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Hows does a WHS 2011 consume DRAM, and how much do I need? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm new to WHS 2011 or any server for that matter, and I'm trying to figure out how much DRAM my machine might need.  I recently bought an HP ProLiant N40L.

    The processor specs are:

    AMD Turion II Neo N40L 1.5GHz 2C

    It has 2 DIMM slots that take Unbuffered ECC.

    I plan on streaming x264 1080p and 720p view to up to 2, maybe 3 TVs.  I also plan on installing and using Sickbeard/SAB.  SAB I know is process intensive, but I'll schedule any unpacking for off hours.

    Hows does a WHS 2011 consume DRAM, and how much might I need?
    Friday, December 2, 2011 10:02 PM

All replies

  • Hi and welcome to WHS 2011.

    The maximum DRAM supported by 2011 is 8GB, but under normal circumstances (not running things on it which Microsoft does not support e.g. Sickbeard/SAB) 4GB is as much as you need. However, given how cheap RAM is at the moment, I would be inclined to install 2 x 4GB DIMMs if your motherboard supports it.

    See this for details of the processor requirements for video streaming:

    Video Streaming

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.



    Friday, December 2, 2011 10:41 PM
  • Hi and welcome to WHS 2011.

    See this for details of the processor requirements for video streaming:

    Video Streaming


    So from that link I am getting that video streaming from a WHS 2011 server, quality is more dependent on the power of the HTPC that you are streaming to.

     

    About the amount of DRAM needed, I had read a post somewhere where someone recommended 1gb of DRAM for ever tb of disc space under WHS 2011.  So If I could cram this box with 3tb drives I'd need 8gb of DRAM at least.

     

    But also I was wondering if a WHS 2011 box used DRAM differently than a Windows 7 desktop PC.  I run quite processing intensive programs on my Windows 7 desktop, an i7 860 that I built, and don't think Ive ever come close to 100% usage of the 4gb of DDR3 1600 inside.   So I was wondering if you determine the amount of DRAM needed differently than with a Windows 7 Desktop PC.

     

     





    • Edited by g725s Friday, December 2, 2011 11:53 PM
    Friday, December 2, 2011 11:49 PM
  • Given the price of RAM, it's not worth worrying about - put in 8GB if you are concerned or 4GB will serve you well - I am not aware of the recommendation you refer to, particularly as the minimum requirement is 2GB. The maximum, as I stated above is 8GB - putting in more than that will not be used by WHS whatever the HDD size.

    The server processor is very important if you are transcoding video as described in the link above.

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Saturday, December 3, 2011 12:03 AM
  • 8gb ECC 80.00+

    8gb Non ECC $25+

     

    With that in mind do I really need ECC then?


    • Edited by g725s Saturday, December 3, 2011 12:10 AM
    Saturday, December 3, 2011 12:09 AM
  • More than you want to know.  See link below.  Read it all.
     
     
    Simple answer:  It appears you can use the cheaper memory, but read the caveats in the above link, especially memory that has large heatsinks.

    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________

    8gb ECC 80.00+

    8gb Non ECC $25+

     

    With that in mind do I really need ECC then?



    BullDawg
    Saturday, December 3, 2011 3:01 AM
  • More than you want to know.  See link below.  Read it all.
      
     
    Simple answer:  It appears you can use the cheaper memory, but read the caveats in the above link, especially memory that has large heatsinks.

    BullDawg
    Thank you very much for that link! 
    Saturday, December 3, 2011 3:31 AM
  • 8gb ECC 80.00+

    8gb Non ECC $25+

     

    With that in mind do I really need ECC then?


    No

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Saturday, December 3, 2011 9:07 AM
  • Thanks to all.  But what I never really got from this thread was the answer I was seeking.

    Under Windows 7 I never max out 4gb of memory.  I'm wondering if RAM is utilized differently within the WHS 2011 environment.

    For instance, using a Linux OS like Openmediavault you would easily get close to 100% utilization of 8gb of RAM.

    I guess I should ask if WHS 2011 is different in the way it utilizes RAM than say Windows 7?

     

    Sunday, December 11, 2011 9:31 PM
  • I am not sure what more guidance you are seeking - I doubt whether you will notice any significant difference between W7 and WHS2011 in that respect. Also whatever you install is dedicated to the OS as you will not be running any desktop programs on your server.

