Confused about upgrading.

Kipsley

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2015
88
23
Western Australia
I have a 2006 Mac. I bought it as I really really hate Windows 10 and so wanted nothing further to do with Microsoft. Trouble is, I'm a mad user of Second Life. This Mac only has an Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT Graphics card and I have a used ATI HD 5770 on order.

I've read all the threads on upgrading a Mac 1.1 and must admit most of it is way over my head. All I really want is a decent frame rate when on Second Life At the moment it's choppy and about one or two frames a second.

My Mac is a 2006 dual core 2.66 Ghz (Mac says it has 4 cores) Xeon 8GB Ram (should be 12 but one bank just isn't working), 1 TB HDD. Graphics as given above. Running Lion 10.7.5

How do I get the frame rate up? Is there something I can buy or add? A downloadable upgrade perhaps? I had to look up what an "SSD" was, so that gives you an idea of my computer knowledge.

Any ideas would be great....... And a 3.1 Mac seems to retail around over $1500 on Ebay (in Australian dollars) so not an option. This one cost me $400 + $250 or the new (used) ATI card.
 

Kipsley

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2015
88
23
Western Australia
Yes Maybe. Then again I might see about buying a 2008 Mac Pro. Now that I've read some of the threads, they seem more upgradable. I'll have a look on Ebay and compare.
 

Inutopia

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2009
273
70
South of Heaven
If you're doing that you want a 2009 or newer. Forget the 2008 models at this point.

I still think your graphics card will get you going with Second Life, it's an ancient game.

*Infact, your current card already exceeds the minimum requirements. I think you have a configuration issue. Try turning some settings down.
 

Kipsley

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2015
88
23
Western Australia
Yes Ok. Everything is super fast. But not with the Second Life game. Frame rate runs at around 35 or 36 fps and I have the graphics preferences (in game) set very low. I also changed viewer to the Cool VL Viewer for mac version 1.26.14.10. It's a bit better but not by much.

If I have a bottle neck in the Mac itself, I have no idea where to look for it and even less about fixing it. My Windows computer downloads at just over 1000 kbs so it's not my internet.

But you are quite right. I'll see how the new card performs.
 

Kipsley

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2015
88
23
Western Australia
And another thing..... My Mac pro seems to not like ECC memory. I have three banks installed, only one is EEC and the Mac wont "see it" no matter what slot I put it in. Looked up online about can you, or can't you mix EEC with non EEC, and the answer seems to be "No". But all the chips I see online for sale are all EEC. So does that mean I can only use non EEC chips, or do I have to replace the ones I have so all the chips are EEC? When I go to "About this Mac" it states it will only use DDR2 667MHz memory. Nothing mentioned about it being EEC.

Looked in the forum threads and found nothing about mixing the two. Seems everyone runs EEC memory here, yet online I'm led to believe that's for servers.
 

Inutopia

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2009
273
70
South of Heaven
Can't mix ECC and non ECC memory.

ECC (error correcting code) memory is for applications where errors in the memory could cause undesired outcomes in critical applications. Commonly used by servers and workstations, of which the Mac Pro is an example of the latter.

You probably don't need it for what you're doing, but by using it the machine is out of spec.
 

Kipsley

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2015
88
23
Western Australia
Soooooooo...... You are saying that even though it still shows up as an empty memory slot in "About this Mac", the thing is still using all three banks?
 

Inutopia

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2009
273
70
South of Heaven
It will ignore the ECC if it's not the first thing initialised. Like wise if it is the first thing initialised it'll ignore all the rest.

You need to use all the same type of ram.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,978
6,594
Hong Kong
It's OK to mix ECC with non ECC RAM. Result, all RAM run in non ECC mode.

There is no need to use same size RAM. As long as the RAM spec are correct, all RAM will be recognised.

There is no need to use same speed RAM. Result, all RAM will run at lower speed.

The only rule is cannot mix registered RAM with unregistered RAM.

I mix different RAM size, speed, ECC all in once. Even though it's not recommended, but the machine can work properly.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/can-i-mix-memory-size.1903411/#post-21638766

If DDR2, or 3,1 is different, then it's another story. But not in general, ECC can't mix with non ECC, etc.
 

Kipsley

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 12, 2015
88
23
Western Australia
Yes, ok. What I'll do is (for now at least given I am new to Macs) I'll keep my machine to spec and only use the ram it seems to like. Anyone know where I can get some non-ECC 4GB sized ram at 667 Mhz? Giggles.

Not poking fun. It's just all the Ram on Ebay seems to be ECC, but I'm learning lots and I like learning new things, so all good really. :)
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,510
6,750
How do I get the frame rate up?
In general, a faster video card and CPU will get your frame rate up. Switching to Windows will get your frame rate up.

An SSD will make your whole system feel more responsive and make boot times and load times faster. But an SSD will probably not help frame rate at all.

8 GB of ram is sufficient for Lion and a couple of open applications. If you want to be certain that it is sufficient RAM, run Activity Monitor and see if you are running out of RAM. However, I am a little bit worried about your description of one bank not working, or not being seen. If I had inserted a stick and my system didn't see it, I'd remove it--it may be causing problems to leave it in.

I agree with others--if you upgrade the entire computer, get at least a 4,1. If you can afford a 3,1 but not a 4,1, I'd really wait and save up. The difference is huge.

The problem with all of the above advice from myself and others is that it is generic advice. You want to specifically speed up Second Life, which I don't know anything about. Are there Second Life forums? You might want to ask there. For all anyone knows, maybe there's simply a known bug with Second Life on Lion (or something similar), and hardware upgrades won't help at all. You can also try the gaming forum here on MacRumors: https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/mac-and-pc-games.101/
 
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