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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Why my Mac pro 3.1 RAM keeps breaking?


I have a Mac Pro early 2008 (3.1) and just under 2 years ago I had to replace the RAM because the old ones did not work anymore, and now the new ones stop working one by one over the past few months. I had 32 and just 8 GB.

So I can buy new ones again but maybe they will break also.

Can anyone tell me what the cause is and what is the best I can do?

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Hmm. I don't exactly know why the ram in your mac pro is dying, but keep in mind that most memory manufacturers have a "Limited Lifetime warranty." So as long as you have a receipt, send it back under RMA and get a new stick. It is not uncommon for RAM to fail. However, your failure rate does seem to be a bit abnormal. I don't have much experience repairing Mac Pros, but there should be a memory utility you can use to test your RAM. There is memtest86 available in linux distros and that probably also works for Macs. Good luck!


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What are you running on your system gaming, photo or video editing?

Heavy processing can push the system as a whole hard. RAM can be pushed to failure from heat. I've had to replace a few of our Mac Pro's memory a few times (we have two of the older towers). The newer 2013 models seem to have less of a problem.

I would recommend making sure the system is dusted out making sure the fans & heat sink fins are clean. You may want to get a good thermal monitoring app like TG Pro so you can watch whats happening in your system.

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I'm not doing video or photo editing. Gaming and general use like internet, streaming, etc.

I have read some say it might have to do with the power supply, or other hardware (people with similar RAM issues). Do you think heat to be the most likely?


We have the last two of the older systems we have on UPS's so I don't think it's the power in its self. We leave the systems running and they do mostly video editing and stitched flyovers. We always suspected heat buildup.

Depending on the gaming and the GPU card you are using that can be hard on the RAM.

What does TG Pro tell you?


TG Pro tells me;

CPU A, RAM risers, and Northbridge Die are all above 60C average

The fans are running at minimum speed.

And it says that there is no internal battery in this mac


@danj This is a strange thing i've noted on the 2008 Mac Pros. The RAM it ships with is not the RAM Everymac lists as the correct RAM. The EveryMac RAM is faster. I've replaced the RAM in several and stopped the problem. Let's see just what RAM the OP is installing.


@mayer - Doesn't it depend on the systems age & CPU's?

The older 2008 uses PC6400 DDR2 ECC RAM, and the 2009 models use PC3-8500 DDR3 ECC RAM and the 2012 model which uses PC3-10600 DDR3 ECC RAM.

We only have two of the 2012 models.


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