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Old May 6, 2013, 11:24 PM   #1
townio
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Mac Pro RAM swap

Hi,
So I just got a Mac Pro 2009 2x2.26 Ghz Quad Core that I bought used and it only came with 6GB of RAM so I was to upgrade that.

I looked at the RAM upgrade and they are all super expensive as the apple certified RAM for this model is ECC CL7 1066Mhz

So the question is can I get away with non-ECC CL9 1333Mhz in that machine and save some money because I paid about 1000$ for the computer so I'm not going to spend 400$ on RAM.

Has anybody tried that?
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by townio View Post
Hi,
So I just got a Mac Pro 2009 2x2.26 Ghz Quad Core that I bought used and it only came with 6GB of RAM so I was to upgrade that.

I looked at the RAM upgrade and they are all super expensive as the apple certified RAM for this model is ECC CL7 1066Mhz

So the question is can I get away with non-ECC CL9 1333Mhz in that machine and save some money because I paid about 1000$ for the computer so I'm not going to spend 400$ on RAM.

Has anybody tried that?
How much RAM are looking to get, and where have you been looking? I wouldn't get too hung up on "Apple-certified" on a 4,1 Mac Pro. As long as the memory is within Apple's stated spec, it should work without issues. OWC/Macsales has a good reputation as an Apple RAM vendor, but they're on the more expensive side and there's really nothing special about their modules.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:53 PM   #3
townio
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Well I am looking at ebay of course
I bought a used computer so I might as well go for used RAM as well.
I'd like to get like 32GB for after effects, and on ebay with non-ECC cl9 1333Mhz instead of the original specs it would cost me around 180$ maybe.

So if that was to work I would definitely go for that.

I have seen threads where people have asked individually if going from 1333 to 1060, and cl9 to cl7 would work but not everything at the same time.

Any idea?
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by townio View Post
Well I am looking at ebay of course
I bought a used computer so I might as well go for used RAM as well.
I'd like to get like 32GB for after effects, and on ebay with non-ECC cl9 1333Mhz instead of the original specs it would cost me around 180$ maybe.

So if that was to work I would definitely go for that.

I have seen threads where people have asked individually if going from 1333 to 1060, and cl9 to cl7 would work but not everything at the same time.

Any idea?
The latencies are mandatory to implement by the manufacturers (at least 1066MHz CL7 and 1333MHz CL9), so that won't be the problem. Most 1333MHz RAM will clock down to 1066MHz.

transintl.com used to be one of the rather reliable companies for RAM around, and they still have 2x16GB for $308.

But keep in mind that your Mac Pro has Triple-Channel Memory times two, so you want to install 6 modules to leverage that - so either 24GB with 4GB modules, 48GB with 8GB modules or 96GB with 16GB modules. Also, the proper memory modules have thermal sensors.

Last edited by Giuly; May 7, 2013 at 02:56 AM.
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Old May 7, 2013, 03:40 AM   #5
townio
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I just got 2x16gb sticks of 1066 cl7 for 125$ on ebay so I still have like 60$ to try to get 2x8gb maybe.

Does it matter if the sticks are not multiples of three but just pairs?
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Old May 7, 2013, 04:41 AM   #6
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Does it matter if the sticks are not multiples of three but just pairs?
Nope. You need to know if your 16GB DIMMs are registered or unbuffered as the two types can't work together.

If you post any model numbers here I can tell you, if the eBay details didn't.
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Old May 7, 2013, 05:08 AM   #7
townio
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Yes they are registered

here is a link to the same part number that I got

http://www.staples.com/Crucial-Techn...9#desc_content

So any extra RAM that I get now needs to be ECC registered, right?
Can I still get away with 1333Mhz and CL9 or should I stick with 1060Mhz CL7?

Thanks
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Old May 7, 2013, 06:28 AM   #8
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So any extra RAM that I get now needs to be ECC registered, right?
Can I still get away with 1333Mhz and CL9 or should I stick with 1060Mhz CL7?

Thanks
Yeah it needs to all be ECC Registered, 1333MHz or 1066MHz speed shouldn't matter.
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Old May 7, 2013, 07:51 AM   #9
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note that some 16gb chips will only work with other 16gb chips.

i have 4x 16gb chips in mine, and the 2gb chips i have left over wont allow the machine to boot.

YMMV.
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Old May 7, 2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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I had a 2009 machine that had 4GB ECC, and 4 GB non-ECC installed, it worked without an issue, except ECC was disabled (since the 2 sticks didn't support it).

