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Intel Upgrades Hardware

Want a PC With 192 GB of RAM? 353

ericatcw writes "Do you love the smooth, silky performance of a multi-core PC loaded to the gills with the fastest RAM? Take a look at Dell's new Precision T7500 desktop. According to Computerworld, the T7500 will come with 12 memory slots that can accommodate 16 GB of PC-106000 (1333 MHz) DDR3 RAM for a total of 192 GB. Dell's not the only one — Lenovo, Cisco (with blade servers reportedly up to 384 GB in memory) and Apple are all bringing out computers that leverage Intel's new Nehalem architecture to enable unprecedented amounts of RAM. But beware! Despite the depressed DRAM market, loading up on memory could see the cost of RAM eclipse the cost of the rest of your PC by 20-fold or more."
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Want a PC With 192 GB of RAM?

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  • Got that? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by qoncept ( 599709 )

    loading up on memory could see the cost of RAM eclipse the cost of the rest of your PC by 20-fold or more

    Uhh, yeah. Try 1000-fold! You know, since we're just making things up.

    While we're at it.. I love when people say "Up to 10x OR MORE!" Like, anywhere from 0 to infinity. Nice.

  • by TheCybernator ( 996224 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:03PM (#27345075) Homepage

    to run Vista. Finally h/w is catching up!!

  • finallly! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    at last, with 192GB ram, I can finally use Firefox.

  • by Xocet_00 ( 635069 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:03PM (#27345087)
    Actually, I don't. I'd love some PC-106000 RAM.
  • I can run Octave for more than a few hours without swapping!

  • Wow! (Score:4, Funny)

    by GeorgeMonroy ( 784609 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:09PM (#27345191) Homepage

    I can finally run like thousands of useless linux instances. =P

  • 24GB is not 192GB (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjh31 ( 1372867 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:10PM (#27345205) Homepage
    having just checked, DDR3 PC10600 only comes in 2GB at th moment, and even server sticks dont easily come in 16GB modules

    I dont see 8x capacity reaching consummers anytime soon anyway. This sorta thing is just silly, if you have enough money this has been available for ages, for the consumer this is still a long way off
    • Dell has sold memory risers for a long time now for their PowerEdge servers, which have, funnily enough, 8 slots on each riser.
    • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:27PM (#27345551) Homepage Journal

      and see page 2 of it.

      "An 8GB DDR3 memory module of the same speed costs between about $250 and $300 today.

      The price of 16GB DDR3 modules remains far loftier, however. They were first announced this month by vendors such as Samsung Electronics and Smart Modular Technologies.

      Samsung won't say how much it plans to charge, but Smart is charging PC makers $3,400 today for 16GB 1333-MHz RAM modules, a Smart spokeswoman said."

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      When HP first started selling the Proliant DL380 G5 it supported 32GB RAM. With 8GB chips it can now support 64GB.

      same here, the memory slots are forward compatible so you can scale up to ridiculous specs and virtualize everything

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BikeHelmet ( 1437881 )

      ...are all bringing out computers that leverage Intel's new Nehalem architecture to enable unprecedented amounts of RAM.

      I seem to recall some Tyan Phenom boards being available with roughly that much RAM, announced last year. 4 sockets, 8 DIMMs per socket, if I remember right. 32*4GB = 128GB, which is pretty close.

      Ahh... here it is: []

      I recognize that it's just buzzwords/marketing and poor research, but they come off like Intel fanboys - like this is the first time 192GB of RAM has been "affordable" - if you can call it that.

      Then again, it's computerworld. The last 3 articles of thei

  • I'd be happy with even 6 or 8 slots. It's been largely worthless to try to run large amounts of ram on most OSs lately because with 2 or 4 slots at most on most motherboards, you're limited to 8 or 16GB. At least cheaply, since nobody can afford 8 or 16GB modules.

  • With 384GB RAM, get a good UPS and generator and run your entire system in RAM. Use a hard drive in case the power goes out (dump to hard drive). Seems like this would be a rather fast system. Forget about "no swapping," just don't use any disk at all... hehe.
    • It's going to take a substantial UPS to support that much power hungry RAM. Anyone else going to see their lights dim when they fire this system up?

      • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:25PM (#27345517)

        Hmm, I don't know. Not according to here... [] And according to an AMD page, "Energy-efficient DDR2 memory uses up to 30% less power than DDR1 and up to 58% less power than FBDIMM."

