Do I need 6GB of RAM?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 24usedtorock, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. 24usedtorock macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2009
    For an early 09 Mac Pro, everything default option (planning on upgrading video card on my own).

    Planned usages: Light Photoshop work, gaming, boot camp, lots of applications, multi-tasking etc.

    I want to be able to leave the machine on all the time, or most of the time, run many applications simultaneously, without noticing any slowdown whatsoever. I dunno how much RAM Snow Leopard uses, but is there any reason not to spend the $150 on the 6GB Ram upgrade, it seems fishy since the price of upgrading RAM used to be like $500 for Apple.
  2. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I think the 09 MP comes with 6x1GB sticks, so you are prolly looking at pulling all 6 sticks, and putting in 6x2GB or 8x2GB.
  3. 24usedtorock thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2009
    Sorry to clarify, I'm looking at the Quad Core machine (the $2499 version), not the 8-core.

    Here are specs.

    # One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor
    # 3GB (3x1GB), 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM

    I will be putting in a 1GB GTX285 vid card.

    Based on the above configuration and my stated usages, can you please estimate if the RAM (and overall performance) would be sufficient?
  4. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009

    yeah, get four 2GB sticks and call it a day...
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I would suggest the 3x2GB option rather than 4x2GB unless you really need the extra 2GB (which is doubtful). We know you will get max memory performance running tri-channel this way.
  6. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    maybe to a benchmark... no human is going to be able to tell any difference and it's never bad to have plenty of physical ram...

    I'd just assume put in 4 matching sticks, max it out, and call it a day

    Buy, yeah, you can't go wrong either way. If it's a tri-channel machine, it should have 6 slots... but... they didn't ask me.
  7. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009
    don't the mac pros only effectively utilize ram when installed in groups of 3 or something?

    6x2 might be just as effective as 8x2....
  8. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    6GB really isn't that much, especially for a mac pro. That's only 1.5 per core. So yes, get at least that.
  9. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    As it turns out, he has the four slot single CPU model.

    Like I said before, I doubt anyone could tell the difference between 3 or 6 sticks v. 4 or 8 sticks.

    Better to buy all at once so it matches.

    The price has dropped quite a bit since DDR3 first showed up on the scene...
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    With the 09 Mac Pros there is no reason to buy 4 or 8 sticks until you have had some time with 3 or 6 if you are not sure how much memory you need. If you are never going to use more than the capacity of 3 or 6 then having 4 or 8 is giving you poorer performance for no reason. The matching sticks issue is irrelevent with today's technology and internet shopping.
  11. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Well, IMHO, 3GB should be just fine given your workload is average. Light photoshop, websurfing, and gaming, you should do well with 3GB. I have 6GB in my G5 and it only ever really needs 2-3GB.

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