Author Topic: Advice Regarding RAM  (Read 4792 times)

2019-06-06, 20:11:50

1equals2

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Hi all,

I have been facing insufficient memory messages over the past few months. Well in few cases, still, but have the impression it will become a norm in an year time.
Happily running a  dual Xeon v4 on an Asus Z10PE D16 -WS motherboard with 4 stick of ECC registered Kingston KVR24R17D4/16 memory.
I am looking  forward to upgrade RAM  for this machine over the past two years, and have been unable to  find the same vendor ones with availability of 4 sticks.
Due to the fact I am running the system on a 256 GB 850 Pro SSD, the storage space is close to insufficient to be used as virtualized memory.
I really do not want to go through a procedure of re-installing windows/programs on a new bigger PCI NVMe, so am thinking what are the possible solutions to extend RAM.


So far have decided to either:

1. Look out for the very same brand/chip sticks (chance of success 10 %) - have found few, they do not sell more than 2 pcs and do not deliver to Bulgaria...
2. Buy 4 sticks from another vendor,  and supported by mainboard, and use them in conjunction with the existing modules - have been told by people who are much more into hardware that there is a great chance for the system to become unstable and not run properly, give occasional issues.
3. Buy 8 new sticks, supported by mainboard - on theory this should be the safest bet.  In this case I will have the existing one as backup or eventually try to sell it.
4. Buy PCI Express NVMe Solid State Drive - 512 GB and use the Win  function to page file to it -  know that RAM is like 50-100 times faster than these, but theoretically should do the trick.

I am prone to invest into a new system, rather than upgrade the memory of this one- in case of buying 128 GB  RAM  sticks.
New system most likely would be TR 2990, with the abovementioned volume of RAM. The local guys, whom I spoke to, told me that TR  is not really good handling that much RAM and in almost all configurations they have assembled there have been issues running that much RAM on 8 slots. Tempted to wait for new AMD processors or eventually the latest Xeon showcased ( not the Gold, Platinum  line).

What would You advice be - upgrade this one? Bet on SSD?

or  Look into building new workstation?

Much appreciated!
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2019-06-06, 20:19:01
Reply #1

dzintas

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You can go with storage for a start, more of it never hurts. And you can use disc cloning software to copy over your system drive to bigger storage device.
In the meantime you should wait for new offerings from intel and amd

2019-06-06, 20:50:25
Reply #2

Juraj

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Hi,

you do not write which exact dual Xeon are you running, imho that settles whether this is still good workstation, viable rendering node, or none.
I will write from experience of running 3 rendering nodes on Z10PE D16 WS, all 2x2698v4.

When I bought them in 2016 (time flies...) 64G(4x16) DDR4 ECC 2133 costed little over 300 Euros, but I was cheap and only bought that much for each node :- ). Then during the past two years, prices of memory ballooned to 700 for same amount, ECC or non-ECC.
In past two months, memory hit their rock-bottom once again and will fall further 15perc. potentially due to Huawei ban.
That means 128GB (8x16GB) are going for 700 Euros right now on eBay, which is fantastic price to be honest.

Now to the compatibility, I don't know if it's the cursed Asus board, but Z10PE generation simply isn't as good as the previous was and when I built the nodes, I went through 3 packages of memory before everything was running smoothly.
Running identical kits but not from single run (i.e two sets) should pose no issue in 99perc. of time, but for Z10PE, that 1perc. happened 3 times in row for me. So I understand the stress...
But to better describe the issue, it will not make your PC less stable and cause occasional issues. It will either boot, or it will not boot. It is that simple. There will be no issues waiting hidden if it boots successfully unless the memory has faulty blocks (you can always run 24hour memtest after installation for peace of mind).

I would still try it. Buy the memory from e-shop so that you can harmlessly return it within 30 days if it won't work.
But first make sure you have the absolute latest bios, microcode updates improve memory compatibility over the time.

Also, you have been running only 4 sticks which for dual-socket platform means you were only running dual-channel. Now the difference between single/dual/quad/etc.. is almost none for majority of applications, but Corona tends to be example where this doesn't apply, it has big demand from memory performance.

