Mac Pro Apple Ram vs. 3rd party

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by frez, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. frez macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Apple seems to be recommending their own RAM for use in the new (8-core) Mac Pro.

    From the Apple store:

    Please note: Apple created a more robust thermal specification for the Mac Pro FB-DIMM heat sinks that provide more efficient cooling than many other FB-DIMMs. These FB-DIMMs require less airflow to stay cool and allow the internal fans to spin at slower speeds, improving system acoustics. FB-DIMMs made by other manufacturers that do not include a sufficient heat sink may cause the fans to run faster (and louder) or the memory chips to run slower so as not to overheat.

    Can anyone share their experiences with Apple vs 3rd party RAM in this case?

    Is the fan noise much louder or are systems running much slower on systems with 3rd party RAM?

  2. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2008
    I have 8 GB (4x2) of OWC RAM and it works great. Instead of getting too detailed with an answer, there are several older threads involving Trans Itnl and OWC 3rd Pary RAM. I have not ever had any problem with 3rd party RAM and I have not heard an account from someone else who has had problems with them in a Mac Pro. You should go to and look at their article in which they say:

    They also tested the speed rating for various configurations of RAM from 4 GB to 16 GB (12 configurations).

    Also, fan noise is the same and the system runs the same to me (controlling for increase in RAM with RAM intensive apps and mulitple apps simultanouesly - where the computer performs better)
  3. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    My OWC runs cool fast and stable. There is ram out there that doesn't, or previously didn't, meet Apple's thermal guidelines and specifications, causing erratic system behavior or crashes and justifying Apple's recommendation to purchase their proprietary RAM.

    If you go 3rd party, just make sure you buy it from a good source. I've only purchased from OWC, but I hear Crucial is pretty good as well.
  4. rockinrocker macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    yeah, there's no good reason to buy apple ram. it's crazy overpriced.
  5. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    most people here will recommend owc, and i can see why, although i myself went for the apple stuff. if i lived in the US, things would probably have been different!

    heres a thread that pretty much covers everything:
  6. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    Just to chime in...

    I usually buy Crucial, but on my new Mac Pro I decided to try the OWC 800mhz stuff. It was just too cheap to pass up at $219 for 4GB.

    And hey, it works great! No fan issues or issues of any kind. I'm thinking of buying more!
  7. Amigalander macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    The temperatures of my OWC DIMMS and Apple DIMMS are the same (+/- 1 or 2 degrees) as measured by iStat under all uses. Everything runs cool, and my fans stay at the lowest possible RPMs even when video encoding with all 8 cores.
  8. johny5 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2007
    Is this with all the Dimms in at the same time? I think to succesfully compare the temps you need to insert just apple Dimms and take the fan speed + temp and then remove and repeat with the OWC Dimms.

    I am guessing that the fan speed for the memory bay would run according to the average of all memory temps?
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Really? That's shocking, isn't it.
    RAM is RAM is RAM. Just get memory that is up to spec and that is (importantly) certified for use with the Mac Pro (the MP heat spreaders are necessary!).
  10. Amigalander macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    Ah yes, it's with them all in. You're right, a true test would require more control. But since they stay cool (around 110-120 F), I didn't think of more rigorous tests.

    The heat sinks on the OWC ram I got looks exactly like the ones on the Apple ram btw.
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    When Apple certifies RAM for the 08 MacPro, they verify performance as well as thermal characteristics. Although other RAM sticks could work, Apple certified stuff is guaranteed to work. Certified sticks are available at DMS, OWC, Critical and I think TransINT and there are glowing reviews from each vendor. I don't recall seeing a performance shoot off between the brands, so you shop by price, warrantee, availability, customer service, location, shipping method, whatever’s important to you. A lifetime warrantee from a company that's been in business for awhile typically means a quality product. The RAM stick I purchased from DMS look identical to the Apple RAM, and the only time the fans run to the point you hear them is on startup and once when I accidentally blocked the airflow.
  12. kallemia macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2007
    That would be Crucial ;-) - personally, I've used OWC and Apple and never had a problem with either.


    Karl Maria
  13. surflordca macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am running the 2 gigs from Apple that came with the computer plug 8 gigs from OWC. No problems. I never hear the fans run. :D
  14. Roy macrumors 6502


    Jul 6, 2006
    Crucial memory is relatively expensive when compared to OWC and a number of other vendors supplying Mac Pro memory:

    Crucial-----Mac Pro
    4GB kit (2GBx2) $479.99
    DDR2 PC2-6400

    OWC---Mac Pro
    4GB kit (2GBx2) $219.99
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Look at Roy's link, basically the Mac Pro requires the finned heatsinks instead of the typical PC heatspreaders.

    Apple is not saying use our memory, just use memory meeting out specs and having the larger finned heatsinks to allow cooling with slower fan speeds.


    Old days...

    Before a lot of the PPC Mac towers were opposite, requiring memory able to run without heatspreaders due to the closely packed DIMM slots. If you used them the heatspreaders would block air flow between the DIMMs.

    The Intel switch just flipped things and made you use huge ugly chunks of aluminum on the DIMMs.
  16. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    The only reason one would buy memory from Apple is if they enjoyed throwing money out the window.

    Buy third party, period. I have 4 gigs OWC in my MP and couldn't be happier, and my bank account is happier as well.

    And some will argue "Well, if I buy it from Apple it's covered under Apple's warranty..". That is a terrible reason. Most, if not all third-party memory is covered under a lifetime replacement warranty. That's much better coverage than Apple's warranty.

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