Buying an RAM upgrade Mac Pro 1.1

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by psymas, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. psymas macrumors newbie

    psymas

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    Denmark
    #1
    During the past 6 months I have upgraded my mac pro with a ATi 5770 plus 4 new 1 TB hard drives, 3 of them which I like to configure as a RAID 0. I haven't been able to figure out which RAM I need to buy since I find the market for RAM a bit confusing. I have been searching the forums for updated answers but could not find any updated info.

    I'm looking after getting at least 8Gb, which I believe should give me the best value for money optimization. Atm., I have 4 Gig RAM (2x1Gig & 4x512Mb). I stay in Denmark and I'm looking for a dealer that is doing international trading. I went to several shops online and found a similar price tag around USD 275. Among others I went to his site and got the following recommendation:

    http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=1626055CA5CA7304

    I found the price much higher than expected but I'm not really able to figure out if I need especially this RAM or if I could purchase some other ram less expensive? I was told that I have to look for ram with a built in "cooling" rib or something like that, otherwise the ram wil get too hot. But my source didn't seem to know that much..hope somebody can confirm/de-confirm

    I use my mac for professional image editing (LightRoom/Photoshop) and besides that I like to have windows installed for a bit of gaming (Company of Heroes, primarily) I have used bootcamp and a separate hard disk for that purpose but I like to find out if it is possible to run windows via Parallels or via other virtual machines - and specifically if that would require more RAM?

    In advance thx.
     
  2. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #2
    This link should help you to see what type of ram works for your MP. It looks like older RAM costs much more than the newer faster ram for newer systems. So much so that it might even make more sense to upgrade you MP. At any rate you should have at least 8GB for Photoshop (assuming you are using CS5 which is 64-bit and takes advantage of more than 3gb of ram. 16gb would be better but at those prices...

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory#667-memory
     
  3. psymas thread starter macrumors newbie

    psymas

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    Vantage point, thx. for your reply.

    I went to that website you linked me to but I still see the same horrible price (USD 275 = only 8Ggig).

    Just out of curiosity I went to apple.dk (apple Denmark) and discovered that apple does not provide ram for my model any longer..

    http://store.apple.com/dk/memorymodel/ME_8CR_2GEN_MACPRO

    I wanted to see how much apple would charge me for "original" apple ram just for comparison, so it's a bit hard figure out what a good price is supposed to be at this particular moment?

    Regarding your thoughts about upgrading the MB then I'm pretty much a NOOB in that area. I was fiddling with pc's like 10-15 years ago doing upgrades for friends an in general helping friends out on different tasks. But since I switched over to mac I haven't kept up with the technical skills and knowledge required to do such an operation own my own. Do you have any experience to share on that topic? So to speak I wouldn't be able to find out which MB to go for and I have no knowledge about the risks involved buying a MB second hand etc. Besides that, then I guess your advice might turn into a realistic scenario. A new MB would probably upgrade not only the RAM subsystem but also other important parts that in the end would give me an even faster system :)
     
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    The latest 2011 Macbook Pros are amazingly fast with quad core CPU's. They actually can handle 16gb of RAM (which is currently a bit expensive since there are only 2 DIMM slots so you would need to use 2 x 8gb sticks. But prices for newer style ram is dropping fast. An 8Gb ram upgrade for a relatively new MBP is now only about $40 USD - it cost me $125 a year ago and it was $600 2 years ago. Of course if you do not want portability then you don't need a MBP. I love mine and use it with a high end monitor for Photoshop work...

    To have an idea just how much power these new mac have check out the geek scores - I think yours is only about 3-4000 while the base model 15" MBP's are currently around 10,000
    http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/

    The Mac Pro is long overdue for an upgrade so they are priced a bit high but sometimes Apple has refurbs which are a good deal. New hard drives are currently about 2x normal prices due to floods and they should be high for at least another month or two.

    The cost of ram for your model and the age makes it worth considering a newer model - perhaps it is worth posting a new thread to explore this which members that know more about the capabilities of what you have.
     
  5. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    You can run Windows via Parallels. It does take up more ram. Photoshop is one of those programs that can run on a modest amount of ram, yet can benefit from quite a lot assuming you have at least CS5. Some of the guys that work with digital back files and 50-100 layers install 16GB or more. Ram for the first generation mac pro will be expensive no matter what. It's just an incredibly expensive ram design to meet Apple's specs. Anytime it's a specialty configuration it's expensive anyway. I'm not sure if you remember back when they first came out, but 1GB chips were something like $200 or $250. It was absolutely insane (one of the reasons I waited).

    The machine uses fully buffered dimms with special aluminum fins/heat sinks. Temperature would be a concern with alternative ram. You may consider looking at a newer computer in the near future if you really need a lot of ram. You mentioned raided drives. What do they store? Either raid or a small SSD can improve scratch drive performance immensely, and an SSD could later be migrated to a newer machine. It's not quite the same performance as ram would allow, but it's simply an alternative method. When photoshop was a 32 bit program, fast scratch drives were the most practical option past 4-6 GB of ram (which gave you enough for photoshop + a couple background applications at optimum efficiency).

    Anyway I really wouldn't invest too heavily in an older machine. Parts can eventually die and repairs are expensive.
     
  6. psymas thread starter macrumors newbie

    psymas

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    Vantage Point true about the comparison to the MBP, it's almost double as fast as my MP (64bit performance):

    Mac Pro
    Intel Xeon 5150 2.66 GHz (4 cores)
    5907

    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2011)
    Intel Core i7-2860QM 2.5 GHz (4 cores)
    11667

    The thing is, that I just upgraded my mac pro with 4 new hard disk drives (4 x 1 TB server disks from seagate, those disks cost a fortune but I was lucky to get them cheap from a friend who upgraded his own personal configuration)
    6 months ago I got the ATi 5770 which really boosted the graphics subsystem. Basicly I'm a happy mac pro user but I can jus feel that when I have Photoshop CS5 running and let's say 3-4 other applications then it's a bit slow. That's the reason why I just wanted that extra RAM.

    But I'll look for second hand options and I'll try to search for info about changing the MB. I'm sure there must be some threads regarding that topic.

    thekev I have just got 4 new disks. Atm. I have installed lion on the first disk. I plan to do a software RAID 0 on 2 of the remaining drives and keep the last disk for storing fils, photos etc. I'm not really sure about the RAID and how it works; do I have to install Photoshop CS5 on the RAID or do I have to store all my pictures on the RAID
     
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #7
    There's a least one vendor on US eBay showing the correct 1,1 modules -- $US 68 for 4 GB (2 x 2GB). New.

    They say they ship to US only, but an email might convince them otherwise. Or perhaps you have a US friend who could receive them and then ship to you.

    There's no way for me to know whether the vendor's legit or not.
     
  8. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #8
    when I have Photoshop CS5 running and let's say 3-4 other applications then it's a bit slow. That's the reason why I just wanted that extra RAM.

    It's very easy to use up all the available ram with Photoshop CS5. Mine is set in CS5 Preferences to use a maximum of 70% of ram. If I am using several layers in CS5, have itunes going and have Aperture opened... then having even more ram than 8gb is welcome. I almost picked up the latest refresh of the base 15" MBP but since it will be another year before 8gb ram sticks drop enough to make sense I can wait. Besides the next generation MBP's will have Intels next generation chips...

    I wonder if you could take all those hard drives and stick them into a thunderbolt housing to use as raid in a newer MBP with Thunderbolt connections. Just clone the man drive to your SSD and swap out in a MBP and would have one an incredibly powerful system that is also portable
     

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