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

Mac Pro - Matching RAM. Whats the TRUTH


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Axxis22
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So it has been spoken about before, but never got the real answer.

Crucial tells me that the ram sticks DONT need to match.
Apple tech support tells me they DO need to match.
And, the apple store told me they DONT need to match

confusing? yes

So I currently have 2 512's (1gig) and want to bring it up to 3gigs. I ordered 2 1gigs from Crucial but havent installed them yet.

What to do?
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Axxis22
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Every time I call crucial or apple, they never seem 100% sure what there saying.

"uuummmm let me check up on that"

Crucial did tell me to put the 2 1gigs on the top deck and bring down the 2 512s to the bottom deck. Make sense?
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cazabam

 
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A matched pair will be faster because of the way DDR2 works, but it should work fine with a 1GB and a 2GB stick. Many people upgrade to 1.25GB by replacing only one of the 256MB sticks, then upgrading that to 2GB later.
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surfwax95

 
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According to a benchmark I saw a few weeks ago (I'll try to find it) the difference between:

256, 256, 256, 256, 512

and

1024, 512

was 3% speed difference in favor of the 256 pairings.

Not a big deal if you ask me.

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Axxis22
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sounds good

so... 512 512 1gig 1gig and I should be ok?

How about placement?
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Scroatdog

 
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No idea about the placement, but I have read here and elsewhere that, if you've got four sticks, you want to populate an entire memory riser board, rather than putting two on one riser and two on another.

1) Powerbook G4 12" 1.5 GHz, iWork, Ilife 06, Logic Pro, Office 2K4
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Axxis22
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well added those 2 1gigs.

everything seems ok
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bfx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scroatdog View Post
No idea about the placement, but I have read here and elsewhere that, if you've got four sticks, you want to populate an entire memory riser board, rather than putting two on one riser and two on another.
The diagram on the inside cover of my Mac Pro shows the following fill order -

1 - two back slots on top riser

2 - two back slots on bottom riser

3 - two front slots on top riser

4 - two front slots on bottom riser

If you dig thru Apple's support forums for the Mac Pro you'll find a couple 0f posts where someone actually tested several differerent combos.

As I recall consensus was to first determine target amount of ram then work toward that using only the back rows of the two risers.

Other combos work and essentially are very useable for the majority of users.

But using that approach should yield the best performance for those doing things like 3D rendering under Rosetta.

In that case - where each frame can take six to fifteen hours ti render and you have 7200 frames to do then a 3% speed increase is definitelty desirable.

For readers who might not have bought extra ram yet it's also important to get quality, reliable, stable ram.

Although the worst seems to be past I've read reports of buyers getting flakey ram from Crucial , OWC house brand (but not the TechWorks they sell - although there may have been some problems with it as well) and even Apple.

It's advisable to stress the system after adding ram by running a tough memory diagnostic test at leat overnight - 24 or 48 hours duration is better. Some problems don't show up right away. A 48 hour stress test will usually find any sticks that are marginal and might be prone to early failure.

bfx
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