In fact, the new 16 GB upgrade was not recognized right away and I had to swap the two riser cards, top for bottom, to see all the RAM. I've done one round of testing using Rember the GUI for memtest and it has run tests through "Bit Spread" without registering any errors in the 17 GB or so that it is testing. My inclination is to leave well enough alone, but I am curious as to whether my installation the best for the long run both with respect to heat dissipation and memory access. The common confusion is to think that 'a pair' is one stick in the same place on each riser - because that's how the machine shipped when new.
The Best RAM Upgrade for Old MacBook Pro
Listen now. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Mac Pro 3,1 memory upgrade Ask Question. Asked 2 years, 5 months ago. Active 2 years, 5 months ago. Viewed times.
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The pairs on a 3,1 don't work how you'd expect. In short the 2 risers are not mirrors for each pair. OK, research done. You have the best config, afaik. Tetsujin Tetsujin 67k 15 15 gold badges silver badges bronze badges. Gosh, I remember that setup - confused me so much early on that I had to save a screenshot of the table on my iPhone as a point of reference!
I then added 4x2GB, which really messed with my head. It now has 26GB, errkk You should find that it starts up considerably faster the 2nd time assuming you have adequate memory. Of course, this cannot occur with too little memory, and the responsiveness of your Mac will suffer. Although the Mac Pro allows installation of up to 32GB RAM, nearly all applications are still bit, which means they cannot use more than an absolute maximum of 3. This includes programs like Photoshop CS4. At first glance, this limitation would suggest that having more than 8GB or so of memory would be pointless.
However, Photoshop testing with large files disproves this; Mac OS X caching puts extra memory to valuable use on any Mac.
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An extra 2GB really matters and is indeed adequate for moderate usage levels. While four 4 gigabytes of memory is enough for many users and uses, Photoshop CS4 can scarf up 3GB for itself alone. Add a RAW-file converter, mail, web browser, etc, while using Photoshop, and 4GB becomes a bare minimum for consistent performance. Click the More Info… button to see memory status. It can detect and correct single-bit errors. ECC memory errors indicate poor quality memory—ECC errors should not occur under normal operating conditions. Return or exchange such memory immediately, and be sure to run a stress test as described in Testing Memory for Reliability.
Theoretical technical discussions [ 1 ], [ 2 ], [ 3 ] about memory bandwidth transfer speed are of little practical value, though they do establish general performance expectations. For many programs, memory bandwidth will have little or no effect on performance, but for some programs the impact can be significant.
Measured results for specific programs are most persuasive, since all that matters is actual performance of programs you actually use. I tested the speed of various combinations. That could mean a significant performance gain for programs that use large amount of memory, like Photoshop. Dual-rank modules offer slightly more performance than single-rank modules. Observe that four dual rank modules provide twice the bandwidth of two single-rank modules.
Recommendations —. There are 8 memory slots. So there can be 2, 4, 6 or 8 modules installed. The riser boards are labeled as to which slot is which. The performance of any specific program might or might not benefit from the optimal configuration, but some programs certainly will. Bear in mind that paying for a faster CPU eg 3. The claim is that filling all 8 memory slots will in theory reduce memory performance over using just 4 slots due to the nature of the serial data transfer in an FB-DIMM—increased latency of nanoseconds.
Furthermore, Photoshop test results show clearly that such theoretical concerns are a waste of time; performance for any challenging task depends on the total amount of memory. For more on the virtues of ECC memory see the Jan 24, diglloyd. Memory becomes less reliable as it heats up. Nearly all computer designs address this problem the straightforward way—by running fans at obnoxiously loud levels—appropriate for a room full of servers, but inappropriate for a home, or for video or sound processing.
The whisper-quiet design of the Mac Pro precludes the noisy fan solution. Instead, Apple specifies the use of substantial heat sinks on the memory modules, which draw heat away from the memory chips, and allow a relatively low fan speed to keep them at a reliable operating temperature.
A problem develops if the memory that is installed in the Mac Pro has inadequate heat sinks; the module will become quite hot and memory errors can begin to occur. This is what occurred with one of four modules I originally purchased from SATech.
But ECC memory can correct only 1 bit per byte; errors in two or more bits per byte can be detected but not corrected, and the system would crash. Note that 2GB modules can be expected to run warmer than MB modules, because they have twice the memory density and twice the chips 4X the capacity.
However, as memory chip technology evolves, newer modules even higher capacity ones end up reducing chip count; as of November there are 4GB modules with the same number of chips as once were used on 1GB modules. See the Memory installation section earlier in this document.
That is precisely what the MemoryTester run-stress-test command does. The MemoryTester utility is a bit program, and can test all available memory. Of the above, one of the SATech standard modules exhibited ECC memory errors and all four were exchanged for the 3 modules—see the March 7, blog entry for details. The remaining modules have never shown ECC errors during stress testing or otherwise. The program Hardware Monitor was used to observe memory module temperatures as well as ambient temperature and the various fan speeds; these items all have internal temperature sensors which can be read by a program such as Hardware Monitor.
Originally extremely expensive, even 16GB is now a fraction of the price of a Mac Pro. While Apple offers top-quality memory, it comes at a daunting price even as memory prices have dropped. Fortunately, there are lower-priced alternatives which perform as well, and remain reliable under severe operating conditions.source
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Prices as of November are historically low and there is a good chance that memory prices could as much as double later in most memory producers are now losing money on everything they sell. However, all eight slots will then be full. See How to Configure a Mac Pro. The build quality looks just like the Apple modules, but pricing is far more attractive. OWC has these modules manufactured to their specifications.
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