Is this RAM ok?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ryanschmidt, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. ryanschmidt macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2009
  2. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    No, those won't work in any Mac Pro, they are the wrong type of memory.

    Which Mac Pro are you buying? Judging by a the 2.66Ghz number and the 512MB sticks, I'm guessing he has a first-gen machine? Those take 667Mhz FB-DIMM DDR2 sticks. Total of 8 slots. How many sticks are in there already?
  3. ryanschmidt thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2009
    Well, I guess I am glad I asked! Yes, he has 6 512 sticks in it now.

    Here's another:

    I don't wanna get cheap ram that just sucks but I would rather not spend money if it's just for a brand name. People seem to like this... even though the brand name is retarded.
  4. ryanschmidt thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2009
    Maybe this is a good time to ask... should I spend the extra money to get a 2.8 or better? I can live without it for a little longer so would it be beneficial to save up a little more?

    I'm a professional web developer / graphic designer. The most intensive apps I am using are Photoshop and a bazillion FF and Safari tabs. ;)

    All opinions welcome. I am currently managing my company off a macbook pro + external display. Business is booming and it's time to upgrade.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    How heavy is your disk usage?

    If it's high, you might get more out of solving that bottleneck than from a slightly faster clock.
  6. ryanschmidt thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2009
    Are you suggesting an SSD? I intend to run a 64 or 120 as my boot disk.

    I am just looking to have something DRASTICALLY faster than my 2.33ghz core 2 duo mbp.

    I plan to upgrade to 8-16gb ram + ssd boot drive
  7. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    Save your money and get a more recent Mac Pro, the extra money for the CPU and RAM difference is well worth it.
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I was thinking the 2.8GHz would be a CPU swap in an '06 system, not an '08 model (which makes much more sense for firmware reasons).

    Let me clarify on the MP. I was assuming you meant to upgrade the CPU's in an '06. If you meant get an '08, it's the better way to go, but more for the firmware (EFI64, as the '06 - '07 is EFI32).

    The reason is, EFI32 is already limiting the ability to upgrade graphics cards (they can't use nVidia's latest offerings, and certainly not those that might come out). So far, ATI's are working, but there's no guarantee that trend will continue.

    It also affects the ability to run future versions of OS X as well. Currently, OS X has been running 32 bit Kernels, while SL has both 32 and 64 bit Kernels (they're trying to go back to full 64bit systems). As Apple doesn't stick with interim products, SL is more likely to be the last version that uses K32. Assuming they can stick to such a time table, 10.7.0 won't work on the early systems (EFI32 based units).

    That means you'd need an '08 or '09 to get an EFI64 system, and the '09's are expensive. They also have some nasty limitations (may apply to you, especially memory - limited DIMM slots, ICH10R throttled to ~660MB/s - notable if you want multiple SSD's, and possibly internal RAID).

    Given your usage, the increased clocks may not help that much (it still helps though, but sometimes the funds make better sense going elsewhere, such as drives). 3D rendering is what really benefits you in terms of running multiple cores (multi-threaded apps). PS as it happens, can only run 2 cores ATM. The software is in need of updating. Safari is single threaded.

    What I meant about drives, is I was trying to determine the throughput's you actually need for your data files. SSD is nice for booting, but not the most practical for working data, as the capacity is too small. It's not impossible, just expensive to move to full SSD arrays now.

    This is where mechanical drives still have a major advantage. RAID in the '06 - '08's are far easier than the '09's, and less expensive (especially if you want to use the HDD bays, as there is an adapter required for a 3rd party RAID card if you need to run one).

    Further details would help. :)
  9. ryanschmidt thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2009
    This should help a little, here's is what I purchased:

    The primary reason I have purchased the Mac Pro is the ability to run 3 displays. It greatly increases my productivity and unfortunately it's the only Mac that can do so. That said, I need your advice on a video card. I will never be playing games on this machine, ever. I just need something that will handle my Photoshop needs. The displays I will be running are 24" so not very demanding. Here is the card I am looking at: - I am new to Mac Pros, never used one before, so I know very little about them. I believe I researched enough to know that the one I purchased was just enough for what I need. Not blazing fast but not slow. I have every intention of running 8-16gb of ram which I will purchase in the next week or so. This was simply a foot in the door.

    What you're saying about EFI64 is greatly discouraging but by then, hopefully I will be able to afford a better machine. For now, this is out of necessity but I did not want to go over the top.

    Please give me advice. I am greatly interested in the RAID setup but primarily the video card situation as I have already ordered the displays but need another video card before I can use the 3rd one.

    Edit: Looks like the 4870 won't work for me. I will get another 3870 via eBay.
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    PC graphics cards won't work out of the box in a MP, as they don't have the EFI based firmware needed to boot on a Mac.

    You have 3 choices:
    1. Get the Mac editions at purchase, and they do cost more than their PC counterparts. OWC is a good place to look (they carry the Mac edition of the 3870, for a little under $218USD).

    2. You can flash the firmware, on a card that's been tested by members here in MR (it makes sure the ROM is large enought to contain the firmware, and what features are functional).

    3. Use an injector (software alternative to flashing).

    For the latter two, search the forum, as there's a ton of information on it. Try searching the card model number, Flashing,... It's there, and shouldn't be too hard to find. But it will be some reading, as it's extensive.

    And BTW, the HD4870 will work in that system.

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