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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Question about Upgrading Early 2008 Mac Pro Memory

Question about Upgrading Early 2008 Mac Pro Memory
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Mar 3, 2012, 01:30 AM
I have an early 2008 Mac Pro running OS X Lion. It currently has 8GB of memory which consists of 4 memory modules of 2GB each, 2 on each of the memory cards.

I really want to go to 32GB but likely will go to 16GB. I do a lot of virtualization using VMWare often running Windows and Linux partitions so I think the additional memory will help a lot.

I plan to purchase from OWC which is where the memory I currently have is from but I see two options.

One is to buy 4 more of the 2GB memory modules which would then fill all slots and total 16GB and the total cost would be $241.

Another option is to buy 2 of the 4GB modules. The cost would be slightly more at $275.
-Would there be any advantages to this?
-Does it cause any issues and am I better off using all 2GB modules for example so that they match?
-One reason I prefer this option is although it costs slightly more if I'm correct that would leave 2 slots open where I could later upgrade with another 2 4GB modules for 24GB total.

Another option is am I better off (performance and price wise) simply starting over, getting all new memory. I can pay $549 and get 16GB (4 4GB modules) I know I could keep the current 8GB for 24GB total but again I don't think I need that much but I guess my question is, if I go with the 4 4GB modules and then get rid of the current 4 2GB modules would I get more performance using 4GB instead of 2GB modules. Also, I know OWC buys memory but I am assuming my best bet is eBay and if so, would I save money by getting the 4GB modules (4 of them) and then selling my current memory on eBay?

Thanks for your help with the above questions.

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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Mar 5, 2012, 12:35 AM
Do you really plan on adding more memory in the future to a 4+ year old system? The memory for the newer systems is about half the price.

I'd say take the 4x2GB now. Life with less than 12GB RAM is grim.
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Mar 8, 2012, 07:38 PM
You wont see nay performance difference between 2GB and 4GB modules. You will also see no performance difference at all if your current machine is using say 7GB of ram right now, no amount of additional ram will help. Now if you are using 9GB of ram and its always paging out to the hard drive more ram will bring performance back up to specs.

The key thing is that ram is installed in pairs of the same size, type and from the same vendor for reliable performance. You can mix and match vendor ram between each set of 2. The thing to consider is the type of ram that Mac uses is older now. And everything is moving to DDR3. If you know you will get more ram later then fill it up now to 32GB because it will just get more expensive down the road. If you don't see yourself upgrading more ram in the future then do the 2GB route.

Most important is make sure you de-shock yourself. The riser cards the ram sit in are very sensitive to static shock. More so them motherboards that don't use riser cards but just ram placed into slots on a motherboard. To easily de-shock yourself with out any special tools just leave your mac plugged into the wall touch the power supply inside the case then unplug the computer. Even though the entire case is made out of metal its still best to de-shock touching the housing of the power supply.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
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