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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Mac Pro RAM: where to buy?

Mac Pro RAM: where to buy?
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Aug 19, 2006, 04:18 PM
 
As we all know, the Mac Pro has some special requirements when it comes to RAM. Not only does it want a really exotic and expensive type, but Apple recommends these great big heat sinks. I've heard enough bad things about the normal non-heatsink RAM that I want to be sure to get something with the cooling that Apple recommends.

The trouble is, nobody's selling them right now! Apple has them, and Other World Computing has them, and that's it as far as I can see. I actually ordered 2GB from 18004Memory.com after calling them and specifically asking if they had the Apple-recommended heat sink. They said they did, the memory arrived and it didn't. Fortunately they're letting me send it back, but be extra careful of ordering memory without seeing a picture of it first. The vendors that don't offer the giant heat sink tell you that you don't need it (no surprise), so you may have trouble convincing them that it's what you really want.

Both Apple and OWC are extremely expensive. I've read on these forums that Crucial is working on getting heatsinked memory produced, and I'm hoping that they will be cheaper. Does anyone know of any other shops that either sell the good stuff, or are planning to?
     
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Aug 19, 2006, 10:44 PM
 
I am fairly sure that OWC and Apple are the only two who are selling that kind of ram. It really is a bummer that the ram is so expensive... I am thinking about taking a chance and buying some from newegg without the huge heatsinks and seeing what happens, unless you people really advise against this?
     
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Aug 20, 2006, 12:02 AM
 
Personally I don't want to try the generic stuff. I've seen some people reporting problems, and some people saying that everything is just fine. But when it comes down to a critical system component, just some people reporting problems is enough to scare me away.

The default 1GB is survivable for me so I'm willing to wait a week or three and see how things shape up.
     
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Aug 21, 2006, 04:59 PM
 
Bummer, but I just received my two 512 meg FB-DIMMs from Apple and one was defective (kernel panics and failed hardware test). So I've got to send those back and hope the next pair are OK.
     
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Aug 21, 2006, 11:07 PM
 
i'll be getting some memory from datamem tomorrow. can't wait. it's not the kind with the large heatsinks, but many people have reported that it works fine
i'll report on thagt once i install it
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 04:19 PM
 
link

Assuming you're in the US, that's a stick of Kingston 1GB PC5300. They've also got 512mb sticks. There's Crucial ram up there too, so it may be worth looking at Crucial's and Kingston's own sites for a better deal.

I didn't check any UK/Euro links but I'm sure it's available over here too, and likely not at Apple Store prices too...
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 05:59 PM
 
Yeah, but those are just the standard sticks without the recommended gigantic heat sink. Those aren't too hard to find, ramseeker.com has a bunch of links to various places, and your sources work as well.

My trouble is that I want the giant heat sink, but very few places want to sell it to me.
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 07:35 PM
 
I had a bad DIMM from Apple as well, they sent me two new ones, and had me send the other ones back directly to Apple engineering....

I have two 1GB chips from datamem that are running fine along with two Apple 512's..... they both get VERY hot..... but so does the 7300GT heat sink..... so nice to have the Mac Pro so silent!
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 07:41 PM
 
Looks like I bought the wrong kind of memory from datamem. Hope they take it back no wonder it was so cheap

the right kind is incredibly expensive so I'll just end up getting it from newegg I think, or might as well buy it from Apple at those high prices...
( Last edited by idyll; Aug 22, 2006 at 07:56 PM. )
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 09:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by idyll
I am fairly sure that OWC and Apple are the only two who are selling that kind of ram. It really is a bummer that the ram is so expensive... I am thinking about taking a chance and buying some from newegg without the huge heatsinks and seeing what happens, unless you people really advise against this?
I for one strongly advise against buying anything but best quality RAM from best quality vendors. Flaky RAM can be a huge headache, quickly eating up expensive hours of troubleshooting time. Note that presales communication with quality vendors prevents getting the wrong RAM in the first place.

