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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - Mac Pro memory upgrade...


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svnipp

 
Member Since: Feb 06, 2008
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I am about to upgrade the memory on my Mac Pro and stumbled across something that made me start scratching my head... I visited OWC to see about pricing and ordering 4GB to take my stock Mac Pro from 2GB to 6GB. My immediate assumption was to buy a pair of 2GB DIMMs for this upgrade when I read the following on the OWC site under the memory specs section.

Four or More FB-DIMMs installed provides for best performance
FB DIMM technology takes advantage of multiple channel access. Apple recommends the use of 4 or more modules to take advantage of this 256-Bit Wide memory architecture. Modules must be installed in pairs, each module is 64 Bits Wide + 8 Bits for Error Correction (ECC)

With this in mind, would I be better served just getting a pair of 1GB DIMMs which should end up giving me 4 1GB DIMMs, the two from Apple that came in the machine and the two new ones? The obvious question is why do I need the memory upgrade. I went for overkill when I bought my Mac Pro as this is simply an all purpose home system. I play WOW, do web surfing, some class work, etc. The thing that made me really realize the need for the memory upgrade was Fusion in that once I launch Fusion the 2GB in the machine currently is taxed to the limit. With Fusion, Firefox, Mail, and WOW running my "Free Memory" in the Activity Monitor comes in about 30MB.

I'm curious as to your thoughts. I honestly think 4GB is enough, I was just planning on upgrading to 6GB to give me that much more breathing room. However, if there is a performance gain to be realized by matching up the installed 1GB DIMMs then I think I would rather simply do a 2GB upgrade now. Thanks in advance for any thoughts and feedback on this.

Scott

Scott
One happy switcher!
Mac Pro single Quad core/GeForce 8800 GT/2GB
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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I think 4GB is more than enough for the stuff that you listed.
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aj-uk

 
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Mac Specs: Mac Pro, 8 core 2.8GHz 14GB RAM, Geforce 8800GT, Dell 3008WFP

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As far as I'm aware there would be no performance gain going to 4GB as opposed to 6GB, The new RAM you buy will "match" the speed of your original memory, providing it's the correct RAM for your generation of Mac Pro.

One fun thing, do read the manual on installing FBDIMMs, It doesn't work the way you think it would.

I have read that you get a performance gain from having all RAM slots filled on Early 08 Mac Pro. I'm not sure if it's true or not but I've filled all the slots on mine.
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svnipp

 
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Time to revive this thread as I haven't yet purchased my memory but I think I will this week. I'm still not sure if I should just get a 2GB upgrade or pay an extra $40 to get a 4GB upgrade. I'm also not clear on this possible performance boost by matching what's already in my Mac?

I'm heading to the Apple store today (not to buy memory, just to look around) so I''ll ask them about it.

Scott
One happy switcher!
Mac Pro single Quad core/GeForce 8800 GT/2GB
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