Improving my 2008 Mac Pro

Modplod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 24, 2013
24
0
Northern California
I have a 2008 Mac Pro quad core which I am in the process of improving. ($400)

I have installed a nvidia GT 640 graphics card which I got cheap on Black Friday

I have installed a pair of 74 gb raptors using software raid 0, got these for $30

I am in the process of adding a second processor, should cost a total of $70

I want to improve the ram but the ddr2 800 is soo expensive I was going to buy ddr2 667 ( which is half the price ) to bring my ram up to 14 gb from 6 gb. Would this work ok if I mixed the ram speeds?

I am also very disappointed with the performance of the raptors. Testing with black magic shows speeds of around 120 mb/s write and 85 mb/s read. Is there something wrong or is this what I should be expecting?


As you can see there is a thread of complete cheapness running through this so buying a newer machine is not a possibility


Any hints would be appreciated
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,246
2,690
Delaware

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,062
382
Baltimore, MD
My '08 mixes 800 and 667 FB-DIMMs, it took some work to get them all recognized though. It works fine, I have 6GB in 800 and the other 8 in 667s. The 667s are some no name brand, and they work fine. Don't worry about having those huge heatsinks, it doesn't make a ton of difference. My 667s have a small heatsink, but nothing compared to the 800s that shipped with the machine. SSDs will give you hella performance over the Raptors. Look into a Velocity Solo.
 

Modplod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 24, 2013
24
0
Northern California
How did you have to arrange the memory sticks? Was it the 667 or 800 first

I have looked in the apricorn and like the look of it but I have heard that it causes problems with bootcamp......however at the moment I have bootcamp on a completely different drive so would that negate and problems?
 

adam9c1

macrumors 68000
May 2, 2012
1,775
285
Chicagoland
I was under impression the 3,1 requires 800 MHz memory.

I don't see how you got it to work with slower ram. Well, if it works then all chips will run at the slower speed.
 

Sharky II

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2004
615
29
United Kingdom
It works, it's just slower. So if having more ram in total cancels out the hit to the speed, then i guess it's worth it.

SSD for OSX and Apps is the best thing you can do.
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,062
382
Baltimore, MD
How did you have to arrange the memory sticks? Was it the 667 or 800 first

I have looked in the apricorn and like the look of it but I have heard that it causes problems with bootcamp......however at the moment I have bootcamp on a completely different drive so would that negate and problems?
The trick I found is that the 667s have to be installed in the "first" slots on each riser. The machine can run RAM at 800MHz, but it certainly does not "require" 800MHz RAM. And as much as mixing RAM speeds is uh, let's say frowned upon, and "not recommended" it seems to be working fine for me.

The Apricorn for sure causes problems under BootCamp. I was forced into Windows 8.1 on my 3,1 (yet another "unsupported" upgrade) because Windows 7 would BSoD with the Apricorn installed. I am not having that problem under 8 or 8.1 though, so if you're cool with using the horrific interface, it works just as well. If you go that route, don't install drivers via the BootCamp package, just do it through Windows Update, and then install the BootCamp application from the Apple Website, since the Apple Provided Drivers are only for Win7 on the 3,1.

As far as the "slower" RAM speed, the impact is negligible in day to day work. Might be more noticeable when using RAM intensive applications like Photoshop, etc. but I can't really tell, honestly. Having the extra memory speeds up my machine way more than the RAM bus speeds slow it down.
 

Modplod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 24, 2013
24
0
Northern California
Thank you all for the replies

On the subject of the apricorn........I have windows xp on a completely different drive boot camped with a minimal installation of snow leopard.

I just use xp because of my older games which won't work with win7.

If the bootcamp drive is not associated with mavericks at all would it still be affected by the apricorn/ssd setup?
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,062
382
Baltimore, MD
Thank you all for the replies

On the subject of the apricorn........I have windows xp on a completely different drive boot camped with a minimal installation of snow leopard.

I just use xp because of my older games which won't work with win7.

If the bootcamp drive is not associated with mavericks at all would it still be affected by the apricorn/ssd setup?
Unfortunately, yes. The problem Windows has with the Velocity Solo card has to do with inadequate handling of the AHCI controller. In 7 and lower, there are weird registry handlers for AHCI controllers, especially because BootCamp uses IDE by default. I've patched the MBR for AHCI using THIS guide here, and it doesn't fix the problem. The Apricorn card will for sure cause a failure in anything other than 8, just because it's plugged in. I've tried it every which way, even removing the SSD and just having the controller installed. It's weird. Unfortunately, you're basically forced into 8 ONLY with the Solo.
 

Modplod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 24, 2013
24
0
Northern California
I will give that a miss then.......really don't want to use win 8..... And really don't want to have to spend $100+ on another windows os.......

Will just sacrifice a bay if I get an ssd
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,062
382
Baltimore, MD
Keep in mind if you have space in one of your Optical Bays, there are two SATA ports underneath the fan shield that you can route to drives. Single Molex to Dual SATA power adapters are like $5 on Amazon, I actually just purchased one. Great place to hide an SSD without sacrificing a drive bay or buying a 2.5" Drive Sled.
 

vprocessing

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2013
9
0
You can try a PCI SSD :
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHWE2R240/
Rather expensive !

Boost your SATA :
http://blog.macsales.com/12247-upgrade-your-06-08-mac-pro’s-internal-bays-to-sata-3-0
I'm not sure if this OK for 7200rpm HDs ? I mean does the 6 gb/s Sata is valuable with standard Sata 7200 HDs ?
Because If in addition to that card you must buy 4 SSDs it is also rather expensive…

For me, using my 2008 8core for video editing, the CUDA card was the thing…
Also needed to learn premiere pro to use the power of Cuda…

BUT one question I was aking me…how much is it realistic to spend on 2008 mac…when the the one are in……?
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,062
382
Baltimore, MD
I could lose one of my optical drives but can you boot osx from those ports?
You CAN boot OS X off those spare SATA ports, and you're able to do it with BootCamp after the AHCI mod in my previous post. The relative downside of using SATA 2 on an SSD is you're getting about 1/2 performance Read/Write than the SSD is capable of. Just keep that in mind when you're doing your upgrades. I'm a big fan of WD Black drives if you need some performance.
 

Modplod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 24, 2013
24
0
Northern California
Well I took a chance and bought. 16 gb of generic ddr2 667 fb dimms and they were recognized and work....not bad for $53.....I also installed the second processor and heat sink. ( total cost. $70 ) and that is working too. I think I now have a machine which will do me a couple more years......
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,062
382
Baltimore, MD
Well I took a chance and bought. 16 gb of generic ddr2 667 fb dimms and they were recognized and work....not bad for $53.....I also installed the second processor and heat sink. ( total cost. $70 ) and that is working too. I think I now have a machine which will do me a couple more years......
Great to hear it. Hope you love your machine now, it's got at least 3 more years on it, imo. Probably a hell of a lot better than spending 1K+ on a new one. Glad to help out.
-N
 
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