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The Mac Pro First Generation is an Intel Xeon-based workstation computer manufactured by Apple Inc. The first generation model includes the machines from 2006 through 2008.

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Memory riser board burn out?


This is a question for a hardware specialist:

I have an early mac pro:

Processor: 2.66GHz Xeon (Dual-core 5150)

*Upgraded to 2 X Quad Core 3.2Ghz (March - 2014)

Serial #: #CK340GSUPZ

Model #: A1186

Year : Aug 7, 2006 - Jan 8, 2008

OSX 10.7.5

Recently I tried to upgrade the memory from some older combinations of 1 and 2 GB DDR2 FBDIMMs - 667 MHz memory modules


4 x 4GB DDR2 800MHz PC2-6400 FBDIMMs to make a total of 16GB. (I don't think the makes should be relevant, but can supply if needed).

They came in matched pairs of 4GB each and I placed them as recommended with the first pair in slots 1 & 2 in the top riser A, and the 2nd pair in slots 1 and 2 in riser B.

When I tried to boot, the power switch started to flash and it would not boot, which (I think) signifies a memory problem.

So I tried placing all the DIMMS on the same top memory riser A, even though this is not the recommended configuration - same result.

I then tried just placing a single DIMM of the new 4GB in slot one of the top riser A and it booted ok.

I then went back and tried all kinds of combinations, including mixing some of the older 1 and 2 GB DIMMS with the new 4 GB DIMMS, but always in matched pairs, top and bottom.

I also tried putting the old memory back in as I first found it - before any boot problem.

But now. NON of the memory works at all in any combination and the risers have the red problem alert LEDs all lit up.

So I'm thinking that either I might have fried all the DIMMS or even worse, damaged the memory riser boards, or both.

(And I'm really hoping that I didn't also damage the logic board in any way).

I live in Salvador, Brazil where there is no reliable Apple tech service, so I have to try and resolve any issues myself.

Any help, tips, info would be a great help as I am a musician / composer and I make my main living via my Mac Pro.

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I have had no luck in mixing RAM on these machines at all. As long as the RAM has been from the same maker mine ran. I did mix some Hynix 512 & 1 GB sticks and it worked. But the best luck I have had is to install identical sticks. Use the RAM configuration app. Here's a very good video on upgrading the RAM in these machines:

The machine will run with just one riser card.

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If you have the time, send it to me and I will test it out for you. I've got this machine: Apple Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.8 (2008) Specs

Identifiers: Early 2008 - BTO/CTO - MacPro3,1 - A1186 - 2180 and this one:

Apple Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.93 (2009/Nehalem) Specs

Identifiers: Early 2009 - BTO/CTO - MacPro4,1 - A1289 - 2314


Hi Mayer, thanks for trying to help.

I watched the video, but it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.

I think my memory is actually ok, but have no way of testing it without either another computer that accepts this kind of RAM or getting hold of a stand- alone RAM tester.

I have found one on the net, but it's accompanying software is PC/Windows only.

So I have to somehow test 3 things:

1) the DIMMS themselves

2) The Memory riser boards,

3) The logic board.

i have seen a standalone memory checker on the net, but they don't make buying one easy and they don't give any prices (strange).

Will contact them anyway


I found a price on the RamChecker. It's on sale for $4,405.50,


Yeah that's the memory checker I found but $4,505.50....!!!!!!! No wonder they don't put the price.

Thanks for the offer to test the RAM, but I think you are in the US and as I'm in Brazil. the logistics make it out of the question.

Quick question:

Would you know if there any top end PC's that use the same kind of memory, because where I am it's 99% PC land and i might be able to find someone that can test them in their PC for me.

Thanks again for your time.


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David Yowell sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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