We have HP DL360 G7 server with one cpu and 16G 12G ram. We plan to add another cpu. So, we need also ram for second cpu. Is there any negative performance impact if we add different size of ram to second cpu? for example 20G ?

Current ram configuration: Current ram configuration

  • Looks like 12GB RAM.
    – ewwhite
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 9:56

3 Answers 3


The HP ProLiant DL360 G7 server (and other Nehalem-and-newer CPU systems) have a set of memory DIMM population guidelines. Can you share what's currently populated and what your final RAM amount/goal is?

  • This is documented primarily in the Quickspecs for the system, but I'll try to give some specific guidelines.
  • HP also has an interactive Memory Configuration Tool to help step you through the process and your options.
  • Here's a technical deep-dive on the Nehalem/Westmere CPU architecture that explains the memory side of things.

At present, you have 9 available DIMM slots out of the 18 slots on the server. You can only use half of them because the server only has one CPU installed. Installing the additional CPU opens the other 9 slots up for use.

  • Performance is maximized if you balance across each CPU's DIMM banks. E.g. results are best if an equal amount of RAM is assigned to both CPUs.

The other critical rules are:

  • Do not mix Unbuffered memory (UDIMMs) with Registered memory (RDIMMs)
  • Do not install DIMMs if the corresponding processor is not installed
  • To maximize performance, balance the total memory capacity between all installed processors
  • Populate DIMMs from heaviest load (quad-rank) to lightest load (single-rank) within a channel

There are also memory channel population tips that affect bus speed. E.g. using 3 to 6 DIMMs per CPU is going to be faster than running with all 18 slots populated. RAM can be seen by both CPUs, but you have to popular on both sides if you have two CPUs.

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Reply back with your setup, and we can help optimize...

  • Updated question.
    – Guntis
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 9:56
  • You seem to have 12GB of RAM right now. What's your total RAM goal? Basically, the end recommendation is to balance the amount of RAM across CPU's... so to go to 24GB RAM and two CPU's, add 3 more 4GB modules to the new processor's DIMM slots. If you need more than that, keep adding to both sides.
    – ewwhite
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 10:12
  • yes, my fault about ram amount.
    – Guntis
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 11:02
  • Equal memory on each channel of a CPU is very important. And this is all of nothing -- either you do it or you don't. Equal memory on each CPU is somewhat beneficial. This is not all or nothing -- the more imbalanced the two CPUs are, the more it will negatively affect performance. If possible, put 4GB, 6GB, or 8GB on each of the six channels. Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 11:21
  • @DavidSchwartz are server chips somehow different in regards to memory amounts on each channel? I recall regularly seeing imbalanced memory amounts on consumer LGA1366 systems offered in retail several years ago; and at the time was told the only penalty would be for the portion of the total not spread across all 3 channels. ex installing 4-2-2gb would give 6gb at 3 channel performance and 2gb at single channel. Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 14:37

The system you are refering to does not differentiate between RAM modules for one or the other processor. All RAM is shared between the two processors. In principle there is no impact for adding memory of different size. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you respect the channels (dual channel= 2 DIMMS, Triple channel is 3 dimms). Also make sure your RAS-CAS latencies and timings are always the same.


As stated by David Schwartz:

If you have different amounts of RAM on each CPU, then one direction of the QPI will be more saturated than the other, which will have a negative impact on performance.

  • If you have different amounts of RAM on each CPU, then one direction of the QPI will be more saturated than the other, which will have a negative impact on performance. Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 11:18

I'm afraid that that's not how it works. There is no such thing as per-cpu memory (at least on such servers, supercomputers is a different story). So you don't need to add extra memory to use an extra CPU. Of course you can do it if you find that you're memory constrained as well as cpu constrained.

  • 5
    There are per-CPU memory banks and definitely performance implications tied to RAM location relative to those banks.
    – ewwhite
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 10:30
  • I stand corrected, thanks for your detailed answer! Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 10:32

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