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View Full Version : IMPORTANT: Can a 2008 Mac Pro handle non-ECC dimms?




dreamersofeden
May 31, 2011, 05:37 PM
Hi,

As I told on another topic, I recently purchased an 8 core Mac Pro (2008 model) that comes with the default specs: 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD and Radeon HD2600 XT.

Well, If I want to upgrade to 6GB I've to spend 140€ on a s*it*y and overpriced 4GB kit of ECC dimms to match with the default kit that comes with the Pro.

So my question is, CAN I USE NON-ECC DIMMS on it?, I mean, can I put for example, a 8GB kit of "normal" DDR2 dimms? (logically, removing first the ECC ones, that probably I'll sell after on eBay)... They're INFINITELY CHEAPER, and my pocket will highly appreciate it after the 1200GBP that the Pro cost me.

Thanks in advance,
Daniel.



milbournosphere
May 31, 2011, 05:46 PM
I've heard conflicting reports. I considered non-ecc ram for my pro...but look at it this way: is it really the best idea to cheap out on ram for a computer you just paid a nice chunk of change for?

gpzjock
May 31, 2011, 05:55 PM
I believe this one: https://discussions.apple.com/message/7820258?messageID=7820258 So I say no.
Don't like paying for ECC RAM? Sell the '08 and save up for an '09 it will take cheaper non-ECC RAM.

Umbongo
May 31, 2011, 05:55 PM
No. You have to use pairs of FB-DIMMs.

Cindori
May 31, 2011, 05:56 PM
Yes, you can run non-ECC Ram, just don't mix them with ECC Ram.

However, the Ram still needs to be FB-DIMMs, and those really are not much cheaper afaik. (if there even are FB-DIMMs that are not ECC)

Elisha
May 31, 2011, 06:22 PM
As far as I know all FB-DIMMs are ECC since they are meant for workstation/servers.
FB just means fully buffered as opposed to unbuffered dimms for regular motherboards.

gpzjock
May 31, 2011, 06:26 PM
I assume Cindori is right, he knows much more about this stuff. :)
Found this for cheap: http://www.compuplus.com/Memory/Kingston-ValueRAM-Memory-4-GB-1027693.html $126 for 8 GB = €87.53. Plus import tax ofc.
Will that work Cindi? :)
Or go for just 6 GB total RAM using your original Apple RAM: http://www.memoryamerica.com/fk225672800at.html $129 for 3 bucks more.
While you are there you might want to replace the HD2600 XT GFX card too, they are a bit pants by today's standards.

dreamersofeden
May 31, 2011, 06:42 PM
I found this on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.es/2x-2GB-4GB-Kit-Apple-MacPro-2008-RAM-800Mhz-FB-DIMM-/360294820680?pt=DE_Technik_Computerzubeh%C3%B6r_Arbeitsspeicher&hash=item53e33eab48

About 30 cheaper, not "bad" price... Probably I'll buy them.
BTW, anyone from Europe that has bought RAM from OWC?, how much are the taxes?

Umbongo
May 31, 2011, 06:48 PM
I found this on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.es/2x-2GB-4GB-Kit-Apple-MacPro-2008-RAM-800Mhz-FB-DIMM-/360294820680?pt=DE_Technik_Computerzubeh%C3%B6r_Arbeitsspeicher&hash=item53e33eab48

About 30 cheaper, not "bad" price... Probably I'll buy them.
BTW, anyone from Europe that has bought RAM from OWC?, how much are the taxes?

Taxes are whatever your local VAT is.

gpzjock
May 31, 2011, 06:50 PM
Go for the local ones they will win out on the Taxes.

nanofrog
May 31, 2011, 11:42 PM
Yes, you can run non-ECC Ram, just don't mix them with ECC Ram.

