Mac Pro Slowly Killing RAM?

ZennZero

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2008
85
0
London
Hi all,

Anyone ever hear of a Mac Pro slowly destroying RAM? At one time, I had 32GB of memory in my 2008. All Crucial - pretty good stuff, but with slimline heatsinks rather than the larger variety. And slowly but surely, I started losing modules. It was happening months apart.

So over 18-24months months or so, all of my 4GB sticks have gone belly-up and I am now on my Apple-branded RAM that came with the system... A paltry 2GB.

Has anyone ever heard of something like this? It's especially weird that it happened so slowly. And it was never during intense usage that would lead me to believe heat was a culprit.

Could it be a bad riser?
 

davidb367

macrumors member
Feb 13, 2007
73
10
I believe that the older MacPro's required Apple heatsinks. The FB-DIMM's get very hot and require beefer heatsinks. My 1,1 eventually killed a stick of 2GB RAM and required a replacement.

I would double check see which heat sinks are required.
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
They fry RAM.

I have 16 GB of full size heatsink RAM in my Mac Pro 3,1. Even this runs at 70-80ºc when under load, over the last 6 years I have had 2 sticks fail and be replaced by Memory America under the lifetime warranty. They take back the whole set 4x2GB and replace it with matched pairs with consecutive serial numbers. I really can't fault their service.
If you are caning RAM all the time and it doesn't have the right heatsinks, expect it to fail even faster.
Crucial RAM should have the same warranty.
 

ZennZero

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2008
85
0
London
It's possible that they have all died a slow heat-death, I suppose.

Yep, the RAM has a lifetime warranty. Though getting an RMA is somewhat complicated by the fact that I bought it all in the US but live in the UK. Every stick says "United States" right on the label.

Still, I will pull the string and see if I can find a way to RMA locally.
 

RobertSix

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2012
56
1
Always used crucial. Not sure about RMA locally, but I've RMA'd from Australia and if I recall I only had to pay for my shipping returned. No hassles, and any intelligent company selling stuff online should follow the example to develop a trustworthy reputation online.
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
I bought mine in the states too, all I paid was the postage to get it sent to the UK.
I had to claim back the import tax though.
 

ZennZero

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2008
85
0
London
Confirmed with Crucial that they will honor the US warranty in the UK.

Thanks again, all.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
A can of compressed air to blow the dust off the ram heatsinks will help them keep cooler. The shorter heatsinks will get hotter with dust on them. I pulled both my riser cards out and gave them all a good clean out and got 3-4C drop in temperature about a fortnight ago..
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,566
1,977
A can of compressed air to blow the dust off the ram heatsinks will help them keep cooler. The shorter heatsinks will get hotter with dust on them. I pulled both my riser cards out and gave them all a good clean out and got 3-4C drop in temperature about a fortnight ago..
I have been buying RAM from these guys since 1985, and have never had a stick got bad. They are Mac Specialists - Great Products - Great service - Great Prices.

http://www.datamemorysystems.com/apple-memory/

Lou
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,487
19
I have 16 GB of full size heatsink RAM in my Mac Pro 3,1. Even this runs at 70-80ºc when under load, over the last 6 years I have had 2 sticks fail and be replaced by Memory America under the lifetime warranty. They take back the whole set 4x2GB and replace it with matched pairs with consecutive serial numbers. I really can't fault their service.
If you are caning RAM all the time and it doesn't have the right heatsinks, expect it to fail even faster.
Crucial RAM should have the same warranty.
I got mine from Other World Computing and had a pair fail within the furnace that is the 2008 Mac Pro's memory bay, but yeah they replaced it for me with no fuss and (fingers crossed) the replacement pair is still running just fine today. The Apple branded RAM though has been perfect throughout.

I suspect third parties offering memory were perhaps too hasty to get to market so may have needed more time to test different heat-spreaders, but may have corrected the issue since. I mean it really does run very hot; in fact I can't help but think the memory would have been better at the front of the machine rather than the back (where it gets all the superheated exhaust off the processors to contend with).

But yeah, I'd be surprised if smaller heat-spreaders would be good enough for the 2008 Mac Pros, as even with the big ones the RAM still gets pretty damned hot.
 

handheldgames

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2009
1,706
930
Pacific NW, USA
The title of this thread made me chuckle. My 2008 mp ram died as well. Too much power for the silicon to deal with over time. While I'm sure apples airflow requirements surpassed Intels specs. Those chips really get cooked unlike any other architecture I've seen in recent years.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,137
4,210
The Peninsula
The title of this thread made me chuckle. My 2008 mp ram died as well. Too much power for the silicon to deal with over time. While I'm sure apples airflow requirements surpassed Intels specs. Those chips really get cooked unlike any other architecture I've seen in recent years.
Why would Intel have airflow specs for RAM? Makes no sense for a company selling processors and chipsets. Intel has no airflow specs for RAM. Your lack of understanding of the industry makes me chuckle.

I have about 60 HP ProLiants with FB-DIMMs - about 2 TiB of FB-DIMMs. Haven't had a single failure (although every month or two I get the email notification that a cosmic-ray induced single bit error has been corrected).

If Mac Pros burn out memory, the blame falls on Apple's hardware engineering team, and their failure to put adequate airflow across the DIMMs. My ProLiants have plastic air ducts to ensure that airflow is on the DIMMs. (I'm assuming that you're not buying 3rd party RAM that skimps on the spreaders....)