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

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dreamersofeden, May 31, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    dreamersofeden

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Location:
    Spain
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    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?
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #3
  4. macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #4
    No. You have to use pairs of FB-DIMMs.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #5
    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)
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    #6
    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.
     
  7. gpzjock, May 31, 2011
    Last edited: May 31, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

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    #7
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    dreamersofeden

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Location:
    Spain
    #8
  9. macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Location:
    England
    #9
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #10
    Go for the local ones they will win out on the Taxes.
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    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).
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    juanm

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    shardey

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #13
    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:
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    dreamersofeden

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Location:
    Spain
    #14
    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€...

    LOL, what a bargain!, which Dell workstation is?
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    #15
    What would happen if you mix them?
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    #17
    Makes sense. Thanks for the info.
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #18
    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.
     

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