2009 MP. Choosing memory and SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by maxmaut, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. maxmaut macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2011
    I just bought 2009 Mac pro with 2 QC 2.26 Xeons.
    I want to upgrade it with 24G 1333 RAM (1333 because with time i want to update to 5.1 firmware and use 12 cores) that will work as 1066 on my 2009 MP, and now i have to choose, so i need your help.
    1. What memory will perform better? Original (means buying from eBay), OWC, Kingston, G-Skill, Corsair, or maybe some other?
    2. Another question is if i will feel difference between different RAM models from the same manufacturer (I found some Kingston RAM, and it's price in my country varies from 25 to 40 bucks, depending on model), or the difference between different manufacturers (like G-Skill and OWC)?
    3. My budget is quit tight, so of course i'm looking for the cheapest solution, but i'm ready to pay more, if performance will raise quit high. Right now i have options to buy 24 Gb of Corsair for 145 bucks or 24 G of OWC for 215. I understand that in real-world usual tasks i probably wont feel the difference, but while rendering my architectural projects i probably will.

    Now i have some questions about SSD. I want to install it as a boot drive, so all my apps run fast, and to use it as a mini-storage for current projects (and to store older projects on usual 7200 hdd). So i have to figure out the capacity of the drive i need. right now all my system folder take 160 gigs, which is quit a lot because of tonns of fonts, and probably a download folder =)
    So i think that i should get 120 SSD, but again i dunno how to choose one. I saw some sata, sata2, sat3 and esata SSD's (hope i'm not mistaking), but i'm not sure wich one is supportable by my 2009 MP. So more questions again:
    4. What capacity should i choose (for apps like CS Ai, Ps, Id; FCP; Archicad, artlantis, ableton and other minor stuff, for fonts and a couple of current projects of total amount of 10 gigs.)
    5. What manufacturer should i choose to get good (not the fastest) performance and save some coin.
    6. What other underwater stones should i mention while choosing one?
    Thank you for your answers!
    ps. sorry for my English, i'm from Ukraine, so it's probably not too good.
  2. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    With most apps, you won't even see the difference between 1066 and 1333 RAM, so don't fret about the idea that some 1333 RAM is faster than some other manufacturer's 1333 RAM. Go for the best price in ECC ram, and my advice is that OWC is extremely competitive.

    For SSDs:
    -sata2 and sata3 will fit right in your MP. esata is just an external sata connection. sata3 is more future proof if you want to keep the SSD for a long time: future Mac Pros should be able to use the extra speed, but your 09 will not.
    -To get the correct size, you have to see what you need yourself. Just calculate what you need (check your current drive usage) and add an extra 20-30% of room to allow your SSD to breathe and do its wear leveling. Let's say you think you need 80GB, then get a 120GB SSD.
    -As far as price/performance goes: for most tasks (like a boot drive), the difference between SSDs will be very small. Unless you're planning on moving very big files quite often, they will essentially perform all the same on your 2009 MP. So keep an eye out for deals and buy. Brands with good reputations these days are Intel, Crucial and OWC. But then again, most brands are very good.

    I have no idea what you mean by underwater stone!

  3. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2011
    thank you Loa, this is pretty much the answer taht i needed. I will probably go for 1066 Corsair ram, as it's gonna be much cheaper then OWC, and some type of 120 ssd with OWC's drive bay for MP. As far as i understand i just have to buy this OWC Mount Pro, otherwise i wont be capable to use ssd, right?
    Oh and about underwater stones. That is a phrase in my native language, to describe some things that you can know about just after you try them, same as feelin' stone with your feet under water, after you got into the river. Sorry for confusing you.
  4. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    For the RAM, if you buy it from a vendor that doesn't specify Mac compatibility, make sure you get ECC RAM.

    As for fixing your SSD with a sled, it's not necessary. If you want, you can simply plug the SSD in the empty optical bay (under your DVD drive) and let it rest right there without screwing it down. It's not very neat, but it works very well because the SSD has no moving part. It also frees up the 4 regular HD bays.

    Are there underwater stones? Maybe: the size of your Home folder: your own stuff in the documents, movies, music, pictures, etc, folder. That can become quite big depending on usage, and it may overflow your SSD. If this ever happens to you, you can keep your OS on the SSD, but transfer only your Home folder to a regular HD. It's tricky when you do it for the first time, but it's possible.

    Good luck, and enjoy the performance!

  5. ragu macrumors member


    Sep 8, 2009
    Hi Max I have been using an OCZ Agility 2 sata II 120 gig hard drive mounted in bay 2 on my MacPro and only install OS and apps on it I have my user account running off a 2Tb drive in Bay 1 it is very fast boots in 24 sec and programs open instantly
  6. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2011
    Thank you for your advices!
    For now i decided to go with 120 OWC ssd, and either 24 or 32 gigs of RAM, and i have another question.
    I somewhere read, that i should buy unbuffered memory only, and performance will benefit from it. But OWC states that they sell "Fully Buffered
    DDR2 / DDR3 SDRAM ECC Memory Sets". Where am i mistaking or misunderstanding something?
    I have also read somewhere about 3-channel architecture, and that using 8 units of ram is slowlier than using 6. Doesn't that depend on the program? I mean i can't believe that i will not benefit from 32 (8x4) over 24 (6x4) RAM.
    I'm sonfused about the ram now.)

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