Early 2008 Mac Pro - RAM questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by -Noodles, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. -Noodles macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2007
    hello all,

    I have an Early 2008 Mac Pro (2 quad-core 3.0Ghz Intel xeon's). I am currently looking to upgrade the 2gigs of ram it came with to something more substantial as I will be using final cut on it as well as avid. Ideally this means 16gigs or 32 depending on price.

    I've been looking at the ram buying guide here on macrumors and MacRam Direct seems the cheapest of the quality ram dealers - less than OWC or Crucial. (32gb: Crucial 1,520 / OWC 1,180 / MacRam Direct 990)

    I'm wondering what peoples' experiences have been with the products of any of the three dealers: MacRam Direct, OWC, or Crucial.

    I am also wondering if any 2008 Mac Pro users have had any negative experiences (or concerns) putting 32gigs of RAM into this model as it has been said that it can support 32 but was not sold initially in this way. This concern might direct me to be play it safer with 16gb rather than 32gb of ram as I do not want any complications resulting from this neither during the initial install or over time.

    Lastly I'm also looking for 2 hard drives to fill out the bays left I have for them - any suggestions on where to go for these? I haven't done research on the latest hard drive capacities but from the apple site they have 2tb sata drives listed. As these drives will be used mostly for storing and working with video files - are there concerns with drives this massive causing potential slow downs with data? Apple's 1tb model is listed at $300 currently. Suggestions on other brands? Hitaachi, Seagate, WD, Samsung?

    Thanks for any input - best,
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    So long as it meets specs (800MHz FB-DIMM w/ the right heatsinks <larger than the PC variant, but that's the only difference between them>, go with the least expensive. ;)

    I've never used MacRam. But no issues with Crucial or OWC's memory so far.

    Nothing to worry about. :) The listed max RAM capacity was based on the available DIMM capacity at the time. ;)

    The only obstacle would be price. :eek: :p

    Just get the drives you want from a reputable source, such as newegg, buy.com, amazon,....

    As per speed with the 2TB drives, they're typically faster, but watch the RPM of the unit, as some are "Green" models, which spin slower to save power. That does translate into slower throughputs, but they may be cheaper.

    I'd stay away from Hitachi, Samsung and even Seagate (the 7200.11's were a disaster with the firmware, and it even caused issues with the enterprise line <ES.2's>, so I still don't trust them yet). Hitachi and Samsungs tend to have a short lifespan in my experience (shorter warranties too = 3yr rather than 5), and Hitachi is a nightmare to deal with should you have a problem, especially with firmware compatibility issues. But I do spend a lot of time dealing with RAID, and that's where most of the issues occured.
  3. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    My early 2008 Mac Pro has 12GB of memory purchased from OWC last March/April. On my G5 PowerMac, it has 6GB, 4GB came from OWC nearly 2 years ago.

    Never had a problem on either system.
  4. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    In fact, the 2TB WD Green models have very high density platters, which result in high throughput despite the lower RPM.

    I'd go for two WD Green in RAID0, giving you throughput, silence and lower power consumption.
  5. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    I have 8 GB of OWC (four 2 GB modules) that I got with my early 2008 mac pro and I haven't had any problems with it.
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Compared to lower density platters spinning at 7200 rpm, yes. They fare well.

    But my comment was meant illustrate that the same platter density running on a Green variant is slower than if it were spinning in a 7200 rpm unit (i.e. identical drive, save spindle speed). Specfically WD's RE4 vs. RE4-GP is what crossed my mind. Both use 500GB platters and have 2TB capacities. ;)
  7. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    OWC is great. Never had a problem with both of my mac pro's. Have 24GB now and zero problems. As for hard drives, been running hitachi for years and never had a problem. Got my first 2TB hitachi for my itunes library and its faster than my 1TB hitachi drives. Do your research on drives from bare feets and other places to make an informed decision.
  8. Varmann macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2010
    I have 16GB OWC RAM in my '08.
    In the beginning i thought it went a bit hot (65-70C during heavy load, around 55C during normal use), but I increased the fan speed somewhat and it went down by more than 10C.

    I have only good things to say about OWC, I have used them for more than 10 years now. Very helpful and knowledgable support, as well, when I have used it.

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