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AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 08 Mar 2017 17:13
by noclaf
Hi all,
I would like to make this thread a valuable help to anybody who wants to build NAS based on AM4 motherboard and Ryzen CPU.

Why?
- why not
- as an alternative in case you want to build ECC capable NAS
- only alternative are Intel Atom embedded CPU MoBos (currently reported as sometimes failing after few years) or SuperMicro MoBos - which are quite expensive and second-hand market is not easily available to all regions (i.e. because of delivery fees from US to EU and so on)

Ryzen CPUs
- ECC is supported but not tested by AMD. They probably don't want to bother with customer complaints and support.
ECC is not disabled. It works, but not validated for our consumer client platform.
Validated means run it through server/workstation grade testing. For the first Ryzen processors, focused on the prosumer/gaming market, this feature is enabled and working but not validated by AMD. You should not have issues creating a whitebox homelab or NAS with ECC memory enabled.
yes, if you enable ECC support in the BIOS so check with the MB feature list before you buy.

List of AM4 Motherboards w ECC support [updated 4/4/17]
Asrock [updated 9/3/17]
- MBs will support ECC modules running in nonECC mode ( <=> useless) !to be confirmed!

ASUS [updated 3/4/17]
- X370 Taichi tested for ECC support with mixed results. Not many settings in BIOS, not properly recognized in Windows, working in Linux review is here

GigaByte [updated 8/3/17]
- GA-AX370-Gaming K7 8*SATA3
- GA-AX370-GAMING 5 8*SATA3

I would like to update the list in future. So if you know about some AM4 MB that supports ECC, please let me know. Please note that the list will be updated based on hard data, not based on rumors, unsupported discussion somewhere and wishful thinking. A confirmation (again with some hard data) that some manufacturer is not supporting ECC is valuable as well.
Also let me know in case you encounter real life ECC test with Ryzen. Thanks!

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 01 Apr 2017 21:35
by Riften
I ran an Asus m5a99fx pro r2.0, FX 6300 and 32 gigs ECC for about a year, almost no complaints, solid components. Not optimum, but it worked ok. The big plus for using a 'server' board over a desktop is not having stuff like Crossfire/SLI, sound, and other unneeded stuff for a NAS, taking up resources, and not getting things that would be useful. IPMI comes to mind. I didn't think I needed it, but having to scrounge around for a keyboard and having to connect the thing to a monitor to see what is going on is a pain. But I had worthless SLI support.

I finally bought a Supermicro x10sl7-f mid last month and overdid it with a Xeon E3-1241 v3 Haswell 3.5 GHz (darn Newegg with it's configurator bundles). I love IPMI, I can open up the console right from my gaming rig and reboot it, check/change the bios settings, update XigmaNAS, check temps, whatever, so easy now. I can't see spending for a Ryzen and a gaming board and hoping it supports ECC correctly. Once you are willing to purchase a setup for your NAS, as opposed to pressing something you already own into service, you should step into a server board to get the features you really need and no junk you don't need, without having to worry about ECC support.

I have looked at Ryzen for my next gamer, but I am going with a 2011v3 with a 6850k Broadwell instead. Buy once, cry once, broke always.

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 11 Sep 2017 07:15
by WilliamRiley
It was so nice of you for providing here convenient tips on how to build NAS based on AM4 motherboard and Ryzen CPU. Thank you.

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 06 Mar 2018 15:15
by pro lamer
Hi!

GA-AX370-GAMING K5

Gigabyte www page (https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA ... -rev-1x#sp) states:
Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 06 Mar 2018 16:33
by noclaf
pro lamer wrote:
06 Mar 2018 15:15
Hi!

GA-AX370-GAMING K5

Gigabyte www page (https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA ... -rev-1x#sp) states:
Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
Thanks! Problem is in the brackets :( "operate in non-ECC mode"

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 06 Mar 2018 18:42
by pro lamer
Not to be confused:

GA-AX370-GAMING K5
&
GA-AX370-GAMING 5

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 06 Mar 2018 19:20
by ChriZathens
The motherboards mentioned in this thread are gaming motherboards with useless features for a server and questionable ECC support. Their prices are between 150 and 200 EUR.
A "proper" Supermicro motherboard costs about 180-200 EUR.
And here comes the question:
Why bother being the guinea pig when there is proven hardware that just works and there is practically no price difference?