5) You Windows is already paging to your SSD, and no kind of SSD will make this even remotely faster. It will always be 100 times slower, with one exception being Optane drive, which will make it only 50 times slower ;- ). PCI-e drives for most part only improve sequential speeds for larger files, they don't improve performance, of anything almost.

With that said, you can buy SSDs so cheaply these days there is no reason not to run 1TB as main-drive. But it will not help you with your memory problem.
Also word of warning, D16 m.2 slot is only PCI-e v2 x2. No reason the place SSDs with high sequential speeds anyway.

One more thing about Windows 7/10, they do like to have paging file space equal to amount of ram and it isn't good idea to shrink it, even with good amount of memory. Windows is very smart about memory allocations nowadays.


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2019-06-06, 21:32:41
Reply #3

1equals2

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Thanks both!

Configuration is with Dual Xeon 2680v4.  Have not had any unsolvable issues with the configuration. Whole system is running latest available bios and drivers.
The machine is doing great work of handling any project, although back then I was tempted to go with 269X v4 processors.  Buying pre-owned ones was a risk since this was first build. Until then owned/still own i7 4930k, which intend to keep as a GPU node station ( with several RTX'es).  Opted with 2680 since founded as they have better price/performance ratio.

Clearly remember that the local PC storeguys who assembled the dual Xeon inside Z10PE configuration experienced issues with RAM  sticks. They could not return the previous sticks and ended buying new ones. Luckily they sold the non-compatible ones.
Initially the build was supposed to be with 128 GB, but the guys could not find the  mentioned Kingston ECC memory. The reason was exactly what Juraj relates about Corona performance.  Despite this, the system delivers almost among the top performances within Corona benchmark even  having two DIMM's attached per CPU.

Believe BIOS should do its work if decided to either go additional 64 GB route or 128 GB.
In this case it will be a  must to upgrade also main drive.  Inclined towards 970 Pro 1TB, until Juraj mentioned that the m.2 slot is crippled. It does say socket 3 though on their website?!
... shall it be main OS drive or act as a virtual memory buffer - will decide later on. In any case the 970  drive could benefit any future build.  Friends have complained about poor performing Evo versions and some even had their drives die within 2 years timespan. Have been running Samsung SSD Pro drives since 2013 - no problems so far, so that's the reason to go "Pro" route.

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2019-06-06, 22:33:30
Reply #4

Juraj

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There is no notable difference in actual performance between 970 Evo vs Pro. Evo has almost 40+/-GB of dynamic SLC Cache available to use in 1TB version for full performance, and I don't think you will ever translate that much during single write on System drive.
Lifespan of Evo drive will still be at least decade for 1TB version if you manage to write 100GB per every single day for that decade.

Regarding "M.2 socket 3" this is bit confusing, since yeah, Socket3=4 Lanes. But it writes right in description:

"With two native PCI Express 2.0 bandwidth, M.2 supports up to 10Gbit/s data-transfer " So that translates 1.25 GB/s which corresponds to 2 PCI 2.0 lanes.


I still don't understand this virtual memory buffer you are after. DDR4 2133 Mhz has bandwidth 30GB/s, under any condition. The paging speed never even goes above 250 MB/s, it won't even saturate full bandwidth of system drive, there is no reason to dedicate separate partition to paging.
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2019-06-07, 10:47:23
Reply #5

1equals2

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The concept behind adding another storage as temporary "qucik" solution for insufficient RAM is purely for two reasons:

- the existing SSD is only 256 GB one. Yesterday dropped some megascans in an old scene which needed update and boom - Corona and 3Ds Max used 120 GB of memory. Did not expected that much and had PS with one 4k psd file. The scene did have some displacement here and there initially but had to disable it to accomodate  within the  physically available 63.9GB ram and the existing virtual one . Needless to say that within 10 min time saw the available storage space going from 60 GB down to sub 200 MB, and system become unstable. Definitely more storage space would help the system, at least not freezing. Stability vs Speed in real world with deadlines is almost always win for the first "S".