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Proposed as answer by Phil Harrison Sunday, December 11, 2011 9:54 PM
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 9:54 PM
  • Is your Windows 7 a 32 or 64 bit install?  If 32 (x86), it will only utilize 4 GB at max.  WHS 2011 is 64 bit and will address all 8 GB.  Whether it will utilize all 8 GB depends mainly on what is running.  If you want to save 20 or 30 or so dollars, then go with 4 GB.  My WHS 2011 test box has 4 GB, but task manager still shows over 3GB as available or not being used.


    ____________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ____________
    <g725s> wrote in message news:7b0432ac-fc44-411d-b025-fcb142cd0b51@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Thanks to all. But what I never really got from this thread was the answer I was seeking.

    Under Windows 7 I never max out 4gb of memory. I'm wondering if RAM is utilized differently within the WHS 2011 environment.

    For instance, using a Linux OS like Openmediavault you would easily get close to 100% utilization of 8gb of RAM.

    I guess I should ask if WHS 2011 is different in the way it utilizes RAM than say Windows 7?


    BullDawg
    Monday, December 12, 2011 1:02 AM
  • Modern Windows operating systems may report memory usage differently than Linux, or older versions of Windows, but they still make efficient (and full) use of available memory, via pre-loading, disk caching, etc.

    That said, you shouldn't expect to see a significant improvement in overall performance above about 4 GB, unless your server is unusually heavily loaded.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, December 12, 2011 7:16 PM
  • Thanks to all.  But what I never really got from this thread was the answer I was seeking.

    Under Windows 7 I never max out 4gb of memory.  I'm wondering if RAM is utilized differently within the WHS 2011 environment.

    For instance, using a Linux OS like Openmediavault you would easily get close to 100% utilization of 8gb of RAM.

    I guess I should ask if WHS 2011 is different in the way it utilizes RAM than say Windows 7?

     

    I too, am looking for the answer to how much RAM do I *need*? and am having a hard time finding it. Everyone keeps saying memory's cheap, just max out but I'm planning to run WHS in a virtual machine (on a bare metal hypervisor) along with about 4-5 other VM's so I have to manage memory allocation effectively. I know the minimum is 2GB. Is that a bare minimum? What limits does 2GB impose? What's the advantage in allocating 4GB or more?

    Also, is there value in assigning more than one vCPU to the VM, i.e. would WHS actually make use of a second CPU if one was available?

    Sunday, February 26, 2012 3:15 PM
  • For the most part, more memory means less swapping, larger Windows disk cache, etc. Everything gets a bit faster, and some things get a lot faster.

    For the processor, Windows Home Server 2011 supports a single processor socket, with up to 4 cores, so you won't benefit from a second virtual processor, but you will benefit from a virtual processor with additional virtual cores.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Sunday, February 26, 2012 6:04 PM
  • I would just like to caveat what you say Ken from personal experience of WHS2K11.

    I have been running WHS 2K11 for over a year now and have noticed at times use all of the installed RAM (6GB) on more than a few occasions.  Therefore I have recently (today) upped it to the max of 8GB to give the OS some breathing room.  I totally agree with Ken that you will not see a vast improvement in overall performance above 4GB parse but as mentioned earlier there should be less disk swap file work going on which inevitably will provide some boost.

    I should add that I do not have anything exotic running other than the usual install and a few of the free add-ins.  On initial boot it only uses between 3 & 4 GB after it has settled down, but after being left on for a few weeks (as it is designed to be) and it has done various backup jobs from the network and to the NAS, and Windows Defender scans the drives and a bit of HD transcoding has taken place, and big brother has nagged me with some bone log entries! lol it soon creeps up to a steady 5GB pretty consistently occasionally peaking at the then max of 6GB.

    This maybe just my installation however I am a pretty experienced Server Administrator (mainly in the virtual environment using 2K8 & 2K3) and my recommendation is to stick 8GB (max supported) in as it is dirt cheap and you know it will not be a bottleneck for the time being!  Windows Servers and Client OS's Love RAM!!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:21 PM
  • Under similar circumstances, my Server uses between 2 & 3MB!!

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:28 PM