Is There a Noticeable Difference Between DDR2 and DDR3 Memory (2008 vs 2009)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SIRmisterD, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. SIRmisterD macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    #1
    Hello,
    I would like to know if there is a noticeable difference between DDR2 and DDR3 memory in the 2008 and 2009 Mac Pro models. I would be using a Mac Pro for Minecraft (Most likely FTB), HD video editing, photo editing, and small minor games.

    If anyone can help me with this subject, I would be totally thankful. Also, if you have any questions, please let me know and I'll answer them ASAP.
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #2
    It's pointless comparing the memory performance because the CPUs are also different and change the overall performance. If you post your budget and potential models you are looking at you can get some good advice on what would be best for you, or rather should you bother looking at a 2008 model.
     
  3. VirtualRain, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    I would not buy a 2008 MP today for a number of reasons. But you certainly hit on one of the key issues...

    The 2008 uses Intels old FSB architecture and off-die memory controller (Northbridge) and as you point out, it also uses DDR2, buts what's worse, is that it's fully buffered. The bottom line is that the 2008 is an old architecture with a ton of latency in the memory architecture. Also... I'm not sure if you can easily find affordable FBDIMMs anymore.

    In 2009, Intel radically overhauled the architecture to use on-die memory control... A much better and lower latency solution... And DDR3 is as cheap as borsch. :D

    Having said all that, does it really impact performance? The thing is, long before Intel fixed their memory architecture in Nahalem in 2009, they started to work around their memory architecture issues by equipping their CPUs with massive L3 cache, which continues to this day. These large cache sizes effectively mask the underlying issues with the earlier memory architecture in many situations, so the performance impact is not as brutal as it might be otherwise. At any rate, I'd not recommend investing in a 2008... It's a poor architecture by today's standards.
     
  4. SIRmisterD thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    #4
    Thank you for replying. Now having said that the architecture is the key difference, is there a big difference between anything newer than 2009 other than the obvious upgrades (Improved CPU, Memory, HDD/SSD, etc.)?
     
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
    No... all the Mac Pros from 2009-2012 use the same basic architecture and technology with faster CPUs, memory, etc as you'd expect. The 2009 is probably the sweet spot in terms of past systems to buy into now... you can upgrade it fairly easily to be on par with a 2012.
     
  6. ybz90 macrumors 6502a

    ybz90

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #6
    Finding FB-DIMMs is an utter pain whereas ECC RAM pulled from servers, etc can be found about twice as cheaply as consumer grade, "regular" RAM these days. It's kind of an unique used market situation right now.
     
  7. SIRmisterD thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    #7
    Thank you all for replying. Unfortunately, yesterday I couldn't reply back too often as I would've liked, but I got busy with things.

    However, I did find a 2009 Mac Pro for sale and I would like to know what you put as the highest price to pay if you were in my situation. Here are the specs:

    Apple Mac Pro 4.1 A1298 Xeon 64-bit Workstation (March, 2009)
    Quad Core 2.66 Intel Xeon
    4 X 2 GB total 8 GB DDR3 ECC 1066 MHz Memory
    128 GB SSD
    1.0TB WD HDD
    500GB WD HDD
    ATI Radeon HD 5770 1.0 GB Video Card (I will be replacing this part genre if I do indeed purchase)
    Airport Extreme BCM94322MC Wifi Card installed
    Original Apple SuperDrive (CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL)
    Bluetooth enabled
    The aluminum case is in nice shape, very small scratches

    The reason why I am asking in this thread, is because I don't want to go through the hassle of starting a new thread.
     
  8. ybz90 macrumors 6502a

    ybz90

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #8
    At this point in their life cycles, I would not buy a single socket cMP 2009 unless you can afford to get a high clock speed upgrade processor. Otherwise, just try to find a dual socket since the upgrade CPUs are cheaper and you'll get longer life out of it.
     
  9. SIRmisterD thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    #9
    Well, will it make a huge noticeable impact? I've been looking on eBay for 2009 models and, which I think you are talking about, are already $1,100-$1,500.
     

Share This Page