MacPro RAM upgrade help please. 4 1GB chips or 2 2GB chips

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by amberashby, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. amberashby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #1
    Hi all,

    I currently have 2GB using 4 512K chips. I want to go to 6GB total, but don't know if I should add 2 2GB chips or 4 1GB chips. The price would be very similar. I know going with 4 1GB chips will fill up all my RAM slots, and I'd still have 2 left if I go with the 2 2GB chips, but will the performance be better with the 4 1GB chips?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Angrist macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    MI or NJ
    #2
    2 2GB chips will allow for more expansion in the future. They'll also maintain their resale value longer.

    Get the 2GB sticks.
     
  3. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
  4. EHUnlucky7x9@ao macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    Two 2Gb sticks. If you plan to keep the Mac Pro for a long time... then stick with that. You can always sell the 512 sticks and put 2Gb DIMMs in there maxxing out that beast of a desktop.
     
  5. amberashby thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #5
    So, the performance gain using 4 1gb chips would be negligible?
     
  6. sblasl macrumors 6502a

    sblasl

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    Heber Springs, AR
    #6
    From BareFeats:

    http://www.barefeats.com/quad09.html

    "DUAL CHANNEL vs QUAD CHANNEL
    In order to get the full benefit of the Mac Pro's 256 bit memory data path, you'll want to populate both memory riser cards, each with at least one matched pair. If you put your memory on only one riser, you are dropping from quad channel to dual channel mode. See Apple's Mac Pro memory notes for more this.

    Does this translate into faster real world speed? Not always. Though the Xbench memory fill rate test showed a 34% gain, it doesn't necessarily translate to faster application speeds. We ran some typical tests from our suite of real world tests (iMovie render effect, Final Cut Pro render clip, Cinebench CPU render, Motion render RAM preview, iMaginator Core Image morph). None of them showed any gains from Quad Channel mode.

    Anandtech did some testing with real world apps using dual and quad channel memory configurations, too. Of their 15 real world tests, only 2 showed any gains from Quad channel configuration.

    We originally posted some gains from iDVD encoding and UT2004 Botmatches but later tests contradicted our results. We're in the process of retesting. Until we're sure there's a real world gain, we pulled those graphs.

    HOW MUCH MEMORY SHOULD YOU BUY?
    My good friend, Lloyd Chambers, has done a lot of experimentation in this area. I recommend you read an article on his blog that addresses this question, especially for Photoshop users.

    Lloyd feels that anything over 8GB is wasted. Yet, in the case of active multiple applications, each of which can use over 3GB, I say you can never be too thin, too rich or have too much memory. We also observed that, when we were just using Photoshop CS2 to edit a 1GB sample, OS X (Tiger) used the remaining memory as a disk cache, saving us hits on the scratch disk.

    What's the least you should get? I say no less than 2GB. Even if you are a gamer that runs one thing at a time, apps like World of Warcraft want over 1GB just for themselves. Add what OS X wants, and you are already over 1.5GB. You do NOT want to be constantly doing virtually memory hits."

    From diglloyd:

    http://diglloyd.com/diglloyd/free/MacPro/memory.html
     
  7. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #7
    EDIT: NVM. You have 4x512MB. Still, go with the 2x2GB.
     
  8. amberashby thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 6, 2003
    #8
    Thanks everyone. This is what I'll do.
     
  9. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #9
    You won't max out a Mac Pro with 2GB sticks. You need 4GB sticks in order to max it out.
     
  10. overcast macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #10
    Sorry, but you're wrong. It's 8 x 2GB.
     
  11. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    #11
    I think he's referring to the unofficial 8 x 4GB sticks available from Transcend.... or was it from another company....? :p
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #12
    No, you are wrong. The Mac Pro has a maximum RAM capacity of 32GBs so to max it out you need 8 x 4GB sticks.
     
  13. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #13
    I got the same setup, 4x512+2x2GB, I got the ram from Transintl, very good ram...
     
  14. amberashby thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #14
    Received the 2 2GB chips yesterday. Whole system seems much snappier. Especially Aperture.

    One more question (probably trivial). Would the system perform better if I removed 2 512K chips from riser B? I'm still a little confused about the dual channel ram thing. Right now I have 2 512K chips and 2 2GB chips on riser A and 2 512K chips on riser B.

    Thanks.
     

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