Reasonable Amount of RAM in Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by irwanation, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. irwanation macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #1
    Hey all. I'm expecting to take delivery of a MacPro early tomorrow morning. Like most people would, I configured mine with the least amount of factory RAM so I'll most likely bump it up. I just wanted to know if any existing users could share some experience on the difference before and after upgrading RAM.

    For your info I mainly use my computer for automotive design - Photoshop, Painter for sketching and rendering as well as AliasStudio and various 3d rendering apps in windows. Oh yes and also aperture for my photography.

    I guess what I'm really asking is how much ram does it take before you stop realizing any practical real world benefits.

    Many thanks in advanced.
     
  2. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    Personally, I'd say for you, go with 8GB of Ram.

    Buy the OWC Ram, 4 x 2GB DIMMS, and take out the Apple Ram (set aside for troubleshooting).

    Personal opinion only.

    -Kevin

    In my experience, I have 11GB....mainly because I kept the old Apple Ram (2 x 512) and Crucial Ram (2 x 1GB) in the system, and added 8GB of OWC Ram (2 x4GB) to it. I do some video, as well as web development and PS. Most I've used at once so far is 5GB. Most was used by PS. So I'd say in the long run I probably would only go with 8GB....although since I had the rest, I kept it.
     
  3. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #3
    I strongly second the above. The best way to go (and it's so cheap, I don't know why you wouldn't) would be to add 8GB to the stock 2GB, which will give you 10GB of RAM. That is more than ample for just about every task you could throw at a Mac Pro, and it will ensure peak performance. You can later go up to 16GB with another 8GB, replacing the stock chips in the Mac Pro. The older models come stock with 512k modules, the new (2008) ones come with 1GB modules. The RAM should be installed in matched pairs, and this is detailed in the user manual.

    OWC - http://www.macsales.com

    667MHz modules - $314.99 for 4x2GB (8GB)
    800MHz modules - $399.97 for 4x2GB (8GB)

    If you want to upgrade your Mac at any point to 32GB, you will need to use 4GB modules, but those are pricey. The same 8GB in 4GB modules (800MHz) will cost you $799...the difference in adding 16GB in 2GB vs. 4GB modules is $799 vs $1599...so you get my point.

    I say spring for the 4x2GB upgrade as previously recommended above.
     
  4. Soop53 macrumors regular

    Soop53

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #5
    I think I saw a Barefeats report where the best Ram set up (speed wise) would be to fill all slots. 8 x 1 g is better than 4 x 2 or 4 x 2 plus the 2 x 1 g that came in the 2008 Mac. Just reporting what I read. Look back through the threads, it is there somewhere.

    Problem I see if you purchased 8 x 1 g is you would be stick with 1 gs. At least, purchasing 4 x 2, now and adding 4 x 2 later would be better in the long run

    Just a humble opinion.
     
  5. amik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #6
    Absolutely correct on the barefeats test. The results are here http://www.barefeats.com/harper3.html

    You can also get optimum performance by doing the 4x2 + 4x1 utilizing the two stock 1gb sticks plus two additional 1gb sticks. This would be 12 gb for around $520 and would get you the full 7.5 GB/s by utilizing all 8 slots.
     
  6. Soop53 macrumors regular

    Soop53

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #7
    Thanks for the website...I could not find it.
     
  7. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #8
    So, from my standpoint (I have a 3.0GHz Quad on the way, with 4x 512MB installed - 2GB total)

    Would I be OK leaving those four 512k chips in the machine, paired, and then adding four 2GB chips, an addition 8GB of RAM to the system? This would fill all the slots, and installed correctly they will be paired, or at least theoretically this seems like it would be the case?

    The difference is paying $314 vs $700 for RAM, and $700 is steep, plus I'd like to use the RAM in the machine if I can, unless it's going to choke performance.

    Thanks
     
  8. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #9
    They say you will lose some performance but it won't really be noticeable under normal conditions and for that price difference it's not worth it.
     
  9. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #10
    OK, that's what I am thinking about doing. 8GB will be enough as is, and 10GB will give even better performance anyways. But, I do plan on eventually filling all slots with 2GB chips and maxing at 16GB. Maybe in a few months.

    Thanks for you input!
    -Ward
     
  10. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #11
    Yeah that's pretty much the way of doing it just slowly fill it up.

    Good Luck!
     
  11. irwanation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #12
    Wow guys thanks for all the input. All you posts really opened a new set of options for me. I didnt know you could get macpro ram for those prices. Seems almost absurb. Hahaha. I was considering 4x1GB to fill up 6 slots. Leaving 2 slots for future extras. I wanted to wait and see how it felt. I mean my Macpro is still hours away from reaching my doorstep. I live in Italy, no I'm not Italian, I just live here and the 20% tax on everything is insane. I was going to get a friend in Hong Kong to send me ram from asia but they dont have stuff like crucial and OWC there. The best deal he could get me is something around 360euros for 2x2GB of Kingston FBDIMMS. Then there's the thing I read about in threads and reviews about the Kingston not having adequate heat sinks.