-Allen Wicks
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 10:50 PM
 
Well, it really is my fault that I ordered the incorrect memory.. my only hope now is that they take it back. And the ram newegg is selling (kingston and crucial) is some of the best quality RAM from the best quality vendor.. only problem is it does not have those huge heatsinks Apple's memory comes with. Here's to hoping somebody starts selling just the heatsinks so we can add them on to our memory ourselves.
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 11:16 PM
 
I was really really lucky - found a vendor here in nz that sold 1gb of ram for nzd $190 - so like $120US... so i bought 2 and they are perfect. i'm one of few with non-sob stories tho....

i r happy camper


whats this ram with a heat sink? sounds intriguing
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Aug 23, 2006, 12:18 AM
 
I asked crucial if they were going to be selling their memory with heat sinks that meet apple specs. They said "Yes, we are still in the process of creating a more advanced heatsink to be made compatible for the MAC Pro. We expect to have these for sale by the end of August."

This is good news because OWC wants OBSCENE money for the memory with a large sink on it. Over $250 more for 2 1GB DIMMS than what Crucial is asking for. Hopefully Crucial does not increase their current prices much more for the extra heat sink. After all its just a hunk of machined metal.
     
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Aug 23, 2006, 12:26 AM
 
Thanks for the information, devmage, that's good to know. That's the first time I've heard a date for Crucial's memory, and it seems like I won't have to wait too long.
     
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Aug 23, 2006, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Michael Ash
Yeah, but those are just the standard sticks without the recommended gigantic heat sink. Those aren't too hard to find, ramseeker.com has a bunch of links to various places, and your sources work as well.

My trouble is that I want the giant heat sink, but very few places want to sell it to me.

Sorry, didn't realise Apple (recommended) ones had heatsinks/fans too.
     
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Aug 23, 2006, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by sheer
Sorry, didn't realise Apple (recommended) ones had heatsinks/fans too.
OWC has a good comparison between theirs, Apple's, and the boring generic RAM: OtherWorldComputing.com

You can see that there's a huge difference. The one with the giant black heatsink is Apple's, the giant red one is OWC's.
     
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Aug 23, 2006, 09:19 PM
 
Just to share a "For what it's worth"..
I purchased the Crucial Mac Pro P/N before they pulled it. When I received it, they told me to send it back. I did get the opportunity to see the heat sink or heat spreader.
I have 2 PowerMacs G5s and 1 iMac G5 with a total of 10gb of RamJet memory. Always works and great service.
When the Mac Pro Memory appeared on their site, I ordered immediately. At that point the picture wasn't on the page I had linked. When I received it, the heat spreader was the same as Crucials, but silver instead of blue. It scared be to death. I called RamJet, they emphatically said it was the best quality RAM, had a sufficient heat sink and that they offer a lifetime warranty.
So, I decided to install it and give it a try. I have run it for a week with System Profiler open continually on "Memory" to watch for ECC errors. I have had no fan noise or ECC errors. When I open the Mac Pro and touch the heat spreader on the RamJet it's almost hot. I can hold my finger on it for a few moments but I don't want to leave it there.

Bottom line and even though I expressed a different opinion on Apple Disscussions which was after I saw the picture, but before I received the RAM, unless I start hearing fans or get ECC errors, I'm going to believe RamJet.

Just a FWIW...
( Last edited by artsea; Aug 23, 2006 at 09:30 PM. )
     
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Aug 24, 2006, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by artsea
Just to share a "For what it's worth"..
I purchased the Crucial Mac Pro P/N before they pulled it. When I received it, they told me to send it back. I did get the opportunity to see the heat sink or heat spreader.
I have 2 PowerMacs G5s and 1 iMac G5 with a total of 10gb of RamJet memory. Always works and great service.
When the Mac Pro Memory appeared on their site, I ordered immediately. At that point the picture wasn't on the page I had linked. When I received it, the heat spreader was the same as Crucials, but silver instead of blue. It scared be to death. I called RamJet, they emphatically said it was the best quality RAM, had a sufficient heat sink and that they offer a lifetime warranty.
So, I decided to install it and give it a try. I have run it for a week with System Profiler open continually on "Memory" to watch for ECC errors. I have had no fan noise or ECC errors. When I open the Mac Pro and touch the heat spreader on the RamJet it's almost hot. I can hold my finger on it for a few moments but I don't want to leave it there.

