[mythtv-users] AM2+ motherboard with support for ECC RAM for media player / server

Roger Heflin rogerheflin at gmail.com
Wed May 7 19:21:58 UTC 2008

Bob wrote:
> Bill Williamson wrote:
>> On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:23 PM, Bob <spam at homeurl.co.uk 
>> <mailto:spam at homeurl.co.uk>> wrote:
>>     Bob wrote:
>>     > Unbuffered / Registered obviously.
>>     >
>>     Bad form Bla Bla Bla but just to update the list, the abit A-S78H also
>>     supports Un-buffered ECC RAM, it doesn't have FireWire though
>>     http://www.abit.com.tw/page/en/motherboard/motherboard_detail.php?pMODEL_NAME=A-S78H&fMTYPE=Socket%20AM2
>>     <http://www.abit.com.tw/page/en/motherboard/motherboard_detail.php?pMODEL_NAME=A-S78H&fMTYPE=Socket%20AM2>
>> Why do you think that ECC vs non ECC ram will have any bearing on 
>> stability of a media computer ?  If you're going ECC, why would you 
>> not also go SCSI?
>> I don't disagree with wanting stability, but the reality is that ECC 
>> likely will not give you any.
> ECC RAM corrects bit errors in memory which could cause a crash or other 
> problems, these errors while rare are estimated to occur once a month 
> per GB of RAM, I'm planing have 2 or 4 GBs and I'll leave the system up 
> all the time, which is why reliability and low power consumption are a must.

Actually the errors don't happen that often anymore, not sure exactly why, but I 
have monitored huge amounts of ram (10000+ GB for months) and the errors happen 
pretty rarely except on machines getting huge numbers of errors, in a given 
month with a machine with 32GB on it very few of the machines get any errors at 
all, the few that get errors don't usually get only 1 error.

But, if you are monitoring ECC then this will give you a chance to know about 
the memory *BEFORE* it causes you machine to be unstable and crash randomly 
without you knowing why it is crashing.   It would also speed up correcting the 
issue as you don't have to guess what the actual issue is.

It is really one of the advantages of the AMD cpus, as you can easily get ECC in 
them without buying a single socket server grade MB for a lot more money that 
you have to get with the Intel cpus.

> I don't want to build a "proper" server with ECC Registered RAM and SCSI 
> because it'll cost a fair bit more for a fairly marginal improvement in 
> stability and longevity.

SCSI does not matter anymore, in the last 3 years the SATA/IDE disk have got a 
lot better, I think the issue is that the disk manufacturers figured out better 
platter quality control.   I have experience with large samples of SCSI 
(2003-800 scsi disks) and SATA disks (2000+ IDE/SATA  disks), and they both have 
similar failures rates, if you go back to large numbers of IDE/SCSI disks in the 
2000-2004 range this was not the case and the SATA disks were utter crap were 
you could expect 10-20% failures in the first 6 months, and the SCSI/FC disks 
had very low failure rates.


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