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how much ram

Posted on 2010-09-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have a server running sbs 2008 server.  The board is a DQ965GF.  I am using 6gb ram at this time and the system keeps maxing that out.  The server is running Exchange server and sql server.  The ram is via 2 stick of 2gb each and 2 sticks of 1gb each.  Thinking of buying more 2gb sticks or possibly 4gb sticks to obtain a total ram of either 8gb or up to 16gb.  WIll this work?  See the board compatibility at http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dq965gf/sb/CS-025978.htm  When I read that, it seems to indicate that I can only run a total of 4gb of ddr2 800mhz, but I am currently running more than that and when I launch task manager and watch the "performance" tab, it shows 5.21 gb in use.  So, the question, can I put in more than 4gb of ddr2 800mhz and if I can, how much should I put in?  It was running with 4 sticks of 1gb each for a total of 4gb, and I put in two sticks of 2gb, now total ram is 6gb and it did help performace. Wondering if I go to 8gb or 12 gb if I will notice any more performance improvement.  The server was very sluggish on Monday and adding the extra 2 gb ram seemed to help.
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Question by:rodynetwork
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33581365
WOW.... you're using a DESKTOP board as SERVER?  If this is for the fun of running a server and learning, fine... but if you're running a business off it, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND you get appropriate hardware with appropriate warranties.  It's UNWISE to run a business machine as a server in an UNSUPPORTED configuration.  

That said, I suspect that some of your RAM is 667 MHz and as the compatibility states "8 GB maximum total system memory using DDR2 667 or DDR2 533 DIMMs; 4 GB maximum total system memory using DDR2 800 DIMMs".  When mixing, the SLOWEST speed is what the system operates at.  So, no, you cannot go above 8 GB and while it should help, your solution that any good IT consultant would recommend is to replace the system with an appropriate server.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 33581374
You are running a desktop board?!? Not only that, it is two generations behind the current Q series Executive boards.

How about a proper server which does not cost much more based on the S3420GP series board and SC5650 series chassis.

Real server hardware for server operating systems should be the norm now.

That board will not support more than 4GB using 800MHz DIMMs or 8GB using 667/533MHz DIMMs.

Philip
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by:Cris Hanna
ID: 33581378
the board is limited to 8GB.   "8 GB maximum total system memory using DDR2 667 or DDR2 533 DIMMs".  8GB would be ok (not great) for 5 users with just exchange.
You're using a desktop (PC) board to perform server functions.  And an older board at that.   That's the main problem.
Running SQL and Exchange you should have a minimum of 12GB of RAM and 16 would be best.
If this were my customer, they wouldn't waste any more money on this hardware, because all you can add is two more GB.   Spend the money and get decent server hardware.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33581392
I'm detecting a theme here...
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by:talkinsmak
ID: 33581398
SQL and Exchange will use all available ram in the system.  If you add more ram it will consume it.  
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Dave_AND earned 63 total points
ID: 33581507
Although its not the best to have it running on desktop hardware, my home server runs SBS2008 on much weaker hardware with much more happening on it.

SQL is a hog, limit how much RAM it can use I could write it out, but nice guide here: http://merill.net/2010/05/limit-sql-server-memory-usage-on-your-workstation-laptop-or-vm/

I only use 4Gb RAM and although its not the fastest in the world it does it job.. but its only got 2 users on it, but acts as a Utorrent downloader, Media store for music and Video and the normal SBS stuff with OWA, for Girlfriends buisness with an iPad, Android and Blackberry connected and 7 client PC (yes, i have more PCs than people..)
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33581593
> i have more PCs than people..
I'd think there was something wrong with you if you didn't  :-)
6 PCs (7 if you count the VM on my Server but don't count the XP Modes...).  And 7 more systems at my office - mostly VMs running various components for testing and learning.

And it's just the two of us...

But from my perspective, if this is JUST for oneself or testing and learning AND you know what you're doing, then fine, run it on a desktop.  If this is a business and you have to ask questions like this, you don't know enough (in my opinion) to justify the supposed savings of using inappropriate hardware as that hardware is potentially more prone to failure and your system potentially much more difficult to recover - which affects your business's ability to make money!

