A largely-ignored detail of Dell's big server announcement this week is of its new desktop computer that can be upgraded to sport as much as 192GB of DDR3 RAM.
The Precision T7500 workstation sports, count 'em, 12 memory slots, each of which can take a PC10600 stick of up to 16GB at 1333 MHz, reports Computerworld.
Holy cow, Batman.
Starting at $1,800, the T7500 is intended for video game designers, engineers and digital animators...and anyone who wants to boast at the next office party that their machine rocks 192GB of RAM.
Interestingly, Lenovo made a similar announcement this week for its ThinkStation D20 workstation, which can support up to 96GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM. Last week, Cisco unveiled blade servers that reportedly can handle 384GB of DDR3 memory per blade.
Large RAM figures have been around on high-end PC servers and supercomputers for several years, but because of the limits of Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, which can only handle 3GB of RAM, they haven't really entered into the consumer marketplace. Thanks to Intel's new Nehalem CPU architecture, though, that's changed.
Before Nehalem, Intel's PC memory controllers were mounted on the core logic chip set. That meant data traveling between the CPU and the RAM could easily collide with other traffic, McGregor said.
Nehalem uses an integrated memory controller, shortening the distance between the memory and the CPU, and creating multiple, direct pathways between the two, he said.
And thanks to oversupply from the economic downturn, you may be able to get RAM on the cheap: $120 for a 4GB module of 1066-MHz DDR3 server-class memory, and $250-$300 for an 8GB DDR3 memory module of the same speed, according to that article.
So just how much does 192GB cost? Well, you do the math: $1,800 for hardware plus $40,800 for 12 RAM modules plus $8,000 or so for Dell's customary 20% markup. Max that sucker out, and you're looking at a potential $50,000 price tag.
Ouch. (Dell didn't officially announce prices beyond the T7500 unit itself.)
Would you spend 50 large for RAM bragging rights?