What is a Memory Rank?
A Memory Rank is a multiple of DRAM chips, organised in lines (or ranks), that are connected to same microchip.
The term ‘Rank’ was coined by the standards authority for the memory industry, the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (or JEDEC for short), as a way to differentiate between the separate memory banks that exist on a module. ‘What is a module?’ I hear you cry. Well, simply put, it is general term for a number of separate electronic circuits grouped together on a circuit board to perform basic operations within a PC’s internal workings.
To further break it down into its base parts, a memory Rank is an area of data that uses some, or all in some cases, of a module’s internal memory chips. 1 Rank is equal to 1 data block that is 64 bits wide. A module can be made up of 1, 2 or 4 ranks of data and is referred to as being single, dual or quad rank.
A Memory Storage Area
In addition to having up to 4 ranks of data blocks, a memory module can also be dual sided i.e. it has a bank of chips on both sides of the PCB, it will be denoted as being dual sided.
Single or Dual Sided
What to look out for - When looking through technical PC manuals which describe and explain the inner components of a computer in detail, it is easy to get intimidated by the often confusing terminology. With regards to memory, denotations are the thing to look out for. For example, a single sided, dual rank module will be annotated as 1Rx2 or a dual sided quad rank module would be 2Rx4.
Pros and Cons of Higher Rank ModulesOf course, having more ram can’t typically be seen as a bad thing, but it can lead to problems installation, depending on your server. Servers will sometimes have a limit on the amount of ranks it can house.
If you’re not sure on your servers limitations, you should refer to your manual for specifics and remember to keep an eye out for the annotations mentioned above. Alternatively give our technical suppport team a call or email and they will confirm the exact specification that will work within your current server setup.