new MacPro on the way: setup questions...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Derek87, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    this is a great forum and i've learned a lot. after living without my dual G5 (which died a few weeks ago), i decided i could not wait until April-June or ??? for a new machine and ordered a single core MacPro which i hope will serve my needs over the next few years.

    i hope the following doesn't contain too many FAQs, but i am hoping to get collective thoughts on a few issues.

    Basic plans:
    - buy 2x2gb RAM chips from MemoryAmerica or OWC to bring it to 6gb
    - transfer data from my existing 320gb to the new drive

    with that in mind, i have the following questions:

    1. should i boot up the machine for its initial configuration without having installed my older 320gb into drive bay #2? or, can i install it without having powered things up so i can migrate my stuff easier?

    2. similar question: should i install the new memory before the first power up (assuming i order it and get it before the machine arrives)?

    3. finally, can someone direct me to the most beneficial RAM arrangements. i've read the various threads on these issues and i'm puzzled by two options from the different things i've read and i'm not sure which to believe/understand...

    a. install Riser A: 1. 2gb 2. 1gb; repeat that in Riser B.
    b. install in Riser A: 1. 2gb 2. 2gb. Riser B: 1. 1gb, 2. 1gb.

    i think a. is the proper way that makes sense to my limited understanding of how the controller works. i recognize ideally i'd add in 6 more 1gb chips but that's beyond my budget at this stage and i'll deal with the bandwidth hit, but still want to do the best i can with the four chips i'll have in hand.

    4. oh, any thoughts on MemoryAmerica vs. OWC vs. transintl. seems like OWC is slightly more expensive than the other two and all seem to have good return policies (infact MA seems better) and MemoryAmerica is the cheapest.

    thanks for any thoughts/experiences and sorry if some of these should be obvious from what i've read and searched (they weren't...)
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    A & B - fire that bad boy up and make sure everything works before you begin configuring it.

    RAM - they must be installed in pairs, as in slots 1&2 or 3&4 in each riser, filling up slots 1&2 first in .riser A (top riser), then 1&2 in riser B (lower riser). When these are filled, fill 3&4 in riser A, followed by 3&4 in riser B So, you would want it to look like this:

    Riser A
    2GB, 2GB, empty, empty

    Riser B
    1GB, 1GB, empty, empty

    *my RAM endorsement goes for OWC. that's what i have. however, I have the 2006 mac pro.
  3. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    the above post is correct

    and just to add to the RAM issue...

    in the mac pro, you want matching pairs of sticks (e.g. as stated above)
    then, having the identical setups on each riser helps
    and thirdly, having ALL of the slots full (e.g. 8x1GB sticks) will increase data transfer rate through the ram from ~6.5GB/s -> ~7.5GB/s
  4. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    but it will add to the latency. however, the degree to which it adds latency is said to be so small to be undetectable in real world usage.
  5. pwn247 macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    West Virginia, USA
    1. Boot it up and make sure everything is working alright (fans spinning, hard drives humming, and RAM not greyscreening). Then simply power down and lock in your new drive.

    2. Same answer as #1. No sense in installing new RAM before you know if the Apple stuff works (then again, Apple's memory has like 0.0001% failure rate).

    3. I know in my Mac Pro (3GB RAM) I have her like this:
    • Riser A: 512MB, 1GB
    • Riser B: 512MB, 1GB
    ... so it's exactly mirrored. I haven't looked into the "latency" factor, but as long as OS X reads it as 3GB, and XP reads it as 3GB, we're good to go. I'm not too concerned about latency, as it's probably unnoticeable like you mentioned.

    4. I would stick with OWC. Their RAM seems to be the best. However, I purchased the 2GB from NewEgg and have had no problems. In fact, it seems to run a bit cooler than the stuff she shipped with, so I'm not complaining.
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I notice from your sig that you have a 2006-2007 Mac Pro, and from the OWC videos it notes that the memory configuration is different in the Early 2008 MP the OP will be getting and is as the OP in his example "b".

    To the OP-- the correct configuration will also be in your owner's manual when it arrives, and if you would like to check it out before yours arrives it can be seen in the OWC memory installation video for the 2008 MP (memory and hard drive installation on the same video) here.
  7. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    to pwn247

    just wondering why you have your RAM setup as it is. from everything i've read, it's better to swap one of the 512MB with one of the 1GB.

    - genghis
  8. Derek87 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    Thanks for the thoughts/suggestions everyone.

    machine and RAM arrive next week! whoo hoo! :)

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