Silver Tower Mac Pro Q&A - Updated May 22, 2013
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Usually a Macbook Pro will give you two slots for additional memory and various other machines like the Mini and PowerMac may have explicit preferences, so optimizing this space is crucial. When shopping for upgrades, look for models that offer heat spreaders and lower tRas values. Dec 10, 2019 Mac Pro Build to Order Options Tuesday December 10, 2019 9:28 am PST by Juli Clover Apple's new Mac Pro became available for purchase today, giving us our first look at all of the available. If you have determined slots are available and the Mac can support more RAM, the most important information to know when ordering or looking for upgrade modules is the RAM module type and speed, which is always shown at the top of the “Memory” screen and labeled something like “Your Mac contains 4 memory slots, each of which accepts a 1333 MHz DDR3 memory module.”. Experience the true speed of your 2009 Mac Pro with OWC Memory upgrades from MacSales.com. The 2009 Mac Pro has up to 8 memory slots which can handle up to 128GB of memory. View OWC Memory Upgrade.
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How do you upgrade the RAM in the 'Early 2009/Nehalem' Mac Pro? What type of RAM does it use? How much RAM does it actually support? How do you install RAM to maximize performance?
Please note that this Q&A explains how to upgrade the RAM in the 'Early 2009' Mac Pro models (model identifier MacPro4,1).
EveryMac.com also provides RAM upgrade instructions for other Mac Pro models -- the original Mac Pro (MacPro1,1 and MacPro2,1), 'Early 2008' (MacPro3,1), and 'Mid-2010' and 'Mid-2012' (MacPro5,1) systems.
Just as it is for the original and 'Early 2008' Mac Pro models, upgrading the memory in the 'Early 2009/Nehalem' Mac Pro line is a simple process. Even though the memory used in the 'Early 2009/Nehalem' Mac Pro models do not have the same enormous heatsinks as memory used by earlier Mac Pro models, it nevertheless is critical that the memory meet precise standards and be installed in a particular order to function properly. The 'Early 2009' line also can use more RAM than is officially supported, too.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Early 2009 Mac Pro)
If you're not sure if you have an 'Early 2009' Mac Pro or another model, the A1289Model Number is insufficient as this identifier is shared by several different Mac Pro lines.
However, for the purposes of upgrading the RAM, the 'Early 2009' Mac Pro models can be identified properly by the Model Identifier in software and externally by EMC Number. More details about each identifier is provided in EveryMac.com's extensive Mac Identification section.
To locate the model identifier, select 'About This Mac' under the Apple Menu on your computer and click the 'More Info...' button. If the Mac Pro is running OS X 'Lion' (10.7) or later, click the 'System Report' button after clicking 'More Info...' as well. Regardless of the number of cores, all 'Early 2009' Mac Pro models share model identifier MacPro4,1.
The EMC number is located on the rear of the system in small type. As carefully hand documented by EveryMac.com, all 'Early 2009' Mac Pro models share EMC number 2314.
Specifically, these systems are 'Early 2009' Mac Pro models:
EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Lookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app -- also can identify these models by their Serial Numbers.
RAM Type, Actual Maximum Capacity, & Performance Details
The 'Early 2009/Nehalem' Mac Pro models use '1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM', but more specifically must conform to the following specifications:
- PC3-8500, 1066 MHz, DDR3 SDRAM UDIMMs
- Error-correcting code (ECC)
- 72-bit wide, 240-pin ECC modules
- 36 ICs maximum per ECC UDIMM
Please note that the low-end 'Quad Core' models -- Mac Pro 'Quad Core' 2.66 (2009), 'Quad Core' 2.93 (2009) and 'Quad Core' 3.33 (2009) -- have four memory slots. By contrast, the high-end 'Eight Core' models -- Mac Pro 'Eight Core' 2.26 (2009), Mac Pro 'Eight Core' 2.66 (2009) and Mac Pro 'Eight Core' 2.93 (2009) -- have eight memory slots.
Officially, starting December 4, 2009, Apple supports 16 GB of RAM in the 'Quad Core' models and 32 GB of RAM in the 'Eight Core' models using 4 GB memory modules.