Bottom line and even though I expressed a different opinion on Apple Disscussions which was after I saw the picture, but before I received the RAM, unless I start hearing fans or get ECC errors, I'm going to believe RamJet.

Just a FWIW...
I have been running two 512MB Ramjet DIMMs for about a week and have experienced no ill effects (no increased fan noise and no increased heat). I've also run multiple loops of "Rember" and long sessions with "BOINC" without problems. I keep a close eye on the System Profiler and have had no errors. I too challenged Ramjet before I bought and they assured me that their RAM met all of Apple's specs. To this point I have no reason to doubt them.
     
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Aug 24, 2006, 06:53 PM
 
Good news everyone! I just checked Crucial and they have 512MB modules with gigantic heat sinks. I assume larger ones will follow. Here's a link to their Mac Pro page: Computer memory upgrades for Apple Mac Pro Desktop Computer from Crucial.com

At $200 for 1GB they're entirely reasonable. If their 1GB modules are the same price then it'll be the same as I paid for my 18004memory RAM, but with the proper heat sink. I want a 2x1GB kit so I'm going to wait a bit to see if they show up. I assume 1GB and 2GB modules will be appearing shortly. I always thought that Crucial was somewhat overpriced, but in this case it seems they're entirely reasonable, which is very good news. I wonder if OWC is going to drop their prices to suit.
     
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Aug 24, 2006, 08:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Michael Ash
Good news everyone! I just checked Crucial and they have 512MB modules with gigantic heat sinks. I assume larger ones will follow. Here's a link to their Mac Pro page: Computer memory upgrades for Apple Mac Pro Desktop Computer from Crucial.com

At $200 for 1GB they're entirely reasonable. If their 1GB modules are the same price then it'll be the same as I paid for my 18004memory RAM, but with the proper heat sink. I want a 2x1GB kit so I'm going to wait a bit to see if they show up. I assume 1GB and 2GB modules will be appearing shortly. I always thought that Crucial was somewhat overpriced, but in this case it seems they're entirely reasonable, which is very good news. I wonder if OWC is going to drop their prices to suit.
Good price . . . too bad their already out of stock.
     
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Aug 24, 2006, 09:05 PM
 
And another link somebody just pointed out to me. This one has OWC-looking head sinks but is $50 cheaper than OWC for 2GB. MA685G/A 2GB (2x1GB) Mac Pro Apple Approved DDR2-667 Fully Buffered Memory, Apple Mac and iPod Accessories

Personally I think I'll wait for Crucial since they're generally good and the price is right in this case, but this other place is good to know about in any case.
     
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Aug 25, 2006, 09:17 AM
 
     
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Aug 25, 2006, 09:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Michael Ash
Good news everyone! I just checked Crucial and they have 512MB modules with gigantic heat sinks. I assume larger ones will follow. Here's a link to their Mac Pro page: Computer memory upgrades for Apple Mac Pro Desktop Computer from Crucial.com
Except for one thing. They don't have them in stock. You go to buy them and you get a parts not available error message.
Michael
     
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Aug 25, 2006, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984
Except for one thing. They don't have them in stock. You go to buy them and you get a parts not available error message.
They had them about 10 minutes ago . . . I ordered some.
     
