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Intel NUC 64GB RAM Memory: yes you can!

Running a VMware homelab on an Intel NUC 64GB of RAM Memory is a dream. Latest Intel Gen 10 processors have extended this capability to officially support up to 64GB of RAM memory on the Intel NUC platforms. But what if the homelab is already running on a prior version of the Intel processor family?

With Intel NUC devices, as of Intel Gen 6 and higher it is possible to mount up to 2x 260-PIN 1.2 DDR4 SDRAM SO-DIMM modules in the available slots. Officially not supported but work like a champ! This article refers to the Intel NUC 7i7DNHE model as already covered in he previous article. The price for RAM Memory plummeted compared from last year and certainly makes it a nice addition to the homelab setup. This article is using the Samsung 32 DDR4 SO-DIMM modules.

 

Upgrade Intel NUC RAM Memory and BIOS

At the time of purchasing the Intel NUC devices These were shipping with the BIOS version 0037. As a test, the new RAM modules have been fitted. The Intel NUC 64GB is now showing the full amount in the BIOS homepage! Quite delighted, the next step was to update the Intel NUC BIOS to the latest version. At the time this test was done this was version 0062 (0067 at the time of writing!).

domalab.com Intel NUC 64GB

When booting the Intel NUC or from the Visual BIOS, the option F7 provides the file explorer to browse to the latest Intel NUC BIOS file and hit open..

domalab.com Intel NUC 64GB

At this point it is a matter of confirming the upgrade progress hitting on yes.

The Intel NUC will automatically reboot and start the procedure to unpack the BIOS, prepare the images for different components and update them sequentially.

The process itself takes a few minutes. The best thing is, it runs already on the new 64GB RAM modules mounted on the NUC.

domalab.com Intel NUC 64GB

Now just to confirm the latest BIOS upgraded and the reported RAM Memory is still set to 64GB!

Next step is to run the VMware ESXi on the Intel NUC 64Gb RAM Memory. After proceeding with the usual install steps, the great news is ESXi 6.7 recognizes as well the 64GB RAM on the Intel NUC.

domalab.com Intel NUC 64GB

As soon as the ESXi Host is added to the VMware VCSA is also updated to the latest release (VMware ESXi 6.7u3b). From the summary tab a quick glance at resources showing the 64GB RAM Memory.

domalab.com Intel NUC 64GB

About the author

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.

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  • Hi Michele,

    I follow your posts on regular base. Since i am new to learn system administration technologies, your website is very informative. I have ordered 2 NUC 7i7DNHE to be setup as a esxi hosts including 2X TP link T2600G-28TS ( 18TS is now having end of life) will setup Pf-sense as a firewall VM. I will may add 1 more intel NUC just in case if its required. One thing i am missing is the energy efficient UPS in your lab. What type of UPS (North American standard) i should buy . My requirement is up to 20-30 minutes backup only since we don’t have power outages usually, must be a less power consuming. kindly advice or share the link.

    Ravinder

    • Hi Ravinder,
      Thanks a lot for your comment and great setup! Also I’m in the process of creating the article list for the pfSense setup as soon as I have a bit of time to put everything together. I’m not able to suggest any UPS as I don’t use any for the homelab. But in general, never had a power issue with either 6i5 or 7i7 Gen in my homelab. Good luck with your homelab and feel free to share with the Community!
      Thanks,
      Michele

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