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08-06-2015

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Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-17, 5:38 AM

This is actually somewhat of further query into my quest to understand what happens with my missing memory. I have 6 DIMMs of 4GB installed in my dual X5660 D20, filling all of the Blue slots. POST says that 20GB is present; Windows says 24GB but with 20Gb available, the rest being hardware reserved. I have actually asked about this same situation twice before and have gotten several good and interesting replies but all without solution or giving me an actual understanding. So, I pose a new question on this same situation.

What my computer is showing is that in this case it is allowing the use of 5 DIMMs and reserving the 6th DIMM; when I had added 6 1GB DIMMs to the black slots 5GB was reserved (one 4GB and one 1GB).

So, does this mean that one CPU is using triple channel memory while the other CPU is using dual channel as its 3rd DIMM is unavailable? That is what it would indicate to me - that one CPU is triple channel while the other is dual channel. That has got to slow things down a bit, just negotiating the speed differences.

Is this correct?

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5884 Posts

11-24-2007

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Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-17, 9:38 AM

No, it's not a memory channel issue. It sounds like it's maybe an address space issue, although I'm admittedly skeptical of that. Is this perhaps related to your previous thread here?: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/forums/v3_1/forumtopicpage/board-id/ts01_en/page/1/thread-id/9188

 

Just so we know what we're dealing with here, what is your current and full system configuration? What OS are you using?

 

In your BIOS, what is your current setting for Advanced > 4GB PCI Hole? Since you're on a 64-bit OS, change it to '1 GB' if it's not there already. Just for laughs and test purposes, try enabling 'Legacy Free' on the Advanced tab to see if any memory frees up. You'll lose the serial and floppy ports but I doubt you're using either of them.

ThinkStation P700      ThinkPad X1C7

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Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-19, 21:22 PM

I tried the 1GB PCI hole and have Legacy Free enabled. I had played with many of the PCI hole settings in the past never having any sort of guidance nor real understanding. I am Windows 7 Pro 64bit. My memory is as mentioned 6x4GB (Hynix HMT151R7BFR4C-H9) and I have dual X5660s. CPU-Z reports that my memory in slots 1, 3, and 5 (it doesn't report for the 2nd CPU) are all triple and running at 667 (1333).  Is there anything better for reporting on all of my memory (the 2nd CPU's included)?

My oddity of setup up is I have a SATA3 card for my OS and data drives installed in a PCIe slot. I get the same results with or  without the SATA3 card, I had initially tested for that.

I AM also really curious about the dual channel/triple channel thing. If you install 2 DIMMs the memory setup defaults to dual channel. I am assuming that each CPU and its associated memory are independent from the other in this aspect; so that one CPU could be running dual channel while the other triple channel but it is also possible that it would default to both being dual channel for uniformity and ease of operation. So is one CPU/memory running at dual channel if one of its DIMMs is captured for reserve? I am assuming it is one actual DIMM as the amount of memory is 4GB.

 

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11-24-2007

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  • Message 4 of 12

Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-19, 23:18 PM

wrote:

Is there anything better for reporting on all of my memory (the 2nd CPU's included)?


Try HWMonitor: http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

 

Regarding your channel question, the only way you'd have a dual/triple mismatch is if one of your DIMM slots or actual DIMMs are damaged. Memory in reserve doesn't affect channels. I think the 4GB missing is likely a coincidence unless something is broken or defective. If you have enough 1GB and 4GB DIMMs on-hand, you might try staggering them in each slot just to see if you can find a pattern. As in, try 1/4/1/4/1/4 and 4/1/4/1/4/1 in CPU 1 and 2 just to see what happens.

ThinkStation P700      ThinkPad X1C7

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Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-20, 0:59 AM

You mean 1 GBs in the Blue and 4GBs in the Black slots? I shall try that in the next few days.

Like the other monitors or information gatherers, the HW Monitor shows the DIMMs for the first CPU plus it is just temps (even the HWM Pro).  I know there is something out there that is better but I cannot remember what it was.

