Question about buying 64 GB of RAM from Apple

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mward333, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #1
    On the Apple Store, the most RAM I see that Apple will sell for the Mac Pro is 32 GB. Of course I will not buy RAM from Apple---this is obvious, because Apple's RAM is very expensive!! So please read ahead:

    I plan to buy 64 GB of RAM from Ramjet (or a comparable seller) for a new Mac Pro. I am hoping to do this purchase through a funding agency, and I want to show the funding agency how much cheaper it is to use a 3rd party vendor vs Apple.

    So I plan to say, for instance, it will cost me $3559 to buy the 64 GB of RAM from Ramjet..... but I don't know what "comparable" price I should say Apple would charge for 64 GB, because Apple doesn't sell that much RAM directly!

    Any advice?? I know that some people will say something silly, e.g., Apple's price for 64 GB of RAM is infinity, etc., but I need a quick and honest reply here. Can anyone provide a tip? Thank you very much.
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    You could demonstrate a cost per GB for both companies. Though not entirely representative, it would illustrate the differences in price.
     
  3. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #3
    That's an excellent idea. That was my initial idea. Then I noticed, from Apple:

    add $450.00 for 16 GB of RAM
    add $3,330.00 for 32 GB of RAM

    so Apple does not have a linear increase in the price of RAM (i.e., the size of RAM does not double with the price).

    On the other hand, RAM at Ramjet is almost linear in price:
    16GB DDR3-1066 kit for Mac Pro (8x 2GB) $575.99
    32GB DDR3-1066 kit for Mac Pro (8x 4GB) $1399.99
    64GB DDR3-1066 kit for Mac Pro (8x 8GB) $3559.99

    i.e., the price roughly increases at the same rate as the size of the memory.... not exactly, but much closer than Apple's. (So it is like comparing Apples and Oranges, pun intended, ha ha)
    Seriously, though, any other advice?

    I was hoping that someone might say, for instance, oh, here's a magic phone number where you can call Apple and purchase 64 GB directly from someone at Apple. Does a magic phone number like this exist???
     
  4. eponym macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #4
    Nobody has linear price increases. It's just not possible. You're effectively engineering twice as much "stuff" to fit into the same area. That's why an 8GB dimm is insanely expensive. Your third-party seller isn't even close to linear—there's a 27% price increase per GB when you jump from 32 to 64.

    Apple doesn't offer those because almost nobody buys them (nor needs them). They're a very niche product, whose buyers are more than likely savvy enough to know not to buy RAM from Apple.
     
  5. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #5
    I should have placed the emphasis on "almost". Yes, you're right, there is a 27% price increase per GB when jumping from 32 to 64 GB with Ramjet.... BUT, more importantly, the price jumps a TON more with Apple's RAM, which is what I wanted to emphasize:

    add $450.00 for 16 GB of RAM
    add $3,330.00 for 32 GB of RAM

    Still, your main point is well-taken. Perhaps Apple does not offer 64 GB of RAM because nobody will buy it from them.....

    So, is our conclusion that nobody has ever made a special arrangement with Apple to get 64 GB of RAM directly from them (even if it's for a HUGE, unlisted price)?? Perhaps that is what we should conclude....
     
  6. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #6
  7. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    Well, as far as laptop ram goes it is not as expensive as it used to be and nearly the same price as OWC (MacSales).

    For you, why do you need 64GB other than just to have it? But say you do need it, I would go with OWC, it seems to be the better price and all my 3rd party RAM is from them.
     
  9. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #9
    Thank you for the link! I'll take a look. I appreciate that.

    I do very large computations. I'm a mathematical researcher. For instance, I routinely fill my 16 GB of RAM in my current Mac Pro (see my sig) and then my machine begins wild amounts of paging to disk. I use gcc, perl, Maple, etc.... A wide variety of computations.

    Thank you, Jessica! I am glad to get your recommendation. My RAM definitely does not site idle in my computer..... I'm running jobs all the time. I.e., I don't want to just have it..... I really appreciate your OWC recommendation. I've bought Mac parts from OWC in the past, and I've relied on Ramjet for my recent big RAM purchases, but I'm willing to look around, as you suggested.

    Thank you all!
     
  10. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #10
    (Apology, first of all, for a back-to-back post here.)

    I just got off the phone with Apple, and they said that 64 GB of RAM won't be recognized by the Mac Pro's logic board. They talked to a system engineer inside Apple who said this. I think it's nonsense.... I'm SURE that 64 GB of RAM can be recognized by the logic board.

    I ran into the same problem in 2007 when I bought my current Mac Pro.... talked with Apple's system engineers, etc. Ugh.

    I wish that Apple was willing to lower the prices of their RAM and to work with specialists who want to do such high-end computing that cannot be distributed to the network (yes, I do distributed computing too). It's a little disheartening. OK, perhaps I must stick with a 3rd party seller.

    I was just hoping to at least get a "quote" from Apple, for the purposes of discussing with a funding agency, so that they could see the tremendous advantage of using a 3rd party vendor (as I discussed in my post #1 above).
     
  11. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #11
    Wow, gcc takes up a lot of RAM for you? I can see Maple doing so, but gcc? Are you certain 32 wouldn't be sufficient (based on amount of paging)? Have you considered adding a SSD to speed up the paging?
     
