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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


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jephph

 
Member Since: Dec 13, 2008
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Hello. My wife has a Mac Pro, and I have a few questions.

First off, what's a good site for cheap Mac Pro RAM? The cheapest I see on Newegg is like 40.99 for a 2GB stick, which is enticing, but I really don't want to spend that much. I was told when I bought the Mac Pro that it works best when 4 or 8 of the RAM slots are filled, because it's like quad-channel or something. So he convinced me to get 4x512MB of RAM (the most I was willing to spend on RAM at the Apple Store). Now, it's time for an upgrade, but I don't really need 8GB of RAM. It's just that 2GB is the cheapest stick on Newegg. Even the 1GB sticks cost more.

So my question is, is it really that necessary to have 4 or 8 of the RAM slots filled, or could I just go with a couple of the 2GB sticks, and have 6 of the slots filled? If not, is there a site with cheaper RAM, maybe in smaller sticks that I could get 4 sticks pretty cheaply?

Thanks.
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hughvane

 
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Member Since: May 18, 2008
Location: Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
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Mac Specs: MacMini 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.8 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 2 Gb, OS 10.5.8; G4 eMac 1.25, 2 Gb, OS 10.4.11

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Many Mac users recommend OWC Find the latest Performance Upgrades, Firewire and USB Hard Drives, SATA, Memory, Laptop Battery, and more at OWC as a reliable source of reliable RAM. It doesn't claim to be the cheapest. Newegg too gets a fair bit of push, but be sure to ascertain the brand of RAM. Names that repeatedly appear are Crucial and Kingston. I think it's both fair and safe to say "don't buy from Apple", simply because of price.

As to your question about how much RAM, it depends on the demand being made of the Pro. Graphics or video-intensive activity will benefit from as much RAM as you're prepared to give it. You know much more about shopping around in the States (I assume) but even from way down here in NZ I refer to Printers - Scanners - Toner - Monitors - Projectors & More at Super Warehouse regularly. Very competitive.
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jephph

 
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She does photo retouching, so she uses Photoshop a lot. Also, what about having only 6 slots filled? Will that be ok, or should I try to get all 4 filled, even if it requires that I have less RAM?
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hughvane

 
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Member Since: May 18, 2008
Location: Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
Posts: 3,259
hughvane is just really nicehughvane is just really nicehughvane is just really nicehughvane is just really nicehughvane is just really nice
Mac Specs: MacMini 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.8 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 2 Gb, OS 10.5.8; G4 eMac 1.25, 2 Gb, OS 10.4.11

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You know how much you're willing to spend. I suggest that, after shopping around for best prices, that 4 (2 pairs) x 2 Gb might be your best option. I see on Mactracker that the machine will take up to 32 Gb! Working on the stated premise that either 4 or 8 slots works best, the world's your oyster really, it just depends on $$$.

I note at SWH that Kingston 1 Gb can be bought for US$17, but the specs of the different RAM sticks is bewildering to me.

There's good advice to be had here Mac Pro Memory - Apple Mac Pro Xeon 8-Core and Quad Core Memory Upgrades DDR2 Fully Buffered 240 Pin DIMM 800MHz PC6400 / 667MHz PC5300 at OtherWorldComputing.com ...
Mac Pro Memory Information
• 8 Total Slots, 32GB Supported
Must Upgrade using Matched Pairs
• DDR2 240 Pin Fully-Buffered DIMM
• 72 Bit (64 bit + 8 bit ECC)
• Mac Pro Specific Heatsink on Module
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).
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rogerinlondon

 
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Member Since: Sep 02, 2006
Location: London, England
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Mac Specs: MacPro 2,66GHz 10GB RAM NV 8800GT Cinema 30" * MBP 15" Glossy 2.33 GHz 2 Duo 3GB RAM 160GB HD

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jephph View Post
She does photo retouching, so she uses Photoshop a lot. Also, what about having only 6 slots filled? Will that be ok, or should I try to get all 4 filled, even if it requires that I have less RAM?
I think it is just a matter of getting the same size RAM in pairs for best performance, so you can keep some of the 512k and just fill some empty slots with 2gb (in pairs), which is what I have done.
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