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Maximizing System x and ThinkServer Performance with a Balanced Memory Configuration

Planning / Implementation (withdrawn product)

4 Oct 2017
Form Number
PDF size
19 pages, 377 KB


Configuring a server with balanced memory is important for maximizing its memory bandwidth and overall performance. Lenovo servers running Intel Xeon v3 or v4 processors have 4 or 8 memory channels per processor and up to three DIMMs per channel, so it is important to understand what is considered a balanced configuration and what is not.

In this paper, we introduce three balanced memory guidelines that will guide you to select a balanced memory configuration. Balanced and unbalanced memory configurations are presented along with their relative measured memory bandwidths to show the effect of unbalanced memory. Suggestions are also provided on how to produce balanced memory configurations.

This paper is for System x and ThinkServer customers and for business partners and sellers wishing to understand how to maximize the performance of Lenovo servers.

Table of Contents

Memory interleaving
Balanced memory configurations
About the STREAM test
Memory topology
Applying the balanced memory guidelines - E5 processors
Applying the balanced memory guidelines - E7 processors
Maximizing memory bandwidth
Cluster on Die option impact on memory bandwidth

Change History

Changes in the 4 October 2017 update:

  • Correction that one of the 6-DIMM configurations is balanced

Related product families

Product families related to this document are the following: