X79 Motherboards and ECC Support

stewartjm

Limp Gawd
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Sep 10, 2003
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I've just looked over the specs page for most of the X79 boards. So far the only one I've found which lists ECC support is the:
Asus P9X79 WS

It's also the only Asus board which currently has a QVL available. But unfortunately, the QVL does not appear to actually list any ECC modules.

ECC specs on consumer boards are often in error. Can anyone verify that the BIOS for the P9X79 WS contains an ECC configuration section? Or has anyone noticed options for ECC configuration in the BIOS of another X79 motherboard?

Thanks.
 

stewartjm

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Found another one, the manual for the Intel DX79SI claims ECC support. So with 2 listing it, it sounds a little less like a possible missprint.
 

Kranium

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Asus P9X79 WS

WS = work station I believe. So it makes sense that it would support ecc.
 

stewartjm

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In the process of comparing some build I options, I ended up stumbling here:
http://ark.intel.com/products/63697/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-Processor-(12M-Cache-3_20-GHz)

Where Intel makes it pretty clear, that they crippled the 3930K's ECC support. So while it's likely the P9X79 WS, and the DX79SI do have ECC support in the "BIOS". You'll probably need a LGA 2011 Xeon to make use of it, and those may not be released for a while yet.

Thanks for the input.
 

iconiK

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Intel has required Xeon processors for ECC support for a long time now.

YOU CANNOT USE I7 WITH ECC MEMORY; IT WILL WORK, BUT YOU WON'T HAVE THE ECC FEATURE.
 
Joined
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Hey

So what board did U get? I'm also looking for a Xeon + ECC consumer motherboard and so far only some models from ASRock and Asus seem to clearly support them. Other boards might work as well but unless someone specifically tests them it's too much of a gamble.
 

stewartjm

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That was a few months ago, and I ended up building a LGA 1155 system on a P8B WS. I moved my Windows 7 install over from my old LGA 775/x38 system, and it's been rock solid.

If I were building now I might still consider the P9X79 WS. But I'd probably hold out for the rumored LGA 2011 Gigabyte C606 chipset board, with 8 DIMM slots and a working Intel SAS controller, for a total of 14 onboard SATA ports:
http://semiaccurate.com/2012/06/03/gigabyte-makes-an-enthusiast-workstation-board/

Another possibility is SuperMicro. I know they make a few single socket LGA2011 boards, of which, at least one is workstationy. I.e. it has onboard sound, USB 3.0, etc. It/They should be available soon if not already. You mentioned the Asrock, it looks alright, but I'm not convinced that I should use/rely on Marvell SATA controllers yet.

CPU wise, I'd almost certainly go with a Xeon e5-1620(4c, 3.6gHz, ~$300) CPU. With the slim possibility of a e5-1650(6c, 3.2gHz, ~$600). Either way I'd be hoping for a 3.5+gHz 8 core Ivy Bridge-E Xeon for sub $600 next year.

Both of the above Xeon CPUs may not quite be stocked yet. Newegg does stock the e5-1660, but at $1080, it's too expensive for being only 100MHz faster than the 1650.


But, keep in mind, value wise, it's hard to beat LGA 1155, especially now that you can purchase 8GB ECC DIMMs for ~$90 each:
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=W16GE1333K
 
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I mentioned ASRock because all of their recent models (Fatal1ty X79 Champion, Fatal1ty X79 Professional, X79 Extreme9, X79 Extreme7) nicely confirm: "Supports DDR3 ECC, un-buffered memory with Intel® Workstation 1S Xeon processors E5 16xx/26xx/46xx series in socket LGA 2011". Also the new X79 Extreme11 seems almost perfect on paper.

The only other option would be the Asus P9X79 WS but it also relies on the older 9128 Marvell (not even 9230 like the ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Champion). Not that I couldn't live with it but still, for a 5Y-long build I'm hoping for slightly better.

The Supermicro boards are all a bit too weird for my taste, either no USB3 or proprietary form factor or 3 PCI slots or only 3 PCI-E slots.


The 1155 option would not be a bad idea except that you're limited to either Asus P8Z77 WS or the P8C WS and they both look like a compromise (Marvell, official ECC support or not enough ports). BTW, I read about some potential issues with ECC support for P8B WS on Asus forums, did U experience any problems?
 

mwroobel

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The X79S Support ECC with an ECC-capable Xeon. Gigabyte just announced a really cool new board (mentioned above) that actually allows tweaking and overclocking and seems to be a kick-ass workstation board. 8 SAS ports, 6 SATA, 8 DIMMS.
 

stewartjm

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In theory if I was running Linux, I could verify that the ECC is working. But I haven't tried that. So, it's possible it's not doing anything. But as I mentioned, the system has been rock solid, so I haven't had any reason to verify it.
 

mwroobel

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Depending on your board, ECC should be specified as on from the BIOS/UEFI screen.
 

stewartjm

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The P8B WS has an ECC option in the UEFI interface. If I recall correctly, it had 2 choices: AUTO and Disabled. I don't remember it having any other settings, unlike the AMD boards I've owned which all had 8-10 settings allowing you to set scrub rates and such.
 

brutalizer

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I have the same question. I am probably going for the ASUS P8C WS which is the same as P8B, but for Ivy Bridge Xeon and supports ECC.
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1697471

The difference is that the P8C has the new chipset C216. The X79 mobos has chipset C606.

C216 supports E3. The latest Ivy Bridge Xeons are E3. E3-1200v2.

The C606 supports E5, there are no E5 Ivy Bridge Xeons out yet. If you choose C606 you need to use Sandybridge Xeon.
 

mwroobel

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ECC is generally considered a "enterprise" option. If you look at 95%+ of the systems that have ECC enabled they are servers. To be best supported since you are buying a "server" CPU and "server" memory you would be best represented buying a "server" motherboard from someone like SuperMicro, Tyan or Intel (who have a history in enterprise-level boards and support). Asus doesn't have the best history in living up to their promises on their high-end boards going back to the P5WDG2-WS Pro and their promise of CPU support.
 
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