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What is the optimal amount of memory for WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a self built server and am upgrading some of the components. I was wondering if adding memory is a good investment, right now I have 512 and was thinking of adding another 512 to bring it up to 1GB, but I am not sure if the server really uses that much memory. 
    Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:15 PM

Answers

  • It depends. If all you ever do with your server is use the features that Microsoft built in, then 512 MB is probably adequate. If you plan to install add-ins, do heavy duty streaming, or install software other than add-ins, then 512 MB is light. In that case I would recommend 1 GB or 2 GB.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:18 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • It depends. If all you ever do with your server is use the features that Microsoft built in, then 512 MB is probably adequate. If you plan to install add-ins, do heavy duty streaming, or install software other than add-ins, then 512 MB is light. In that case I would recommend 1 GB or 2 GB.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, September 11, 2008 8:18 PM
    Moderator
  • While 512 MB are enough for the basic functions, I think, that adding up to 2 GByte should not hurt. They are not so expensive any more and you can be sure, that after that investment memory is no bottleneck on the server any more.
    Sure the overall performance depends also from the remaining system configuration. Since you did not describe that, it is hard to say, if you should better invest into other components.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, September 12, 2008 8:36 AM
    Moderator
  • I'm running what I would call a power-user server as far as the hardware level, with 4GB RAM installed and the motherboard resources set minimal so that more RAM is available instead of blocked out to hardware such as video (3.99GB available physical instead of the common 3.25GB available on most desktops).  I'm not using any hi-res 3D graphics on the server, so there is no reason to allocate 256MB+ to the PCIe.  The 4GB (2x2GB) of Mushkin DDR2-800 RAM only cost me $95 CDN (currently as low as $85).

    Running basic WHS applications and a couple of third-party server addons, it never requires anywhere near that amount of RAM.  1GB would probably have been more than sufficient for 99.9% of server operations.

    You could run some PerfMon graphs if you are concerned that your system is running low on physical and getting a lot of paging hits assuming you are running a lot of additional tasks.  Otherwise Ken's comments are spot-on.
    Saturday, September 13, 2008 10:15 PM
  • You'll also want to consider the size of files you typicaly transfer and have at least that amount of RAM in both the client and server to maximize transfer speed across a gigabit network.  WHS uses RAM as file transfer cache and if you're ripping/encoding DVD's on a fast workstation and transferring to server, you can increase transfer speed by some 30%.
    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 6:22 PM
  • Although you have 4GB installed, I am under the impression that a 32 bit OS like WHS can not physically address more than 3GB of RAM.  If that is correct, than anything over 3GB is essentially completely useless (though often 2gb modules are purchased in pairs)

    Can anyone confirm this with certainty?
    Sunday, September 28, 2008 5:44 PM
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition can support up to 4 GByte RAM. 
    Look at
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291988/en-us
    "A description of the 4 GB RAM Tuning feature and the Physical Address Extension parameter"

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, September 28, 2008 8:08 PM
    Moderator