4.1 memory config query

timd123

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
19
0
UK - up North!
Hi - I'm using Logic Pro x to compose on a pro level and am finding my Mac Pro is starting to get bogged down with relatively medium sized sessions, a few plugins, instruments etc.

I know the plugins I'm using are getting bigger (Spitfire Audio, NI Komplete etc) but that aside
can anyone tell me if this (I know not ideal) memory config will have a detrimental effect on performance?

Is there an ideal config with this hotch potch of sticks!?

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 14.09.40.jpg



Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 14.02.53.jpg
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,142
8,708
Hi - I'm using Logic Pro x to compose on a pro level and am finding my Mac Pro is starting to get bogged down with relatively medium sized sessions, a few plugins, instruments etc.

I know the plugins I'm using are getting bigger (Spitfire Audio, NI Komplete etc) but that aside
can anyone tell me if this (I know not ideal) memory config will have a detrimental effect on performance?

Is there an ideal config with this hotch potch of sticks!?

View attachment 824498


View attachment 824495
Wow, you are probably making the memory controller work single channel. You will never get it working correctly with these DIMMs.

Do a favour to yourself and buy 6 x 4GB or 6 x 8GB DDR3-1333 ECC on eBay.
 
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skizzo

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2018
260
82
your RAM is in a non-optimized configuration. as you know already you can mix different sizes but I would start with getting 6 DIMMs of the same brand, model, rank, and size. If you're using virtual instruments like NI complete then you will likely want more RAM.

Clock speed is important too. Lots of audio stuff is going to be done in the function of I can't manipulate note #2 until note #1 is done. So certainly yes more cores are good for audio application but I would at least upgrade CPUs to the fastest quad-core dual CPU (X5677's), or even go for the fastest hex-core dual CPU (X5680's or X5690's).

CPU is where you will see the best speed improvement. RAM is easy to check. Just look in System Monitor and the options available in Logic Pro that detail memory usage. If you're near your max then you need more. If you're not near max it's beneficial to have more but may not give you noticeable speed increases. Though I always like to run with the max amount I can in my memory, but I use Pro Tools. I am not sure how Logic allocates RAM. In pro tools I set it to use at least 32GB of my 48GB available for example. So just investigate what your needs and current use is there. But again, need to reiterate your RAM is not optimized so even if you have enough I would still get a new SET of RAM so it is working in its optimum configuration
 

timd123

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
19
0
UK - up North!
Wow.. thanks for the quick replies! :)
So...
tsialex - DDR3-1333 ECC are compatible on my machine then?

skizzo - Great info! I'll start with the memory upgrade first I think then look at processors.
Looking at the system monitor & Logic memory monitor I'm not usually too near the edge of my available memory, would a new optimised set see better use of whats available so "smoother" operation?

Can you recommend a reliable "cost effective" manufacturer for memory, always bought Crucial in the past but that was a while ago!

Thanks again!
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,142
8,708
Wow.. thanks for the quick replies! :)
So...
tsialex - DDR3-1333 ECC are compatible on my machine then?

skizzo - Great info! I'll start with the memory upgrade first I think then look at processors.
Looking at the system monitor & Logic memory monitor I'm not usually too near the edge of my available memory, would a new optimised set see better use of whats available so "smoother" operation?

Can you recommend a reliable "cost effective" manufacturer for memory, always bought Crucial in the past but that was a while ago!

Thanks again!
Don't buy 1066MHz memory or you will need to buy it again when you upgrade your Xeons to X5677/X5680/X5690. With your current Xeon, the 1333MHz RAM will be downgraded to 1066MHz and works perfectly.

Apple sold 1333MHz RAM with the Mac Pros 2010 that the memory controller runs at 1066MHz, so it's supported configuration from factory.

Mac Pro uses server grade memory, so buy the cheapest decent 1333MHz ECC like Samsung/Micron/Elpida/etc used server memory from eBay.

There is a excellent thread about memory here: cMP & nMP {MacPro 4,1 & 5,1} Memory Upgrade Compatibility and FAQ.
 

skizzo

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2018
260
82
I went cost effective, forgoing having to get any particular brand or model.

The right memory is important. Dual rank, DDR3-1333 ECC is what you will want.

I got 32GB of DDR3-1333 MHz a couple months ago for like $75 on ebay.
Here's a link https://www.ebay.com/itm/32GB-4-X-8...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I think it ended up being Samsung. It was 4 x 8GB DIMMS. That seller has lots of options to choose from I bet. A new set will improve your memory capability. at the least, its bandwidth. I don't know exactly how it will chose dual or single channel on your given mix but for certain you are not using the best possible option of triple channel. So to explain further, 3 identical DIMMS per CPU is what gives you the best possible configuration, which is triple channel. Meaning you might be able to do more with the same amount of RAM. As in 3 x 8GB for 24GB total will run better than what you currently have. And going for more total RAM gives its own obvious improvements
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,142
8,708
I went cost effective, forgoing having to get any particular brand or model.

