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I have a server that is old and has a maximum per stick limitation of 4GB (240pin) per stick of memory. There are 6 slots. (This question is not specific to: 6 sticks or the maximum memory per stick being 4GB or the 240 pin. I wrote it with those variables being set because I thought the question was easier to read this way.)

I would like to max out the memory of the server by filling all the slots with their maximum memory per slot. Is there any difference in purchasing one set of 6x4GB or two sets of 3x4GB?

Is there such a thing as buying two sets and then the two sets don't work?

Does the memory maker somehow manufacture/test the set of 6 sticks together such that there is less chance of failure?

It seems like it would be common sense to buy the one set of 6 sticks but I don't know if buying one set of 6 would actually be better... and if buying one set of 6 is actually better I wanted to know a little bit about why it is better.

I guess practically speaking I already have 3x4GB in the server. So maybe I can save some money by just buying another set of 3x4GB.

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  • @MichaelHampton Your linked to question is great. However the top answer is purely theoretical. I was hoping that posting to serverfault.com would turn up some practical experience/examples showing this to be true or false. – Trevor Boyd Smith Oct 8 '15 at 17:03
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    The whole idea that memory would differ based on how many sticks are in the box is quite preposterous. – Michael Hampton Oct 8 '15 at 17:04
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    If you purchase any quantity of the same model number RAM then I wouldn't expect that there's any expectation that any of the modules are manufactured together or tested together. Some dude in a warehouse with a pick list grabs however many you ordered from a bin and puts them in a box to be shipped to you. Why don't you contact one of the vendors and ask them this question? You'll get the answer straight from the horse's mouth and then you can enlighten us. – joeqwerty Oct 8 '15 at 17:20
  • @joeqwerty I was able to find some advice/recommendation from one memory manufacturer G.Skill who recommended to buy 1 set of 6x4GB instead of 2 sets of 3x4GB. – Trevor Boyd Smith Feb 21 '16 at 16:11
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If you already have 3x4GB in the server and it is properly functioning in three channel mode, it makes the most financial sense to purchase another 3x4GB kit. As long as you make sure that you put all the members of one kit into the same colored slots on your motherboard and the other kit into the other colored slots, you will see all 24GB of memory operating in three channel mode.

While I have not heard of anyone having problems from buying two 3x4GB kits, if there is no price difference 6x4GB would be preferred for guaranteed compatibility.

  • I recently went forward with purchasing a second set of 3x4GB and made sure to get the exact same memory size/speed/make/model and I was successful. Thanks for the help! I think your advice on keeping on set in the one colored slots and the other set in the other slot is important. – Trevor Boyd Smith Feb 21 '16 at 16:03
  • re - ""if there is no price difference 6x4GB would be preferred for guaranteed compatibility": During my purchasing I also came across some advice from the memory manufacturer which also mirrored what you said "If you want 24GB, it is best to purchase a 24GB kit." newegg review made on 3/16/2011 6:49:27 PM – Trevor Boyd Smith Feb 21 '16 at 16:05

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