I have one client who CLEARLY understands the value of his time.  That while yes, he COULD run the systems himself and do all the work... it's CHEAPER to pay me $150 per hour because he can be making MORE doing what his company does best...

If you can make your company $300 per hour, which is cheaper:
Do 5 hours of computer work yourself.... - $1500 you couldn't make while saving $750.  Net loss $750 ... but at least you didn't write the check!?!?!?
Or pay an IT pro $150 per hour to do it for you...  750 you pay to make $1500.  Net gain $750.
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by:rodynetwork
ID: 33581767
Seems my question struck a nerve with a few of you.  Let me explain. I started this company out of my back pocket, have 2 employees plus myself, bought this box 3 years ago as an entry level machine.  It worked fine when I had server 2003 on it.  Have changed to sbs 2008 server now.  Seems the memory isn't sufficient for sql and plan on migrating sql to a different box and only running exchange and file serving on this one. That being said, the ram I have recently bought is 800mhz, 2gb per stick. The box had 4 1gb sticks in it, no idea what the mhz is on those sticks.  At the moment I have swapped out two of the old sticks with the new 800mhz sticks, totatling 6gb.  The server seems to be seeing all 6gb of ram, the sql interface and task manager show the 6gb ram, so I am a little confused at to whether it is actually using it or not. task manager shows the server using 5.27gb of memory right now. So, if I get more ram, is the general consensus it won't work, it will work, or it's anybody's guess?

for the second server, what do you recommend?  The one I would run sql on?  I have another DQ965GF on hand, but am not opposed to upgrading to a more robust server if it will make that much difference.  My experience of this box is, this box was fine with server 2003 and sql express 2005 and exchange server 2003.  Upgrading to sbs 2008 server and the full version of sql seem to be using more ram, but performace is fine for what we do.  While I do appreciate that you guys are pros and working in enviroments with certain standards of performance, the consideration at my level is to grow a business and stay in business while we expand.  I think a more robust server is something I will do when business volume is greater.  Thanks for the input on hardware.  Any input on whether I should put in 8gb of 533/667 or stick with 4g 800.  What the heck is the difference?  Is the 800 ram that much faster?  Also, if I set up the 2nd server (the other DQ965GF), how much ram to put in the box running sbs 2008 server and exchange and file serving vs how much ram to put in the other box running sbs 2008 server and sql?
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by:rodynetwork
ID: 33581823
Dave AND,

That article was helpful.  I changed that setting to 512 and noticed the ram usage in task manager dropped to 4.87gb.  Interesting.  
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 62 total points
ID: 33581837
EVERYTHING is fine until it's not.  If your business can sustain itself WITHOUT e-mail and computers for a week while you get parts - or with you doing nothing else for a day or two or three other than fixing and reinstalling and recovering everything -- if your time WOULDN'T be better spent doing what your business does, then keep using non-server class hardware.  

OTHERWISE, replace it with appropriate, server class hardware.  EVERYTHING will fail.  There's no question about that.  BUT, true server class equipment - AND WARRANTY - should ensure that you spend as little time as possible dealing with failures of technology and as MUCH time as possible doing what generates revenue for your business.  

What's appropriate?  Name brand equipment.  If you want to build it yourself, then get two of everything so that when something fails, you can get it replaced instantly.  Otherwise, NAME BRAND equipment from Dell, IBM, HP.  

As for the RAM, if you get more RAM - 667 or 533 MHz RAM, then it should work - maxed out at 8 GB.  I will say it MAY work beyond that - I have an Acer DESKTOP I'm working on as I type this that supposedly only supports 4 GB of RAM, but I've had as much as 6 GB in it and expect it would handle 8 GB fine.  That said, it's unsupported.  Which is NEVER good for a business server.  When you can't get support - EVEN PAID SUPPORT - because you're doing something the manufacturer says no to - then when you have a problem - EVEN if it's seemingly unrelated - you can have SERIOUS trouble getting them to help you - if they help at all.
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