-would rather have new m2 drive installed on a new build than replace the 256GB one with 970 Evo Plus/Pro in as main OS drive, especially due the fact system would not benefit in "full speed" of it. Actually I have one existing 970 Pro, used in a  small barebone server as cache drive - no real benefit, so might just perfectly work as temporary solution.  Know there might be some handy programs for disc cloning, but literally do not have sufficient time to adopt them as long-term workflow benefitting solution.Have to check with the IT guys about switching the abovementioned 2 drive between systems.

Of course, expect them to come back with response about finding working 128 GB memory for the Asus MB. Sadly do not have that much cash to opt with Amazon/Ebay Options available.

Will post if find a solution anytime soon.

Thanks once again for suggestions and for pointing out  all these tiny details.
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2019-06-07, 10:57:04
Reply #6

Nejc Kilar

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I agree with Juraj on this one. That "cache" ssd I don't see working, I'd personally rather optimize the scene as far as I can because the rendering speed because of caching will be... Just super slow still.

I also have a 250GB ssd as my Windows drive and if I run out of RAM its just game over right there. The speed drop is really bad compared to having more RAM. I mean I guess if there is no other way then you don't really have a choice...

That being said, I also have the D16 and I'm happily running Crucial RAM modules without any problems. They are available pretty much everywhere I look and I can get you the exact model number if you'd like.


2019-06-07, 14:01:59
Reply #7

1equals2

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Hi,

As said - another drive is the  last option to resort , and first one I can think of that can help the situation in really short term.
Having the "slower" 256 GB available it does act as extention to the memory. Do not see any reason why another SSD will not help in this regard, when all I currently need is sufficient space after windows/3dsmax/corona trespass the 128 Gb threshold.
The option for another disk is temporary to fix it and  much quicker to act and cheaper investment in short term. Considering that possible 100 % solution would be to go with 128 GB RAM straight away.
Completely aware  and agree with You of all the speed drawbacks  and am fine with it.
Nobody will deliver RAM modules from warehouse in Germany within 2-3 days. :) Add the fact that this is picky motherboard and my case might be among those 1 % exceptions which Juraj mentioned and You can quickly go from - "Let's do what I am paid for" to " Let's see what I can pay for , pay and see if it works".

The main scene refers to several xreffed ones, each having 25+ Railclone objects. All is optimized as much as software allows, with only exception to textures. Well RC is mostly used with the instance option off, since it  uses some texture randomization, but believe it will not help much. Anyway, will cope with it- it is a hardware tread after all.
Opening the scene does take like 5 min, but ram stays at around 10 GB. Parsing takes another 5-6 minutes, and considering that obviously SSD helps,  it is hard to guess how much faster it all could be.

Will optimize what can related to 3D and hopefully upgrade memory since do not mean to retire this system in the forthcoming 2-3-4 years.
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2019-06-07, 14:29:46
Reply #8

Nejc Kilar

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Right on :) Actually I ordered my RAM modules for the same motherboard you have and always got them withing a week - From Germany and Austria to Slovenia. Was super pleased with the speed :)

2019-06-07, 16:44:01
Reply #9

1equals2

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Thanks, once again!

Just sent you message!

I will post what has happened  with RAM  in several days!
Other places to find the work of Angel Kostov
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2019-06-07, 17:14:14
Reply #10

Nejc Kilar

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Just to make sure we don't keep things too private here :) The RAM that works on my D16-WS is the Crucial CT16G4RFD424A . In case anyone finds that helpful.

2019-06-07, 17:56:33
Reply #11

Juraj

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Do not see any reason why another SSD will not help in this regard

Because the moment 3dsMax/Corona starts swapping files to disc, it's still almost like game over for render in practical terms.

The 100times slower is not approximation [30000MB/s (DDR4&2133) / 300MB/s (SSD, I am being generous, this is not sequential writing so it will never utilize much of theoretical speed) = 100]

I mean buying more of and bigger SSDs is always good idea :- ) Always something to place on them and you can transfer them across generations of PCs.
But it will not do anything outside of solving crashing due to insufficient disc space.

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