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AMD AM3 Unbuffered ECC Ram supporting motherboards

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  • #16
    Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
    ECC is unofficially but fully supported with a lot of tweaks in BIOS - like memory scrubbing etc. I use it as a NAS platform (because of 10 Sata3 ports).


    • #17
      Originally posted by Cres View Post
      Now where does that come from? I was planning to upgrade a couple of workstations with FX-8150 on ASUS M5A88-V EVO, which has an AM3+ socket and 880G chipset.
      As expected, ECC support ist listed in the manual. Is there something I missed?
      Evidently its something ASUS missed. This information is usually from a manual / BIOS - but ASUS distinctly listed the 800G as not supporting ECC on the board's webpage... probably a typo or mistake.

      I've heard about other Gigabyte boards supporting ECC, good that the 990FX series is there - is this a modded BIOS or a later revision?


      • #18
        Two of our developers' workstations have ASUS mainboards with 880G chipsets (ASUS M5A88-M EVO), and they support ECC just fine. One curious difference is that with a Phenom X6, Linux' EDAC subsystem reports S4ECD4ED in /sys/devices/system/edac/mc/mc*/csrow*/edac_mode, and with an FX-4xxx CPU reports only SECDED instead. Does anyone happen to know why that is?
        Last edited by colo; 04-11-2012, 07:19 AM.


        • #19
          Yes, I just ordered some ECC/unbuffered (ECC/UDIMM) for my Proliant Microserver.

          I decided to test them in my GigaByte 970A-UD3 motherboard and they worked. They were still manually configured for my old 1600MHz desktop RAM, but I could see an ECC [enabled] option in dram configuration.

          I loaded system defaults in the BIOS and rebooted so they would auto setup themselves and when I went into the BIOS it said ECC Support was disabled and about a half-dozen ECC options were all grayed out (set to [disabled].

          After enabling the ECC option I was able to enable the top halve, while the bottom half wanted me to set timings that I have no idea what they should be. Hopefully somehere can explain what they are what they should be.

          Here's a screen shot of BIOS:

          If you know of any links for extra help/explanations that would be great


          • #20
            MCE sound like machine check exception
            Chipkill set to off since it is iirc. only on very expensive IBMs, even better than pure ECC, but you need the expensive HW.
            Dunno about redirection and all the single scrubbing options, would have to look that up on the net myself. I guess it is the part that goes regularly around and checks for errors and corrects them and stuff. Though I thought something like that would also be done by the kernel. Basically that is one core component of ECC so you might want to turn it on unless strange things happen afterwards.

            All the bottom half is good old traditional stuff. Normally you just set it to SPD (that is a small chip on you RAM, the normal + 1 additional membanks - and then a tiny thing, which does the timing for you). So SPD will set it and you should be fine. These options are only meant in case there is no SPD or you want to manually speed up things but then you have to carefully try step by step to keep your system stable. And since stability is your main concern when using ECC anyway you should just leave it to the SPD.


            • #21
              so basically the optional setting are for compatibility stuff and generally not need? I cleared CMOS and Load System Defaults in BIOS and all are still disabled. I try to set spd profile, but it doesn't list one. description says AUTO will load SPD by default. I have to manually Enable ECC, but I now leave the other settings disabled. So my ECC is enabled and working as it should? or do I need some/all the others enabled or set?

              I did some searching on ECC setting. all I came up with was edac-utils for linux. It seems to read log files and tell the system when to scrub or something. so it does like the kernel does most things. Not sure if windows kernel does? or only the server editions of windows?

              Do you know of any software that will read the RAM to tell me if ECC is enabled or what the ECC settings are set at?

              Thanks for your help


              • #22
                Good Ol' Memtest86+ will note the ECC status.

                and Yes, EDAC will log correctable errors fixed by the ECC scrubber (its hardware register polling basically).


                • #23
                  To check if the Linux kernel has the appropriate EDAC drivers loaded for your memory controller, run the following shell command:
                  grep . /sys/devices/system/edac/mc/mc*/csrow*/*


                  • #24
                    Pay attention, ASRock AMD boards are very probably not supporting ECC memory.
                    Manual indicates that only non-ECC memory is supported.
                    Some googling revealed, that ECC memory in 890 chipset was not recognised.

                    Additionally, the support with ASRock is virtually absent completely.


                    • #25
                      For posterity:

                      Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 (rev. 1.0; BIOS F12) inofficially supports unbuffered ECC memory, as seen in BIOS settings and verified otherwise.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                        I have 2x harddrives on my machine, but I dont do raid, but rather normal backups exactly for the reason that RAID is only partial backup. The situation you describe never ever happend to me and I can only imagine bit-flipping on very high-electrosmog devices such as rack servers. Can you report the opposite?
                        RAID is not a partial backup! RAID is not a substitute for backup. RAID and backing up your data are two different concepts, and you need both to be fully protected. For example, RAID only protects you in the event of physical hard drive failure. That's it. Nothing else. RAID does not protect you against data corruption, user error, virus/malware, fire, flood, theft, etc. Taking regular backups and storing them offsite does protect you against all those things. RAID and backups are complementary, not replacements for one another.

                        Originally posted by Cres View Post
                        Btw., ECC support in "consumer" class hardware was my main motivation to buy AMD (and ASUS) hardware for the past five years and worked as advertised, kudos to AMD, although I'd wish FM1 had that capability, too. I just hope the FM2 platform fixes that issue.
                        I'm more familiar with the workstation & server chips like Opteron and Xeon. I assume the consumer desktop chips also have their memory controller built-in as part of the CPU? How do you tell if a consumer AMD chip supports ECC memory or not? Obviously the chip (with memory controller), motherboard, and BIOS all must have ECC support to enable the feature.