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Best Practices

Maximising Capacity for Intel Xeon-based Servers

How you use memory —and which type you use —requires an understanding of how to balance low power, capacity and performance. In this document, one in a series of Kingston®Best Practice Guides for configuring memory, Kingston offers guidance and advice on how to optimise capacity for Xeon 5600, Xeon E5 and Xeon 7 processors.

Keep in Mind

  • Some applications, such as virtualisation, require the maximum memory capacity a platform can support.
  • Select the largest capacity memory modules a server can support. This avoids costly upgrades in the future should selected lower capacity modules prove insufficient.

 

Step 1

Know Your Processor’s Options for Module Types

  • Xeon 5600 processors support Single/Dual/Quad Rank Registered DIMMs.
  • Xeon E5 processors support Single/Dual/Quad-Rank Registered DIMMs (RDIMMs), Load-Reduced DIMMs (LRDIMMs), and ECC Unbuffered DIMMs (ECC UDIMMs).
  • Maximum capacities available are:
    – 8GB ECC UDIMM
    – 16GB Dual Rank RDIMM
    – 16GB Quad Rank RDIMM
    – 32GB Quad Rank RDIMM
    – 32GB LRDIMM

Step 2

Maximise Memory Capacity

Check the memory support rules for the server platform you are configuring. In general (based on Intel chipset specifications), the maximum capacity memory rules are:

  • Xeon E7 Processors:
    – Up to sixteen RDIMMs per processor:
    A 4-way server reaches 2TB (sixty-four 32GB Quad Rank modules).
  • Xeon 5600 processors:
    – Up to six Quad Rank RDIMMs per processor:
    A 2-way server memory reaches 192GB (twelve 16GB Quad Rank modules) or 384GB (twelve 32GB Quad Rank modules).
    – Up to nine Dual Rank RDIMMs per processor: A 2-way server memory reaches 288GB (eighteen 16GB Dual Rank modules).
  • Xeon E5-4600 Processors:
    – Up to eight Quad Rank RDIMMs per processor:
    A 4-way server reaches 512GB (thirty-two 16GB Quad Rank modules) or 1TB (thirty-two 32GB Quad Rank modules).
    – Up to twelve Dual Rank RDIMMs per processor: A 4-way server reaches 768GB (forty-eight 16GB Dual Rank modules).
  • Xeon E5-2600 Processors:
    – Up to eight Quad Rank RDIMMs per processor:
    A 2-way server memory reaches 256GB (sixteen 16GB Quad Rank modules) or 512GB (sixteen 32GB Quad Rank modules).
    – Up to twelve Dual Rank RDIMMs per processor: A 2-way server memory reaches 384GB (twenty-four 16GB Dual Rank modules).
    – Up to twelve LRDIMMs per processor: A 2-way server memory reaches 768GB (twenty-four 32GB LRDIMMs).

Suggested Kingston Memory Modules

  • Xeon E7:
    – 8GB, 16GB Dual Rank 1333MHz/1066MHz (1.5V or 1.35V)
    – 8GB, 16GB, 32GB Quad Rank 1066MHz (1.5V or 1.35V)
  • Xeon 5600:
    – 8GB, 16GB 1333MHz Dual Rank memory (1.5V or 1.35V) RDIMM
    – 8GB, 16GB, 32GB 1066MHz Quad Rank memory (1.5V or 1.35V) RDIMM
  • Xeon E5-2600/4600:
    – 4GB, 8GB 1600MHz ECC UDIMM
    – 8GB, 16GB Dual Rank 1600MHz (1.5V) or 1333MHz memory (1.5V or 1.35V) RDIMM.
    – 8GB, 16GB, 32GB 1066MHz Quad Rank memory (1.5V or 1.35V) RDIMM
    – 32GB LRDIMM 1333MHz (1.5V or 1.35V)
    – Mixing of memory technology types within a system, or of different rank types within a bank, is not allowed. Mixing 1.5V and 1.35V within a system defaults the memory to 1.5V.
  • Xeon E5-2600/4600 v2:
    – 8GB, 16GB Dual Rank 1866MHz (1.5V) or 1600MHz (1.5V or 1.35V) RDIMM
    – 8GB, 16GB, 32GB Quad Rank 1333MHz/1066MHz (1.5V or 1.35V) RDIMM
    – 32GB 1600MHz or 1333MHz (1.35V) LRDIMM

Kingston offers a full range of server memory modules and products to support configuration options that optimise performance, capacity or energy usage.

At a glance

This guide to maximising memory capacity is one in a series of “Kingston Memory Best Practices” for configuring memory. Other guides in the series provide the information and product considerations needed to minimising memory power usage and maximise performance. Kingston also offers an experienced pre-sales technical support staff to help you determine which configuration is ideal for your environment. Find the memory you need or contact a Kingston expert for help.