How much RAM for SBS and what configuration given current setup?

I have a SBS 2003 Standard edition R2 on an HP Proliant ML 110 G4 Server. It came with only 1 GB of RAM, which, of course, is most likely not enough. Given that I have four slots, two of which are used by 512 MBs and HP is sending the other 2 512MBs for free due to error, what are my best options? I coiuld purchase 2 x 2GBs and go with 4GBs which then would give me 4.5 GBs, of which I think a 32bit system would only see two. Or could I go with 2 x 1GB and have 2.5GBs total?

Also, on the website below, it shows that the 4 GB option is more than double the price than the 2 GB option. Any explanation for that? Is it that they just don't make as many 2 GB sticks?

Any help would be appreciated. I am currently having performance issues with the 1 GB of RAM.
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
What is your intended use?  Users?  SBS Standard or Premium?

SBS will not recognize more than 4 GB of RAM - less due to 32 bit technological limitations.

Why are the 2 GB sticks more expensive?  Supply and demand.  

Given the costs and limitations, I would order 4x1GB sticks and use that.  2GB of RAM will help... (what you'll have when you get the other sticks from HP), but SBS (Exchange, MSDE, and other resources can eat RAM and given it's price, I would recommend maxing out at 4 GB).
Brian PierceConnect With a Mentor PhotographerCommented:
Bear in mind that the absolute max that you will get from a 32bit SBS server is 4Gb and that in reality - as some of the moemory address space is used for system control the Max available memory that you will get will be somewhere between 3.25 and 3.5Gb even if you install 4Gb or more.

If you are using Exchange and/or SQL then they will certianily make use of any available memory. Whether this speeds up the system or not depends on the exact use, configuration and apeed of the other system components.
Bert2005Author Commented:
I am using Standard Edition R2 and basically it is a file server. I think my best option are the four 1 GBs of RAM. I hate throwing away the 4 512s though.

It is rather obvious that the above link to Crucial RAM is the correct ECC RAM. I just want to be sure after the problems I have had the first time.
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Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
You might as well only buy 3/3.5Gb of RAM as I have said between .5 and 1Gb cannot be used anyway! The most cost effective solution would be to rip out 2x512Mb and replace with 2x1Gb and this would take you to near max usbale memory at least cost.
Bert2005Author Commented:

Just a bit confused, sorry. That was what I was thinking, but I need to make sure. Are you saying since HP is sending 2 X 512 and it already has 2 X 512, to NOT install the 2 X 512 that HP sends and put in 3 sticks of 1 GB RAM, thereby having 3.5 GBs? Is it OK to not have matching RAM?

Also, while this is just logistics, it may be best to rip out the existing RAM since I am having memory issues and use the new RAM. It's probably just that I don't have enough, but why chance it, when I can use the newer RAM.
Bert2005Author Commented:
Oh and one thing I don't understand. Let's say for argument sakes that your OS can't see 0.5 GB of RAM, which I think I understand.

So, wouldn't that mean if you install 4 GBs of RAM you would have effectively 3.5 GBs useable? Therefore, if I only install 3.5 GBS, I will only have 3GBs effect. So, I would want to install the most that I can or am I misunderstanding you?
Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
If you install 4Gb of Ram you will get between 3.5 usable.
If you install 3.5Gb you will get 3.5Gb usable.

You loose the top .5Gb (more ot less) of the 4Gb max as the address space that is required for this is used for other purposes.

If you have less memory than the max you can use it all.
Bert2005Author Commented:

Thanks, I understand now. The only question I have is does that mean I should leave two 512s and install 2 x 1GBs for 3 GBs total? Or should I purchase 3 X 1 GBs and have 3.5 GBs? Or do you still have to match, i.e. 2 x 512 and 2 x 1 GB? So, to spell it out, should it look like:

1 + 1 + 1 + 1/2     or

1 + 1 + 1/2 + 1/2

Sorry, I am trying. I have got it, just want to be absolutely sure before I pay Crucial.

Thanks again for your help.
Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
You need to check what your MB allows. See the manual and what the permitted memory configurations are for your model.
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