Memory Recomendations

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Paxsman, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Paxsman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    #1
    I own a 2010 quad core with 3gb of memory. I would like some recommendations on how much to add and in what configuration. I do a little home studio work with Studio One and GarageBand and a couple MIDI devices. I expect these programs are the most tasking on memory resources. I am leaning towards either 2-4gb sticks and leave 2-1gb sticks installed or 4-2gb sticks for a total of 8gb. Do you think this will be plenty or do i need more? Are their preferred configurations or with the amount I'm talking about does it really matter?

    Thanks
     
  2. CaptainChunk, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012

    CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #2
    On paper (benchmarks), running three identical modules yields the best performance because they'd run in triple-channel mode. But in practice, the difference between that and running a dual-channel configuration (2 or 4 modules) is pretty insignificant versus actually having more RAM.

    Now I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that GarageBand is still a 32-bit app, meaning that it can never address more than 4GB of RAM by itself. I'm not familiar enough with Studio One to know how much memory it'll take advantage of, but it does appear to have a 64-bit version for appropriate systems.

    But with that said, RAM for the 2009/2010 Mac Pros is pretty cheap. You can upgrade to 16GB of RAM (4x4GB modules) from OWC for $125.
     
  3. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #3
    Start up one of your larger projects and leave it "running". Then go to the Applications > Utility folder and start Activity Monitor. Sort the display on the "Real Memory" column (click on the column).

    If the top 10 (or 15) items in the "Real Memory" column have numbers smaller than the "Virtual Memory" column then generally you need more memory to avoid hiccups with playback/acquisition.


    The other issue to check it the disk I/O and data rates. You may have enough memory but it is just a tad slow getting data on/off the disks.



    Some memory vendors DIMMs don't "Play well" with others. You need to double check in the first configure since you will be mixing two different vendors/implementations . Usually this is for higher than Apple spec'ed densities but it is useful to include in the process.


    If you keep the two 1GB DIMMs they should be grouped together on the third controller ( slots 3 4 ).


    You may need more if you have been deliberately limiting what you are doing to fit the current 3GB constraints. If you plan to double the complexity then if current working space is 5 then 10 would be better.

    Similarly, if going to upgrade OS/Apps later then a bit more is better.
     
  4. prodeveloping macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #4
  5. Paxsman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for the replays. Can I use the 1333 memory or do I need to stick with 1066. The reason I ask is I might upgrade from my 4-core to a 6-core in the future. Are there ant downsides to using 1333 vs 1066.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    No, there is not. It would simply down clock to 1066MHz while it's running on your quad-core CPU.
     

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