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Old August 13th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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4gb in a Mac Pro?

Hi all, I have a Mac Pro ("Early 2009" model, Xeon 3500, Quad-core) that came with 3gb of DDR3 1066MHz RAM. I noticed the empty memory bank - is it safe to say that I can add an additional 1gb stick of the same specification into the system? I wasn't sure and am searching up the info since I've heard newer systems take memory in three's as opposed to two's.

Thanks in advance,
James
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Old August 13th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #2
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Nice, you got your Mac Pro! I am assuming it's the same 2.66 quad core one that I got from
your other thread? If so, yes, you can certainly add another 1gig stick of RAM. Also,
although I think Apple only 'officially' supports 8 gigs of RAM in this computer...I know of
at least one place that sells 4 gig sticks of RAM that have been confirmed to work just fine
with this computer....which gives you 16 gigs of possible RAM (If it's ok for me to say,
OWC is the vendor that sells these.) Make sure that you get the right RAM when you
buy though...
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Old August 13th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
Nice, you got your Mac Pro! I am assuming it's the same 2.66 quad core one that I got from
your other thread? If so, yes, you can certainly add another 1gig stick of RAM. Also,
although I think Apple only 'officially' supports 8 gigs of RAM in this computer...I know of
at least one place that sells 4 gig sticks of RAM that have been confirmed to work just fine
with this computer....which gives you 16 gigs of possible RAM (If it's ok for me to say,
OWC is the vendor that sells these.) Make sure that you get the right RAM when you
buy though...
Hi Gabe. Yes :-) I did. It's nice but I am waiting for my FCS3 Upgrade (I had FCS1) to truly see how comfortable I am with the system. I loaded up an old iDVD project and it took about 10 minutes to encode and dump an .iso - so that's already nice. But the true test is when I install FCP and the other pro apps (like Motion).

Okay, that's good to know. I've read that it actually can take 16gb (think I saw a thread on here). I guess when I get home tonight I'll check what brand is installed on mine and see if the one I can get for cheap is the same brand. Doesn't hurt to go with the exact same stick.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Wong View Post
Hi Gabe. Yes :-) I did. It's nice but I am waiting for my FCS3 Upgrade (I had FCS1) to truly see how comfortable I am with the system. I loaded up an old iDVD project and it took about 10 minutes to encode and dump an .iso - so that's already nice. But the true test is when I install FCP and the other pro apps (like Motion).

Okay, that's good to know. I've read that it actually can take 16gb (think I saw a thread on here). I guess when I get home tonight I'll check what brand is installed on mine and see if the one I can get for cheap is the same brand. Doesn't hurt to go with the exact same stick.
You are going to like FCS3. And even though it's a stock video card, the one that comes
with that Mac does pretty good in Motion (which has a lot of things that make it similar
to AE.....I especially like the camera 'framing' behavior.) The new speed ramping controls
in FCP are really nice too. Once I start doing HD stuff (my next big project will help
fund the camera and such), I am going to get a internal Blu-ray lightscribe burner and
put it in the second optical bay for burning Blu-ray discs.....the drive runs about $230.
Then throw in a couple 1TB internal hard drives for media drives and I'm set. But the
nice thing is, that meanwhile, I am able to use this thing for finishing up some SD
projects....wow it flies through those. But I don't think that FCP can use more than the 3 gigs
of RAM you already have installed (someone correct me if I am wrong!). Although, Motion
probably can....
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Old August 13th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
I think Apple only 'officially' supports 8 gigs of RAM in this computer...
According to the technical specs:

Quote:
Memory

1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM

8-core: Eight memory slots (four per processor) supporting up to 32GB of main memory using 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DIMMs

Quad-core: Four memory slots supporting up to 8GB of main memory using 1GB or 2GB DIMMs
James, be sure to install RAM in matched pairs and that they have the the Apple-approved heat-sinks. Without those you are asking for a world of trouble. Not sure what the ramifications (hehe, ram-ifications...I'm punny) are of inserting more RAM than supported. I'de do more looking into possible consequences before putting your machine at risk.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
According to the technical specs:



James, be sure to install RAM in matched pairs and that they have the the Apple-approved heat-sinks. Without those you are asking for a world of trouble. Not sure what the ramifications (hehe, ram-ifications...I'm punny) are of inserting more RAM than supported. I'de do more looking into possible consequences before putting your machine at risk.
Ya, I know that Apple says that you can only put in 8 gigs of RAM. BUT...as
this link shows:
Mac Pro Memory - Apple Mac Pro Xeon 8-Core and Quad Core Memory Upgrades DDR2 Fully Buffered 240 Pin DIMM 800MHz PC6400 / 667MHz PC5300

Third parties are making Memory for Apple Mac Pro "Nehalem" Xeon processor models
that fully meets Apple Design Specifications including use of specific required heat-shield and chip components.....and making it in 4 gig sticks instead of 2 gig ones.....doubling
the amount of RAM you can put in this computer......4 slots at 4 gigs a slot. This
memory is being made SPECIFICALLY for the very computer James (and I) have.
Of course as always, you need to asses what your need is, as I am sure this voids
any Apple warranty. However, this IS a company that is built on making things for
Mac computers and I know quite a few people who have bought their RAM and installed it and have never heard of any problems....and installing ANY RAM on your own limits your warranty as Apple wants you to use an 'approved Apple tech' and won't cover any 'damage that may result from improper installation.'
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Old August 13th, 2009, 11:44 PM   #7
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@Mike: Very punny ;-) Thanks for the info. I've done some reading here and there and see what you mean. Good to know. I saw someone on eBay selling off Micron RAM at around $12 a stick, taken from the same Mac Pro I have. For an additional gig it seemed pretty decent, however I've not opened up my Mac to see if its the same brand (since it appears Apple puts in different brands on occasion?).

@Gabe: I think the expanded capacity is fine, but I've read that FCP only uses about 4gb maximum? Not sure about Motion. That's a pretty nice link. Crucial sells a 6gb kit for about 170, while your OWC link sells 8gb OWC for thirty dollars more. I suppose I'm just looking now. Although the iLife apps handle photos/video nicely here, it's a matter of when I try the other pro apps. Should have it in on Monday or Tuesday, then we can see whats up.

Also, slightly unrelated, is there a PM inbox in this forum? I can't seem to find it in the User Control Panel ;_;
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Old August 17th, 2009, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Wong View Post
I've read that FCP only uses about 4gb maximum?
Hi James, I believe the figure is 2.5gb max, and needs to be symmetrical on the memory riser for optimal usage.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:03 PM   #9
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Hi James, I believe the figure is 2.5gb max, and needs to be symmetrical on the memory riser for optimal usage.
Thanks for the advice, Greg :-)
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Old August 21st, 2009, 06:58 PM   #10
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On the new Mac Pro's, memory is not dual channel, but triple channel. So six, 12 or 24gb gb in three or six slots is optimal. Who knows why Apple put in four or eight slots. The minimum memory I would put in a Mac Pro is 6gb. For the price of the machine 12gb is not expensive, if not purchased from apple.
OWC is a place people frequently buy apple memory. 2.0GB stick from $26.25 per GB, 4.0GB stick from $39.37 per GB. Shopping will probably find somewhat less expensive Apple specific memory.
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