One of the most significant brain busters with Intel’s new Core i7 architecture as well as the new Intel Xeon Processor 3400 Series and 5500 Series architectures is trying to get a straight answer on how to come out with a certain amount of RAM in the system.
This is the Intel Server Board S3420GP Xeon 3400 series memory page out of the product’s technical product specifications manual:
There are more pages both before and after this one that get into how to configure memory for this particular server board without really making things entirely clear.
There is the Intel Server Configurator Tool that will only allow certain RAM part combinations during the configuration process, but it does not tell us why it allows or does not allow us to choose a certain amount of RAM like 24GB for one box.
In comes Intel’s new Memory Configurator Tool:
We are looking to have a Xeon 3400 series server configured with 24GB. This tool will actually show us the how/what/where/why of getting there.
The tool at least takes some of the guess work out of configuring servers.
The above 24GB configuration request yielded the following result:
It says we can do 6x 4GB Registered DIMMs at 800MHz up top with the bottom right quadrant indicating the DIMMs can be Single, Dual, or Quad Rank when it comes to the memory chips on the DIMMs themselves.
Now, is the tool right?
Well, we will find out in short order since we have an SR1630HGP 1U server system based on the S3420GPLC series server board with six 4GB Kingston quad ranked registered ECC RAM sitting in the shop waiting to be built.
When we run through the Intel Server Configurator Tool and come to the memory configuration portion, we get the following:
The Configurator indicates up to 4x 4GB Registered Quad Rank DIMMs which does not meet our 24GB need. So, we shall see soon enough which one is right.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book