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 07 Mar 2018 15:21
by noclaf
pro lamer wrote:
06 Mar 2018 18:42
Not to be confused:

GA-AX370-GAMING K5
&
GA-AX370-GAMING 5
You posted K5 - which does not allow ECC to work. Gaming 5 is already in my list. ;)
Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 07 Mar 2018 15:38
by noclaf
ChriZathens wrote:
06 Mar 2018 19:20
The motherboards mentioned in this thread are gaming motherboards with useless features for a server and questionable ECC support. Their prices are between 150 and 200 EUR.
A "proper" Supermicro motherboard costs about 180-200 EUR.
And here comes the question:
Why bother being the guinea pig when there is proven hardware that just works and there is practically no price difference?
1) AM4 ECC MBs are starting from ~100EUR (cheapest available 1151 Supermicro in whole Europe is MBD-X11SSL-F-O starting at ~170EUR)
2) CPU prices are same as well?
3) On large markets are Supermicro probably priced as you said - but for example in my homeland you can get AM4 for the same price as in DE/UK, but Supermicro has some nice premium - i.e. MBD-X11SAE-M-O should be ~180EUR but here it's for ~200EUR (in shops without known delivery date) or 215+EUR (in shops with at least some delivery date - still not in stock). That is starting to be a significant difference.
4) It's simply an option

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 10 Mar 2018 09:50
by ChriZathens
I am not against different options. I am actually excited that AMD is back in the game.
Simply saying that for a NAS build which will end up costing €1000 or more (all parts included), even a 10% price difference is not significant for getting proper hardware* with proven ECC support.
At least until proper proven and validated ECC AM4 hardware hit the market.
And gaming AM4 hardware that support ECC Ram but may or may not have error correction enabled does not qualify as proper in my opinion.

* Please also don't forget that proper hardware includes stuff that you do need, like FreeBSD compatible NICs and iKVM, while it does not have stuff you don't need for a NAS, like audio, SLI etc (these are parts that add another point of failure plus they add to power consumption). So if you get a motherboard which is €100 cheaper and then decide that the Realtek NIC is not supported properly in FreeBSD, or not performing well and you decide to get an Intel NIC, that's another €30-€40 spent. And you still lack KVM. I used to have an Asus workstation intel motherboard which was used in my NAS for a short period. Great motherboard, with Intel NICs and validated ECC support. My NAS is inside a cabinet, though and every time there was a major upgrade and a clean installation was needed, I had to get it out of its cabinet (all 25kg of it) put it on my desk and attach a keyboard and a monitor. At that point I decided I needed KVM and tried to source an additional module (that motherboard supports an addon card for KVM). Turned out it was about €100 (or more can't remember the exact amount right now)
So I ended up getting a Supermicro for my NAS and transplanted the Asus to my Windows workstation

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 03 Aug 2018 10:11
by samanthacramer
You don't know how many problems you have just resolved and saved our precious time. Amazing, thank you!!

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 30 Nov 2018 01:44
by gomario
@ChriZathens
Quote: "Why bother being the guinea pig when there is proven hardware that just works and there is practically no price difference?"

If you ask that question you obviously missed the point entirely.
On many occasions/most of the time, high-end gamers end up with a bunch of fairly new and powerful MB's, which gather dust in some corner. Further more, this group of users outnumber the "NAS experts" many times over. As it happens they also have a fairly good understanding of how computer hardware works. They regularly upgrade the system, to keep up with latest developments.
Of course one could go and buy dedicated NAS hardware, (which would obviously be much better suited for the job) but that is not the point!

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Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 18 Feb 2019 14:51
by was-armandh
one of my son's cast off gaming MOBOs is in use behind the flat screen, as a client for the NAS stored videos.
too much power consumption, too many quirks and not enough stability [IMHO] for my NAS use.

YMMV with more than just a simple NAS use.

there is however lots of very stable, name brand, utility frugal boxes in the refurbished market; cheap too!
so far I have been successful with a new home built i3, two refurbished [used] i5s and a used [bit miner] 2 core AMD
new exotic hardware may work well "the fences always look lower the second time" [fox-hunting]
it is a learning curve, my daughter is getting my well used but now upgraded to Xi Atom processor box
replacing her failed [boot drive] obsolete P4 but all the data was saved, 32 bit N4F.
[just a refresher course doing the Xi Atom box setup]

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 24 May 2019 23:08
by bmullengb
I confirmed that the Asus Crosshair Hero VII also supports ECC RAM! Its not listed on Asus's website as supported, but Crucial lists CT16G4WFD8266 as compatible with this specific motherboard. I took a gamble and ordered the RAM, and I was able to confirm through Linux dmesg that EDAC recognized the ram as ECC. After verifying in Linux, I saw the extra settings related to scrubbing and poisoning.

This forum page is helpful for those of us trying to cut through the confusion. I hope my post helps someone else that is wondering about the same motherboard.

Re: AM4 + Ryzen ECC build tips

Posted: 07 Dec 2019 05:38
by gomario
bmullengb wrote:I confirmed that the Asus Crosshair Hero VII also supports ECC RAM! Its not listed on Asus's website as supported, but Crucial lists CT16G4WFD8266 as compatible with this specific motherboard. I took a gamble and ordered the RAM, and I was able to confirm through Linux dmesg that EDAC recognized the ram as ECC. After verifying in Linux, I saw the extra settings related to scrubbing and poisoning.

This forum page is helpful for those of us trying to cut through the confusion. I hope my post helps someone else that is wondering about the same motherboard.
Thanks for the confirmation.
AFAIK most (if not all) modern AMD mobos support ECC. If it was not for Intel and their money making aspirations, the entire industry should have being spared the ECC vs non ECC motherboard support. Right now, with Intel running in circles with tail between the hind legs, expect to see more and more ECC motherboard compatibility.

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