  12. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #12
    You're absolutely right---my gcc is NOT the memory hog! It's my Maple that hogs the memory. I only mentioned some of the other languages that I'm using, so that people can see I'm not doing digital photography, etc!! :)

    As another example, I recently generated about 250 GB of data over a period of 3 months...... My Ph.D. student's data set is approximately 1 TB in size. We're talking big memory here, folks. :)

    This has all been discussed on other threads in Macrumors before, so I didn't want to bore anybody about my need for lots of memory..... sorry for heading down that road again. It inevitably comes up when people ask about my machine....
     
  13. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #13
    Maybe I'm missing something but surely Apple not having a way to get 64GB and 32GB from them costing more than 64GB third party is enough value?
     
  14. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #14
    Umbongo, I agree with you. In the current draft of my grant proposal, that's exactly what I put into my budget justification: Apple won't even sell me 64 GB of RAM, and by the way, Apple's price for 32 GB is the same (basically) as the 64 GB price from a 3rd party vendor!

    So I hope that they will see the wisdom in this, i.e., in using a 3rd party vendor.

    I just usually try to make line-by-line comparisons when I'm asking for support in things like this. Thank you for making me feel better about my approach. I think that this is the best I can do.
     
  15. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #15
    I don't think you're boring anybody. Massive computations like that are always interesting because not only is it cool to see applications that need that amount of RAM, but you have also have to wonder why the person is using a mac versus a PC or whether or not they've used GPGPUs.
     
  16. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #16
    chrmjenkins, thank you for your reply. GPGPU's are great, and I know about these. In fact, at my university if I want to do distributed computing, we have over 14,000 machines on our Condor network (last time I checked) that can run our jobs for us. I've used this network several times for big, distributed jobs. It's a lot of fun to do parallel computing, when it's appropriate for the task at hand.

    In the RAM-intensive cases I'm mentioning, however, I'm generating HUGE series expansions in Maple for certain generating functions. Maple is making series expansions of "generating functions" for me, with perfect accuracy (the calculations are all done symbolically--not numerically--a big distinction here!). So the jobs cannot be distributed, and the computations need to be done on one machine, and these tend to blow up very large in the number of terms, but I'm actually interested in the asymptotics, so 16 GB of RAM, but it's perhaps not as large as I want to go..... For instance, I can get 1000 terms of the generating function I'm interested in, but I have thrashing and paging before reaching 2000 terms. Quite a shame.

    Someday, when we all have many TB's of RAM in our machines, we'll look back on days like this and laugh. Already I can look back on what was happening 10, 15, 25, 50 years ago, and laugh at the size of machines at various points in the history of computing. I've been using Maple for about 15 years now, and it is very very different now than it was 15 years ago.... and it was revolutionary back then!! :)
     
  17. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #17
    Interesting, I never considered you'd do something symbolically rather than numerically for something like that (nor would I guess that seemingly so few terms would max out 16 GB). It's also funny to see people talk about maple vs. matlab because the maple fans tend to be die-hard.
     
  18. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #18
    Maple just tends to have the tools that I need. Sure, I do many things numerically.... but for a recent problem, I had to have extreme precision, because I was working with things in the range 10^(-1600), and I wanted to go much much smaller, but I couldn't manage with the RAM I currently have. Arggh!

    By the way, it's not really "seemingly few" terms, because the number of terms grows extremely fast (I can't recall the exact rate) with every term of the series expansion.... I was trying to capture the behavior of some extremely small oscillations.... they are hard to see, but they are definitely present in the problem I was working on!
     
  19. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #19
    Wow, that is precise. I can't imagine anything needing that level of precision :eek: . I understand the terms grow fast, between 1000 and 2000 just seems small :D
     
  20. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #20
    Pretty amazing stuff. It was an exhilarating project! Definitely worthwhile.... I learned a lot. I tell my students that professors are learning all the time too!

    I'll be happy to send you the paper as a PM, if you are interested..... Just let me know. It is nice talking to you. Do you perform some computational research too? I recognize your username, and it seems that we might have met before on macrumors at some point.... please forgive my terrible memory, if we already met.
     
  21. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #21
    Yer nuts!

    You are going to pay close to like 3500.00 for 64GB of memory? What on god's earth do you need that much for? Mind me asking!



     
  22. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #22
    Sure, I would be interested in seeing the paper.

    I don't do any computational research, I'm just an engineer by trade. In another life, I may have gone on to a PhD, so that's why I have an academic interest still.
     
  23. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #23
    Hmm..

    Gets me wondering if 16GB DDR3 would be recognized in the single-quad core.. WHat Apple says most of the time doesn't compute with reality. I am sure when 16GB Dimms come out, the single-quads can be expanded all the way up to 64 as well.. and 128GB for the duals..




     
  24. mward333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #24
    Hello Roman23, this has been well-discussed above.... this is for mathematical research at the university. I routinely use all of the RAM in my current Mac Pro (see my sig), and it would be very desirable to have 64 GB, so that I can improve the calculating ability of my investigations.

    If you think that my current machine (16 GB) or future machine (hopefully 64 GB) is big, then please note this: My colleague has several machines that each have 128 GB of RAM in them. Those are rack-servers, nonetheless, but still very interesting!!
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #25
    woah. wonderful read OP! goodluck justifying the 3rd party vendors
     

Share This Page