The most info I seem to be able to find at this time is from PC Wizard 2012 which I have attached. It lists the 6 DIMMs with their corresponding CPU by size only; it then does on to give detailed information from the SPD but after looking at it I see many errors in its reporting (i.e. ECC, even reported memory speeds from the SPD as they are limited to the JEDEC #1 and #2 while omitting the other two - the 609 and 666 ones. It is reported by everything else as 666.7 (or the 1333).

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Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-27, 4:34 AM

First things first; before I get into my DIMM/slot testing and swapping, I’d like to solve this question (both for myself and any interested third party out there):

So if one bank (of 3 channels, this is how I shall use the term as opposed to all 6 DIMMs connected to a CPU) has 3 DIMMs in it and the other bank of that CPU has 2 DIMMs there is not a performance hit? And the one bank is running in triple channel and the other is not running in dual channel (having only 2 DIMMs and hence not able to leverage the bandwidth of having a 3rd DIMM)? The way I understand channels is that a single DIMM runs a 64bit wide pathway and in dual channel you have the width of both pathways or 128bits and triple yielding 192bit width and hence a significantly bigger throughput.

Please also verify this for me: my research has indicated that within a bank 2 different sized DIMMs (1Gb, 2Gb, 4GB, etc) can co-exist and if they have the same speed (i.e., 1333) there is no performance hit. Is this true in the D20 platform?

Oh, and yes this is all related to my previous thread as you noted. I just decided to start it anew and see where it goes.

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Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-27, 7:35 AM

Now, onto the testing and swapping and re-swapping just to be sure.

I tried your 1/4/1/4/1/4 with 4/1/4/1/4/1 and also the reverse and still got the high Hardware Reserved Memory (HWRM); I also try using just the 6 4GB DIMMs in blue on CPU1 and in Black on CPU2. I only got 20 GBs usable with 4 reserved (20GB). I discovered that using the Blacks only on CPU1 and Blue on CPU2 gave the 1-3-1-3 beep for DIMM error code and, of course, no boot. That’s good to know; CPU1 needs memory installed on the Blue channel!  The Blue channel is more than mere convenient labeling. I also discovered that the “Error: 0164-memory size error” seems to be related to having more memory in CPU 2 than CPU1 or CPU2 being empty. Or the Black channels in CPU1 being larger than the Blues. I often got that in my piddling around.

I had remembered that when I originally had a single X5550 and six 1GB DIMMs all was fine and that then when I added another X5550 and re-allotted my DIMMs to all Blue slots, I was left with 5Gbs and 1GB HWRM but I had 6 4GBs already ordered so I waited. And after I installed them, that was when I began the pursuit of getting all of my installed memory to becoming available. Then after upgrading my X5550s to X5660s, I restarted this thread.

I first decided to verify each DIMM and each shot. After using a 4GB (enough to boot into Windows) in the DIMM1 of CPU1 and booting, I next tried a DIMM in all of the other slots and then I tried each DIMM in CPU1 DIMM2 to validate that all DIMMs and all slots were properly working. I even labeled each DIMM to aid in simplicity. I slowly built up memory in several different configuration attempts using 4GBs alone and 4GBs with 1GBs (one DIMM change at a time, recording each step often retrying with different DIMMs just to be sure) BUT with the goal that I would not accept a high HWRM. This took all of one night and a good part of the next day to arrive at an odd 24GB configuration with only 9MBs reserved! Yes! But, DIMM 4 on CPU1 had to be left empty and DIMMS 2 and 5 on CPU2. Hardly ideal. So I had:  in CPU1 4GBs in DIMMs 1, 2, 3, and 1GBs in 5 and 6 with DIMM 4 blank; in CPU2 4GBs in DIMMS 1 and 3 and 1GBs in DIMMs 4 and 6 with the center DIMMs 2 and 5 empty.

I had discovered that any DIMM whether 1GB or 4GB in any of the other slots would invoke a 4GB hit to HWRM and that adding an additional 1Gb would increase it to 5GB HWRM and then another to 6GBs.  Of course I will still ask you if on CPU2 having DIMMs only in #1, #3, #4 and #6 is running in dual channel mode. Sorry.

The only thing after that which I could do is swap out a 1GB for a 4GB (to use all 6 of them), I choose DIMM 4 but DIMM 6 also worked. So I now have 27GB installed with merely 9MB reserved as shown during boot and with Windows Resource Monitor.

Also, with all 6 slots filled in CPU1 using all 4GBs or all 1GBs and none for CPU2 then the amount in a slot (DIMM4, it turns out) is reserved. Once I remove that stick in DIMM4 and move it to CPU2 DIMM1 then all of the memory reappears. I am assuming that this is a result of having the 2nd CPU installed but I will never know for sure because I AM NOT going to take it out just to see if this is true…but the missing memory phenomena did begin exact with adding the second CPU!

So, in summary CPU1’s DIMM4 and CPU2’s DIMM 2 and 5 immediately invoke a high HWRM usage. A 1GB DIMM in one of these slots will even take away a full 4GB! (When I was in my original 6 1GB configuration and upgraded to my second X5550, it was the DIMM2 slot on CPU2 that was stealing my memory.)

Now, what do you think? And what do you think the cause could be? Gremlins, perhaps? A couple of bad traces underneath the DIMM slots in 2 different sets of DIMMs? Odd, I would think. A bad pin or two in CPU2’s socket affecting both sets of memory? Just as odd. I am ruling out 2 completely different CPUs (X5550 and X5660) having the same defect.

Performance wise, what effect does this have? And when would it be most noticeable? I have decided that I am going to replace the 3 remaining 1GB DIMMs with matching 4GBs real soon, just because.

If all is pretty well with this odd and (to me) troubling memory setup and there is no high HWRM, merely a 9MB chunk reserved, I shall accept that for overhead usage any day. But still why?

 

 

 

 

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5884 Posts

11-24-2007

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Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-08-27, 17:13 PM

That's a lot of text to digest. You're going to have to give us some time to read through all of it.

 

Regarding the blue versus black ports and using them in order, as mentioned before, you need to follow the numbered fill order marked on each slot. The 20-series is picky with memory.

 

Regarding performance, you're better off benchmarking this for yourself. I doubt we've ever benchmarked unequal channel fills on the 20-series since it's such a rare scenario. I still don't see your memory reserve issue being related to channels at all.

ThinkStation P700      ThinkPad X1C7

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Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-09-15, 5:20 AM

Does anybody know of a good and free memory benchmarking utility or a program that has good memory benchmarking, so that I can truly and definitively compare my 2 configurations of memory - balanced with large amounts of hardware reserved memory vs. unbalanced with no extra reserved memory? What I have observed from my various benchmark suites or computer rating benchmarks that have a memory component is that they list my memory throughput all over the place. [My research tells me that 1333 memory yields a maximum throughput of 10.6 GB/s even though the X5660 is capable of 32 GB/s; so I don't know how to reconsile that in my head.] (One benchmark even returned 32GB/s but I think they just looked it up instead of doing an actual test there.)

So, I need something to get an honest reading as opposed to a performance reference "number". So that I can test and decide between a balance channel or unbalanced channel configuration. I am so far summizing from these artificial and some actual throughput numbers that the unbalanced configuration might be about 6% lesser than the balanced but I would like to know for sure. A test that will give me numbers that the world will agree upon as valid, so to speak.

So, any ideas on any free real number benchmarks?

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  • Message 10 of 12

Re: Is my memory in my D20 running as dual channel?

2017-09-15, 12:03 PM

Passmark and SiSoftware Sandra might be good places to start if you haven't tried them already.

 

Keep in mind that a benchmark is only comparable to itself, not other benchmarks. As in, if you get X number in benchmark software A but get Y number in software benchmark B, X ≠ Y. The only comparable values would be X1, X2, X3 against themselves and Y1, Y2, Y3 against themselves, but not X1 vs Y1. Also, don't aim for a specific goal but instead focus on comparing values against each other within a benchmark set. You'll chase your tail trying to reach a specific number that you think should be correct.

 

Also, make sure your system power plan is set on High Performance. Anything less risks CPU cores falling in and out of power managed mode and throwing off your results.

ThinkStation P700      ThinkPad X1C7

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