8 x 2gb or 4 x 4gb RAM?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wawathings, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. wawathings macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #1
    I dont no which is the best option to go for my 2008 mac pro ?
    I currently have 2 x 1 gb stock modules.

    I use my computer for design work in print web and animation.
    I will do 3d renders in teh future
    and have a second virtual os running most of the time.

    whats the best option.
     
  2. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #2
    16 GB will be more than sufficient; 2GB modules will be best as much much cheaper.

    By the time you need more than 16GB RAM will be the time for a new machine.
     
  3. macfan881 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    #3
    I would think having the most u can put in cause if one fails of a biger stick thats a chunk of ram ur gonna lose i always would think having mulitple would be better
     
  4. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #4
    The OP has a Mac Pro 2008, which uses FB-DIMMs. For those, one 4GB module costs just as much as two 2GB modules. So price is not an issue.
    I would prefer 4x4GB because it's more power-efficient plus you can put your old RAM modules in additionally, so you even end up with a bit more than 16GB, depending on what you have now.
    Place two of the new DIMMs in slots 1&2 of riser A and two in slots 1&2 of riser B and fill the remaining slots with your old pairs, starting with riser A.
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Once you use a Mac Pro, you'll know RAM runs out very quickly no matter how much you have.

    That said, OP, go for the highest density chips you can afford.
     
  6. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

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    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    filling all RAM slots on a 2008 Mac Pro increases the bandwidth by ~10%
     
  7. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #7
    Go for 4x4GB so you can add another 4x4GB in the future!

    Thats the choice I made and sometime next year I will add 16GB more making it 32GB!

    Cant have enough RAM!
     
  8. wawathings thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #8
    so.

    if i could get them for the same price what would be the best option.
     
  9. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #9
    Go for 4x 4GB. My opinion:

    1. You can always add another 4x 4GB in the future (Don't underestimate the RAM requirements of future software)

    2. The bandwith penalty compared to the 8x 2GB solution is negligible in practice (even memory benchmarks don't show a large difference)

    3. fewer DIMMs lead to a lower power consumption -> less heat, potentially less noise
     
  10. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    I can't disagree with this enough

    1) 16GB is 5 times as much as 95% of programs can use today (the 32-bit thingy) It will be years before programs such as iTunes use more...
    Also, the most intense thing he does is rendering. Current consensus is 1GB per processing core is plenty.

    2) Bandwidth IS still an issue unfortunately
    http://www.barefeats.com/harper3.html

    3) Power consumption is the least of my considerations when speccing up my Pro...
     
  11. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Especially when we're talking about power consumption of RAM!
    A single stick needs about 2 - 2.5W, that's nothing!
     
  12. wawathings thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #12
    i ended up with 4gb modules as i could get them for the same price as 2gb modules so i got a pretty good deal.
     
  13. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    Congrats. You make a good choice. When you need that 32GB, you don't have to dump your old RAM.
     
  14. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #14

    I agree that point 3 is not very important (I checked up, it's a difference of 40W), but

    1. If you keep open many programs and especially if you are running an virtual OS, RAM is used in large amounts. In addition to that, more and more application and OS components are written in 64 bit, which eliminates the "4GB-per-application" limit...
    And OS X caches many things in RAM which also improves the system's snappyness.

    2. The link you posted is not a contradiction to what I wrote...
    Even the maximum measured difference in pure memory bandwidth is just 15%, its impact on real-world applications is far less pronounced (more like 0-3%)
    And if you add another 4x 4GB later this issue is mitigated anyway.
     
  15. Nater macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #15
    I would definitely get 4x4GB, it'll leave you the option of slapping in another 16GB later down the road. Buy as much high density FB-DIMM as you possibly can, the prices are sure to skyrocket as it stops being produced in large quantities.
     

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