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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > MacPro rejecting 3rd party RAM?

MacPro rejecting 3rd party RAM?
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Posting Junkie
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Oct 6, 2006, 01:56 AM
 
I bought two 3rd party (SMT) 1 GB sticks to add to my 4x512MB in my Mac Pro. They have the same heatsinks as the installed Apple ones. I tried every possible configuration with the risers (starting with the recommended A:2x1GB,2x512MB, B:2x512MB) and it didn't work (KP whenever they were accessed, instant KP if they were the only chips installed). I then got them replaced, but the new ones had the same issue. Except with the added bonus that they also disabled Riser B when installed

Is the Mac Pro really that finicky about RAM? Should I return them for 4x512MB sticks or just give up and buy the twice as expensive Apple-tested RAM?

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Oct 6, 2006, 03:03 AM
 
Who did you buy this RAM from? It is an Fully Buffered DIMM, right?

Maybe you have a bad Logic board or RAM riser cards?

I haven't heard anything like this from many of the other forum members who own Mac Pros.
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Oct 6, 2006, 04:09 AM
 
It sounds like a bad logic or risers to me. And yes, they are fully buffered ecc's. According to the supplier it's from the same source Apple gets them too. Maybe I have to get on to Apple for this.

I bought it from Epowermac.com.au which gets them from Silicon Memory.

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Oct 6, 2006, 04:15 AM
 
I imagine calling them would be a good idea, yeah.
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Oct 6, 2006, 09:06 AM
 
This is the one reason why I either buy crucial ram or apple ram. I have yet run into problems by going either way.

There seems to be a lot of posts about memory issues with the MacPro when it comes to cheap and/or generic ram. My perspective is, I didn't cut corners in purchsing the MacPro,i.e., expensive. Why cut corners on the ram that could effect stability.

Bring the MacPro to an apple store for them to test the riser cards, but I would suspect that you get what you pay for and by going with cheap ram, its the memory and not the riser card that is the problem. It will be prudent though to validate that its not the comptuer which is why you should bring it in to be tested.
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Oct 6, 2006, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - -
I bought two 3rd party (SMT) 1 GB sticks to add to my 4x512MB in my Mac Pro. They have the same heatsinks as the installed Apple ones. I tried every possible configuration with the risers (starting with the recommended A:2x1GB,2x512MB, B:2x512MB) and it didn't work (KP whenever they were accessed, instant KP if they were the only chips installed). I then got them replaced, but the new ones had the same issue. Except with the added bonus that they also disabled Riser B when installed

Is the Mac Pro really that finicky about RAM? Should I return them for 4x512MB sticks or just give up and buy the twice as expensive Apple-tested RAM?
The issue is not about whether or not the Mac Pro is finicky. It is about RAM quality and purchase decision making, and the issue has been around forever.

Historically, RAM anomalies can be hugely problematic and do not necessarily show up immediately. One should only buy quality RAM from only the best vendors. I recommend only OWC or Crucial. Apple too has lately become less unreasonable in their RAM pricing.

If (in 1 GB sizes) Apple charges ~$350/GB to add 3 GB, OWC Mac Pro Memory - Mac Pro Quad Xeon Memory DDR2 667MHz Fully Buffered 240 Pin DIMM PC5300 Upgrades at OtherWorldComputing.com charges $236/GB to add 2 GB and Crucial's pricing is somewhere in between it is a safe bet that choices below that range are risky.

I cannot overstate how important it is to only buy quality RAM from only the best vendors.

Note that there are only 8 slots, so modules smaller than 2 GB limit the total possible RAM. When I buy a Mac Pro (should be between now and January SF Expo) it will be populated with 2 GB modules.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Oct 6, 2006 at 01:03 PM. )
     
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Oct 6, 2006, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984
This is the one reason why I either buy crucial ram or apple ram.
I have a problem with Crucial and Apple--the price! I buy from the lowest price supplier with a return policy. If it doesn't work I return it.
     
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Oct 6, 2006, 02:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig
I have a problem with Crucial and Apple--the price! I buy from the lowest price supplier with a return policy. If it doesn't work I return it.
I'm a big believer in you get what you pay for and seeing the number of threads about memory issues here and else where leads me to believe you get what you pay for. You can take this metaphor further. Why do I pay extra to buy an apple computer when clearly I can by with a cheapo dell. Because Apple computers are superior and I'm willing to pay for a better designed computer and OS.

You paid a premium to buy a Mac and people are cutting corners on the memory - doesn't make sense to me. I've yet needed to send back any memory to crucial or Apple, yet I see so many threads about KPs after installing bargain basement ram.
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Oct 6, 2006, 02:15 PM
 
Understand that you don't just slap DIMMs together in a garage. The chips themselves are all made by the same suppliers, and then they're made into DIMMs by companies that have invested a large amount of capital. I don't believe companies like Crucial can add enough additional value to justify their prices. I have bought nothing but cheap RAM for 20 years and have never had a problem.

Paying extra for name brand RAM is like paying extra to have an Apple sticker on a hard drive. The hard drive is still made by the original manufacturer (but I'll grant that in the case of Crucial, they are the original manufacturer.)

