Mac Pro - Do I really need Ram with thermal sensors

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by champro, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. champro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    #1
    I have a Quad 2.66 Mac pro on the way and I'd like to upgrade the Ram in the smartest and cheapest way possible. Seems to me that 12gb (3x4gb) is the way to go to get a decent amount of memory out of my limited 4-slots. I've checked a few places and here's the pricing I've found.

    Memory America - $476.95
    Ramjet - 524.99
    MacSales - 489.99

    all the above specify they have a compliant "apple thermal sensor"

    Then there is this ram at newegg for $374.99

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220423

    which doesn't specify the heat sensor, but somewhere else on the forum some one said they popped it in an it worked well without running the fans all the time or other strangeness.

    My question is can I save myself 100$ and get the Ram without the sensor and is there anyone currently running that Patriot Ram in a Quad that can shed some light.

    Thanks in advance.

    By the way I realize getting the octo would have solved these issues, but it wasn't an option.
     
  2. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    I can't comment from experience in your situation. However...

    One of the MAJOR advantages of the Mac Pro is its cooling. The sensors tell the fans what speed they need to run at to keep the machine cool and quiet.

    That said, that RAM should work...
     
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    Actually the RAM will not tell the fans to run at a specific rate until the RAM reports that they are approaching the Max Operating Temp that Apple put into the EFI profile - which is usually just before it breaks. Anything under that has no influence on the fan-speed. At least this is true for 2006 ~ 2008 systems - I guess 2009 systems are the same.

    It's the same way with the CPU too. The fans remain at the same rate until they approach MOT. Apple entered MOT on the 2006 2.66 as 75c so the fans remain at the default speed until 75c is reached and then they will adjust in order to maintain 75c. At 70c the fans will again be at default speeds.

    The Mac Pro 2006 ~ 2008 have probably the worst cooling solution in the industry and from what I can tell by reading on-line 2009 machines have all of the exact same problems. It's a huge mistake to think or say that Mac Pro's have a good cooling solution.

    I have no idea what happens if you install RAM with no sensors. The bays themselves have sensors. I think it may be the bay's that trigger the fans at MOP and the RAM sensors if present are ignored completely other than by 3rd party monitoring software. If that's the case either RAM will work fine.
     
  4. matthewtoney macrumors regular

    matthewtoney

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    Yeah that was me in the other thread that got these same ones from Newegg. (although I got them when they were $339 - they seem to have gone up a tad now)

    - They work great in my 2009 Quad - fan speeds have not changed one bit using these versus the 3 1GB sticks that came with the machine.

    - They don't *say* they have a thermal sensor in the specs on that Newegg listing, but I suppose maybe they really do?

    - They have no builtin heatsinks or anything on them, but then nor does the original 1GB sticks that came with my 2009 - they look exactly the same.
     
  5. champro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    #5
    Thanks, I was hoping you might pop in a give an update on how the memory was working. I'll prob. wait till the tonight and if no one else posts with some kind of ram melt down horror story then I'll go with the cheap patriot 4gb sticks. I'll let everyone know how they work out.
     
  6. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #6
    You've likely spent over $2,500, perhaps over $3,000 on this system. Is it worth the risk just to save $100? Go with the thermal sensors.
     
  7. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #7
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    It sure would be to me!!!!!

    I'm not stupid enough to give away $100 that I don't have to or for no reason.
     
  9. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #9
    If you know for a fact that the thermal sensors are not required, then yes. I took a lot of risks in upgrading my Quad using a Core i7 and lots of other components, but I researched everything thoroughly. If the research leads you to a reasonable conclusion that the thermal sensors are fluff, it's money down the drain.

    I was going to say "why would Apple require thermal sensors if they didn't do something", but then again Apple also topped out the high end Mac Pro at 2.93 GHz when there are 3.32 GHz parts available and compatible! So obviously just because Apple says it needs to be there doesn't mean that's necessarilyy the only way to go! :)
     
  10. matthewtoney macrumors regular

    matthewtoney

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #10
    I was running a big risk by trying different RAM and you weren't by swapping the CPU for an i7?? :)

    Just joshing you there - I realize that you *knew* the risk you were taking with the CPU swap, but like you I did research the issue as much as possible before I bought this RAM, and I couldn't find any supporting information that stated the thermal part being required for the 2009 Mac Pros. Actually, the specific information at Apple about RAM requirements for the 2009 models didn't mention the thermal sensor bit at all. (although it does specify that they have to support SPD, but I don't expect there is such as thing as RAM that doesn't do that anymore)

    Regardless, the way I figured it the biggest "risk" I was taking based on my research was one of hassle and time - I figured worst case was that the RAM worked fine but the fans ran at fullspeed all the time and in that case I would have immediately returned the items to Newegg and paid the bigger bucks for ones with the thermal sensors. :( (and I'm sure glad I didn't have to do that)
     
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #11
    Yup, that's how it is with everything. When you buy a new component of any kind, HDD, SSD, USB Device, RAM, CPU, GFX Card, etc. there's no guarantee that it's going to work in your system or even that it's going to work at all. the later is covered sometimes by the store's or manufacturer's warrantee but then again so is the former. Life is uncertain. You just don't know for sure until you try it.

    Buy the cheaper ones 1st and if that doesn't work I'm sure they'll let you return it and spend more of your money for the expensive ones. Although you might wanna ask 1st to make sure. ;)
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    They could be there for:
    1. Simple temp measurement (display data in iStat for example)
    2. Automatically increase the fan speeds if they exceed a preset temp (longevity in mind).

    But isn't actually included as required in the DDR3 spec IIRC. Not to say Apple didn't force it, but it would mean more work in the firmware. Given the lack of it's mention with smaller UDIMM's, I don't think it's required.

    Up the fan speeds manually would serve the same purpose, albiet at the potential for constant increased noise.
     
  13. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    I spend over $6000 and I still care about the difference between paying $0 and $10 for Snow Leopard.

    If you just put off considering all costs, then you're likely overspend.
     

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