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Is it possible to use non-ECC memory in the HP Proliant DL385 g5, the server is a test system so error checking is less important

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The server would most likely need RAM designed speifically for that server, so in this case, HP's installed ECC ram. – Jake Elsley Oct 25 '12 at 11:20
@JakeElsley Um, no. It's industry standard RAM. The only reason to buy HP RAM is to guarantee compatibility and the server's warranty would cover only HP RAM installed in it. – Chris S Oct 25 '12 at 13:05
@ChrisS Okay my mistake - thank you for correcting me. – Jake Elsley Oct 26 '12 at 19:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The processors in the DL385G5 do not require ECC RAM, they do require Registered RAM (sometimes called "buffered" RAM). Finding Non-ECC Registered RAM is going to be difficult and expensive.

While it might technically work, it's going to cost much more than just using ECC Registered RAM.

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I originally thought the same thing, and I know that the DL380G5 require registered RAM (the Xeon based models), but the specs mention no such thing about DL385G5 (AMD based). Are you positive that they require registered RAM? – chutz Oct 25 '12 at 13:36
AMD says these processors will not work without registered RAM (and will work with or without ECC). I haven't actually tried to put unregistered RAM in one of these Opteron models, but I have other Opterons and it definitely didn't work. – Chris S Oct 25 '12 at 13:40

There's no reason not to use the proper RAM in the system. If you're simply concerned about cost, you're not looking in the right places. Used and third-party RAM is available for your ProLiant DL385 G5 at low prices.

Follow the quickspecs for the system...

Eight sockets for PC2-5300 DIMMs (DDR2-667) with Advanced ECC

You only have eight slots, but searching for one of the relevant SKU's will be your best bet... These are DIMM kits since that model requires RAM to be installed in pairs.

2GB DIMM - 408851-B21
4GB DIMM - 408853-B21
8GB DIMM - 408854-B21

Take those SKU's and head to eBay... Or search for 3rd-party RAM that is listed to be compatible with the SKU.

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Searching on Google for HP DL385g5 "non-ecc" found at least one place selling memory marked as "1GB PC2-5300 DIMM NON-ECC MEMORY MODULE FOR COMPAQ/HP PROLIANT DL SERIES DL385 G5 (470064-865) COMPUTERS", so I would say that it is supported.

The official documentation does not mention this specifically though.

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sorry but it doesn't fill me with confidence, I was aiming for a more technical reasoning. thank you though – fir3x Oct 25 '12 at 12:56

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