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I am working on a project that needs a huge amount of memory about 512GB. The processor is not very important and can be an Intel Xeon v3 3.4GHZ.

Is it possible to build a computer with this amount of memory? what motherboard has enough slots for this memory size? I read this article, but their suggested workstation has just 64GB.

I do not want to buy an HP H840 workstation that can cost at a crazy price like $13000(!!!).

I am looking for the cheapest workstation form factor motherboard which can hold 512gb of RAM with a total system cost as low as possible.My budget is about $2700.

Any suggestion is really appreciated.

  • Have you considered buying a really fast PCI ssd and using it as RAM? – 0-60FPS Aug 21 '16 at 8:07
  • If you want to get around this silly on hold problem just specify that you're looking for the cheapest workstation form factor motherboard which can hold 512gb of RAM with a total system cost as low as possible. I mean, it was kinda obvious you were asking for a motherboard since it was your first tag, but whatever, I guess you need to make that an explicit statement in your text. – Adam Wykes Aug 21 '16 at 19:52
  • If it wasn't for the workstation-sized motherboard constraint and 512GB, I'd be inclined to suggest something along the lines of an old ProLiant DL580 G5 or a Dell R900 topped out with 256GB of memory. Given the cost of DDR2, assuming that it's just a size constraint and speed isn't too important, you could easily manage two of them for under $500 a pop. – JMY1000 Dec 13 '17 at 6:09
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This fundamentally boils down to a motherboard question - what is the cheapest motherboard that can inexpensively support at least 512Gb RAM. Finding the absolute cheapest would be difficult, but I can suggest one that will not disappoint in making your total system cost a lot less than $13,000 (disgusting, innit?). Really this is going to come down to how great your ebay skills are, because the cost is going to utterly depend on the RAM modules you can acquire -and while you can reliably buy high-capacity DDR4 in stores for relatively cheap, you can sometimes find high-capacity DDR3 for cheap enough to justify that route. I will provide solutions for both paths.

First, the DDR4 build - it depends on the Asus Z10PE-D16. Please note that the rest of the build surrounding this motherboard is only to give you an idea of total system cost and likely configuration, and may not reflect a "good" design for your particular use case (Since I have no idea what you're doing, I'm just building it as I would for a sort of general use case in the vicinity of what you appear to be trying to accomplish).

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/Vw94d6
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/Vw94d6/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2603 V3 1.6GHz 6-Core OEM/Tray Processor  ($179.61 @ Amazon) 
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2603 V3 1.6GHz 6-Core OEM/Tray Processor  ($179.61 @ Amazon) 
CPU Cooler: Intel BXRTS2011AC CPU Cooler  ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
CPU Cooler: Intel BXRTS2011AC CPU Cooler  ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Motherboard: Asus Z10PE-D16 SSI EEB Dual-CPU LGA2011-3 Narrow Motherboard  ($389.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM 32GB (1 x 32GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory  ($162.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 64GB M.2-2242 Solid State Drive  ($36.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($50.00 @ Amazon) 
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($50.00 @ Amazon) 
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($50.00 @ Amazon) 
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 5450 1GB Video Card  ($17.98 @ Newegg) 
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case  ($74.99 @ Newegg) 
Power Supply: Antec HCG M 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($90.98 @ Directron) 
Case Fan: NZXT FN-200RB 166.2 CFM  200mm Fan  ($18.89 @ OutletPC) 
Case Fan: Scythe SY1225DB12SH 110.3 CFM  120mm Fan  ($14.89 @ OutletPC) 
Case Fan: Scythe SY1225DB12SH 110.3 CFM  120mm Fan  ($14.89 @ OutletPC) 
Total: $3814.64
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-08-21 03:54 EDT-0400

For the DDR3 route, I recommend the Supermicro H8DG6-F-O (sorry I can't put it in block quote because I needed links in there):

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/ytc9NN Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/ytc9NN/by_merchant/

  • Motherboard: Supermicro H8DG6-F EATX Dual-CPU G34 Motherboard ($537.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Storage: Sandisk ReadyCache 32GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($58.17 @ Amazon)
  • Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($50.00 @ Amazon)
  • Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($50.00 @ Amazon)
  • Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($50.00 @ Amazon)
  • Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 5450 1GB Video Card ($17.98 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Thermaltake Core V51 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Antec HCG M 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($90.98 @ Directron)
  • Case Fan: NZXT FN-200RB 166.2 CFM 200mm Fan ($18.89 @ OutletPC)
  • Case Fan: Fractal Design HF14-BK 118.2 CFM 140mm Fan ($17.99 @ Newegg)
  • Other: AMD Opteron 6136 ($5.49)
  • Other: AMD Opteron 6136 ($5.49)
  • Other: Dynatron A13 60mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler ($29.99)
  • Other: Dynatron A13 60mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler ($29.99)
  • Other: 16x AXIOM LV409672A8D3L13811 32GB RDIMM LDDR3 ($2279.20)

Total: $3302.15 Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-08-21 04:11 EDT-0400

Again, if what you say is really true and you don't need to worry about CPU performance, then this latter option might actually be a really cool buy if you can hunt down the right parts and prices. Currently there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of 1x32gb DDR3 RAM going around at acceptable prices, but if you can source that then you've pretty much got it made.

I might also note that with 512gb of RAM in play, you're almost certainly going to want ECC RAM - both of my options are ECC - and you'll also want to consider the sanity of whatever it is you're doing. Chances are there's some clever way to cache or distribute your data so that it doesn't have to ALL live in memory simultaneously on a single machine. If you can figure that problem out then you can save a bundle.

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