12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2013 3:14 PM by The hatter Branched to a new discussion.
artistjoh Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

Looking for some RAM advice. I have an early 2009 Mac Pro 2.26 with 12GB RAM consisting of 6 x 2GB with DIMM slots 4 and 8 empty.

 

Wondering how much benefit there would be to increasing it to 16GB or even 24GB.

 

I also am curious about something that seems peculiar. My RAM was originally installed by Apple so it must be "approved" BUT, the configuration of 3 sticks each top and bottom is different to Apple support documents for the Mac Pro that recommends RAM should be in pairs and that where 6GB of 2GB sticks it should be 4 sticks top and 2 sticks bottom. Clearly Apple went against that by installing 3 top and 3 bottom

 

I also notice that DDR3 PC3-8500, DDR3 (ECC) 4GB sticks are sold as kits of 3 (total 12GB) I could buy 2 kits and go to 24GB at a reasonable price.

 

What is recommended by you guys and do you know what is the best configuration for RAM?

  • 1. Re: RAM Recommendations
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    Check prices at DataMemorySystems and consider 4 x 2GB on one memory bank and 3 x 8GB on other.

     

    How To Install and Remove Memory Mac Pro

    https://support.apple.com/kb/HT4433

     

    Mac Pro 2009 - 2012

     

    http://www.datamemorysystems.com/apple-mac-pro-quad-core-intel-xeon-nehalem-2-66 ghz-mb871ll/a-early-2009-memory-upgrades/

  • 2. Re: RAM Recommendations
    artistjoh Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    Why the asymetric configuration? Does it not matter? Would the 32GB give me a noticeable improvement over 24Gb?

  • 3. Re: RAM Recommendations
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,280 points)

    different to Apple support documents for the Mac Pro that recommends RAM should be in pairs and that where 6GB of 2GB sticks it should be 4 sticks top and 2 sticks bottom.

    That recommendation is for the 2008 and previous models. It does not apply to your model.

     

    ---

     

    In the 2009 through 2012, Install modules as individual modules on each side, up to three of the four sockets filled. Two modules of any sizes will be faster than one. Slightly better performance is obtained by matched triples. Since the fourth slot is an extension of the third slot, using it is very slightly slower, but is far outweighed by having enough RAM available.

     

    My rule of thumb has been to buy the densest modules that do not cost sharply more than two of the next-smaller size. At this writing the 8GB DIMMs are almost the same as 2*4GB DIMMs, so the 8GB DIMMs are the "sweet spot" as I see it.

     

    ----

     

    The hatter is used to the exhorbitant cost of modules for the 2008 and previous. I think he is mercifully trying to save you money. These ones for the 2009 and later are affordable by comparison to his.

     

    I would suggest 2*8GB on each side to start. Then when you add the third on either side, you will see a very slight speedup as well as having more RAM. If you get lucky, some of your 2Gb DIMMs will inter-operate with the new ones and can be left in the higher-numbered slots (densest always in lower numbered slots on each side).

  • 4. Re: RAM Recommendations
    artistjoh Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder wrote:

     

     

    I would suggest 2*8GB on each side to start. Then when you add the third on either side, you will see a very slight speedup as well as having more RAM. If you get lucky, some of your 2Gb DIMMs will inter-operate with the new ones and can be left in the higher-numbered slots (densest always in lower numbered slots on each side).

    If I understand you correctly you are suggestiong that going beyond 32GB is possible. Then why not 8GB x 3 each side?

  • 5. Re: RAM Recommendations
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    Your 24GB limits your future potential upgrades. Using CS6? then 24 to 48GB are common and popular.

     

    The main justification for a 2009 2.26 x 8-core was not the cores, that was a loss, it was mire DIMM slots and the high cost in 2009 for 4GB DIMMs.

     

    8 x 4GB locks you down to 32GB .... and you haven't addressed what you run but 12GB is lean.

     

    Another easy upgrade isa 240GB SSD Samsung $170 or $96 for 120GB.

     

    Lastly the graphic card you have.

    The processors can even be upgraded to 3.2GHZ which should show real benefit.

  • 6. Re: RAM Recommendations
    artistjoh Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    Great to know more than 32GB RAM is feasible.

     

     

    The hatter wrote:

     

     

    Lastly the graphic card you have.

    The processors can even be upgraded to 3.2GHZ which should show real benefit.

    I am a bit confused by what you mean here. I am already looking at the possibility as money allows of upgrading the graphics card, probably to the ATI Radeon 5870, but are you suggesting the CPU is upgradable? and if so wouldn't that be a rather expensive or difficult option?

  • 7. Re: RAM Recommendations
    artistjoh Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    The hatter wrote:

     

     

    8 x 4GB locks you down to 32GB .... and you haven't addressed what you run but 12GB is lean.

    I mostly use Photoshop CS6, Illustrator CS6, Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro, Toon Boom Sudio. I am likely to start some 3D animation in the next year.

  • 8. Re: RAM Recommendations
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    What do you do on your computer? Sure you can add 8 x 16GB too. 6 x 8GB WOULD BE IDEAL but overkill.

     

    Your system is I/O bound with storage setup, processors, maybe CS6 andvyou need GTX 770 graphic cards.

     

    That is why I went with conservative 4 x 2GB existing and 8's on other side. Was not because of pricing of older fbdimms though you did and misunderstood 4,1 section How to install and configure memory.

    I suggest you read through over a couple days at

    http://www.macperformanceguide.com

  • 9. Re: RAM Recommendations
    artistjoh Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    That Mac Performance site is great. Thank you

     

    Looking on the nVidea site at the GTX 770 and 760 cards there is only mention of Windows support but goes back to XP. I run Snow Leopard. Is that okay or am I limited to older graphics cards? (I have lots of good reasons for not upgrading past 10.6)

  • 10. Re: RAM Recommendations
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    10.6.8 limits you to basically Apple's 5770.

     

    Go to Barefeats.com to see the "big guns" - the GTX 770 being one of the top dogs.

     

    PC cards are semi supported in 10.8.3+ which is one of the few good reasons to go to Mountain Lion.

     

    MacRumors and others specialize more in such cards. I was using it as an example mainly.

     

    http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1

  • 11. Re: RAM Recommendations
    artistjoh Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    the 5770 and 5870 or the Quadro 4000 seem to be realistic choices considering I have no intention of going past Snow Leopard for the next few years, The Quadro 4000 seems to get lots of bad reviews as well as being expensive. What do you think?

  • 12. Re: RAM Recommendations
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    unless and until you say that you need zyx with CUDA support then of course Q4K does not make sense. Waste of $800 (PNY Amazon). Nor would the 5870 $449.

     

    Look at the test results on Barefeats they have them - the 5770 is fine though 3 yrs old Mac 4 yrs old since it came out.

     

    You have made zero mention what you run on your mac to make any answer anything but a generality and can't get into specifics for what configuration fits the needs. You do understand there is no one size fits all or that it does not matter.

     

    More RAM by itself does not equal faster or perform better. But if you use 10s of 1000s of photos and they get large, yes.

     

    And putting L4 or Aperture Catalogue on a large SSD works too - takes a while to absort just all the things on MPG site.