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Must use ECC. What Intel chipset follows 975X?

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March 31, 2007 2:54:03 AM

I will be building a new system during the next 6-months that _must_ use ECC memory. I had hoped to use the replacement for the 975X/Bad-Axe-2 chipset/motherboard (the upcomming Bearlake-X38/Bonetrail), but a Wikipedia entry for the X38 suggests that it will not support ECC. I have been unable to find any other reference to the inclusion/exclusion of ECC support on the X38, and repeated contacts with Intel have proven useless.

I have two questions:

1. Does the X38 support ECC or not?
2. If not, what will replace the 975X when ECC support is mandatory?

More about : ecc intel chipset 975x

a b V Motherboard
March 31, 2007 1:52:48 PM

Are you building a server?
The next memory format for desktops should be unbuffered, non-ECC DDR3.
March 31, 2007 7:32:56 PM

No, I will not be building a server. However, some of my consulting contracts require that the work that I perform must be done on a computer equipped with ECC memory. As background cosmic rays cause bit errors to occur in all memory modules, ECC is considered non-negotiable.
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March 31, 2007 8:36:22 PM

hee hee hee, that's kinda funny :) 

If the software is coded properly (bios, os, apps,etc), bit errors won't matter anyway. I've got many ECC servers, and many non ECC servers, all running similar if not the same software on all of them, never had the non ECC ones do any worse. Even with heavy usage SQL servers.

But, if a contract says it......lie :) 
April 1, 2007 3:41:10 AM

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but "properly coded" software cannot avoid problems produced by a memory bit error. The point of ECC memory is to detect and repair errors that occur when what is saved in RAM doesn't match what is read back from RAM. A single bit error can change a number, the effect of a line of code, or a memory pointer. In most circumstances, the impact isn't consequential because most of us don't run critical applications. However, if you're calculating structural wing loading or the size of a bolt needed to retain a steering wheel, or if you're performing a finite element analysis that takes weeks to complete, a single bit error can indeed be critical. This is why workstation-class computers use ECC memory. For those of us who can get by with 2-4 DIMMs, buffered memory isn't needed, which means that unbuffered ECC as is used in some desktop motherboards is a good economic and technical choice. Currently, the only Intel desktop chipset that supports unbuffered ECC is the 975X, which will soon be removed from production. If there is no ECC capable follow-on to the 975X, I'll simply build with a current generation motherboard.
April 1, 2007 10:40:09 PM

But as I understood it, if the software does crc checks it will notice the bit error and rerun it, now I am by no means a programmer so I could be wrong. That's just how I understood it.
April 2, 2007 8:36:51 AM

Quote:
But as I understood it, if the software does crc checks it will notice the bit error and rerun it, now I am by no means a programmer so I could be wrong. That's just how I understood it.


what if the error bit occurs in the memory at the point of the crc check? then what?
April 2, 2007 9:27:55 AM

Maybe you should check with your Intel rep.... From what I understand, the bx and the bx2 both support ECC.
April 2, 2007 6:51:57 PM

Then the crc wouldn't match the original data and it would be dropped, the bit error would have to occur at the same point for both the creation of the crc as well as the check of the crc, right?
a b V Motherboard
April 2, 2007 9:00:01 PM

Geez, let's make this simple.
No one knows if the next desktop iteration of Intel chipsets will support ECC.
We won't know until the release date, (or just prior to...).
Typically ECC memory causes a system to run slower than non ECC memory.
Desktop systems put a premium on speed.
Usually, Intel desktop chipsets DO NOT support ECC, even though some lowly NVidia and ATI chipsets will. All Intel workstation and server chipsets do.
The 975 chipset appears to be an aberration for Intel.
GO WITH IT!
April 2, 2007 9:19:49 PM

intel workstations and servers use FB-DIMMS that cost a lot more then ecc ram get an amd 2xxx Opteron system
April 2, 2007 9:35:36 PM

I wondered the same thing and did some looking around on NewEgg. You need a server board. Take a look at the current DDR2 ECC RAM modules (under server memory) and the voltage they require. It is much higher than the voltage supported by many boards. Take a look at the server boards, and you will see that there are some that support those ECC chips and have the other components you would want in a desktop board (like a PCIe 16x slot). Unfortunately, most also seem to have two CPU slots and some other things that add to their cost ($300+). So, currently, it is either a 975 or server board. They all (Intel, nVidia, et al) abandoned ECC support for future desktop boards.
a b V Motherboard
April 2, 2007 9:37:21 PM

Quote:
intel workstations and servers use FB-DIMMS that cost a lot more then ecc ram get an amd 2xxx Opteron system
Yes, many of the higher end ones do.. So go with a 975x with ECC to meet contract. Suggesting AMD does not help here...
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 28, 2008 10:57:08 AM

The X38 does support ECC memory.
a b V Motherboard
December 29, 2008 10:38:58 AM

And this topic is nearly two years old.
!