However, site sponsor OWCfirst discovered that the 'Quad Core' models actually were able to support 32 GB of RAM (in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode) and later increased this maximum to 48 GB of RAM.
Likewise, OWC first discovered the 'Eight Core' models could support 64 GB of RAM when booting the system in 64-bit mode running Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' and later increased this maximum to 96 GB of RAM running Mac OS X 10.6 'Snow Leopard' or later versions of OS X. More recently, OWC yet again discovered these 'Eight Core' models can support up to 128 GB, but only when running a 64-bit version of Windows XP or later or Linux. Mac OS X only can support 96 GB of RAM.
From testing both systems, the always excellent BareFeatsreported that three memory modules in the Mac Pro 'Quad Core' 2.66 (2009/Nehalem) and six memory modules in the Mac Pro 'Eight Core' 2.26 (2009/Nehalem) are faster than the maximum of four and eight modules, respectively. This is because each Nehalem processor has three memory controllers, so it is slower for the processor to access the fourth one. However, BareFeats noted that the 'vast majority of real world applications do not saturate the memory bandwidth' so it wouldn't necessarily be slower to maximize the memory.
RAM Upgrade Instructions
Apple covers installing memory in the 'Early 2009' Mac Pro models on pages 41-58 of the PDF User's Guide -- complete with drawings -- and this absolutely should be read before upgrading the memory.
However, OWC noticed the manual and the Memory Slot Utility software that is pre-installed on the 'Early 2009' Mac Pro provide contradictory information about which slots should be populated to maximize performance. For maximum speed, use the information provided by the application rather than the manual.
Perhaps even better than the official drawings, OWC also provides a step-by-step video of the upgrade process:
From watching the above video, it is clear that upgrading the RAM in the 'Early 2009' Mac Pro is quick and easy. However, if you do not feel comfortable -- or have the time -- to upgrade the RAM yourself, professional installation always is a good idea.
Mac Pro RAM Purchase & Professional Installation Options
Just because RAM meets the minimum listed criteria does not mean that it will necessarily function as intended in your Mac. Be sure to buy from a quality vendor that has tested their RAM with the Mac Pro to ensure full compatibility.
In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells memory compatible with all Mac Pro models (and all other Macs).
In the UK and Ireland, site sponsor Flexx sells Mac Pro compatible memory with free shipping. The company provides flat rate shipping to France, Germany, and Switzerland and inexpensive shipping for all of Europe, too.
In Canada, site sponsor CanadaRAM sells memory for all Mac Pro models with guaranteed compatibility, fast shipping, and no customs.
In Germany, site sponsor CompuRAM sells quality memory for all Mac Pro models with affordable delivery country-wide and in person pick up and professional installation service available in Munich.
In Australia, site sponsor RamCity sells Mac Pro compatible memory with a lifetime warranty and fast, flat-rate shipping Australia-wide.
In Southeast Asia, site sponsor SimplyMac.sg sells Mac Pro compatible memory with free delivery -- and optional upgrade service -- in Singapore and free shipping to Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
- How do you upgrade the RAM in the original Mac Pro? What type of RAM does it use? How much RAM does it actually support?
- How do you upgrade the RAM in the 'Early 2008' (Harpertown/Penryn) Mac Pro? What type of RAM does it use? How much RAM does it actually support? Is it backwards compatible with RAM from the original Mac Pro?
- How do you upgrade the RAM in the 'Mid-2010' and 'Mid-2012' (Nehalem/Westmere) Mac Pro models? What type of RAM do these models use? How much RAM do they actually support?
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Here are specs on my mac:
Macbook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (13 in) DDR3
Order No: MC374LL/A Model No: A1278 (EMC 2351*)
Memory Slots Used
Current RAM: 4GB in Slot 1(DIMM1), none in Slot 0.
From Apple and Crucial, I've read that the max RAM my Mac can take is 8GB.
However, mac sales indicates that it can take upto 16GB (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...o/Upgrade/DDR3)
Memory Slots In Laptop
MacBook Pro 13.3' 2.4GHz (Model ID: 7,1 only) Supports 16.0GB
Any thoughts on how to clear it up?
Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9.2)
Free Slot Pro