A Guide To Optimizing Memory for Dell PowerEdge R710

Tech Tip #6: Optimizing Dell PowerEdge R710 Memory

Memory layouts can be complicated, especially because they are continually evolving. Gaining a basic understanding is still essential to get the most out of your server.

The Dell R710 runs memory in a triple channel configuration and can be run in a single and dual-processor setup. For an ideal setup, you would run sets of three sticks for each processor and match across both processors as well. So you would be populating A1, A2, A3 and B1, B2, B3 with the same sticks, and for the next set of memory, you would be populating A4, A5, A6, and B4, B5 and B6 and so on.

You can install memory in sets of two, but it will require a slight change in the memory layout that won’t follow the numerical order. For example, if you have eight sticks you want to install, you would install the sticks in A1, A2, A4, A5 and B1, B2, B4, B5. You are essentially leaving the 3rd channel completely unpopulated as the system requires an equal number of sticks per channel to be optimized.

It will drop you from triple channel to dual-channel, but it is the only way to get this number of sticks to work. Otherwise, attempting to go in numerical order will leave you with memory optimization errors in POST.

There are some limitations if you want to use quad rank memory. In this situation, you can only populate 2 of the 3 slots per channel, meaning you would be maxed out at 12 sticks of memory as opposed to 18. If you are unsure, you can tell if you have quad-channel memory by looking at the specs on the ram sticker.

After the size of the stick, you should notice a set of numbers in a layout like this, "4rx4" or "2rx8". If the first number in that section is a four, that means you have quad rank memory, which will be subject to this limitation.

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