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Oct 9, 2006, 12:17 PM
 
I discovered with Corsair that you don't save much by buying bad RAM even with lifetime guarantee if they take up two hours of your time to return it, and it takes a couple of weeks to get an RMA number and shipping address. Not to mention all the crashes and investigation to trace it to the RAM that had been installed for six months before going bad. Techworks, Crucial, etc for me next time, thanks.

I'm still leery of OWC because of their spotty, hit or miss appraoch to tech support.
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Oct 14, 2006, 02:35 AM
 
Has anyone ever figured out who the 2nd party is?
     
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Oct 15, 2006, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig
I have a problem with Crucial and Apple--the price! I buy from the lowest price supplier with a return policy. If it doesn't work I return it.
I used to swear by Crucial too, but I've had a set go bad, and now I read this: http://arstechnica.com/journals/appl...2006/8/11/4954

I'm sticking with OWC... they've caused me no problem. I've just also discovered my DMS memory is bad... OWC and Apple passed with flying colors using memtest.
( Last edited by UnixMac; Oct 15, 2006 at 03:51 PM. )
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Oct 15, 2006, 02:13 PM
 
If you notice this article was Aug 11th, ancient hx. by current computer standards! I'm following this post with great interest since yesterday when I discovered that my dual 2.5 G5 with 5GB of crucial ram is unfixable at the Apple Store and they are replacing it with a new 2.66 Mac Pro...Yeah!! But I'm trying to find a reasonably affordable way to get my 5GB of Ram in the thing and I see from this thread it ain't easy. I've used Crucial for years, I wonder if they are up to speed now. I also would likely by 2 2GB sticks and this article only references heat problems with the 1GB stick. Anyone buy 2GB sticks from crucial for their Mac Pros?....Peter
     
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Oct 15, 2006, 02:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by UnixMac
I used to swear by Crucial too, but I've had a set go bad, and now I read this: http://arstechnica.com/journals/appl...2006/8/11/4954

I'm sticking with OWC... they've caused me no problem.
Note the date of that article.
Crucial orignally recommended Mac Pro RAM with the normal FB-DIMM heatsinks. In their own testing they discovered that the Mac Pro doesn't provide enough airflow for those heatsinks, so they replaced them with larger heatsinks and recalled all of the modules they had shipped.
     
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Oct 15, 2006, 02:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by innerimager
If you notice this article was Aug 11th, ancient hx. by current computer standards! I'm following this post with great interest since yesterday when I discovered that my dual 2.5 G5 with 5GB of crucial ram is unfixable at the Apple Store and they are replacing it with a new 2.66 Mac Pro...Yeah!! But I'm trying to find a reasonably affordable way to get my 5GB of Ram in the thing and I see from this thread it ain't easy. I've used Crucial for years, I wonder if they are up to speed now. I also would likely by 2 2GB sticks and this article only references heat problems with the 1GB stick. Anyone buy 2GB sticks from crucial for their Mac Pros?....Peter
I've had Apple supply extra RAM with a replacement powerbook in the past because the replacement took a different specification - ask politely but firmly, but if the machine you sent in and won't get back had 5Gb, so should the replacement.

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Oct 15, 2006, 03:50 PM
 
Ok, I just want to report that I've since run a few batteries of tests on my Memory as I did buy some 3rd party memory from DMS and have subsequently been having odd photoshop crashes, and the occasional full blown kernel panics... so I ran memtest and got a kernel panic.. took out the DMS DIMMS (2x512's) and low and behold the test went thru without a problem... added them DMS DIMMS back, and it returned..

I've now left DMS a voice mail and will be returning those, and will call OWC to replace them.

I have the original 2x512 apple mem, and the 4x1GB OWC, so I'll just add 2x1GB OWC's in place of these, and this will take me from 6 to 7GB, which is an odd number, but oh well..

Point being, be ware of DMS memory... i should have thought there was something wrong when I got them and found that the heat sinks were very small...
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Oct 15, 2006, 11:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMacfan
I've had Apple supply extra RAM with a replacement powerbook in the past because the replacement took a different specification - ask politely but firmly, but if the machine you sent in and won't get back had 5Gb, so should the replacement.

David
Did yours have 3rd party Ram as mine does (crucial)? Do you think that gives them wiggle room to decline? Thanks very much...Peter
     
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Oct 16, 2006, 04:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by innerimager
Did yours have 3rd party Ram as mine does (crucial)? Do you think that gives them wiggle room to decline? Thanks very much...Peter
Yes, it was third party, which I had actually removed before sending it in. Speak to Customer/Executive relations - you're out of pocket because of the defective computer, and you should have that put right.

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Oct 16, 2006, 08:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMacfan
Yes, it was third party, which I had actually removed before sending it in. Speak to Customer/Executive relations - you're out of pocket because of the defective computer, and you should have that put right.

David
Thanks a lot, I'll try.....Peter
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 08:16 PM
 
I've now replaced the second pair of 1GB with four 512MB. Works like a charm. Hopefully 4GB should last me a while with my new Raptor for swap space, because my risers are maxed out

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