Running hexacore with 3GB ram only?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 2contagious, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. 2contagious macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi!

    I wanted to ask how slow the 3.33GHz hexacore would really run if I initially leave the 3GB ram in (for financial reasons) until I can afford two 8GB sticks (since apparently running it with only one 8GB stick wouldn't work and I don't want to waste money on 4GB sticks)

    The software I use is Photoshop, Final Cut etc. and I was just wondering how slow this would be, only having 3GB ram.. say compared to a MacBook Pro.
     
  2. pdxplm macrumors newbie

    pdxplm

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I'm hoping to leave the 3gig in and place a single 4gig chip in from OWC. Is this possible?
     
  3. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #3
    Well.. im doing that now... 3GB in the hexacore... but I haven't done anything intensive on it yet. But the slowness, for now, kicks in when switching application focus (i.e. context switching) - this will of course cause memory to be paged to the HDD and whatnot.

    But it's still pretty fast.

    In the meantime, I'm paying attention to the page size so I know how much RAM I should get in the future (for now, 12 seems like a safe bet... till i start heavy multitasking with large apps, heh).
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    The computer can run with 3GB, but right now with only a browser open on my machine, I'm already using more than 3.5GB of RAM.
     
  5. 2contagious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Thanks, I guess I will go for 3GB then and upgrade later. How are you liking your hexacore btw? Did you get it with 1 or 2 SuperDrives (if I only get one, the case would still feature the second optical drive flap at the front, right?) Also, how is the noise?
     
  6. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    Loving the machine - it's faster and powerful than anything I've owned, what isn't there to love :p

    Got 1 SuperDrive.. and yes, it still features the flap/2nd bay - planning on putting a Blu-Ray drive in there in the future.

    Noise is fine. Apart from the HDD - the 2TB drive is a Hitachi DeskStar which is fairly loud. Today I was playing Team Fortress 2 for several hours and after quitting the game it still sounded the same as before as there didn't seem to be any fan-speed increase and temperatures were still 30-40C.

    But yea, aside from the HDD, the droning noise doesn't bother me - unfortunately it's a bit hard to describe though in relative terms... hmmm...
     
  7. 2contagious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
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    UK
    #7
    Adding a blue ray drive was my plan, too :) will be good for backups.

    Do you know if it's just the 2TB that's a 'loud' Hitachi? I was planning on only getting a 1TB drive. I wonder if I can open my external hard drive (as shown here, it's a lacie: http://skeena.net/blog/lacie 301304U disassembly.pdf) and just use that drive in the second drive bay..
     
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #8
    FWIW I used my previous '06 2.66 QC w/ only 3GB RAM. It was annoying at times (lots of beachballs) when editing RAW photos and also working in Motion, but otherwise it wasn't a bad experience even w/ lots of "everyday" apps open like browsers, Word, Preview, etc.

    Given your options, if you think you'll be adding RAM within a few months then get the 6 core since it's easier to upgrade RAM than a proc. But if its going to be awhile longer then you may be better off w/ the QC and spending your $ on RAM.

    I'd rather have a slower proc w/ lots of RAM than a faster machine bottle necked b/c of lack of RAM. I had this issue w/ the '06 MP. The problem w/ that machine was that for the first couple of years the RAM was just ungodly expensive. By the time it became reasonably priced I couldn't justify buying more RAM b/c I was too close to replacing the machine.
     
  9. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    The 1TB drive is apparently a WD Caviar Black... those are somewhat loud but i think quieter compared to the Hitachi.

    You should be able to use the drive inside the lacie since they should use standard SATA drives... but I don't know about them in particular. Because, for example, the WD MyBooks seem to have some sort of "encryption" layer that prevents the drive from functioning as normal when taken out (the data is unaccessible). The same might be the case with lacie... you should do some research into people who have taken out the drive and put it inside any other case/computer. I highly doubt that they would follow the WD route but just to be safe of course.
     
  10. keewe macrumors member

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    Mar 18, 2010
  11. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    OpenGL: 32.94fps
    CPU: 8.64pts
     

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