RAM recommendations for Supermicro X10 LGA1150 motherboards

RAM recommendations for Supermicro X10 LGA1150 motherboards

Supermicro's LGA1150 X10 motherboards are probably the most popular around here. Unfortunately, there have been some RAM issues that have left people a bit worried, paying more attention to Supermicro's Tested Memory List (also known as the QVL or simply "memory list"). This list contains very specific DIMMs, which can be hard to find (particularly in Europe) and may carry a noticeable premium.

This sticky is meant to help (prospective) owners of Supermicro X10 LGA 1150 motherboards make informed choices about what memory to get.

Before we move on to the recommendations, a few warnings:

All information presented here has been compiled from real user experiences on these forums, in addition to my own experience and manufacturer indications. While I do try to make this as accurate as possible, I can provide no guarantees - only past experiences. I will attempt to keep this information up to date should any new developments happen.

Pricing and availability are only general statements. Be sure to check your favorite memory seller for all recommended RAM, as you may spot a good deal. I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned or their resellers, but I use Crucial memory in my FreeNAS server.

This guide is meant for Supermicro X10 motherboards based around LGA1150 CPUs and associated DDR3 RAM. Motherboards based on the LGA2011-3 socket (Haswell-E/Haswell-EP CPUs) require DDR4 RAM, so this guide does not apply to them.

I will focus on 8GB DIMMs, since 4GB DIMMs are typically considered a bad choice, given FreeNAS' memory requirements. Information on 4GB DIMMs is also a lot more limited and pricing is not particularly favorable.

From this point on, all DIMMs will be 8GB, unless otherwise noted.


Since all consumer-grade Intel CPUs only take UDIMMs, Registered DIMMs are beyond the scope of this guide. To reiterate:

Do not buy Registered DIMMs! You need Unbuffered DIMMs.

Please note that niche boards may not support all DIMMs mentioned here

If you own an X10SAE or other niche board, please be aware that the QVL is much shorter. Please check the QVL for your board model if it is NOT one of the following models:

  • X10SLL-F/X10SLM-F
  • X10SLL-SF/X10SLL-S
  • X10SLL+-F/X10SLM+-F/X10SLH-F
  • X10SL7-F


Kingston RAM

DO NOT BUY KINGSTON!!!

With that warning out of the way, here's an explanation:

Around December 2013, people started complaining about Kingston DIMMs not working on Supermicro X10 motherboards when used in groups of four (totaling 32GB). The DIMMs in question had been listed by Kingston as compatible with the Supermicro X10 series... until they suddenly weren't any more. Kingston removed any recommendations regarding Supermicro X10 motherboards without acknowledging an issue.

It should be mentioned that Supermicro never listed any of the affected DIMMs as compatible (general belief is that they never listed any Kingston RAM for the X10 series).

Some affected forum members figured out that Kingston had quietly changed the supplier of the DRAM chips without changing the model number. This meant that newer DIMMs with the same model number no longer worked properly in Supermicro X10 motherboards. Kingston's latest Supermicro compatibility list (2014-09-04) does not include a single X10 motherboard. This contrasts with an older QVL that did include X10 motherboards.

In e-mail conversations with affected forum members, Kingston stated that using two Kingston DIMMs in the second pair of slots along with two of the Supermicro-verified Hynix DIMMs in the first pair of slots allowed for 32GB to be used.
I do not recommend this solution for anyone and am frankly surprised Kingston suggested it. However, those who have tried it say it works. If you are on a tight budget, currently own 16GB of Kingston RAM and would like to step up to 32GB, consider this solution.

After a few months, Kingston pulled a similar maneuver with some SSDs of theirs, further hinting at the fact that they were the ones at fault in the Supermicro X10 debacle.

Personally, Kingston was my default RAM choice. Since then, I have not bought any Kingston products and probably won't for a while.

Update 2015-08: Kingston seems to once again have DIMMs recommended for Supermicro X10 boards. The above recommendations and feelings are not affected by this fact.

tl;dr:

DO NOT BUY KINGSTON!!!


16GB UDIMMs

Recently, 16GB DIMMs started appearing on the market in limited quantities and at insane prices.

These will not work with Supermicro X10 motherboards - or any motherboard that takes a socketed Intel processor and DDR3, as Intel's DDR3 Integrated Memory Controller only supports UDIMMs with sizes up to 8GB. This is a hard limit set in silicon and applies to all Intel processors with DDR3 except the Atom Avoton line. Haswell Refresh and Devil's Canyon do not fix this limitation.

This limitation also applies to Broadwell CPUs.

tl;dr:

DO NOT BUY 16GB UDIMMs!!!


Recommended RAM

Finally, we come to the interesting part.

I will focus on 1.35V 1600 DIMMs, since these have the largest selection to choose from and are the default option for most of us.

Supermicro's Tested Memory List (Link leads to the X10SLM+-F list, but is valid for all models named below as "List A", including the X10SL7-F) has three manufacturers: Hynix, Samsung and Micron

Hynix has two DIMMs listed and Samsung and Micron have one DIMM each. The additional Hynix part is most likely just a newer version, which seems to use a new DRAM chip model.

As of December 2015, all models recommended here are available as Supermicro parts - with the associated premium.

In their retail versions, Samsung is typically easier to acquire than Hynix. However, neither is particularly easy to find, especially at reasonable prices.

At first glance, Micron is even more difficult to find than Hynix and Samsung. There is good news, however:

Crucial is Micron's consumer brand, and Crucial memory is very easy to find (and can be bought directly from Crucial on their website, at reasonable prices and low or no shipping fees).

