Tag Archives: RAM

How to Install Computer Memory in an Apple Mac Pro

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I’ve already done the great unboxing of my new Mac Pro. Now, let’s take a look at installing some more RAM into Big Mac. Yes… I named the Mac Pro. Yes… it really IS named Big Mac.

I’ve done memory upgrades in so many different systems. I don’t think anything can approach the ease and elegance of the design of the new Mac Pro’s. You can tell they put a lot of thought into the design of the case, and inside the case as well. Here we go to install memory.

I just pulled out the little slot that the FB DIMMs will sit in. I’m replacing the 2 GB it came with, with 16GB of memory. I’m removing the two 1GB sticks, and will get a rebate on them. Imagine just popping the old RAM stick out with ease. You’ve wrestled with RAM slots before in a case. This Riser card is so simple. It makes it nice and easy. You pop it out, and then just pop in the new RAM sticks. Of course… you then pop the Riser card right back in the case, and voila!

Kat interrupted the recording to let me know that there are issues with the video link I sent her last night. I had her ping Tim and Brad at Ustream. What happened ultimately is that Ustream was having serious issues, that Ustream wasn’t able to straighten out until the next day.

This Riser card is much heavier than it was when I took it out… since it has four separate 2GB sticks of RAM on it, instead of one 1GB stick. However, it just slid right back in with ease.

On so many levels, this is just beautiful. It was so easy to do, and I didn’t even break a sweat. This machine is just beautiful.

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Where Should I Buy Mac Memory?

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Recently, I ordered my new Mac Pro. I only purchased 2GB of RAM for it upon ordering. However, I definitely need to add more. Where should I get it from? And of course… how much more should I get? I know if I review this video five years from now, and think of people using “only” 2GB of RAM… we will laugh hysterically. But, no matter, we deal with memory and what our machines will use. A user wrote in to ask questions about RAM. He went to the Apple site, and they informed him he should buy 4GB of RAM. However, he wonders if he can only get 2GB and have it be enough? Also, will this void his Apple warranty?

I would never recommend buying RAM directly from Apple. The worst thing you can do, though, is to mix memory types. Be careful where you purchase from, as well. You don’t want to buy something sub-par, and have it not work properly in your machine. With Mac OSX, it is a 64-bit Operating System. If you can afford it… you should go with the four gigs. For system intensive programs, you’ll notice a huge difference.

I’ll be ordering my RAM through a third party vendor for my Mac Pro soon. I’m not sure yet if I should go with 8GB, 16GB or 32GB. I’ll likely be going with either 8 or 16GB. The pricing will be great. I don’t need 32GB. I mean, seriously. What would I need it for… other than bragging rights? Since I’ll be using the Virtual Machines to run Windows, I think 16GB should work better.

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How to Set up a RAM Disk for Free

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Many people confuse the difference between Hard Drive space, and RAM. A Hard Drive is where the data sits, and is stored. RAM is what the data uses when it is actually running. RAM has no moving parts, therefore it is faster. Therefore, you may find yourself in need of a RAM Disk. This will allow you some extra storage. In layman’s terms, it takes a section of the RAM and makes it act as though it is a hard Disk.

Reb suggested a free tool to help you set this up, called RamDisk. A RAMDisk acts as a virtual drive on your system.

It allows you to create directories, copy files to and from it, etc…. The data however is not written onto a hard disk, but remains purely stored into a particular part of the RAM memory. Hard disks have mechanical parts that are needed to seek to a particular position on the magnetic storage media and to read/write data. This makes them relative lazy. A RAMDisk does not need to seek , and by this , it can read and write the same data to upon 30-60 times faster than a hard disk ! However, the data stored in RAM is “volatile” : it disappears when you cut off the power to the RAM memory, in other words, if you turn off your system. This applies to the content of the RAMDisk too !

Do you know of other tools or programs that can help you create a RAM Disk? What other tips do you have for us regarding memory usage? Leave me a follow-up comment on this video, or drop me an email to [email protected]

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David Weston submits the following addendum:

What Reb says is true, but only if the amount of available physical RAM is more than the space you need for your RAM Disk.

Windows uses RAM for data that is immediately required for active program storage, intermediate calculation storage, etc. If you are running a lot of programs, or some large programs, the physical memory can become full. In these cases, Windows shunts the least important stuff off to disk to free up some space. This is called “paging”.

Paging files are optimised for this purpose, so the seek time that Reb mentions is less of an issue, but you still have the time required to read and write from the paging file. Also, if memory is heavily used, you can end up reading and writing the same data multiple times, as Windows tries to optimise the use of memory. This is called “thrashing”. Thrashing really slows a machine down, so there are times when RAM disk should be avoided.

RAM disk can be good, but only if you have large quantities of free memory available, and you only need to hold small amounts of data.

Upgrading RAM in MacBook Pro


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – The 17″ MacBook Pro sponsored by Blue Sky Factory for Gnomedex came with (2) 1GB sticks of RAM installed. I’ve decided to replace those with (2) 2GB sticks.

This really is a simple process. The first things you must do are to completely turn off the MacBook and take out the battery. Now, get a tiny little screwdriver and unscrew the cover for the RAM. I always try to keep the screws right in the holes, and just set that cover aside. Those screws are little, and could easily be swallowed by a pet or child. We now have to remove the old RAM. There is a little metal clip on either side of the RAM. Gently pull those aside, and firmly pull the memory up and out.

Be sure to again double check to make sure you have the proper type of memory to replace the old with. Be sure it has the same number of pins, the notch is in the same place, and it is the same type needed by your laptop or computer brand. In my case, I have 200 pins SODIMM.

Take the first RAM card and line up the notch. You need to put it in at a slight angle, pushing in and down firmly but gently. The RAM will snap into place easily. Once you have both in, put the cover back on and the battery back in, then power up.

Now that I’ve powered up, I can go up to the top corner and choose “About this Mac”. Right here, you can see that I now have 4GB of RAM installed. See how easy this was?

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How Much RAM is Enough?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Community member William writes:

I wanted to ask you a question about RAM. I recently went to Crucial Memory. It advised me that since I am running Windows XP Home Edition and that I am running at 32 bits, then I could only upgrade to 3.0 to 3.5 GB. Does this sound right to you? If so, how hard would it be to upgrade to a 64 bit system? Thanks and sorry about all the questions!

This sounds about right, but it also sound like more RAM than you need for a 32 bit system, especially 32 bit Windows.

Generally, 2 GB of RAM is more than enough for Windows XP Home. Any more RAM than 2GB probably won’t give you any significant performance gains. Unless you’re running multiple memory-intensive applications you probably will not need more than 2GB of RAM for the time being.

As for upgrading to 64-bit Windows: unless you’re going with OS X, don’t do it. Microsoft has really dropped the ball on 64-bit, and Vista is a kludge, at best.

Do you guys have any suggestions for William?

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