OWC RAM for '08 MP, thoughts and questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sturob, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. sturob macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    I have been wondering something about the OWC RAM I bought for my '08 MP. I got 8x2GB, and it's been working fine, so that's all good.

    However, I have noticed in iStat Pro that the temps of the RAM cards in the bottom riser approach 165°F when I'm doing next to nothing. I then look at the riser sensors, and they're usually sitting around 110°F or so. Much lower, in other words.

    I installed SMCFanControl, and have bumped up the CPU/Memory fan, and I can bring the temps on the DIMMs themselves down into a reasonable range, more like the 120-130°F or even lower if I really jack up the fan.

    I don't really mind having the fan(s) spin faster, since the thing is so quiet anyway. Fans are cheap, computers are not.

    But I do wonder if the heat fins on the OWC RAM are partially to blame. Seven's better than three, right? Well, I'm beginning to think not. Sure, if there's a lot of airflow, you can take advantage of the greater surface area. I wonder, though, if the fins are spaced so tightly that at the programmed fan speeds (based on the riser-based temp probes) there's not enough air moving around for the heat to dissipate. I wonder if the MP uses the riser probes (rather than the ones on the DIMMs) to determine how fast to spin the fans . . .

    165°F seems awfully hot. I can bring the temp down, but only with SMCFanControl.

    Does this make sense? Where is my thinking flawed?

    Stuart
     
  2. bigbird macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Yes, once you have all 8 modules in all 8 slots there really isn't a lot of room for air circulation. I have all my 8 slots filled and I need to run SMC fan control continuously to keep the temps of Slot A 1 & 2 (my hottest) around 130F.
     
  3. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #3
    this raises a good question....

    what is the safe operating temp. for ram?
     
  4. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #4
    One easy thing you can try is to swap the modules from the upper riser to the lower and see if the temp. follows or stay the same. At first I thought mine were faulty too, but when I did a simple swap, temp on the upper (where it is hotter) is still the same. It makes sense, I have all 4 slots in the upper occupied. Only 2 in the lower.
     
  5. Jonny427 macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #5
    Isn't 180-190F the upper safe limit of the RAM?
     
  6. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #6
    Another vote for Transintl.com's memory... they use the same heatsink (at least my 2x1gb did) as Apple's!

    Have had ZERO heating issues with them!
     
  7. sturob thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #8
    That's an interesting link, 'Flux. They say that DIMMs "break a sweat" at 190°F; I wonder what that means?

    Didn't OWCLarry answer this question? I must learn to use that pesky search feature.

    Stuart
     
  8. mac2beach macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2008
  9. mogrefy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Location:
    San Diego
    #10
    I'm running 8 x 2GB 800MHz modules from OWC. I had an overall great experience - even having to RMA one module that was DOA(which is done in pairs).

    They acted quickly and were VERY responsive when I called (little to no hold times). They cross-shipped the RMA which worked out well, plus, I couldn't be too mad going from a 2GB RAM system to a 12GB RAM system while I waited for the RMA to bring the other 4GB in.

    In any event, no problems after running their RAM so far (knock on wood).

    Current memory, utilization, cpu, and fans at the time of reading this thread:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #11
    The fact that your RAM turns up DOA tells me a lot about quality control. It is not hard to test the modules before shipping. That's what a good/responsible vendor should do. So many posts here about faulty RAM from OWC...
     
  11. mogrefy macrumors member

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    Apr 12, 2003
    Location:
    San Diego
    #12
    It is what it is... I'm not going to defend OWC, I'll only tell my single experience; I have no doubt that others have had both good and bad experiences with OWC.

    One of my eight modules wouldn't be recognized by my Mac Pro. I swapped among the slots until I identified the bad module, and then invoked the RMA process.

    To OWC's credit, the RMA process was pretty painless, and of course they paid all the shipping costs.

    DOA stuff does happen, I've had DOA (hard drive) from the Newegg, whom I also love to buy from. I guess maybe I am more accepting of "these things" because I understand it happens and it isn't necessarily feasible to test EVERY SINGLE item before shipping (be it a hard drive from Newegg, or RAM from OWC).

    Both Newegg and OWC have shipped me DOA items, but I would purchase from either again any day - they know how to handle the RMA situation when it arrises.
     
  12. mogrefy macrumors member

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    Apr 12, 2003
    Location:
    San Diego
    #13
    Just an FYI, from your signature:

    "20GB (4x4GB + 2x1GB)"

    (4x4)+(2x1)=20?
     
  13. gibbz macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #14
    I have 8x2GB and haven't had any trouble yet. Purchasing from OWC was a pleasant experience. I haven't seen them run very hot as of yet.
     
  14. deathshrub macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Christmas Island
    #15
    Same here. I bought 4 x 2GB from transintl, and got 4 x 1GB from Apple.
     

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  15. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #16
    Ooops !!! Thanks for pointing it out! I actually have only 18GB :)

    Mogrefy: You are very accepting indeed! Of course no reseller can test all the stuff that they sell before shipping out. For hard drives, it is up to the manufacturer to do so. However, of RAMs, if OWC buy chips from Samsung or Micron or whoever, and assemble them, they SHOULD test their work each and every one of them. Maybe they are just too large and they get too many orders ?? Transintl tests ALL their stuff before shipping out. But hey, **** happens and it looks like you keep getting DOA stuff :rolleyes:
     
  16. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #17
    Do you know what the fan speed of your MP is? The RAM temp looks a bit high.
     
  17. mogrefy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Location:
    San Diego
    #18
    Yeah, I suppose I was overjoyed to get the Mac Pro on early Feb instead of late Feb, so just being able to use the machine probably put me in a "good" mood. Also, I had 12GB and hadn't installed anything yet, so the system didn't NEED the extra RAM.

    I agree... public relations and perception wise, OWC should watch themselves because I don't seem to be the only one who has had a problem. 1/8 or 12.5% failure rate (at least on my order) is NOT good for business. But, at least they handled it in a professional manner thus far.
     
  18. deathshrub macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Christmas Island
    #19
    I do not know the default values, but the fans are running at normal speed.

    DIMMs don't even 'break a sweat' until they reach 190 degrees F, so I'm not worried about it. Running smcfancontrol to get more airflow through the machine does not outweigh the extra noise that it would cause.

    Why do you think my RAM temps are high? What temperatures would satisfy you?
     
  19. bilbo--baggins macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Is everyone running the Apple Hardware test to check their new RAM? I read somewhere there is a utility with Leopard server that reports ECC errors, is there any utility that can be used with the normal version of Leopard? From what I gather, ECC errors are something you need to monitor over time, rather than just during the Hardware Test.
     
  20. Roy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    #21

    In your IStat image, under "memory" it shows "Wired 2.62GB". My 7 year old G4 has 640 MB and my IStat shows "Wired 60MB". Can anyone explain the "Wired memory"?
     
  21. Squelch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    TLH, FL
    #22
    Here is some good info, straight from the horse's mouth:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107918
     
  22. Roy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    #23

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