[RndTbl] new ECC computer options

Trevor Cordes trevor at tecnopolis.ca
Sat Jan 28 17:42:23 CST 2017

On 2017-01-28 Kevin McGregor wrote:
> The original PC had parity checking only. I don't know how long ago
> that stopped. Or did it?

Ya, pretty much everything was parity in 30-pin SIMM days, and even
mahy/most 72-pin.  So it was during/after the 486 days that parity
disappeared.  So the Pentium was the first to make it "difficult" to
get ECC.  This if from my personal experience/memory.

Then Intel realized they could gouge businesses by coming out with the
Xeon at the same time as the P2.

On 2017-01-28 Kevin McGregor wrote:
> It seems like the AMD FX-series CPUs would do, coupled with something
> like the ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 which supports ECC RAM.

Off the top of your head, are these types of boards "normal" "desktop"
prices plus a bit ($100-$200 CAD) or are they like Xeon "server class"
board pricing ($250+)?

Does AMD position these as enthusiast class or strictly business?

> Do you need it right away? If you can wait until the end of March,
> the AMD Ryzen-series CPUs will be out, which are expected to have

Nope, no rush at all, but I'm getting real close... starting to reach
the maximum of my current ECC workstation (quad core 2.4G), where I'm
spending several seconds waiting for things a thousand times a day,
which cuts into my bottom line.  I'll watch for the Ryzen debut and

On 2017-01-28 Brock Wolfe wrote:
> rendering and transcoding.  The major difference is whether you want
> to support multiple video cards X3 or X4 to support multi-GPU
> processing (ie.OpenCL).  If not, then a mid-range board (ASUS etc.)
> that supports ECC (or not) processor is good enough.

With 1 vid card allowing 3 heads (plus!) these days, I don't need
multiple x16 slots.  Of course, CPU/mobo must be ECC.

What did you go with for your solution?  AFAIK in the Intel world it's
the CPU (with builtin mem controller now) that determines if you get
ECC or not, and there is no "mid range" Intel ECC CPU.  It's Xeon or
no ECC (excluding the weird i3 low end which purported to allow ECC in
some weird setups).

> The more important question is how much money you want to put into
> the processor.

The idea is to spend as much as a mid-range i7 plus maximum $50 extra
for ECC.  AFAIK that's not possible in Xeon world without a) spending
double for the board, and b) only getting the lowest-end Xeon.

As for my application... it's just my main workstation doing my daily
stuff and daemons.  No 3D, no CAD, no cluster apps.  I need high
clockspeed on a single core to at least speed up web page rendering
(one of my bottlenecks now), so that means Intel Turbo boost would be
nice.  The number of weird home-made programs I run regularly now eat up
100% on 2-3 cores at least 50% of the day, but they are all niced up the
wazoo, so while I like them to be fast, they aren't my main concern.  I
just need snappy 2D desktop use that never makes me wait.  My current
box has done that for many many years, but I find myself starting to
wait more and more.  And this is even with NoScript and ABP blocking
90% of web garbage^H^H^H^H^H^H content.  Stupid web 2.0...

My goal is to double my current effective speed, which should be
possible with modern 4+ GHz CPU, turbo boost, and DDR4.  If only I
didn't understand ECC, life would be so easy, just buy any cheap i7
system!  Ignorance is bliss.  :-)

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