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As far as I know adjusting Maximum server memory and Max Degree of Parallelism does not require the instance to be restarted. Will new settings always come into effect without restart?

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Both of those server configuration options do not require a restart of the database engine. Running RECONFIGURE will be sufficient in this case.

exec sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1
go
reconfigure
go

exec sp_configure 'max server memory', 12288
go
exec sp_configure 'max degree of parallelism', 4
go

reconfigure
go

-- the new configuration has taken effect

Please see BOL for reference.

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Note that the reconfigure will still do things to your instance that you might only expect during a restart, e.g. blow away the plan cache. So some queries might feel like the service was restarted. :-) –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 13 '12 at 12:28

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