2008 Mac Pro Ram Suggestions

waywardsage

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2006
282
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I purchased a 2008 Mac Pro recently. And while I am happy to have the space, (I've been stuck on a 2006 Macbook Pro) I want to upgrade the Ram soon. I wasn't aware of how expensive the RAM was until after I bought it. It came with 4 1GB sticks of RAM. Is it possible to install no paired sticks of RAM? I was debating on buying 2X4GB sticks so that I can pull the 1GB sticks out at a later date and upgrade them.

My question is, if I buy the 2X4GB sticks, can I keep the 4X1GB sticks in there as well? Or must they all match? I'd hate to just put the 4X1's in a bag in the closet since they work fine.

Can you run non matching pairs or RAM in the 2008 Mac Pro?
 

jamswirl

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2011
114
0
Yes that will work fine. Ram has to be installed in pairs, so you have two pairs of 1gb sticks, then another pair of 4gb sticks will be fine.
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,364
401
127.0.0.1
if I buy the 2X4GB sticks, can I keep the 4X1GB sticks in there as well? Or must they all match? I'd hate to just put the 4X1's in a bag in the closet since they work fine.
Yes you can run 2x4GB and 4x1GB, that is how mine is configured.

Can you run non matching pairs or RAM in the 2008 Mac Pro?
The RAM must be a matched pair but the pairs don't have to match each other.
 

waywardsage

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2006
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Thanks guys. I'm a bit bummed that the RAM is so expensive. I was excited to get my Mac Pro finally. But this RAM situation sucks :(

I do video editing. So what amount of RAM would you suggest? I don't need to go crazy. I just want it to work decently fast.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2002
1,964
538
So what amount of RAM would you suggest? I don't need to go crazy. I just want it to work decently fast.
12GB sounds good for starters. Get yourself a monitoring program like MenuMeters or iStat and see, whether you completely use your memory during video editing and upgrade accordingly, if necessary.

Regarding the "matching": The 2008 MP being derived from its ancestor the 2006 machine should support quad channel memory. Having memory pairs that don't match each other will make the Mac fall back to dual-channel Ram access, which yields a couple hundred points less in Geekbench.

People usually claim that more memory more than offsets the speed loss (which is true as soon as the Mac starts swapping to disk, effectively making the machine massively slower), but with bigger video renderings the difference may show.

As you have to upgrade your memory anyway (4GB is probably a little tight for serious video work) you can test that yourself on a bigger project: Render it twice - one time with all the memory installed and one time with only the 4x 1GB modules (provided this does not lead to a bottleneck with your test rendering due to Ram shortage).

If you do, it would be interesting if you could report back some real-life experiences here...
 

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