The AMD Threadripper ECC DDR4-2666 Testing That Wasn't
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 31 October 2018 at 08:18 AM EDT. 22 Comments
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Recently in our forums there has been a lot of interest in Threadripper 2 builds using ECC DDR4 memory and the impact on performance, especially now with the Threadripper 2 family being rounded out by the 2920X and 2970WX. So I set out to do some DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMM testing with Threadripper 2, but that hasn't turned out well.

Due to the growing interest in Threadripper 2 + ECC memory builds by Linux users (especially among the supportive premium crowd), I ordered a quad-kit of DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMM for testing... While the latest Threadripper 2 processors support DDR4-2933, DDR4-2666MHz is the fastest that can currently be found for ECC UDIMMs. As I only have a couple older DDR4-2133 ECC UDIMMs sticks in some Xeon E3 v5 boxes and the rest of my DDR4 ECC being Registered DIMMs that are not supported by Threadripper CPUs, I ordered some.

But even finding DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMMs proved particularly difficult as most US Internet retailers listing them are marked discontinued or out-of-stock with DDR4-2400 being more common. Most of the memory compatibility lists from the different motherboard vendors with X399 products also only lists DDR4-2400 models when it comes to ECC UDIMMs.


When shopping for the memory, the only prominent Internet retailer listing DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMMs was NewEgg with several different listings for NEMIX RAM. NEMIX RAM advertises itself as a Florida-based memory product company founded in 2007 with its products backed by a lifetime warranty. I never touched NEMIX memory before but given no other viable option, I ordered a quad kit of their 8GB DDR4-2666 ECC Unbuffered memory.


The memory arrived after opting for overnight shipping. Unfortunately I have yet to get this memory working in any of my Threadripper X399 systems. I've tried the MSI X399 MEG CREATION, ASUS ROG ZENITH EXTREME, and Gigabyte X399 Aorus Gaming 7 to no avail either in quad or dual-channel configurations. Trying this memory on an MSI C236A WORKSTATION board also did not work.


I am waiting on hearing back from NEMIX if there is any magic or an RMA is hopefully in store.


With the odd over-hanging placement of their memory stickers and feeling the stickers on each of the DIMMs, it became clear that there was a second sticker behind. When carefully peaking behind, this does indeed appear to be some re-branded memory that is being sold. When looking back on NewEgg, others have also reported their memory kits having been re-labeled, RMAs going through other companies, etc.


So unfortunately it doesn't look like any ECC Threadripper 2 benchmarking will be coming up anytime soon until finding some working DDR4-2666+ ECC UDIMMs... As consolation, here are some fresh DDR4 (non-ECC) Threadripper 2990WX Linux memory benchmarks with some G.SKILL DIMMs at 2 x 8GB DDR4-3200, 4 x 8GB DDR4-2666, 4 x 8GB DDR4-2933, 4 x 8GB DDR4-3200 that I started before abandoning the tests due to the non-working ECC DIMMs.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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