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Cost-Effective RAM Advice

Last response: in Memory
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December 13, 2012 10:00:47 AM

Hi,

I have an Apple Mac Pro running OS X 10.5.8. Must have got it in early 2009, so it's getting on abit, but has 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors, so it can still hold it's own :-).

Any way, I only bought 2GB of RAM for it as I thought that Apple overpriced it and I always intended to buy more later and feel that now would probably be a good time to do so. My "About This Mac" menu tells me that I currently have 2 x 1GB's of "DDR2 FB-DIMM", with a speed of 800Mhz, and a total of 8 slots.

I have run the Crucial Memory scanner, which basically confirms this, but only "guarantees" compatibility for these two types:

8GB - http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid...
4GB - http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid...

If possible I'd like to get something a little cheaper, but I don't know what else would be compatible. Would any DDR2 ram fit my system? My system isn't failing badly or anything, which is why I don't want to fork out much. I'd just like another 2 or 4GB to help with video games as most seem to be around 2GB minimum these days.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!
a b } Memory
December 13, 2012 10:19:58 AM

From some quick research, I don't think you can add just any DDR2 in. The system uses FB-DIMM's, which was a different kind of RAM that has onboard memory controllers. Since memory controllers have since been moved to the motherboard and now the CPU, FB-DIMM is pretty much obsolete, so I suspect its expensive due to its scarcity nowadays.
FB-DIMM also had its own RAM slot design, so standard DDR2 wont even fit into the system.

The RAM is also ECC (Error Correcting Code), which drives up the price a fair bit on its own even on modern RAM.

Source.
http://www.maclife.com/article/features/ultimate_guide_...
December 13, 2012 10:25:33 AM

manofchalk said:
From some quick research, I don't think you can add just any DDR2 in. The system uses FB-DIMM's, which was a different kind of RAM that has onboard memory controllers. Since memory controllers have since been moved to the motherboard and now the CPU, FB-DIMM is pretty much obsolete, so I suspect its expensive due to its scarcity nowadays.
FB-DIMM also had its own RAM slot design, so standard DDR2 wont even fit into the system.

The RAM is also ECC (Error Correcting Code), which drives up the price a fair bit on its own even on modern RAM.

Source.
http://www.maclife.com/article/features/ultimate_guide_...


Well that would suck. I just looked on another website, mrmemory.co.uk, followed the links for Mac Pro, Mac Pro 2008 2.8Ghz 8-core Intel Xeon, which seems to be my system and I got this:

http://www.mrmemory.co.uk/memory-ram-upgrades/model/App...

Much cheaper than on crucial.com. I'm guessing any of those would be compatible, right? Thanks for the reply btw.
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December 13, 2012 10:30:30 AM

Oh, and would I need to get another 2x1GB to go with what I've already got, or could I get like 1x2GB, or 2x2GB?
a b } Memory
December 13, 2012 10:38:30 AM

Far as I can tell it should work.
The RRP on the manufacturers website is always above market price, so not surprised at the price difference.

Ideally you want to buy another identical kit, but failing that you need to buy a kit thats as similar as you can get. So another 2x1GB I think.
Though you could remove the existing kit entirely and get whatever kit you want to replace it.
!