Upgrading Mac Pro 4.1 (RAM & SSD)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mac Husky, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Mac Husky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #1
    Hallo!

    I am going to upgrade my Mac Pro early 2009 4.1 (Nehalem 2.66 quad-core). Using 6GB RAM so far I want to go for 12 or 24GB RAM at least. Not using VM or stuff like that. Most time Adobe CS5 (Photoshop, sometimes Premiere Pro). Do you guys think, that 24GB (3x8GB) would be an overkill and 12 should be enough at all? I would not mind the difference in price. Here you can see prices of RAM sticks in Germany: klick. They should all work well. Even 3 of the 8GB sticks as I read the last days.

    Further more I want to go for a SSD - having OCZ Vertex 3 or Crucial M4 in my mind. Knowing, that my Mac Pro has SATA2 only and that OCZ Vertex 2 or Agility 2 might do a good job also. I found some articles who said, that there might be some benefits by using the first ones (Garbage Collection, TRIM-Option). Want to have 240/256GB versions.

    Have a RAID0 with 3 HDDs on my system right know, but had some difficulties with Lion during the installation. So I want to put the OSX and other software on the SSD and let the data on the RAID0 only.

    Wanted to do that all in December. But know I found this posting in an other thread: klick. Price cut. Don´t know, if I should wait a little longer with the replacement from the SSD?!

    Suggestions to this upgrades are very welcome.
    Thx.
     
  2. toastosx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    #2
    My thoughts

    I have a dual 2.26 8 core mac pro 2009 (4,1) with 32Gb of RAM, ATI 5870, Blackmagic intensity pro card and and external PCI card for eSata drives.... internally, i have 3 bays RAID-0 (3 x 2TB WD BLACK CAV) the 4th bay is a 240 GB OWC Mercury PRO SSD (with CLEAN install of LION) ... I then added 1 100GB OWC MERCURY EXTREME PRO RE in the lower bay and removed the CD/DVD SUPER DRIVE and put in the other 100GB OWC RE SSD and made them RAID-0 (easy ) then loaded it with SNOW LEOPARD and made 2 partitions .. I have a total of 6 HDs in my Mac Pro.
    I don't need the DVD/CD player because i have cloned or loaded clean installs of both OS's to external firewire drives i can boot from.

    All seems to work fine 8 mos later, so when LION becomes more stable i will swap the drives. I am also going to buy the "Trans Intl DX4 Mounting Station" which allows for 4 more drives (raided) without loosing any others, total drives would be 10.
    You do have to install a raid control card but no worries, i have one slot left for it. I also back up via eSata cable and firewire to a 6TB G RAID drive and a couple LaCie drives.
    So far it all works well... i clone my SSDs each day to the firewire drive just in case.
    I run heavy apps (AE, Cinema 4d, FCP, Motion, Shake etc ) but i have my boot drive down to 26GB give or take, i just move all the junk to the raided WD drives.
    Pretty snappy.. hope this helps. As for waiting? do it when you need it.
     
  3. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #3
    Do you run out of memory an page out to the HDD? 12GB should be fine if 6 has worked ok for you and no VM plans. Remember it is not any faster with more memory, just goes farther. Vertex 2 is supposedly more stable than Vertex 3 (lots of premature deaths on SF-2200). Crucial m4 will require TRIM enabler or your speeds will eventually suffer. That's all I got. Enjoy your upgrade.:)
     
  4. Mac Husky, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

    Mac Husky thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #4
    Just waiting for having more time to do it ;-) The mentioned awaited price cut is not sure to happen. If I knew there will be one, I would wait a while with the SSD. But who knows ;-)

    I guess they should, yes. On the other hand I do not want to upgrade RAM again later on. But finally I think it will not be necessary at all. As I do have no VM plans ´cause I do not need it. Just thinking about 24GB RAM due to the possibility to do that :)

    Thx. What I heared is, that there ist no Crucial problem like that any longer
    since firmware update 0009?! It has been that way during the first weeks and OCZ was prefered by lot´s of users in Germany. But it changed and the Crucial is supposed to be the better one now. Damned tests ;-)
     
  5. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #5
    Hello,

    I would go for a full use of the 4 RAM slots that you have. Triple channel memory, at least on current Macs, is nothing but a theoretical benefit. More ram is always preferable, even at the *supposed* cost of switching back to dual-channel.

    I did some 6GB Vs 8GB tests with Photoshop some time ago, and in some cases (light load) it didn't make any difference, and in others (heavier load) the 8GB gave faster results.

    If you're not sure that 12GB is significantly more than enough, go for 16GB.

    Loa
     
  6. Mac Husky, Nov 9, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011

    Mac Husky thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #6
    I found this one. It says "The 12GB is the magic number for most users, a no-brainer. But users working regularly with big files should be thinking about 16GB or 24GB or even 32GB."
     
  7. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #7
    Hello,

    That's pretty much what I said: triple memory channel is meaningless. I repeat: unless you're absolutely sure that 12GB is plenty, go with 16GB.

    Loa
     
  8. Mac Husky thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #8
    In my ears the article sounds like "go for tripple-channel unless you are working with huge files all day long"?! BUT of course: if you feel like running out of RAM with 12 get 16. OK.

    And do you think, that 24GB (3x8) will be "RAM-overflow" not having any VM ware now and in future, also?

    It would dubble the costs and I could spend that money for the SSD :)
    On the other hand I do not want to change RAMs again later on.

    Thx.
     
  9. Mac Husky thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #9
    I am confused, as in an other thread I found, that ECC is not needed at all although written in several articles an infos I found so far. That would be much cheaper in the end. Planned the Kingston ECC RAM mentioned earlier. But costs could be 50% not going for ECC RAM?!

    What should I do? Any experiences in a Mac Pro early 2009 with non ECC RAM? Especially from Crucial (Balistix or so)?
     
  10. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
  11. Mac Husky thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #11
    Thx.

    Most people say it will work or should.

    Had a call from crucial today. Using their RAM planner also says ECC. Of course, because they want to sell it. They won´t go for non ECC.

    Has anyone here upgradet a Mac Pro 4.1 with non ECC RAM and can tell me, what RAM sticks were used and how it worked out?
     

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