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I have just ordered a new Dual CPU Dell T610 server with 8GB ram included. The server has 12 memory slots (3 channels per CPU, 2 banks per channel).

I want to add memory to it (I intend to add RAM from Crucial as I have always had good experiences with them) - but I am getting confused with 'Memory Balancing'.

My intention was to upgrade as follows: Already included (4 x 2GB) Add 4 x 4GB Total: 24GB

Reading http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/pedge/en/server-pedge-installing-upgrading-memory-11g.pdf I am getting confused!

I think I arrange as:
Channel 1: 4GB 2GB - 2GB 4GB
Channel 2: 4GB 2GB - 2GB 4GB
Channel 3: 0GB 0GB - 0GB 0GB

What would I do if I wanted to up to the maximum (for SBServer 2011) of 32GB? I presume:
Channel 1: 4GB 2GB - 2GB 4GB
Channel 2: 4GB 2GB - 2GB 4GB
Channel 3: 4GB 0GB - 0GB 4GB

But would this be imbalanced? And does it matter?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Just rip out the 4x2GB modules and put in 6x4GB modules - the price won't be much more and it'll work optimally plus leave you with some modules to ebay and a cleaner system to upgrade later if needed.

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But what if I want to max out at 32GB? –  James Holland Jun 16 '11 at 16:02
    
That machine can take 192GB (2 CPUs, 3 channels per CPU, 2 DIMMs per channel and up to 16GB per DIMM), so going to 48GB would be very easy and cheap. –  Chopper3 Jun 16 '11 at 19:42
    
But Small Business Server 2011 maxes out at 32GB, so going to 48GB would be unusable. I am trying to figure out how to get to the maximum supported by the OS without having any issues with imbalanced memory –  James Holland Jun 16 '11 at 22:16
    
Ah, missed the SBS bit sorry, you can't do it - 32 isn't divisible by 12 - closest you could get is 30GB with 6x4GB and 6x1GB. –  Chopper3 Jun 16 '11 at 22:46
    
OK, Thanks for your help! - I guess I just hate not using the memory that came with the server! –  James Holland Jun 18 '11 at 12:04
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