By Jeff Fisher
Some third party vendors offer lifetime warranties and sometimes Wal-mart like prices - they would very clearly like to sell as many dimms as possible, to as many customers as possible. It is far less costly for them to offer a free replacement dimm when something goes wrong, rather than do what HP does from the start - provide reliable, quality products. It's a simple volume/numbers game.
HP memory joins the warranty of the server. That is clearly less than "lifetime," but the HP memory is part of the HP ProLiant solution that was created from the beginning, which is the reason customers make HP #1 in the world. HP authorized vendors are screened and evaluated before they even submit parts for qualification. Strict thresholds must be passed before any dimm becomes an HP DIMM.
What can possibly vary, or be different in a DIMM? Up to six major suppliers make the "same" thing, but each is actually different; fabrication facility, processes, die size, DRAM configuration (1R/2R/4R), data width (x4, x8), technology (512Mb-based, 1Gb, 2Gb), raw cards, register/PLL's, heat spreaders, CAS latency, clock speed, wattage, voltage and more. Each recipe can be different, and the combinations are staggering. HP requires all the parts to come together in the proper mix, for the DIMM itself AND for how it works inside each ProLiant - before it becomes an HP DIMM. Fully integrated, compatible and reliable HP Qualified Options are warrantied to work with the rest of the ProLiant solution. If something does go wrong, you may end up with a new dimm if applicable, but you'll also get the support of the full solution to determine exactly what might be wrong, and make the solution return to full functionality. Making all the intricacies of memory technology operate seamlessly and do what they do, for literally just pennies per megabyte, very nearly IS rocket science.