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Aug 25, 2006, 02:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by rplatt1
They had them about 10 minutes ago . . . I ordered some.
Oops your right, perhaps I was too quick on clicking the link. When I first attempted to get it I got a message saying the parts are not availale. Now now such message. I ordered the memory and saved myself some money over apple memory.
Michael
     
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Aug 25, 2006, 02:22 PM
 
Hi,

A few days ago, I´ve realized that I´m not receiving mails when sending from my workplace (I work on a computer through an intranet).
What is surprising to me is that I have not changed anything in my Mail Preferences and a.f.a.i.k. nothing has been modified on the intranet. Where is the problem when you received only some messages??

I recognize that e-mailing matters are not in my favourites list and I´m totally unskilled so I need your help to find out what is happening.

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Aug 25, 2006, 11:09 PM
 
I ordered 2GB from Omnitechnology today. I called and they said they had the in stock. $337 for 2GB is way cheap. We'll see how it works next week.

I also picked up some copper ramsinks in case the stock heat spreader is not sufficient.
"-Dodge This"
     
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Aug 26, 2006, 12:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by milhouse
I ordered 2GB from Omnitechnology today. I called and they said they had the in stock. $337 for 2GB is way cheap. We'll see how it works next week.

I also picked up some copper ramsinks in case the stock heat spreader is not sufficient.
Where did you find the ramsinks? If you decide to put them to use, would you please post some pictures? Thanks in advance.
     
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Aug 28, 2006, 01:34 AM
 
I said this earlier but I will restate myself because IMO it is so important:

I for one strongly advise against buying anything but best quality RAM from best quality vendors. Flaky RAM can be a huge headache, quickly eating up expensive hours of troubleshooting time.

Note that Mac Pros have 8 slots, 16 GB max RAM, and power users are very likely to want all 16 GB during the lives of our new boxes. Photoshop already runs best with 8 GB on 2005 boxes/app/OS!

"Bargains" and smaller module sizes will very likely turn out to be less than ideal for folks who really _use_ the RAM. Note too that "adequate" heat sinks and "adequate" RAM quality are very different with 4x512 RAM on board running easy apps as compared to 8x2 GB on board running heavy apps 2 years from now.

My guess is we will see a number of less expensive 512 MB modules, simply because the max heat such modules can generate is 1/4 or less what a 2 GB module can generate. Therefore they need not be as well engineered. Perhaps a reasonable deal for folks whose apps + the OS will never need more than 4 GB total RAM in the future, but I would bet that almost all of us will be wanting more than 4 Gb for the OS and future apps.

Power users should be planning for 16 GB of RAM and the attendant heat. Bargain RAM has never been a bargain in the long run.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 28, 2006 at 01:49 AM. )
     
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Aug 28, 2006, 04:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by chefpastry
Where did you find the ramsinks? If you decide to put them to use, would you please post some pictures? Thanks in advance.
Here's a link to the thermaltake RAMsinks page. Mine are the copper sinks, PN A1978.
Welcome to Thermaltake

I installed the OmniTech RAM and am running Rember as I type this. It was immediately recognized by ASP as 2GB 667MHz memory. The machine is noticeably faster with more memory (3GB versus 1GB)

I haven't installed the sinks and I probably won't unless I have a problem. Removing the heat spreaders voids the lifetime warranty from Omni so I would add them to the spreader instead of the RAM chips themselves anyhow.

I am not sure if copper or aluminum is better for heat dissipation.
There were a few comparisons online between copper and aluminum, with little difference between the two.

Here's another link for TweakMonster RAMsinks: Genuine Tweakmonster RAMsinks...still the World's Finest!

