RAM upgrade for PowerEdge T410 - What works?

We have a from-the-factory configured Dell PowerEdge t410 server purchased in 07/2011 which we would like to now upgrade to 48GB RAM at the least cost possible as we are a non-profit trying to stretch our dollars.  It currently has 24GB installed (six DDR3 1333MHz registered dual rank 4GB RDIMMs installed in slots A1-A3 and B1-B3 (optimizer mode).  The machine has two Intel Xeon E5630 processors.  According to OMSA the BIOS is version 1.6.3 released 02/01/2011.  The server runs Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and is the host system to 3 Hyper-V machines also running Server 2008.  All has gone well, but we are seeing the need to allocate more memory to the VMs and it isn't there, thus the need to upgrade.

I'm no hardware/server guru, but have done a little research and was hoping that we could purchase and install either 2 8GB sticks (add to empty slots) to take the system to 40GB; or buy 4 8GB sticks (& remove 2 4GB sticks) to take the system to 48GB.  If we could afford it, the latter would be preferred.  Here's the RAM I was looking to purchase:  http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&sku=A6996808&baynote_bnr...

My problem is that I am very confused by the diagrams, and the 'rules' I've read in the manual as to what will work.  I've also read some forums indicating that I may need to upgrade BIOS.

So, do I need to upgrade BIOS?

Can I purchase the memory above (hopefully 4 modules) and install them for a 48GB working system?  If so, how do I configure module placement?  I was thinking 4GB sticks in slots 4 & 1 (both A & B making 8GB channels); and 8GB sticks in slots 2 & 3 (both A & B - single channel slots so each their own channel with 8GB each) or is this wrong?

Your help would be appreciated.  Thank you.

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RE: RAM upgrade for PowerEdge T410 - What works?


First it is a good idea to update the BIOS and ESM/Drac to current before upgrading the dimms. Once the server is updated then power down and drain the flea power. Then place the dimms in as follows.
A1, A4, B1, and B4 place 8GB dimms. Then the remaining slots get 4gb dimms. That will total 48GB. You will need the Memory Mode in the BIOS set to Optimizer for this configuration. The dimms listed in the link  do look to be compatible with the server as well. 

You can find the BIOS update (version 1.12.0 here -- http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=99KV2&fileId=3285775868&os...

iDrac - http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=G6N28&fileId=3377085387&os...

If the server is really out of date then use the other version listed on that page to walk the updates up.

Let me know if this helps answer your question. 

Chris Hawk

Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
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RE: RAM upgrade for PowerEdge T410 - What works?

Chris, You are very helpful. I will check out the links and be very careful with this upgrade. Since this is a production server, I will probably have to plan some after hours maintenance for these tasks. Even with that, our timeclock server is on one of the VMs and is used for staffing around the clock, so I have to know what kind of downtime to expect so I can properly notify users. Any guesstimates? Also, I'm trying to get an understanding of the memory layout. I see in the manual where is says about Optimizer (Independent Channel) Mode: "In this mode, all three channels are populated with identical memory modules. This mode permits a larger total memory capacity but does not support SDDC with x8-based memory modules." When it says 'identical' is it referring only to speed and rank and not capacity? The configuration you suggested would have 16GB on channel 0; 4GB on channel 1; and 4 GB on channel 2 (per processor), correct? I'm not doubting your suggestion - just trying to understand it. Thanks so much for your help!
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