        According to here [] a DDR2 DIMM needs 4.4 watts. Let's round up to 10 watts and say each DIMM is, oh, 4gb (pretty low, I'd say). That's 48 DIMMs to get up to 192, 96 to get up to 384. At a whopping 10 watts (pretty high) that's still ~ 500W for 192gb and ~1000W for 384gb. Cut the wattage down to 5W per DIMM and you get half (250W, 500W). >1000W "home user" power supplies aren't too uncommon these days [] (1600W on

        • I thought in general PC makers capped total power draw at about 1kW for home PC's since that's about all you want to rely on being able to draw continuously from a standard outlet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Joce640k ( 829181 )

      Or.... you could do like this guy and make a RAID with 24 SSDs: []

      You'd get 6Tb of storage for half the cost of the machine in the article... much more useful, no UPS needed.

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:15PM (#27345301)
    As my computer instructor said in 1991, the 4GB address space of a 32-bit CPU is all that you will ever need. Now that I have a computer with a 64-bit CPU/OS and 4GB RAM, I find it hard to justify upgrading more RAM (unless the price for another 4GB is dirt cheap) since running out of memory is not an issue.
    • by Nicolas MONNET ( 4727 ) <nicoaltiva AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:33PM (#27345641) Journal

      Eclipse + VMWare ... you'll love every bit above 4G.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Agreed. the only thing I have is this crappy java app that likes to chew up 2.5GB RAM sometimes, but it'd easily eat 8 or 16GB too, it just needs to be taken out back and shot. If i really needed more RAM for something already 16GB (4x4GB) was quite doable with DDR2.

    • That was true back in 1991. The VGA monitor was 320x200 8bit color, A Large Hard Drive was about 80Megs. External Loading of data via Floppy Disks were slow. Modems were very slow 2400bps. Having 4GB of RAM for the current usage seemed excessive. As the speed to fill the memory would take so long that it wasn't worth using it.

  • ....especially with the way the new systems connect the RAM to the CPUs directly - and as it's split over 6 channels (3 per socket), you get a theoretical RAM bandwidth of 42.6 GB/sec. Yum.

    And the prices are great, if you steer clear of 4 GB and so-far-non-existent 8 GB DIMMs. A 6 GB kit of three 2 GB sticks of the DDR3-1333 can be had for only 79 GBP (around 120 USD), and that's from a decent supplier (Crucial). Four of those in one of these beasts and you have a very useful 24 GB for relatively little spe

  • These new systems aren't even available on Dell's website yet. The new poweredge machines won't be available until the 30th. Don't know about the workstations.
  • VM's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tweaker_Phreaker ( 310297 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:16PM (#27345321)

    Think of all the VM's you can run.

  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:23PM (#27345461) Homepage Journal

    ...640 GB should be enough for anybody.
  • by hwyhobo ( 1420503 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:27PM (#27345545)
    ...Microsoft shall taketh away.
  • All that RAM would be great for virtual systems. But you need to get ECC RAM, which is much more expensive than the regular stuff. Without ECC, random errors would wipe out your system especially if you have 192 GB of the stuff.

  • to make ram cheaper again relative to hard drive size (in proportion).

    8-9 years ago, in 2001, I already had upgraded to 1GB ram in my desktop PC. I suppose it was the 32bit limit and what not, but while hard drive space grew a lot back then, ram size growth really seemed to slow down since then. Even now the manufacturers are getting to grips with 64bit Windows and often the computers sold with 2GB ram (pretty much standard) can't be upgraded past 3.5GB with the limitations of the Windows software it came

  • Could you put together a device that ZFS'd up a buttload of old ram chips? The cost of ram doesn't seem to have much to do with how much ram storage is available on earth as much as it's speed and utility in today's hardware. Could you build a device that was essentially a huge ram bus for old chips addressable over ... I dunno a pcix or agp bus? Agp might not be good, but something that had big i/o in both directions. Someone please do this. I have tons of old ram sticks that I paid waaaaaay too much

  • by mdf356 ( 774923 ) <> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:46PM (#27345867) Homepage

    A few years ago when I was working at IBM, I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation on the price of one of the pSeries line with 256GB of RAM. Given the commodity price for RAM for that kind of hardware, using 8x32GB cards, the cost for the RAM was about $1M USD. Which was about the price we charged for the box, with storage, CPUs, AIX license, etc. It was kind of like "buy the RAM, get the server free".

