- MacPro3,1 memory must be installed in matched pairs.
as long as they are installed in matched pairs, those pairs may differ in size. ie: a pair of 2 GB modules and a pair of 4 GB modules.
- Maximum installed memory (32 GB) is obtained using 4 GB modules.
- 240 pin DDR2 - 800 MHz PC2-6400 Fully Buffered DIMM.
- Heatsinks are required to maintain reliable temperature range.
- If the computer is in its original factory configuration with only 2 modules installed, those modules will be in the inner slot of both top and bottom memory riser board. First step to adding more RAM is to take the module from the lower board and install it directly next to the module in the innermost slot on the upper board. All additional modules will be installed in pairs - next installed pair goes into the two inner slots on the lower board. The pair after that in the two outer slots of the top board. Last pair in the outer 2 slots of the lower board.
Apple has kindly provided a memory installation guide page specifically for the MacPro.
The MacPro has built in space for a total of 4 internal 3.5 inch SATA drives connected to an Intel powered SATAII bus on the motherboard.
The Optical drives on this computer are usually connected via SATA, but we have seen a few that still used the ATA connection. Before ordering a replacement or additional DVD or BluRay drive check the cabling type i the optical bay.
All SATAIII retail drives sold by MacGurus are perfect for installing inside your MacPro in any of the factory trays. The current capacity king, the 3TB Hitachi Deskstar, works extremely well inside the MacPro delivering up around 150 MB/sec transfer speeds, which is awesomely fast!
Cooling for 4 drives in the MacPro is on the edge of sufficient. Today's drives, even the big 3 TB Hitachi, are cooler running than any previous models. So they are easier to maintain reliable operating temperatures. However we do not recommend more than the 4 hard drives that Apple's engineers designed for. More than that and temperatures for all internal components goes up, and the result is reduced component lifespan.
From the factory this model MacPro shipped with either SATA connection optical drives or Parallel ATA Optical drives. Both bus connections are on the motherboard and either may have been used by Apple. Our recommendation when replacing or adding a second optical drive is to use the same connection type as Apple used. Either check in Apple System Profiler - look for the presence of your optical drive under the ATA list or the SATA bus list. Or pull the cover off your MacPro and slide the optical bay drive housing out far enough to get a look at the drive cabling. If the data connector is a 40 pin wide ribbon cable then you have Parallel ATA drive and cabling installed. If the smaller 7 pin SATA cabling is present then use a SATA drive.
The Plextor Super Drives offered below are the finest drive available at a most reasonable cost. They are plug and play in your MacPro and will serve you well. We have used them exclusively in our Macs for years and unreservedly recommend them.
The MacPro3,1 has 4 PCIe expansion card slots. These slots are physically 'full length' 16 lane slots.
Slot 1 and Slot 2 are 16 Lane(x16) PCIe revision 2 slots (twice as fast as revision 1 PCIe when a revision 2 card is installed) A revision 1 PCIe card will cause the slot to operate at revision 1 connection. Slot 1 and 2 are fully capable of operating any compatible 16 lane graphics cards at full speed and can also accept most other x1, x4, x8 or x16 Mac compatible card.
Slots 3 and 4, the top 2 slots, are 4 Lane (x4) electrical PCIe revision 1 slots. Either a revision 1 or a revision 2 card installed in these slots will run at revision 2 spec.
Most any x1 through x8 card will run perfectly in the 4 Lane slots. High performance x8 or x16 cards will run best in the 16 Lane slot 2.
The PCIe slots on this model MacPro are NOT configurable using the Expansion Slot Utility. The PCIe lane settings are permanently set. Apple has an excellent tech note with more detail on MacPro PCIe slot usage and configuration.