Update: Rember's memory tests all passed when running a single loop. I may stress it further and report back at a later time.


cheers
( Last edited by milhouse; Aug 28, 2006 at 04:58 PM. )
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Aug 28, 2006, 04:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon
...Photoshop already runs best with 8 GB on 2005 boxes/app/OS!...
Photoshop can't take advantage of more than 3 gigs of ram
     
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Aug 28, 2006, 05:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by idyll
Photoshop can't take advantage of more than 3 gigs of ram
Not true. From Adobe Support at Optimize performance in Photoshop (CS2 on Mac OS) - Support Knowledgebase, emphasis mine:

When you run Photoshop CS2 on a 64-bit operating system, such as Mac OS 10.3 and higher, it can access up to 8 GB of RAM. You can see the actual amount of RAM Photoshop can use in the Maxiumum Used By Photoshop number when you set the Maximum Used by Photoshop slider in the Memory & Image Cache preference to 100%. The RAM above the 100% used by Photoshop, which is from approximately 3 GB to 3.7 GB, can be used directly by Photoshop plug-ins (some plug-ins need large chunks of contiguous RAM), filters, actions, etc. If you have more than 4 GB (to 8 GB), the RAM above 4 GB is used by the operating system as a cache for the Photoshop scratch disk data. Data that previously was written directly to the hard disk by Photoshop, is now cached in this high RAM before being written to the hard disk by the operating system. If you are working with files large enough to take advantage of these extra 2 GB of RAM, the RAM cache can speed performance of Photoshop.

My statement was :"...Photoshop already runs best with 8 GB on 2005 boxes/app/OS!..."
Folks have tested this empirically. PSCS2 shows improvement with up to 8 GB of RAM on board. And I have no doubt that PSCS3 and OS 10.5 and beyond will utilize even more RAM, and more effectively.

-Allen Wicks
     
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Aug 28, 2006, 05:20 PM
 
Woah, cool. You learn something new everyday.

Makes me want to add more RAM to my system. Lots more.
     
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Aug 28, 2006, 05:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by idyll
...Makes me want to add more RAM to my system. Lots more.
Me too. RAM is so much faster than paging to disk, I am convinced that the OS and heavy apps - now finally on true 64 bit hardware - will be utilizing larger amounts of RAM in a big way. If you really want to make an OS/app fly one way to do it is to utilize RAM.

Latest reports also seem to show larger benefits in symmetric module placements (e.g. 4x2 rather than 4x512, 2x1 and 2x2) much moreso than in the past.

-Allen Wicks
     
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Aug 29, 2006, 01:53 PM
 
Crucial now has 2GB chips as well as 512MB chips. No sign of 1GB chips though! Argh! Their prices have gone up a bit as well. Their current prices for pairs are $218 for 2x512MB and $961 for 2x2GB.

Here's hoping they have 2x1GB soon.
     
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Aug 29, 2006, 02:14 PM
 
I spoke with Darcy, Crucial's online sales rep, and was told that the 1Gb modules should be released at some point this week. No details were given regarding when, how much and why the 2gb modules were released before the 1gb modules.
     
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Aug 29, 2006, 05:42 PM
 
Crucial now has 1GB modules on their site. The price is $433 for two, which is entirely reasonable. Unfortunately I'm not yet able to buy them, because it says that they're out of stock, but the fact that they're on the web site is promising.
     
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Aug 30, 2006, 02:10 PM
 
More updates...

Crucial has pulled their 1GB modules after having them on the site but not in stock. The 2GB and 512MB modules are still available.

Other World Computing has dropped their price for a 2x1GB kit to $495. The previous price was around $550.

MemoryTen is selling stuff that looks like the OWC memory. The price is $500 for a 2x1GB kit. Link: MA685G/A, 2GB (2x1GB) Mac Pro Apple Approved DDR2-667 Fully Buffered Memory

I'm starting to think about going with the OWC option. With Crucial's last listed prices for 2x1GB and the fact that Crucial wants to charge me sales tax and OWC doesn't, the difference is less than $50 and OWC will ship them out today. But I'll wait a little longer before making any rash decisions....
     
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Aug 30, 2006, 07:08 PM
 
Did Crucial just raise prices? I could swear I looked a day or two ago and it was something like $109 for 512MG, and ~$200 for 1 GB. :-(
Too many Apple/Mac products to even bother listing!
     
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Aug 30, 2006, 07:42 PM
 
It's not just your imagination. Crucial was indeed charging $200 for 1GB on the 24th.
     
