We're repurposing some old servers and need to put new RAM in them. There's a disconnect between the quote I'm getting from our usual supplier and what it seems like things should cost. (This is kind of an ongoing thing.) I'd like to know if, as more of a development guy than an admin guy, I'm just missing something. Wouldn't be the first time (but it wouldn't be the first time I'd pushed back on a similar point and been right, either).
The servers are old HP ProLiant DL380 G4 machines. The supplier is quoting us £275/2GB module of PC2-3200 DDR2 RAM, so bringing a server up to 4GB (which is all we really need) would be £550/machine.
But a quick check at crucial.com, walking through their selector and choosing that specific server model, tells me a two-pack of 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 modules for £125 should do the trick at less than a quarter the cost. Edit: Yes, it's ECC, and yes, it's registered. Specifically, the link above tells us it's "DDR2 PC2-5300 • CL=5 • Single Ranked • Registered • ECC • DDR2-667 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 72". Edit: And as pipTheGeek points out, scan.co.uk has a very similar price (£140) on the Corsair-branded equivalent. (All of these are ex-VAT.)
The overview specs on the DL380 say "PC2-3200R DDR2", the quick technical specs say "Six PC2-3200R 400MHz DDR2 Sockets". It's my understanding — and apparently Crucial's — that I can run the PC2-5300s in the machine, albeit at PC2-3200 speeds.
So am I missing something? Is Crucial's stuff (which I've used for years without any trouble whatsoever) consumer-grade or dodgy or whatever in some way that makes it genuinely worth paying four times as much for something special? Or is the supplier being pedantic and sourcing PC-3200 RAM (which has to be relatively hard to find these days) because that's what the DL380 specs say, failing to consider that PC-5300 should work just fine? Or are they right that we shouldn't put PC-5300 stuff in the machines?