Question AMD Ryzen-and Motherboard Specific-"Unofficial" ECC RAM support?

chane

Member
Apr 18, 2010
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Among the criteria for my new build, ECC RAM support is the most important. But here and at forums like tomshardware, diyaudio and numerous others there's been needless doubt and precious time wasted for years over AMD processor-and compatible motherboard-support for ECC RAM. Indeed, at these forums I couldn't count the number of times I've read seeing "no official support" to the question "Do AMD processors support ECC RAM?". This simply is not an acceptable situation from Intel's chief, if not only, significant competitor.

It clearly should be incumbent on AMD to do yearly testing of at least A FEW specific motherboard models to insure their ECC RAM enabling support when tested with specific AMD Ryzen processors. That's hardly asking for very much-especially if motherboard brands offer to at least partially reimburse AMD for their time spent to running these ECC enabling tests on their boards.

However, ONLY AMD should be running these tests as, again, posters at numerous forums (and WE are the market for these products), claim to have found boards with, in fact, no ECC support, but where the brand claims otherwise.

Finally, I would also expect to receive from AMD-and/or from the motherboard brand which AMD claims they tested with their specific Ryzen processors to insure ECC RAM enabling-a step by step procedure for running ECC RAM bit error checks on files.

Today, I made my complaints known in writing to https://www.amd.com/en/support/contact-email-form I only wish I had thought of doing that long ago.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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The support on on the motherboard vendors. Why is it AMD's responsibility to verify the motherboards job ?
 

moinmoin

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2017
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I think you are asking for ECC certified boards. AMD doesn't require Ryzen and Threadripper boards to be ECC certified, while boards for Threadripper Pro and Epyc are required to be certified. For the former support is still technically possible (the capability is not disabled by AMD on the chips) but needs to be implemented on the boards by the manufacturers to be usable.
 

chane

Member
Apr 18, 2010
79
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I think you are asking for ECC certified boards. AMD doesn't require Ryzen and Threadripper boards to be ECC certified, while boards for Threadripper Pro and Epyc are required to be certified. For the former support is still technically possible (the capability is not disabled by AMD on the chips) but needs to be implemented on the boards by the manufacturers to be usable.
Yes, what you say was unfortunately confirmed by this system builder. https://www.velocitymicro.com/contact-page.php

But there's a maxim in business that the little guy (vs. Intel in this case) has to try harder, and that's what AMD ought to be doing regarding ECC RAM support. As an end user, I don't need the horsepower of anything more powerful than the 65 watt TDP Ryzen 7 8 core cpu. But by only requiring boards to be ECC enabling for their more powerful series processors, AMD's acting no better than Intel who only ECC enables their Xeon cpus, which run at 80 watt TDP minimum, are only available to business markets, and consequently offer fewer options for consumers. Indeed, how much would it cost AMD to run ECC verifying tests on even just two or three boards every one or two years which are compatible with the Ryzen series? And most likely the board brands would give AMD free boards to do so. AMD runs the tests and if the boards pass everyone wins.
 
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thigobr

Senior member
Sep 4, 2016
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A lot of boards support ECC memory. Some of them won't report errors to the system though so there's no real way to know for sure if the correction is working.

I built a home server last year using some spare parts (old Ryzen 7 1700 and some Kingston unbuffered ECC memory) and an ASRock X470D4U. I use Linux and the EDAC driver reports ECC is active. I tried the Memtest86 pro that has error injection feature but I the system really doesn't report errors!

I replaced the CPU recently by a Ryzen 5 Pro 4650G and to my surprise Memtest86 error injection actually triggers error reporting to the system!

AMD says the Pro line officially supports ECC so I think the error reporting part is only guaranteed to work with those CPUs. But I only tested those two models so I can't be sure.
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,699
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My x370 gigabyte gaming7 motherboard has supported ECC flawlessly for the past 5yrs.
You can only get validation with workstation/enterprise hardware. It's the same with video cards, the workstation ones have ecc enabled (some of them atleast).

Note that not all systems with a ryzen "pro" will work with ecc. I have a lenovo thinkpad laptop with a ryzen pro and ecc sodimms ... it don't support it because lenovo never enabled it.
 

tamz_msc

Diamond Member
Jan 5, 2017
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As an end user, I don't need the horsepower of anything more powerful than the 65 watt TDP Ryzen 7 8 core cpu. But by only requiring boards to be ECC enabling for their more powerful series processors, AMD's acting no better than Intel who only ECC enables their Xeon cpus, which run at 80 watt TDP minimum, are only available to business markets, and consequently offer fewer options for consumers.
Just get the Xeon W1370 with a W480 motherboard if you want guaranteed ECC support. Will 80 W vs 65 W even make that much of a difference?
 

chane

Member
Apr 18, 2010
79
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Just get the Xeon W1370 with a W480 motherboard if you want guaranteed ECC support. Will 80 W vs 65 W even make that much of a difference?
80 vs 65 watts may not be huge although many users seem divided on whether certain AMD families tend to render and/or encode more efficiently for video editing than Intel. Speaking of which, as I do no gaming but may eventually do some video editing (though more likely just hard deleting of parts of Blu-ray movie scenes using demuxing /remuxing software), the older Comet Lake Xeon did score way better on the Cinebench and Handbrake benchmarks than Rocket Lake by more than 380/300 watts. https://www.pcworld.com/article/394326/10th-gen-comet-lake-vs-11th-gen-rocket-lake-which-should-you-buy.html That’s huge. As for AMD, the ECC RAM verifiable series is priced sensibly for my needs and their TDPs are equally
sensible-and with Alder Lake Xeons still months away-Comet Lake Xeon looks to be the logical choice.
 

tamz_msc

Diamond Member
Jan 5, 2017
3,107
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80 vs 65 watts may not be huge although many users seem divided on whether certain AMD families tend to render and/or encode more efficiently for video editing than Intel. Speaking of which, as I do no gaming but may eventually do some video editing (though more likely just hard deleting of parts of Blu-ray movie scenes using demuxing /remuxing software), the older Comet Lake Xeon did score way better on the Cinebench and Handbrake benchmarks than Rocket Lake by more than 380/300 watts. https://www.pcworld.com/article/394326/10th-gen-comet-lake-vs-11th-gen-rocket-lake-which-should-you-buy.html That’s huge. As for AMD, the ECC RAM verifiable series is priced sensibly for my needs and their TDPs are equally
sensible-and with Alder Lake Xeons still months away-Comet Lake Xeon looks to be the logical choice.
Do you plan to use a discrete GPU? If not, then the only way you're getting ECC on AMD is to buy a PRO APU, like the PRO 5750G.
 

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