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Optimizing triple-channel slots for video production

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July 22, 2010 10:01:22 AM

I just got an HP z400 workstation, which will be used for video production using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and a Fermie-CUDA GPU.

The machine has four memory slots, and supports triple-channel memory operation. It came with 8GB of total memory installed, consisting of 2GB x 4 sticks.

I spoke with a tech support manager at HP and he pointed out that the machine will operate in single-channel mode unless I have exactly "three" memory sticks in it. To get triple-channel operation my choices are to either remove the stick that's currently in the fourth bank -- thus reducing the total to 6GB of RAM -- or put in three 4GB sticks to change it into 12GB.

He said triple-channel at 6GB will definitely perform "faster" than 8GB at single-channel, and that it's a question of whether any apps I'm using need 8GB. If they don’t, then 6GB will be better than 8GB. I'm going to ask the Adobe people if Premiere needs more than 6GB to run fine. Other than that, in general, assuming none of my apps "needs" more than 6GB, is it indeed a given that removing that last stick is only going to help speed things up?

If I decide to go to 12GB with 3x 4GB sticks, I'm seeing that there are only manufacturers that make memory that matches the exact specs that the HP tech manager told me this machine needs: HP and Kingston -- at dramatically different prices.

The specs the HP tech gave me are:

DDR3 1333 ECC unbuffered
HP Part Number (12GB consisting of 4GB x3): 537755-001

The 12GB kit is $516 on the HP parts website, vs $$710 for Kingston from CDW, vs $1,071 for Kingston from the Kingston website. I’m confident from the specs that this Kingston item has the right specs, though I’m confused why the Kingston site says they won’t have it available until… actually, coincidentally, tomorrow (while CDW shows it available now).

I have to wonder why the Kingston product is “apparently” only now becoming available and why it’s so much more money compared to the “same thing” (?) directly from HP. I wonder if Kingston didn’t perhaps come out with something newer and better that’s still fully compatible with the z400.

The HP parts website doesn’t give any specs for the part the HP tech gave me.

HP parts site (537755-001):
http://h20141.www2.hp.com/Hpparts/Search_Results.aspx?mscssid=8E6FB19AC66E4C2BAB837E6CFBB490E2&SearchIn=PartNumber&SearchPN=537755-001

Kingston on CDW site:
http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?edc=1829849&enkwrd=ALLPROD%3a(1829849)

Kingston on Kingston site:
http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator_new/partsinfo.asp?root=us&LinkBack=http://www.kingston.com&ktcpartno=KTH-PL313EK3/12G

· Note that the description there is as follows, which does “not” match the HP part number the HP tech gave me and which causes me concern (though I found this by specifically looking up memory on the Kingston website “for the HP z400” and it lists the z400 on the Compatibility tab):

Mfgr's System P/N's: 500672-B21 (3pcs) (HP/Compaq); NL787AV (HP/Compaq)

Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

July 22, 2010 12:32:17 PM

you should run with one stick out, and see for yourself if you run into any snags.
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December 27, 2010 4:41:56 AM

I think you should go with kingston technology because they have given all the specs about the chip. As your concern is premiere. you obviously need more memory. and 12GB is the best for it. You can work with 6GB or 8GB but not for a long time, i mean if you spend hours doing the same work then at the end you will find system will go very slow even the process will still show less memory usage. but if you have 12 GB then you will be able to work for long time along with other applications.
I am a Video producer and I have used premiere, i have faced this kind of problems before.
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