I have an old Lenovo ThinkCentre M83 SFF i3-4130 (Serial-No. S4C05873) with a Intel-Q85-chipset (Haswell).

  • From the Lenovo-page I got some compatible products. Among them I found one module that has a different rank (2Rx8).
  • There was also a module listed in the compatibilty list that is an ECC-module. I read that if many non-server mainboards accept also ECC-modules with the effect that error correction will not work. For me that would be ok as I do not use my PC as a server.

So can you tell if I can use:

  1. Server RAM in my PC and why?
  2. Buffered instead of unbuffered RAM and why?
  3. ECC instead of Non-ECC-modules and why?
  4. This Samsung M393B1K70DH0-YK0 module here as an example?
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    Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. – Ramhound Apr 3 at 13:06
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    The module you are asking about is incompatible with your hardware. – Ramhound Apr 3 at 13:07
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    Thanks, Ramhound. Can you tell me why? – NeilArmstron9000 Apr 3 at 13:19
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    Your hardware does not support RDIMMs (Registered DIMMs) while RMR5030EF68F9W is a UDIMM (Unregistered DIMM). – Ramhound Apr 3 at 13:34
  • @Ramhound: That was an info that helped me! – NeilArmstron9000 Apr 3 at 13:50

The answer is "maybe". It depends on what your desktop machine is capable of and what kind of server RAM it is. The most important part is whether the RAM is "unbuffered" or "registered" or "load reduced".

Unbuffered and registered RAM are physically compatible but the motherboard has to explicitly support registered memory because the address lines are buffered.

Load reduced is similar to registered except both address and data lines are buffered. Requires explicit motherboard support to have a chance of working.

ECC unbuffered memory usually works in motherboards that don't support ECC, the ECC functionality just doesn't get used.

Unless somebody is offering you an awesome deal on server memory, it is usually far, far better to just get memory in the motherboard's QVL and save yourself hours of stability testing even if it does POST the first time.

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  1. Does not work. Server rams has error checking feature that isn't typically found in consumer grade motherboards. https://serverfault.com/questions/5887/what-is-ecc-ram-and-why-is-it-better

  2. No physical notch location prevents mixing, but a server grade motherboard could implement both.

  3. Server grade vs Consumer grade see #3. Stick with what manufacture recommends:

  4. Stick with manufacturers recommendations: https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/desktops/thinkcentre/m-series-sff/m83-sff/ I recommend buying one more 4GB matching stick and wait for a good deal on two more 4GB sticks. 8GB of RAM is plenty.

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    Crucial says something different on their page, I think (see crucial.com/support/articles-faq-memory/ecc-vs-non-ecc): "When adding new memory, you should match what memory you already have in your system. Adding non-ECC memory to an ECC system will disable the error-checking and correcting ability of your memory modules. While your system may still operate, the enhanced features of the ECC modules will no longer be functioning as ECC in your computer." In addition to that I had a look at the compatibility list at Lenovo and there is an ECC module listed. – NeilArmstron9000 Apr 3 at 13:16
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    Your #3 is re-entrant :-) – Russell McMahon Apr 4 at 12:12
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    8GB of RAM is plenty, well, that depends. – Zereges Apr 4 at 15:17
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    I would like to point out that #1 is not actually reliably accurate. Many AMD boards that aren't designed for bottom of the barrel dirt cheap CPU's support ECC RAM just fine provided the firmware doesn't go out of it's way to prevent it from working. It's Intel systems specifically that you can't use ECC on desktop boards. – Austin Hemmelgarn Apr 4 at 22:52
  • There's no such thing as "enough RAM". – Mark Apr 5 at 3:03

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