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Ram Install

Posted on 2009-04-02
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Hi,

I have a PowerEdge 2900 iii with SBS 2008 and i just bought some Crucial ram (2 sticks of 4GB memory).  My server is running with only 4GB of ram and i noticed that 90% is in use (my guess is this is from using exchange server also).

I currently have 4 sticks of 1GB memory in the server, and 8 open slots.


I wanted to know if there was any certain order i should put the ram in (should i move the 1GB down and put the new larger sticks in it place)?  Also, is there any downside of using 2 sticks of 4GB with 4 sticks of 1GB ram?

Thanks
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Question by:ServerPoster
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Expert Comment

by:Tuxx
ID: 24054251
1: Make sure you are using a 64 bit operating system since over 4GB of RAM can crash a 32 bit OS.
2: There is no specific order in which you may put in RAM, just be sure to get it into two paired slots ( to take advantage of the speed benefits of doing so. ).
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Expert Comment

by:Rodney Barnhardt
ID: 24054325
To see anything over 4GB, you either need a 64-bit OS, or if you are running a 32-bit Windows Server OS, it needs to be 2003 Enterprise Edition. Enterprise Edition will recognize memory over 4GB.
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Author Comment

by:ServerPoster
ID: 24054419
I'm running SBS 2008 server, which is a 64bit OS.

How do i tell which slots are paired on my Dell Poweredge 2900 iii server?
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by:Mestha
ID: 24054859
I would just put the additional RAM in the spare slots. Do not move anything that is already installed.

Simon.
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garycase earned 125 total points
ID: 24055569
You definitely don't want to simply "... put the additional RAM in the spare slots ...". Performance can be very adversely affected if you don't ensure the optimal quad-channel arrangment (two dual-channel branches). The alignment of the slots by channel and branch is shown on page 83 of the hardware manual: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/pe2900/en/hom/pdf/hom.pdf

Note that Dell says you must install either 2, 4, 8, or 12 modules ... so it's not clear what will happen if you install a total of 6 modules (won't hurt to try it). I suspect the memory will be "seen", but the performance will suffer because the system doesn't have matched modules in the two branches (so effectively you'll slow down from quad-channel access to dual-channel access) => but it depends on how the BIOS treats that arrangement. Assuming it works okay (and you "see" 12GB), I suspect you'll get a warning message on startup about "non-optimal" memory configuration.

If you want to try it, install the two new modules in slots 5 and 6 (your current modules should be in 1, 2, 3, and 4). But I'd follow Dell's instructions and install 4 more modules rather than just 2.
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by:Mestha
ID: 24055681
The question has been asked too late. It should have been asked before the purchase was made. Hopefully the OP used a tool online to ensure the right RAM was purchased.

Simon.
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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 125 total points
ID: 24065091
You need to determine if the modules are one Rank or two Rank.
That might come into play with the slot arrangement.

I have a similar board (only Intel) and the previously suggested slot arrangement isn't a good idea.
- See drawing from your manual...
The correct arrangement would seem to be:
1GB in slots 1,5,2,6
4GB in slots 3,4
That keeps the channels and branches as balanced as you can do with what you have.
Hopefully the 1Gb is 1R and the 4GB is 2R.

I agree that you be better off getting two more 4GB modules and discarding the 1GB.
[Or sell, use in something else, whatever,,,,]





RAM-Slots-PowerEdge-2900-III.jpg
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Author Comment

by:ServerPoster
ID: 24065137
Okay.  what would be better

Using the 4 1GB with the 2 4GB sticks


OR


Just using the 2 4GB sticks only

???


Thanks for all the suggestions!
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by:garycase
ID: 24065429
As I noted before, it depends on how the BIOS configures the memory access with 6 installed memory modules => since Dell says to only install 2, 4, 8, or 12 modules, that situation isn't addressed in the documentation.

If you "see" 12GB, then the question is what mode is it accessing it in.   Run CPU-Z [http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php ] and look on the memory tab to see what the current mode is.

You might then want to try the two configurations you asked about above and see which mode each of them use.   I'd expect that either will run just fine, since both are within the Dell-specified configurations (although the 4 1GB modules may run at a higher speed, since it should be accessed in quad-channel mode).
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24065868
I would try the 4 1GB with the 2 4GB sticks and if it doesn't work switch to just the two 4GB modules.
-
That would be a valid configuration in the board I have.
Biggest difference between your and my boards for RAM is that mine only has two slots per channel.
I'm missing your slots 9, 10, 11, 12.

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