Is more Ram enough or do I need an entire upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by erik450, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. erik450 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Okay, so here is a question. I have a 1st generation Mac Pro. It has 2 x 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors and 5GB 667 MHz Ram. I also have the Nvidia GeForce 8800GT graphics card. I use it primarily for heavy video editing and graphic editing (Final Cut Pro, Motion - and rest of Final Cut Studio, After Effects, Cinema 4D, etc). I'm trying to figure out if I need more Ram to help speed up my computer a bit more or do I need to upgrade entirely to one of the new Mac Pros? I guess bottom line is - I've noticed some lag time when working with a few pro apps at the same time and trying to figure out if I'll be okay with upgrading the Ram to handle the heavy loads or is the 1st Generation Mac Pros now so outdated that I need to upgrade entirely?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
    whats your page in to page out ratio?

    if its less than 10:1 id get more ram
     
  3. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    right now my page ins are 151,505 and my page outs are 281 but this is after I've booted up my computer and haven't done much on it
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    well do what you normally do and see what the ratio is

    also, it may be your hdd. upgrading to a faster hdd would give a noticable boost in performance or maybe your hdd is slowing crapping out on you
     
  5. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Okay, so I've just pulled up a couple jobs I've done. One in Final Cut Pro that I've sent to compressor and started rendering. The other in After Effects to just do a Ram Preview and now I'm at Page Ins: 174,307 and page outs: 98,263 (and climbing fast); memory is showing Wired: 668mb, Active: 2.81GB, Inactive: 844mb, Free: 463Mb (which a second ago showed free about 12mb), Swap: 456/1.0gb. By the way, now my page ins are at 188,079 and page outs are 176,122 and that's just since I've started typing this.
     
  6. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    could this also be because of too many external hard drives connected to my Mac? I have 4 external hard drives + a Drobo
     
  7. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    now my page outs are about 190,000. Dumb question. Page outs is where it's sending memory to the main system rather than ram, right?
     
  8. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #8
    If by "main system" you mean "hard drive", then yes. If your pageout count is climbing quickly, more ram will help a lot. I'm amazed you're going through 5GB that fast though.
     
  9. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Me too! I can't believe it's eating that much ram either. That's why I'm trying to figure out if I need to upgrade and go full 32gb ram (much cheaper than buying a whole new Mac... found 32gb ram on ebay for about 800.00); or if I would be waisting my money on buying more ram and should put that money towards a new Mac Pro. I'm noticing a lot of lagging just opening different windows now while working in Final Cut Pro, etc. I didn't really experience this until just recently (after installing Snow Leopard... might just be a coincidence).
     
  10. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #10
    If you're getting a lot of pageouts (which you are), more ram is definitely going to be the most effective way to upgrade.
     
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #11
    get more ram

    if you can, get higher speced ram than 667mhz. if you do that, you will have to get rid of your existing 5gigs and upgrade it all
     
  12. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    If I increase even to 32gb ram and I'm still getting a lot of pageouts, would you recommend doing a fresh install of Snow Leopard and re-installing all apps? I'd hate to do it but kind of getting frustrated with how it's lagging lately
     
  13. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  14. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I'm fine with replacing all of my ram if it'll help. I'm sure it'll still be cheaper than a whole new Mac. You don't know if there's a max speed of ram the 1st generation can handle do you?
     
  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #15
    I wouldnt do that personally

    I doubt you will be experincing much page out at that point

    if you do, the only upgrade you can do would be to upgrade your hdd to say 10k disks or ssd

    you would see an improvement if you had slowdowsns

    in the mean time, id probably get 8 or 12 GB and see how it is. Why pay for more ram than you potentially need? id upgrade as you need it though it is always cool maxing it out if you can afford it !

    oh yea, get your ram from newegg. avoid apple at all costs. they rape you on ram prices

    heres a link to hep you out
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...0551 1327923908 1328037460&name=8GB (2 x 4GB)

    just check the compatibility. its listed for each macpro under the ram summary
     
  16. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I guess I'm just kind of getting frustrated and desperate to getting rid of this lag time I'm experiencing. So far, I'm only finding 667MHz Ram chips for the 1st gen Mac Pro. Should it be able to handle at a faster rate than that do you think?
     
  17. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #17
    seems your machine is limited to 667

    http://store.apple.com/us/memoryfamily/ME_MACPRO_PREV

    so just get more of the same type you have
     
  18. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #18
    Just to second what's already been said - yes get more RAM. That's a bad page-out ratio. Few people that I've heard of consume more than 12-16GB in real-life scenarios (not just opening every app they have just to use all the memory).

    I have the same Mac Pro, and I'm considering upgrading the processors from 2x dual-core to 2x quad-core. Hoping Snow Leopard will make better use of more cores (probably after 9-12 months I'd guess, once more programs are written to take advantage of Grand Central). You can also consider running some disk tests (XBench is a good free benchmarker for this) and seeing how your hard drives are performing. Compare your I/O performance to others who have SSDs or RAID HDD setups and see if that's a bottle neck you can also upgrade past.

    I'm hopeful that my 1,1 Mac Pro will last me for several more years by upgrading the processors, eventually getting more memory if I need it (great to have that capacity!) and faster SSDs slowly replacing my HDDs.

    Oh and you can probably put faster memory in your Mac Pro, but it'll only run at 667mhz - might as well buy that.
     
  19. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #19
    Great suggestions! Thanks! Is it very difficult replacing the processors? I've been researching that option as well and found it's compatible with the Clovertown x5365, etc. I've also read though that it's easy to fry the logic board if they aren't replaced properly (which kind of frightens me). Are there any professionals that will do this?
     
  20. erik450 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    So it sounds like I definitely need more ram and possibly faster internal hard drives. Does that sound about right?
     
  21. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #21
    Yea

    I would do the following in order

    1) upgrade ram

    if you still have slow downs, keep upgrading till you max out your ram

    2) if that doesnt work, then updrage you hdd

    the processor is not the bottle neck at the moment i would guess so i wouldnt really worry about that now
     

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