What’s this got to do with this 128GB Kit?
What Kingston has done with this series of memory is to build kits of RAM based on a controlled BOM right down to the SPDs and memory chips. By doing this they are guaranteeing to their prospective customers that the RAM they get will operate together and all within the same manufacturing tolerances. 128GB of DDR3 Goodness in our Rig. The AMD FirePro V8800 Goes in the First PCIe x16 Slot
This is an impressive commitment to the market when you stop and think about it. Recently, they sent us a perfect example of this type of quality control. We were sent 128GB of DDR3 1066 ECC memory (sixteen 8GB Sticks) for a project that spanned workstation testing (with Windows 7 x64 Ultimate) VMware VSphere and some additional server testing.
Our test machine is based on following components:
- Dual AMD Opteron 6176 2.3GHz "Magny Cours"
- CoolIT Systems ECO A.L.C. Workstation 2P Edition
- ASUS KGPE-D16
- 128GB Kingston ValueRAM Registered ECC DDR3-1066
- AMD FirePro V8800 2GB
- Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Edition
- Cooler Master UCP 1100W
Out tests started off with some heavy workstation lifting on a dual, 24-core AMD Opteron 6100 (Magny-Cours CPU cores) setup with all 128GB of RAM hanging out in the same system. Now some people have claimed that Windows 7 x64 has trouble when you push it up to that limit. We have suspected that it was more a matter of handling instructions across all of that memory rather than the actual size of the installed memory and it turns out we were correct. The 128GB of Kingston ValueRAM Server Premier handled our full Lightwave battery including a 110-hour render of a 4K sample (Our favorite Pinball scene). This was impressive in more ways than one. We have 128GB of memory supplying 24 physical CPU cores (or roughly 5.3GB per core). As we used Perspective cameras we had heavy ray tracing while the 2x AntiAliasing forced even more information across the CPU to Memory Bridge.Another look at the uper side of the system. 80GB of memory visible in this image
Next up was conversion of 800 RAW images with sizes ranging from 15 to 20MB (15.1 Megapixels). These were pushed to 4752x3168 on a different drive array. This exciting test was followed by a few hours of running Adobe’s After Effects with a project that was donated by Peter Kapas just for this project. We were able to assign just over 2GB of RAM per core for that test. Again the Kingston ValueRAM Server Premier handled this without a glitch.Adobe After Effects CS5 Running Cinema grade video - Color is being removed but for the focus item. Given our GPU, we solely relied on CPU power and 128GB of memory to keep as much footage in the fast system memory
After that we loaded up a nice installation of Windows 2008 R2 Server Datacenter with HyperV running. Again the Kingston RAM handled the load of roughly 14 Virtual servers (including Exchange 2010, two SQL2008 R2, share point 2010, Xen Desktop HDX and more. We have tried things like this before with other vendors memory (in my work environment) and have witnessed multiple memory related errors or high ECC corrections (which have an effect on performance). After our experiences with Microsoft’s products we pulled out an evaluation license of VMWare’s VShpere 4.1 and went town. Again we ran 14 Virtual servers without any issues at all for the length of the 30 day evaluation. Conclusion
Of course something like this comes at a cost. Our little test kit would have set us back around $2500. What is important to notice was that at the time when we received this kit, nine months ago - the price of this kit was $9,000. But once again if you are in the Enterprise or professional market this kind of stability (which equals performance) is incredibly valuable. It is also nice to know that Kingston is not charging a premium for this; if you need the extra control and stability, all you have to do is ask for it. I could not imagine having to explain to a client that their SQL database is down because of miss-matched or poorly chosen memory. I would also gladly spend the extra money to make sure that my photographs and video projects will have no issues while I am working on them. There is nothing like having a system lock up while you are working on a 20MB + RAW file because of memory addressing errors or having a render crap out on you for the same reason - imagine a 110 hour render crashing after 80-90 hours of work. I have been through both of these before and can tell you that they are not fun at all.
Which brings me to my conclusion; if you need stability and performance across large amounts of memory (16GB and up) then you will want to seriously consider giving Kingston a call and look into their ValueRAM Server Premier. You won’t be sorry that you did.
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