Particularly, Crucial has the following DIMM model:

CT102472BD160B (Single DIMM)
CT2KIT102472BD160B (Two DIMMs)

Which turns out to be just a rebrand of Micron's

MT18KSF1G72AZ-1G6E1

(Special thanks to Mynorx for confirming my findings. This post of his includes photographic evidence.)

Which you'll notice is the same DIMM listed by Supermicro!

Now, in addition to this "universal" model number, Crucial has specific model numbers for each motherboard they claim compatibility with. These are only useful on Crucial's website and can all be traced back to the "universal" model number (the one used by third party sellers) and represent the exact same hardware.
A few selected examples:

Code:
Examples of Crucial motherboard-specific model numbers for 
Crucial "universal" model number
CT2KIT102472BD160B (Kit of two 1.35V DDR3 1600 8GB ECC UDIMMs)

Supermicro X10SLM+-F - CT4486353
Supermicro X10SL7-F  - CT4484984
Supermicro X10SLL-F  - CT4485018

Please note that the accuracy of this information depends on Crucial's business practices. If they pull a Kingston, this information could very well no longer be valid. If they conduct honest business, this information will be valid as long as these model numbers are available for purchase.

In addition, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that all of these DIMMs, be they Samsung, Hynix or Crucial/Micron, will always work flawlessly. However, they have been used by many forum members without problem. Only occasional issues have happened in individual cases - in fact, I believe none of these issues has been positively traced back to the memory used (if anyone has proof to the contrary, please say so!). In any case, no systematic issues have been observed. Most of us are happy with their memory (unless they have Kingston).


Alternate Tested Memory List

It has come to my attention (Special thanks to odoyle) that not all Supermicro X10 motherboards have the same Tested Memory List. Specifically, there are at least two different lists, that apply to the following motherboards (niche models have been disregarded):

List A
  • X10SLL+-F
  • X10SLM+-F
  • X10SLM+-LN4F
  • X10SLH-F
  • X10SL7-F
List B
  • X10SLL-F and its cut-down variants (X10SLL-SF and X10SLL-S)
  • X10SLM-F
Previously, List B boards had more limited QVLs. The situation has changed, however:
Currently, all the models recommended below have been validated on all the above boards. Additionally, List B boards have been validated for Ultra-Low Profile Hynix DIMMs (Hynix part number HMT41GE7AFR8A-PB) and for a new vendor: Innodisk.

To be perfectly honest, Innodisk is a surprise. I had no idea they even made DRAM until recently. Their operation seems to not be very popular (for now, at least) and I have my doubts they're at the same level as Hynix, Micron and Samsung. I can't really recommend them, but Supermicro clearly does - the DIMMs are even available as Supermicro parts.

For a quick recap of the differences between the various boards listed, check the spoiler below.
For a more thorough review, click here.
A visual inspection of pictures of all these motherboards shows no obvious common factor.
The X10SLM-F seems to be an X10SLL-F with an additional USB 3.0 header and the PCH upgraded to a C224.

The remaining List A motherboards all seem to share a similar power distribution layout.
The X10SLL+-F, X10SLM+-F, X10SLM+-LN4F and X10SLH-F seem identical, save for a C226/C222 PCH on the X10SLH-F/X10SLL+-F and additional two Intel i210 GbE controllers on the X10SLM+-LN4F (all models are silkscreened for four of these controllers, the X10SLM+-LN4F is silkscreened for a second PCI-e x8 slot).
The X10SL7-F has a unique layout, based off that of the other boards.

Bottom line:

Supermicro's most recent QVL made things much easier for X10SLL-F/X10SLM-F owners: Just buy from the same list everyone uses!
Also, if you own one of those boards and happen to have Hynix Ultra-Low Profile DIMMs at hand, you can use them with confidence. Not that it's a likely scenario...



tl;dr

The following model numbers are known-good:

Hynix HMT41GU7AFR8A-PB (from the QVL)

Hynix HMT41GU7BFR8A-PB (from the QVL)

Samsung M391B1G73QH0-YK0 (from the QVL)

Micron MT18KSF1G72AZ-1G6E1 (from the QVL)

Crucial CT102472BD160B (same as Micron above)




Update 2014-09-04 - Clarified Kingston's e-mail conversation and their current claims of compatibility (Special thanks to Z300M for the info!) and clarified only DDR3 Intel processors are affected by the 8GB UDIMM limitation.
Update 2 2014-09-04 - Clarified that Supermicro never listed Kingstom RAM as compatible (Special thanks to jgreco for the reminder and confirmation!), minor rewording of the intro and corrected ambiguous sentence regarding Crucial model numbers.
Update 2014-09-09 - Added section on alternate Tested Memory List for certain motherboard models and minor formatting improvements.
Update 2 2014-09-09 - Due to the release of Haswell-EP, added clarification that this guide applies only to standard Haswell motherboards. (Special thanks to diehard for the heads-up!)
Update 2014-10-23 - I was deceived by Supermicro's illustration of the X10SLL+-F. Its manual reveals it's actually an X10SLM+-F with a C222 PCH instead of the C224. Conclusions altered accordingly.
Update 2014-12-23 - Added two variants of the X10SLL-F to List B, for added clarity; added warning to tl;dr; added note regarding older QVL
Update 2015-08-26 - Added mention of return of Kingston-recommended DIMMs
Update 2015-12-27 - Updated for Supermicro's big new QVLs, misc. updates
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