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I have a Mac Pro running dual Xeon X5675s (3.06 Ghz). I purchased 8 16GB PC3L-8500R DIMMs in the hope of upgrading it to 128GB. It sees all the memory, but it's only running it at 800 Mhz (PC3-8500 should run at 1066 Mhz). Is this a limitation of the amount of memory, or is it something about these DIMMMs that it doesn't like? I tried another CPU card (also with X5675s) and got the same result. With the original 4GB DIMMs, it runs at the expected speed.

ETA: I'm answering my own question. This is apparently a weakness of the architecture. If I remove the fourth DIMM from each bank, the memory runs at the correct speed.

  • The "L" in PC3L indicates a low voltage spec for RAM. It is usually supported without any problems, but perhaps the presence of this type of RAM results in odd behavior. Just a guess, mind you. – IconDaemon Apr 15 '17 at 1:33
  • it can run 64GB as dual channel [8's] or 96GB as triple [16s]. – Tetsujin Apr 15 '17 at 5:42
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It can run 64GB as dual channel [8's] or 96GB as triple [16s].

From EveryMac - Silver-Colored Mac Pro Q&A

Actual Maximum RAM

Although "Mid-2010" and "Mid-2012" Mac Pro systems with a single processor, which EveryMac.com notes as the "Quad Core" and "Six Core" models, officially support a maximum of 16 GB of RAM, as discovered by site sponsor Other World Computing, they actually can support more. OWC first noted an actual maximum of 32 GB of RAM and later increased this actual maximum to 48 GB of RAM.

Systems with dual processors, which EveryMac.com notes as the "Eight Core" and "Twelve Core" models, likewise officially support 32 GB of RAM, but again, OWC found they actually can support more. OWC first confirmed an actual maximum of 64 GB of RAM running Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" and later increased this maximum to 96 GB of RAM running Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or higher. More recently, OWC yet again discovered these dual processor models can support up to 128 GB, but only when running a 64-bit version of Windows XP or later or Linux. Mac OS X only can support 96 GB of RAM.

  • That information is our of date. Later versions of OSX and MacOS support the full 128GB – Swechsler Apr 15 '17 at 13:25
  • & yet appears borne out by your own tests. I cannot test for myself, I have 8x8 in mine, which works as expected. – Tetsujin Apr 15 '17 at 16:57
  • No, I am able to access the full 128GB, just at a reduced speed. That would be a hardware, not software issue. – Swechsler Apr 15 '17 at 21:43

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