Upgrading Mac Pro Ram: Does the Riser Matter? Is the upgrade from 2GB worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by smitha96, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. smitha96 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #1
    I currently have 2GB of Ram in my Aug 2006 2.66ghz mac pro in a 4x512MB configuration on Riser 1.

    Q1: I want to add 4GB in 2x2GB configuration (about $125 upgrade). Should I put them on Riser 1 with a 2x512MB pair, or put them alone on Riser 2?

    I use my Mac Pro as a non-professional. It holds all our HD family videos (about 1TB worth), family records, email, etc. and acts as a media server to the rest of the house (Apple TV, etc). Right now I have 12MB of ram free and 600MB inactive. My computer will run faster with more ram, right? Even though I'm not a crazy FCP or CS3 user?

    Q2: Will the upgrade help my computer run faster? Is it worth it?

    Thanks as always!
     
  2. Supaklaw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    Any RAM upgrade is a speed increase, and generally 2 GB is enough for casual users, I wouldn't call it necessary. The 2008 Mac Pros were designed to access RAM a little differently so it's actually more important for those models to upgrade to a minimum of 4 sticks of RAM.

    I would say the answer is a qualified yes, upgrade. OWC has best prices and I believe they have a page dedicated to showing speed variances for Mac Pro models so you can see actual data on how much speed you'd be getting. If you are unsure, and are happy with current speeds you don't absolutely need more RAM.

    OWC also has charts as to what risers to install RAM into if you do choose to upgrade. Hope that helps.
     
  3. viking396 macrumors member

    viking396

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #4
    The way the Mac Pro uses memory is more like how a server uses it, after all this thing minus the storage solution is built like most decent servers using Xeon CPU's. This machine BEGS for more memory and trust me, you will use it more and more. I am now at 10gigs and will be upgrading to 16 next week, memory is cheap (as long as you don't buy from Apple, use OWC!) and the system will thank you for it. ;)
     
  4. Supaklaw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Follow the chart Umbongo posted here. You want to add all your current RAM, but you will add the 2GB chips in first, with the 4x512 behind, I believe it is #6C on the chart.
     
  5. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    I just cannot buy into that statement. Our servers can mirror memory within it, or have online spares for memory as well. Additionally, the FSB is higher, and the machines have out-of-band management capabilities. None of these you will find on the Mac Pro.

    A machine doesn't beg for memory. It is the applications and processes that determine that. At some point, you have no effective gains in speed or performance. Yes, a Unix system will use the additional memory, then puts it into an inactive state where it can be reused later.

    I'd love to know why you need 16GB of RAM for on a desktop. Unless you're using some programs that are pushing your active memory to 100%, it's a waste.
     
  6. Supaklaw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    Agreed 16 GB is not necessary for a casual user, but 2008 Mac Pros are designed to have 4x1GB minimum RAM installed to get a serious baseline jump in speed, it's how the motherboard is designed. To have under 4 GB is a waste on those models. The OP of course is referring to a 2006 Mac Pro, so that point is moot.

    But the statement "All RAM = massive speed boost" is false. It is completely dependent on the application's needs, and the speed and quality of the RAM will also affect that as well. In my experience the current (in the last 3-4 years) I think 4 GB of RAM is a reasonable amount, 2GB is on the low side.
     

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