Which on-line seller of RAM is telling the whole truth?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Freeþinker, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Freeþinker macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2005
    northern Virginia
    I really want to know who's telling the complete truth about RAM upgrades for a Mac Pro. OWC insists that RAM modules should only be purchased in matching pairs, while CRUCIAL.com maintains that the Mac Pro does not require matched pairs of modules. Who's telling the whole truth? The RAM capabilities of my Mac Pro are, according to CRUCIAL.com . . .

    Maximum Memory: 16384MB
    Slots: 4 (4 banks of 1)
    Standard Memory: 3072MB removable
    USB Support: 2.x Compliant
    Q: What memory goes into my computer, and will a faster speed be backward-compatible?
    Q: How much memory can my computer handle?
    A: 16384MB.
    Adding the maximum amount of memory will improve performance and help extend the useful life of your system as you run increasingly demanding software applications in the future.
    Q: Do I have to install matching pairs?
    A: No.
    No, you can install modules one at a time, and you can mix different densities of modules in your computer. But if your computer supports dual-channel memory configurations, you should install in identical pairs (preferably in kits) for optimal performance.
    Q: Does my computer support dual-channel memory?
    A: No.
    Your system does not support dual channel.
    Q: Does my computer support ECC memory?
    A: Yes.
    Your system supports ECC. You can put non-ECC modules into an ECC system, but be sure not to mix ECC and non-ECC modules within a system. Install the same type of modules that are already in your system.

    Maybe OWC is telling the whole truth and not just trying to sell double the volume of RAM purchases to gullible Mac Pro owners. Someone tell me who's being honest and who's pulling the wool over our eyes.
  2. UngratefulNinja macrumors 68000


    May 9, 2009
    If you read the whole thing, it says it's because your system is not dual channel. Dual channel needs matching pairs.
  3. Freeþinker thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2005
    northern Virginia
    But then why does OWC say . . .

    Yes, but OWC says that Mac Pros like my model must use the matched pair--even though the other web site says that my computer has no requirement to use a matched pair--as would be the case in systems using dual channel RAM modules. The truth is that I read BOTH web different web sites stated requirements, and each contradicts the other.

    Do you know which web site is getting it right (or not trying to deceive us?)
  4. Freeþinker thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2005
    northern Virginia

    Read what OWC says about the "matched pair" requirement:

    8GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM Module
    NOTE - Matched Sets Required!!
    Module Specifications:

    Size: 8GB (8192MB)
    240-pin SDRAM DIMM
    1024M x 72, Dual Rank ECC Memory Module
    Data Rate = 1066MHz
    Module Bandwidth 8.5GB/s
    CAS 7-7-7-20
    Voltage 1.5V
    Apple Specified Thermal Sensor*
    RoHS Certified
    Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty

    OWC p/n OWC8566D3MPE8GB 8GB modules require that all installed modules be of this same matching part. Other existing Apple or 3rd party 1GB, 2GB and 4GB modules are not supported for use with this kit and need to be removed when this kit is added.

    All OWC Memory is further backed by 15 Day Money Back Guarantee and Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.

    Not only does it say that these modules only work as matched pairs, it says that its RAM modules are not compatible with those made by other manufacturers. Tell me, UngratefulNinja, do you think this is bull**** or not?
  5. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    The OWC part you're looking at is unusual. If you buy it, you'll be replacing whatever's in your computer with the OWC kit, and any additional memory added to the kit has to be from OWC in order to operate properly. This limitation only applies to the 4GB and 8GB modules they sell. That's the price you pay for the low cost of those 4-8GB modules.

    Neither one is "lying". The Mac Pro does not require matched sets, though the Nehalem variants support three- and four-channel RAM, so it's in your best interests to match the RAM if you're going to use 3-4 slots. That specific OWC kit requires that you not mix and match with other memory (and install singly, or in sets of 3 and four). You don't have to use their matched set, so if you just want to add memory to your existing computer without removing your Apple or third-party memory, don't buy the OWC kit you're talking about.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    I have used Crucial exclusively for the past 7 years and have not had an issue with any of it.
  8. Freeþinker thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2005
    northern Virginia
    Thanks, Matticus. That's about the most thorough answer I've been able to get from anyone.

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