why not put the fan in at the same time if one is to be installed? It saves from opening the Mac again and also saves a visit to the dealer or an order from MacWarehouse. 

 

If you do use a Plus without a fan, don't use it as your daily driver. The Kensington System Savers are the easiest way to do it.

 

The only real drawback of 4MB RAM has nothing to do with heat. On a Plus, the startup takes forever since the Plus has to test the RAM. (It's also a good way to test how much RAM your Plus has if you buy a new one and the seller wasn't sure of the RAM--or listed it as 1MB since all but the newest Pluses say 1MB on the rear bucket).

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Does anyone have any good pics of internal fans on a Mac Plus?  I really want to ad a Noctua fan to one in the future.  Id really love to see one with some well done additions.  Id actually love to get a somewhst junked up platinum plus case and cut an opening for a fan in the side.

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Another thing: most of the Pina references talk about repairing damage caused by overheating due to use when not in an air conditioned environment. Chances that you have that are far greater these days than when he wrote the books.

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15 hours ago, Scott Baret said:

The only real drawback of 4MB RAM has nothing to do with heat. On a Plus, the startup takes forever since the Plus has to test the RAM. (It's also a good way to test how much RAM your Plus has if you buy a new one and the seller wasn't sure of the RAM--or listed it as 1MB since all but the newest Pluses say 1MB on the rear bucket).

Thanks for that.  I wondered why it seemed sluggish to boot but otherwise fine.

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