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Looking to put together a cheap(er) server/workstation for doing some big statistical analysis. Right now, it's running on a machine with 16gb and we're using 40gb of swap. So I want to maximize available RAM. The software is custom and old, and we don't have the resources to multi-thread it. So we're limited to 1 cpu (no dual/quad socket motherboards).

Anyway, looking at ordering an intel i7 3930K and it says on intel's site that it only supports 32GB. However most LGA 2011 motherboards say they support up to 64GB. And searching I see all sorts of people running all sorts of large amounts of ram - some claiming 256gb!

But even with a quad socket MB, 32GB per socket would limit you to 128GB.

So basically, how can I maximize my RAM potential on a cheaper server.

What happens if I put 64gb in a motherboard that supports it, but the CPU only lists 32gb. I'm assuming it just doesn't recognize the other 32gb?


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One thing to keep in mind is that it's currently very difficult to find 8GB unbuffered DIMMs like most boards require anyway. Since most of these boards have 8 DIMM slots, 8x4=32. That's where a lot of it comes from. This is the same deal with LGA1155 - they all say they support 32GB but practically it's almost impossible to put more than 16GB in them. – Shinrai Dec 15 '11 at 20:24
Well right now Newegg has several 32 (4x8gb) quad channel kits. So it would be easy to get 64gb into an X79 mobo. But it doesn't seem like it matters. I just keep hearing speculation, and it doesn't seem like anyone really has a definitive answer. – Sheldon Ross Dec 15 '11 at 22:53
That must have changed pretty recently then. There were NONE available anywhere last time I looked. – Shinrai Dec 16 '11 at 0:10

You got it. What it CAN recognize it then will but.. bear in mind it theoretically could just not work at all. But that's not very likely.

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Third generation Intel processors can address maximally 32GB of RAM regardless the number of cores. One can have more than 32GB of RAM, but cores will use only 32GB of RAM at any given moment, while the rest of RAM will be used as storage. RAM is faster than disk, so using more than 32GB of RAM should make a slight difference than just using 32GB of RAM. However, the difference is not comparable to configurations capable of addressing say 64GB of RAM. So basically, one multi-core processor = 32GB of RAM max.

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too bad he wasn't talking about a 3rd generation chip... Alot of people run 64 gigs of ram on the sandybridge e platform. – Not Kyle stop stalking me Jun 12 '12 at 16:20
No; ram is either accessible or it isn't -- there is no such thing as "use the rest for storage". – psusi Oct 18 '15 at 18:25

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