You can be any DDR3 1333mhz (even 1600mhz) it'll just run at 1066mhz, ECC or non ECC it's upto you if you need ECC and are willing to pay extra.

Many local stores sell 8GB kits (2x4gb ddr3 1600 NON-ECC) around here for $50-$60. I personally have used corsair vengeance 1600mhz non-ecc in my 2009 mac pro without issue.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GP-SE View Post
I had a 2009 machine that had 4GB ECC, and 4 GB non-ECC installed, it worked without an issue, except ECC was disabled (since the 2 sticks didn't support it).

You can be any DDR3 1333mhz (even 1600mhz) it'll just run at 1066mhz, ECC or non ECC it's upto you if you need ECC and are willing to pay extra.

Many local stores sell 8GB kits (2x4gb ddr3 1600 NON-ECC) around here for $50-$60. I personally have used corsair vengeance 1600mhz non-ecc in my 2009 mac pro without issue.
Unbuffered ECC and unbuffered non-ECC will mix, but you can't mix Registered (such as that the threadstarter has now purchased) and unbuffered.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by townio View Post
I just got 2x16gb sticks of 1066 cl7 for 125$ on ebay so I still have like 60$ to try to get 2x8gb maybe.

Does it matter if the sticks are not multiples of three but just pairs?
Save the $60 and if you ever page in, add another 32GB pair.

If you install three modules per processor, you triple the memory bandwidth. That's why it comes with 6x1GB instead of 2x4GB or 4x2GB. It looks like you could've gotten 6x8GB for the same money, and technically that would've been the better choice.

Kingston has an interesting paper on Memory Configuration for Intel Xeon 5500 Series Branded Servers & Workstations, if you care for in-depth coverage of the topic.

Last edited by Giuly; May 8, 2013 at 03:22 AM.
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by spoonie1972 View Post
note that some 16gb chips will only work with other 16gb chips.

i have 4x 16gb chips in mine, and the 2gb chips i have left over wont allow the machine to boot.

YMMV.
As already mentioned that registered memory cannot be mixed with unbuffered modules. Since all currently available 16GB memory modules are registered, they only work with other registered modules. Your 2GB modules are apparently unbuffered, that's why they don't work with registered modules.
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:04 PM   #14
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Save the $60 and if you ever page in, add another 32GB pair.

If you install three modules per processor, you triple the memory bandwidth. That's why it comes with 6x1GB instead of 2x4GB or 4x2GB. It looks like you could've gotten 6x8GB for the same money, and technically that would've been the better choice.
Oh I see.
So if I get 4x4GB now and have 16.16.4.4.4.4 can I still get triple channel bandwidth or does it need to be specifically the same RAM with the same amount of GB?

Also I want to get a new graphics card that supports CUDA in after effects, from what I have researched the best deal would be a GTX 570 1.25GB PC version that I could get for 100-150$ on ebay which would work in my mac pro without flashing the ROM and I would just not have the boot screen, is that correct?

Would I have any power problems if I also keep the GT120 inside, with all that RAM and also a SSD mounted on the PCI-e port?
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Old May 8, 2013, 12:03 AM   #15
skyline r34
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Selling my stock Ram

If you live in the San Diego area i have eight of 1GB ram modules running a 1333MHz for the 2009-2010 Mac Pro's for sale, $10 each if interested here's my craigslist post, i've installed 32GB of ram in my Mac Pro and no longer need the stock ram

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/sys/3777143985.html
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Old May 8, 2013, 06:38 PM   #16
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I have 16 GB (2x8) OWC 1333 that I was thinking of selling.

Personally, I would rather use normal RAM and the ECC is not required for the work I do.
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:44 PM   #17
townio
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Does anybody have an idea about the triple channel memory stuff?

Would I still get higher bandwith by having 2x3 RAM modules even if they are different sizes and speed?
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:57 PM   #18
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Does anybody have an idea about the triple channel memory stuff?

Would I still get higher bandwith by having 2x3 RAM modules even if they are different sizes and speed?
Yes, AFAIK. It's of course best to have fast perfectly matching sticks but AFAIK dual and triple channel access is achieved by the location of addressable banks. I'm pretty sure for example that if you had 8GB, 4GB and 4GB sticks in 1333, 1066, and 1066 respectively you would have a 12GB bank of triple channel RAM and a 4GB chunk of single channel ram all at 1066MHz.

I could be wrong but that's my understanding from reading Intel's data sheets.
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