The right memory is important. Dual rank, DDR3-1333 ECC is what you will want.

I got 32GB of DDR3-1333 MHz a couple months ago for like $75 on ebay.
Here's a link https://www.ebay.com/itm/32GB-4-X-8GB-PC3-10600-1333-MHZ-ECC-REG-APPLE-Mac-Pro-4-1-2009-5-1-2010-2012/152162911668?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I think it ended up being Samsung. It was 4 x 8GB DIMMS. That seller has lots of options to choose from I bet. A new set will improve your memory capability. at the least, its bandwidth. I don't know exactly how it will chose dual or single channel on your given mix but for certain you are not using the best possible option of triple channel. So to explain further, 3 identical DIMMS per CPU is what gives you the best possible configuration, which is triple channel. Meaning you might be able to do more with the same amount of RAM. As in 3 x 8GB for 24GB total will run better than what you currently have. And going for more total RAM gives its own obvious improvements
It's a dual tray, so 3 DIMMs per CPU, 6 total.
 

MevetS

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2018
164
90
Earth
Don't buy 1066MHz memory or you will need to buy it again when you upgrade your Xeons to X5677/X5680/X5690. With your current Xeon, the 1333MHz RAM will be downgraded to 1066MHz and works perfectly.

Apple sold 1333MHz RAM with the Mac Pros 2010 that the memory controller runs at 1066MHz, so it's supported configuration from factory.

Mac Pro uses server grade memory, so buy the cheapest decent 1333MHz ECC like Samsung/Micron/Elpida/etc used server memory from eBay.

There is a excellent thread about memory here: cMP & nMP {MacPro 4,1 & 5,1} Memory Upgrade Compatibility and FAQ.
Alex, I'm in the process of upgrading a single processor 5,1 to a X5690 CPU. If I have 1033 MHz memory do I need to upgrade the memory before I upgrade the processor? Thanks.
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,142
8,708
Alex, I'm in the process of upgrading a single processor 5,1 to a X5690 CPU. If I have 1033 MHz memory do I need to upgrade the memory before I upgrade the processor? Thanks.
No, Westmere Xeons work with 1066MHz RAM too. Btw, after some date, all Mac Pros were sold with 1333MHz RAM, check if yours is 1066 or 1333MHz, my B08 dual 2009 came from factory with 1333MHz.
 

MevetS

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2018
164
90
Earth
No, Westmere Xeons work with 1066MHz RAM too. Btw, after some date, all Mac Pros were sold with 1333MHz RAM, check if yours is 1066 or 1333MHz, my B08 dual 2009 came from factory with 1333MHz.
Thank you. I bought my machine when it first became available but I did upgrade the memory at a later date so I'll check it out.
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,142
8,708
Mac Pro Xeons are tri-channel, so the best throughput you can get with 3 of the 4 slots for each CPU.

Dual CPU tray, 2 Xeons, 3 DIMMs for each CPU - six total.

You don't use the fourth slot, unless you have a application that works best with more RAM than faster RAM.

Since you are having problems with 23GB, think about 6 x 8GB DDR3 ECC 1333MHz. It's the best performance at the lowest cost.
 
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timd123

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
19
0
UK - up North!
So... research done and upgrade path chosen, thanks to the folks on this forum (tsialex & skizzo) however a few questions remain..


I have the Boot rom version .B08, if it all goes wrong is it possible to revert back to my original system. I've got the EFIRestorationCD1.8 firmware restoration CD from apple but this only gives me .B07. Is there a B08 restorer anywhere? (what is the difference between 7 & 8??) Is the 4,1 to 5,1 upgrade the same from .B08?

I'm going to clone my PCIE Samsung MP941M2 SSD boot drive to a standard HDD, remove all peripherals (BT mouse etc), revert back to basic memory config, then do the upgrades. Is there anything I need to do/consider to the M2 SSD when booting from it in the updated system?

THE BIG ONE - Having watched a few videos of folks installing lidded X5690's and adding thermal pads, adapting the fan control cable etc how safe/reliable/sensible is this option. I'm tech savvy but is it a bad idea in terms of potential for things going bad!?

What Im ultimately looking to do is upgrade to High Sierra so I can get the latest Logic Pro, which doesn't work on El Capitan (I need it as I compose professionally), and speed up the system safely and reliably, then add more SSD's from a PCIE USB3 card to get a faster setup. At least until I can afford an MP7,1 :D

Thanks!
 
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