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Aug 30, 2006, 08:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Michael Ash
It's not just your imagination. Crucial was indeed charging $200 for 1GB on the 24th.
I guess I missed my chance! Well, 1 GB is enough for now...I'll wait a bit. Maybe they forgot to add the cost of the extra heatsinks into the price.
Too many Apple/Mac products to even bother listing!
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 05:49 AM
 
I just received my 2 512MB modules from Crucial UK. They are identical to the factory fitted 512MB modules that came as stock. Same manufacturer, same part numbers etc. Thought people might be interested in this fact.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 07:52 AM
 
Aaand... Crucial is back to $200 for 1GB. I don't know why the price keeps changing around. Also I'm pretty sure their 4GB kit was going for about $970, but as of right now it's $1100. Doh!

Edit: Sheesh, and now it's back up to $212 for 1GB. Crazy people.
( Last edited by Michael Ash; Aug 31, 2006 at 12:20 PM. )
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Michael Ash
Aaand... Crucial is back to $200 for 1GB. I don't know why the price keeps changing around. Also I'm pretty sure their 4GB kit was going for about $970, but as of right now it's $1100. Doh!

Edit: Sheesh, and now it's back up to $212 for 1GB. Crazy people.
Back to $200 again...do they change it based on the time of day and phase of the moon or something??
Too many Apple/Mac products to even bother listing!
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 02:49 PM
 
I got the 1GB kit when it was 193.99 .. I guess I should be happy
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Aug 31, 2006, 08:09 PM
 
With so many ram slots, why would one not get a 4x512MB upgrade over a 2x1GB? Almost $50 dif in favor of the 4.

Using said config you could get as much as 4GB of Ram. That seems more than most would really use.

Is there really that much dif with bigger modules?

T
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 01:08 AM
 
Crucial now has 1GB chips for real. I have one in my shopping cart now. I'm going to hold off a bit to see if they wiggle their prices any.

To dragonfly, if you're talking about Crucial, the difference is only $21. ($412 for 4x512MB, $433 for 2x1GB at this moment.) The price difference at other places may be greater, but their 1GB chips are more expensive too. (Unless you know of a place that's selling heatsinked chips cheaper than Crucial, in which case I'd like to know!) The reason for going with the 1GB chips is twofold. First, there's apparently a minor speed penalty once you have more than two pairs installed. It's not huge but I might as well spend the extra twenty bucks not to have it. Second, my current goal is 3GB. I imagine in a year or two I may end up wanting significantly more, so I'll spend the extra Jackson now to make sure my path is easier later.

Edit: Crucial's prices are a-changing again. As I type this, 2x512MB are listed as $206 on the main Mac Pro list, but if you click the part number they end up as $200. Somebody over there needs to get a grip.
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 08:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by :dragonflypro:
With so many ram slots, why would one not get a 4x512MB upgrade over a 2x1GB? Almost $50 dif in favor of the 4.

Using said config you could get as much as 4GB of Ram. That seems more than most would really use.

Is there really that much dif with bigger modules?

T
Assuming you're not going to toss the stock 2x512, go with the 2x1G. 4 slots filled is the optimum memory configuration for the Mac Pro.
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 08:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by SoBayJake
Back to $200 again...do they change it based on the time of day and phase of the moon or something??
Just in case some folks here don't know about Crucial's use of dynamic pricing....

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From 2006 (in the last month and a half)
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 02:32 PM
 
Thanks for the links, Senbei.

Today Crucial's prices are changing a lot, and worse, they're showing lower prices on the list than in the shopping cart. For the 2x1GB, I was seeing $400 on the list, then $433 in the cart. I had a friend load the page and he saw $388 in the list, and $420 in the cart.

I finally gave up and called them. They said the prices were changing for unknown reasons but the official price was supposed to be $399.99. This was the price I was expecting and so I went ahead and placed my order over the phone and got the $399.99 price. My saga is (hopefully) over!
     
 
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