Best memory set up in channels for Dell R710

Posted on 2011-05-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a bought a Dell R710 that came delivered with 32 GB memory. It is running VMware and I wanted to upgrade it to 48 GB RAM.

From Dell it was set up with 8 x 4GB RAM in the two channels next to the prosessor and running in Advanced ECC mode. I first installed the 4 new memory in the third channel but received an error message that this configuration can not support 128-bit Advanced ECC Mode. So I changed the location of the memory and filled up the two channels next to the prosessors so that the third channel channels on both sides are empty.

Now it works in Advanced ECC Mode but from what I can see in the documentation the memory speed drops from 1067 MHz to 800 MHz when two channels are filled completely.

So what is the best performance to install memory modules? If I install two memory modules in each channel I get 1067 MHz instead of 800 MHz but will have to change memory mode to "Optimized mode" instead of  "Advanced ECC Mode". I guess there is some advantages running in "Advanced ECC Mode" but is it worth dropping the memory speed from 1067 MHz to 800 MHz?
Question by:mintraas
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    i would say that it depends on what you are going to run on it. how many servers, what those servers would be doing etc, etc.

    Author Comment

    Can someone explain what is the benefit of chosing the two different modes?
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    I'm going from a two-year-old memory but as I recall the advanced ECC has slightly more situations where it can recover from a soft memory error, at the cost of some slight performance.  We have performance bottlenecks more often than I can remember a server faulting due to memory so I opted for the optimized setting.  If you absolutely positively can't tolerate a server problem, you'd likely chose the ECC.  YMMV and this is just IMHO.
    LVL 55

    Assisted Solution

    Agree with above, I'd rather have all 3 channels populated for performance rather than disabling one and slowing the other two down by making them read something unwanted just in case there's a multiple bit error when they could be reading something that's wanted instead. I think of Advanced ECC (lock-step in Intel speak) as a bit like RAID 1 Vs RAID 0 with disks, except RAM failing doesn't affect your long term data.

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