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 Post subject: Re: ECC Support (offshoot of Silent Server Build)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:09 am
Posts: 35
Location: Sweden
I would guess that Tyan and Supermicro are the ones to get for ECC-support since their mobos are actually intended for use in servers. I think I mentioned that I did not contact either of them.

Nice, good luck on your build, I am running mine on non-ECC-ram but your setup will surely be less prone to errors.


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 Post subject: Re: ECC Support (offshoot of Silent Server Build)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1728
Location: Switzerland
Asus has boards with functioning ECC (confirmed by testing). Whether the ones you want just take ECC DIMMs or actually allow you to make use of the ECC features is anyone's guess unless they've been tested but Asus has at least one board with a server chipset on the Intel side. It's not cheap but it's not SuperMicro-expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: ECC Support (offshoot of Silent Server Build)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:47 am
Posts: 2
Location: Germany
Quiet Mind wrote:
I found a relatively inexpensive microATX board with a non-Xeon Intel processor that supports (truly supports) ECC. I'm about to buy it. HFat asked me to post my evidence so here you go:

Image

Supermicro X8SIL-F

It supports the Intel Core i3 with ECC. The spec sheet and documentation aren't entirely clear on this point so I asked Supermicro for confirmation. Their reply:

Supermicro wrote:
Intel is using the same Core i3 processor at both Desktop as server platforms
So when Core i3 processor is inserted in to a server chipset platform, like with intel 3400/3420/3450 chipset,then the CPU will support ECC with UDIMM.
On the other hand if Core i3 is pluged into a Desktop chipset mainboard, like with P55, H55… chipset, then CPU won’t have ECC support function.
So with X8SIL-F using Server 3420 chipset, you need to install unbuffered ECC memory in combination with Core I3 processor.

I wasn't entirely satisfied with this answer so I asked Intel too:

Intel wrote:
The Intel® 5 series chipset supports non-ECC memory only when using any of the Intel® Core™ i5 or i3 processors. However, using those processors on a workstation motherboard based on 3400 series chipsets it will support ECC and non-ECC memory. Bear in mind that most of the motherboards based on 3400 series chipset supports Xeon processors rather than i5 or i3 processors.

I wrote:
Thank you for your answer. When you write "However, using those processors on a workstation motherboard based on 3400 series chipsets it will support ECC ... memory", do you mean it will correct single bit memory errors with ECC memory or just treat ECC memory as normal memory?

Intel wrote:
Yes, that means that will fully support ECC technology. That means that it will correct single bit memory errors with ECC memory.

I'm buying this board with a Core i3 as part of my new ZFS build. Come take a look and tell me what you think of my choices.


yes, that's completly true and I want to give a further piece of evidence for that; the Intel Server S3420GPLX board supports not only Xeons but core i3 processors and this board strictly requires ECC ram, so clarkdale cpu's have to support ECC ram. Whether ECC ram is usable essentially depends on chipset and bios of the board. Without bios support no ECC security even if ECC ram is actually usable in a board.

I think that ECC is a professional feature, significant especially for 24/7 loads. For me it makes sense only if the level of the hole system and every of its parts meet those high standards. Combining ECC ram with cheap consumer drives in a system is rather pointless.
The result is that you have to pay quite a price for a well thought-out system with professional features. Too much at least for the majority of price-conscious consumers. Consumers always want it all and for a little money. And that is the challenge for Microsoft's Windows Home Server, a server product for the home, i.e. easy to use and cheap (but professional, for example suitable for 24/7 usage).
Do you ever read about the reasons for developing Drive Extender 2 (in WHS2/Vail)? It's because of the unbelievable error rates of cheap consumer drives, not because of shortcomings in Drive Extender 1.

From a consumer point of view Intel's strict separation of professional needs from consumer grade equipment may be regrettable. But it is a solid enterprise decision, if you need professional features pay adequate prices, that provides for a professional system builder environment and that helps Intel stand where it stands, economical and technological, even with its consumer products.


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