However, the Ram still needs to be FB-DIMMs, and those really are not much cheaper afaik. (if there even are FB-DIMMs that are not ECC)
FB-DIMM = ECC (similar to registered, but instead of just the control lines being buffered, the data lines are as well)

What complicates matters more with FB memory, is it's serial based, while most memory is parallel. So IIRC, JEDEC placed the PCB notch in a different location so it can't be mixed with other types (= FB DIMM can only be used with FB-DIMM).

juanm
Jun 14, 2011, 03:09 AM
I found this on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.es/2x-2GB-4GB-Kit-Apple-MacPro-2008-RAM-800Mhz-FB-DIMM-/360294820680?pt=DE_Technik_Computerzubeh%C3%B6r_Arbeitsspeicher&hash=item53e33eab48

About 30 cheaper, not "bad" price... Probably I'll buy them.
BTW, anyone from Europe that has bought RAM from OWC?, how much are the taxes?

Hi

I live in Spain (for now...) and I've bought from Macsales three or four times (although not in the past year and a half), for amounts up to $200. Each time, I used FEDEX International priority, which is marginally more expensive than USPS, yet much faster. I'm of course only speaking for myself, but they never made me pay any extra taxes or import duties. If they did, it could be up to 28-30% (18% VAT+ import duties). Hope it helped. Of course, your mileage may vary, so don't get mad at me if you get hammered at the customs.

shardey
Jun 14, 2011, 10:50 AM
I purchased 6 sticks of 2gb ram from eBay for $195 shipped. Also I just purchased a dual quad core Dell workstation with 32gb ddr2 800 FB ecc dimms for $500 :D:cool:

dreamersofeden
Jun 19, 2011, 06:48 PM
Hi

I live in Spain (for now...) and I've bought from Macsales three or four times (although not in the past year and a half), for amounts up to $200. Each time, I used FEDEX International priority, which is marginally more expensive than USPS, yet much faster. I'm of course only speaking for myself, but they never made me pay any extra taxes or import duties. If they did, it could be up to 28-30% (18% VAT+ import duties). Hope it helped. Of course, your mileage may vary, so don't get mad at me if you get hammered at the customs.

Ok thanks, I'll try someday but for now I prefer eBay auctions because the other day I saw a pack of 4GB been sold for 50...

I purchased 6 sticks of 2gb ram from eBay for $195 shipped. Also I just purchased a dual quad core Dell workstation with 32gb ddr2 800 FB ecc dimms for $500 :D:cool:

LOL, what a bargain!, which Dell workstation is?

gslrider
Aug 19, 2011, 10:55 AM
Yes, you can run non-ECC Ram, just don't mix them with ECC Ram.

However, the Ram still needs to be FB-DIMMs, and those really are not much cheaper afaik. (if there even are FB-DIMMs that are not ECC)

What would happen if you mix them?

Umbongo
Aug 19, 2011, 11:02 AM
What would happen if you mix them?

You can't mix them on a 2008 model as there are no non-ECC FB-DIMMs. In the case of mixing say DDR3 non-ECC unbuffered and ECC unbuffered on a newer Mac Pro it should just disable ECC functionality.

gslrider
Aug 19, 2011, 11:50 AM
You can't mix them on a 2008 model as there are no non-ECC FB-DIMMs. In the case of mixing say DDR3 non-ECC unbuffered and ECC unbuffered on a newer Mac Pro it should just disable ECC functionality.

Makes sense. Thanks for the info.

zorinlynx
Aug 19, 2011, 02:17 PM
ECC is one of the BEST features of the Mac Pro! Heck, it's the ONLY Mac that currently supports ECC memory, which protects your data from corruption.

It's worth every extra penny you spend for ECC RAM. Trust me. A typical 4GB DIMM gets a couple single-bit errors a year. Most of them are either in unused memory or don't have any effect, but every once in a while, your data WILL get (subtly) corrupted!

Anytime your computer randomly crashes without explanation, or you end up with a corrupted file, there's a good chance it was due to a single bit error in RAM. Don't avoid ECC, instead be very happy you have it.