    I think I will go with the 8GB - 4x2GB route from OWC. I'll leave 2 slots open for the future. I'm also quite stretched at the moment. I'm only doing this because the prices just seem too attractive to ignore. I shall NOT get the ram shipped to Italy however. The Italian customs are a pain to deal with. I will get them sent to my house in Hong Kong then my friend can bring them to me when he visits me at the end of this month.

    One thing though.. does anybody know about macsales' reputation? I've never ordered anything from them before. Never knew of their existence before tonight to be honest.. And also how are they interms of shipping punctuality? I have a tight window to get it shipped to HK before my friend leaves HK for Italy.

    Again, many thanks for all your input guys.
     
  12. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #13
    They are a great company to deal with. Very fast to ship and good customer service.

    Not sure on shipping to HK. I know they have a live chat on their site where you should be able to ask.

    -Kevin
     
  13. Soop53 macrumors regular

    Soop53

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #14
    That is what my plan is...
     
  14. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #15
    start with 8GB. I'd purchase 4x 2GB and sell the Apple RAM to make that dough back.
     
  15. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #16
    Never sell the Apple Ram. First off, you won't make back any decent money on it now that 3rd party ram has come down in price.

    Secondly and most important, if you ever have an issue with the system, you'll need the Apple ram before Apple will troubleshoot. They will right off the bat question the 3rd party ram.

    You don't have to keep the Apple ram in the system....if you want put it away in the anti-static bags for safe keeping.

    -Kevin
     
  16. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    Good point - didn't think about that. Shucks though - that was my plan to slightly ease the burden of a forty-five hundred dollar computer purchase.
     
  17. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #18
    transintl.com makes better ram than OWC. the price is the same.
    Barefeats.com recommends transintl, just as almost any LA movie studio.
    My 2 cents.

    PD: Yea get 8GB (4x2GB)
     
  18. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #19
    I second and vouch for Transintl, I ordered 16gb 8x2gb and it runs very nice, no ecc errors or any kind of errors and heat sink looks exactly like apple's if not better since it is thicker and more fins!
     
  19. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #20
    wow maybe once i actually start engineering things ill need a mac pro with 10 gb of ram.

    as of now i am using a macbookpro with 2 gb of ram stock and i opened a good 20 apps today to see how much ram it would eat up, but i think my cpu was the first thing to take all the grunt work. i didn't really do anything but just to see.

    sorry i have no info but am just jealous and want a mac pro 3.2 ghz with 32 gb of ram and 3 30in screens just to wright x code, write on pages and itunes and email stuff.\:rolleyes: ya i have 2 screens and its just amazing. i will never buy a computer from now on without 2 screens. now i am just digressing
     
  20. irwanation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #21
    NO SIGN OF MAC PRO YET as of 10.20am. Anyway, I shall take transintl into consideration as well guys. In my current situation I will just go for the company that can ship them to HK in time! Any ram beats buying ram here in italy.

    Now.. time to go down to the concierge to see if he has a package for meeee. Incase they delivered while I was asleep.
     
  21. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    8 Gigs? 8 Gigs! You crazy kids don't know how good you have it. I remember when 512M was overkill. Just kidding, I'm going with 4G because once my Mac Pro comes in all I'm really going to use it for is checking my mail and surfing the internet, and maybe a few iLife apps.
     
  22. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #23
    Wow...pretty heavy usage. :p Good thing you got the Mac Pro. :D

    -Kevin
     
  23. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #24
    Yeh, I was being kinda funny. But it's just the best Mac you can get for the money. I plan to do a lot of home movie stuff with the new HD camcorder I got for Christmas. So I'll need a powerful machine that can be upgraded with more hdds and RAM as I need it. I also want to get into photography and create some music. All as a hobbie of course. So I'll most likely upgrade from iPhoto and Garagband to Aperture and Logic later on, if I need to. It will be nice to know that with the Mac Pro I can do it. Unlike now with my MacBook, I'm kinda capped as to what I can do.
     
  24. irwanation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #25
    Ahh delivery received. Installing all the apps now to get a real sense of working performance. Kyre, congrats on your macpro. And yes, I do remember the days when 512 was considered overkill. Didn't stop me from having a 512 machine though. That was back in 2000. All I did was game on it all day. This Macpro however is a serious working machine. I've reserved a batch of photos taken earlier this week. Can't wait to give RAW processing a go once I install Aperture.

    Cheers everyone.
     

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