diglloyd Mac Performance Guide

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OWC 16GB Memory Modules for 2009/2010/2011 Mac Pro (2011 variant)

Last updated May 24, 2011 - Send Feedback

The January, 2012 dual-rank modules run at 1333MHz, and can be expected to perform slightly better than what is shown here.

While few users need more than 32GB memory, some do.

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48GB in 6-core Mac Pro

The May 2011 availability of 48GB memory in a 4-memory-slot 2009 or 2010 Mac Pro using 16GB memory modules extends the range of applications, such as working with huge panoramic images.

Users of 12-core Mac Pros have the option of 128GB. For obscure system software reasons, the 4-6/core Mac Pro is limited to 54GB a 3 X 16GB + 1 X 8B modules.

The 4GB, 8GB and 16GB memory modules tested here in this review are all OWC memory, which offers huge savings over Apple memory (and are what your author uses).

OWC 16GB memory modules for 2009 and 2010 Mac Pro  
OWC 16GB memory modules for 2009 and 2010 Mac Pro

Recommendations for maximum memory

Enough is enough— if total memory requirements can be handled with 8GB modules in the optimal 3 or 6 module configurations, stick with that approach.

Note that accessing more than 32GB memory requires booting with the 64-bit kernel with Mac OS X 10.6.x Snow Leopard.

6-core Mac pro

Stick with 3 modules, unless the particular application demands more, as proven by observation of actual memory use.

48GB as 3 X 16GB (OK to add one 8GB module)

12-core Mac Pro

The January 2012 dual-rank 16GB modules work fine as 8 X 16GB = 128GB in an 8-core or 12-cor Mac Pro.

96GB as 6 X 16GB
128GB as 8 X 16GB

 

Continue reading on the next page.

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Photoshop CS5 performance on diglloydMedium benchmark with varying memory

The Speed You Need

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