+2GB or +4GB?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Infrared, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    I would like to add a limited amount of memory spending
    a limited amount of money. I don't need that much extra
    atm: 4GB total is probably adequate for now.

    Would it be better to add 2x1GB for quad-channel access
    (the cheaper option) or add 2x2GB with an eye on future

    The machine has 2x1GB stock memory in it now.

    Your opinions welcome. Thank you.
  2. bigbird macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    Get the most RAM that you can afford now. If you get another 2 X 1GB, put the original Apple RAM in Riser A slots 1 & 2 and the new RAM in Riser B slots 1 & 2. If you get 2 X 2GB, put the new 2GB in Riser A slots 1 & 2 and the Apple 1GB RAM in Riser B slots 1 & 2.
  3. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    I would also say max out on RAM - I just upped from 512MB orig spec to 2GB (max allowed) on my MB - what a difference.

    With 512MB I had 10MB free (according to iStatPro) and now with 2GB I have 1.3GB free, so it was not really enough RAM.

    More RAM is better!
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Normally, I would suggest to get as much RAM as possible. However, with the prices for Mac Pro RAM being what they are, I'm not so sure... Maybe getting higher density RAM and selling your current lower density pair could be an alternative...
  5. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    I would 2x2 in mind for future expansion.

    Also, of the RAM prices I've seen, 2x2 isn't *that* much more expensive than 2x1–enough that buying 2x1 would practically be a ripoff.
  6. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2008
    I would go 2x2 since the price isn't that much different. Than, if needed in the future, you can get another 2x2 and have 8 GB overall (or 10 GB if you chose to leave in the 2x1 like I did).
  7. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Agreed that 2x2GB is likely the better choice, especially since, as noted, if you really believe 4GB is all you need you can sell the original 2x1GB and help offset some of the cost.
  8. Infrared thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Thank you all for your kind advice.

    I'll think this over carefully and then
    make a sudden random impulse buy :)
  9. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    It all depends on what you are planning to do with the machine. I ended up struggling with how much memory to get and splurged for 4 x 2 for a total of 8 GB from OWC, but I don't actually need this much memory at the current point in time.

    Running itunes, firefox, activity monitor, mail will consume about 1.5 GB. If I launch bootcamp with vmware fusion (set to consume 2 GB for windows), I end up using between 3.5 and 4 GB. You will only start using the upper range of memory with memory hogs like Photoshop.
  10. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    for example right now i have photoshop, lightroom, indesign and illustator all running, and i've only got 600 mb free of my 10gb.

    I'm not even DOING anything in any of thos apps right now except for indesign...

    ....which just locked up trying to place a file because Leopard's spotlight is farked up. yay. i guess i'll have to force-quit again and some of that RAM will be freed back up.

    4GB will be plenty for you, but there is also no real reason to get 1gb chips right now...the prices are almost the same for 2gb ones.
  11. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    I have 6GB installed and was told to put the original 2 x 1GB in Riser A and the new 2 x 2GB in Riser B. Should I change this around, and why?

    And also, if I do need to change it, can I just swap the whole cards (I don't know the technical term for it) or do I need to pull out each piece of RAM and move it?

  12. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    2 x 2gb is a better choice. cost, future, and no one has mentioned power and temp yet. each FB-DIMM uses at least 10w at idle (dimm capacity does not matter, little ones use the same as big ones). equals lots more power and heat for the same 4gb of space, especially under full load. best of luck.
  13. Infrared thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Good question. I guess you can swap the risers if the risers are
    identical. That's the obvious bit :) Does anyone know if the risers
    are the same?

    Certainly, swapping two risers should be a lot easier than swapping
    4 RAM modules.
  14. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    I opened it up and looked and the risers were the same, so after a little more research turned up that the 2 x 2GB should, indeed, be in riser A, I swapped them with no problem.
  15. czardonic macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2008
    Upstairs, downstairs — where o where to put my new FB-DIMM 2 x 2.
    There it sits, in its unopened box. Tomorrow maybe.

    One would have thought this question was answered by OWC in their recent article/video:


    But just look at the last post by IgnatiusTheKing. Who woulda thunkit.

    It seems the contrary king’s just zippin’ along in ignant bliss.

    I think I’ll say a prayer, flip a coin, and install — tomorrow.
  16. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    What does that even mean?
  17. czardonic macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2008
    IgnatiusTheKing, I apologize for that cryptic post last night.
    The reason the OWC link was attached was to show that your solution is antithetical to what my DIMM supplier recommends in their QT demonstration. One might well be led to believe that we finally had THE authoritative answer to DIMM configuration. However, according to you, and another member of this forum, OWC could very well be wrong. See the thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=460522
    The third and last entry agrees with you.

    Actually, I meant to applaud your bodacious endeavor — especially swapping the top and risers. There was a day when I could likely have done the same, monkeying nilly-willly with hardware and testing every beta. But loosing two 9GB SCSI hard drives on consecutive days due to who-knows-what, back in the day, put the brakes to my reckless driving — yeah, all my original Painter files AND their backups. So now I’m just a timid toothless ol’ pussycat, coming to groups such as this, scouring them for information lest I wreck this new machine ‘fore I even open its door.

    O.K., so contrary means “contrary to a very respected suppliers explicit recommendations” — that supplier being the revered One World Computing.
    “king” is, of course, short for your handle, or username.
    “zippin’ along” means moving right on, unimpeded by, in this case, conventional (OWC) wisdom — often, of course, not worth a tinker’s dam.
    “ignant bliss” — well, that was either redundant, just plain silly, and/or the consequence of my fourth beer — but could also refer to acting upon impulse, without the sanctification of big brother, taking a gamble.

    But I’ll temper that too humble apologia by adding it was Saturday night, and with a handle such as yours, I’d expect a sense of humor, and an ability to read ‘tween the lines.

    Seriously, though, reading all the speculation about how memory modules should be placed in this and other highly respected forums, I’ve been forced to quit scratching my head due to falling of my chair by uncontrollable belly laughter.

    So, finally, in answer to your question, “What doe that even mean?”,
  18. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    Upgrading past the 512MB or 768MB point up to about 1.5GB makes a HUGE difference in overall performance and usage speed-wise.

    Upgrading to 2GB is good, but going up to 3GB or past I would recommend for anymore. That way, you can have a load of apps open and it still won't put stress on your system or force it to resort to using VM which will slow your machine to a drag.

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