  • by draevil ( 598113 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @02:46PM (#27345869)

    "Apple are all bringing out computers that leverage Intel's new Nehalem architecture"

    Please tell me I'm not the only one that cringed at this example of newspeak? The word is *use*. "Apple are bringing out computers that **use** Intel's new Nehalem architecture".

    The sentence isn't made any more profound, important or meaningful - no extra information is conveyed - by using faddish terms like "leverage"; designed exclusively to make MBAs sound like they have something to contribute (they usually don't).

    Besides all that the topic is pointless since everyone knows we won't need more than 640K. ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The sentence isn't made any more profound, important or meaningful - no extra information is conveyed - by using faddish terms like "leverage"; designed exclusively to make MBAs sound like they have something to contribute (they usually don't).

      Normally I'd agree with you on this sort of thing, but I don't think "leverage" and "use" are equivalent here. To me, "leverage" implies that they are taking advantage of a tool that applies more force than some other, simpler, tool. Metaphorically, this is exactly the point they are making--Nehalem can do more than its predecessors, and Apple is using that advantage. This seems like a case where reasonable people could disagree.

  • 99 posts on this thread and no "640k should be enough for anyone" jokes? This place is going to the dogs.
  • I'm running an Ubuntu box, a browser up, an email package up, and instant messenger running, multiple editors open, Perforce open, open office open and am doing compiles. I am currently using 1.4 GB of RAM.

  • Boot time (Score:5, Funny)

    by nickdc ( 1444247 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:02PM (#27346129)
    Memory Testing: 1K OK

    ... 5 hours later

    Memory Testing: 201326592K OK

    Yea no thanks :)
  • by jdb2 ( 800046 ) * on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:36PM (#27346631) Journal
    First came the MHz Wars, then came the Core Wars, now come the On-Board Memory Controller Wars.

    When Intel "innovated" and gave Nehalem on-board DDR3 memory controllers, they did something else as well : they made a "mine is bigger than yours" move by adding 1 more memory controller and thereby giving AMD's Shanghai the one-up. Well, AMD apparently isn't taking that lightly as next year they'll be releasing an upgrade to Istanbul ( which will ship this year ) which uses Socket G34 [] as well as a 12-core Socket G34 "chip" -- codenamed Magny-Cours -- which will basically be an MCM of 2 Istanbuls/Sao-Paolos. Socket G34 will purportedly support processors with 4 independent DDR3 memory controllers -- AMD's "mine is bigger than yours" riposte to Intel.

    Business as usual it seems.

  • by this great guy ( 922511 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @03:43PM (#27346781)

    ...the cost of RAM eclipse the cost of the rest of your PC by 20-fold or more

    And that, my friends, is why you shouldn't buy Intel processors supporting DDR3 only (Core i7 or Nehalem-based Xeon). For large memory config, DDR2 is cheaper and motherboards with lots of slots are more common (try to find one with 32+ DDR3 slots: it does not exist !). Check this out: a config supporting 128GB at about 1/6th the cost of the one referenced in TFA ($50k):

    • PSU Corsair 1000HX 1000 Watt: $218 []
    • Mobo Tyan S4989WG2NR: $872 []
    • 4 x CPU Opteron 8350 HE Quad-core 2.0 GHz: 4 x $917 []
    • 32 x 4GB DDR2-667 ECC Registered: 32 x $84 []
    • Case + HDD + GPU: say about $300 for a simple tower case
    • Total: $7746
  • by merreborn ( 853723 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @04:03PM (#27347099) Journal

    WTF would you do with 192GB of RAM on a desktop? Easy:

    RAMDisk, and VMs.

    A nice big ramdisk will put most consumer-grade SSDs to shame, performance-wise.

    A future in which every desktop has this kind of RAM available is a bright one indeed -- you'll never see a "Loading" screen again. The only time you'd be stuck waiting on permanent storage would be during boot, and while committing writes to disk. For many common desktop applications (web browsing, gaming) there's little need to commit much to permanent storage at all.

    And hell, it's even easier to use this kind of memory on the server side. Memcached all the way. The kids over at facebook, with their multi-terrabyte memcached installation spread over hundreds (thousands?) of boxes would probably KILL for systems based on these motherboards -- a single 192GB box would be much cheaper to build and maintain than 6 32GB boxes. They could reduce the number of racks in their datacenters dramatically.

    The biggest question would be whether or not a single box based could provide adequate IO bandwidth to get at all that data.

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