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Are there any actual differences in requirements when running W2K8R2 Enterprise, Standard or Datacenter edition?

In example, will the Datacenter edition consume more memory or CPU than the Standard edition when idle?

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According to Wikipedia, the only difference in minimum requirements between editions is disk space, with Foundation needing at least 10 GB and all other editions at least 32 GB.

However, according to official system requirements from Microsoft, all editions require at least 10 GB, with 40 GB or more recommended.

Of course, actual disk space, RAM and CPU consumption will depend greatly on what exactly your server is doing. A server running Datacenter Edition may well consume much more RAM during normal operation than another running Standard Edition, because it's designed for workloads consuming ridiculous amounts of RAM, so that's what it's mostly used for. On the other hand, a Server Core installation (which omits the graphical shell and a number of other components) will likely run with a smaller footprint than a regular installation.

That said, assuming the same installation type, and without any server roles or third-party software installed, no edition should consume significantly more resources than another. Whether or not such a comparison is useful in real life is of course a whole other question.

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Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter does support more features than the Standard and Enterprise versions. More features means, more memory and CPU usage, but the reality is that it would not be a noticeable difference.

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