Crucial Memmory

Crucial® vs. HP® server memory

Is there a performance difference?

When comparing brands of server memory, one question is often top of mind: is there a performance difference between memory provided by the server manufacturer and memory made by a true component manufacturer?

To answer this question, we compared the performance of Crucial server memory to HP SmartMemory – a popular alternative that’s often used in HP servers. Overall, we found little difference in performance and power consumption. Here’s what we tested, along with full results and analysis.

Test Setup*

Server Configuration
Server HP® ProLiant® DL380 Gen 9
Processor (2) Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v3 2.60 GHz
Operating System Windows® Server 2012 R2
Test Application SQLIO
Software Used to Test Memory Performance HP® iLO4, CPU-Z
Memory Slots 24
Memory Test Configuration
Brands Compared Crucial® server memory, HP® SmartMemory
Memory Technology DDR4
Module Type RDIMM
Densities Tested 8GB, 16GB
Voltage 1.2V

Memory Performance Results

Speed (in MT/s)
Crucial® Server Memory HP® SmartMemory
Single Channel
Dual Channel
Triple Channel

Configuration and performance analysis

In a fully populated triple channel 24-module configuration, there was no difference in memory performance. The only difference we found was in a dual channel configuration where HP SmartMemory achieved slightly higher performance (2133 vs. 1866 MT/s). However, with the sheer number of memory-intensive server applications that are often being used, memory must be fully populated at the triple channel level in order to achieve maximum system density. For IT professionals, this comes down to the classic bandwidth versus capacity tradeoff, but as servers trend towards higher installed memory capacities, dual channel configurations are often only necessary for certain types of workloads.


The bottom line

No one configuration is the right configuration. It’s all about configuring memory to the demands of your workload. Based on the applications you’re running, you’ll want to configure your channels accordingly to achieve optimal performance.