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Thread: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4




  1. #1
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    Unhappy ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    I have a GA-X48-DS4 motherboard (latest non-beta BIOS F2 if it matters) that I am running with Kingston ECC memory (KVR800D2E5K2/4G). Everything seems to be working perfectly. Except...

    I am running Linux (the new Ubuntu Jaunty beta) and it reports an unending stream of EDAC (error detect and correct) errors, all UE (uncorrectable multi-bit errors). I never see any CE (correctable single-bit errors) and I never experience any instability or other observable problems. I have tried different ECC memory in different slots and combinations, but it has made no difference. I have tried the same memory in another X38 motherboard (an ASUS P5E) and on that I get no EDAC errors.

    However, if I run memtest86+ and let it access every memory location at least once before booting Linux, the EDAC errors no longer occur!

    To me, this suggests that there is some kind of initialisation (of either the X48 chipset or the memory) that needs to be done by the BIOS during boot in order for ECC to work properly. The ASUS BIOS is doing whatever is required but the GIGABYTE BIOS is not.

    I tried GIGABYTE's official help page (http://ggts.gigabyte.com.tw), but all I got was canned text about QVL memory. So I asked which of the QVL memory was ECC, and got back an answer suggesting that if I wanted to use unsupported memory I ask my retailer to check if my memory was compatible with my motherboard. I then asked if GIGABYTE had ever in fact tested any ECC memory to see if it worked with this motherboard before they advertised the motherboard as supporting both ECC and non-ECC memory, and got back an answer that I interpret to mean that no, GIGABYTE did not test that ECC worked, they merely passed on Intel's claim for the X48 chipset! Hopefully this is not actually the case, and I have just got stuck at the first-level helpdesk. Hence this post.

    Ideally what I am hoping is that a future BIOS might add whatever initialisation is needed to allow Linux's EDAC module to work the same way it does with other motherboards that support ECC memory. This post is therefore mainly intended for GIGABYTE's BIOS developers.

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    Hmm, I know X48 chipset does support this but as you have found a BIOS update may be needed.

    I will forward this info along to the BIOS engineers and see if I can get a answer. In the meantime, just in case, try the latest Beta BIOS F3c (It has a new AHCI BIOS So it should boot faster for you) >>
    http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/7/...x48ds4.F3c.zip

    Be sure if you are using RAID to follow the steps I outline here for loading optimized defaults after you flash >>
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/bios...h-guide-27576/

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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    I will forward this info along to the BIOS engineers and see if I can get a answer.
    Thank you very much for this! I am happy to test any development BIOS that might address the EDAC issue if it helps.
    In the meantime, just in case, try the latest Beta BIOS F3c (It has a new AHCI BIOS So it should boot faster for you)
    OK, I have just installed BIOS F3c. No change to the EDAC behaviour. It does indeed make booting much faster in RAID and AHCI modes, but sadly both these modes still result in boot-from-CDROM not working, so I keep them disabled.

    [Actually I suspect my booting is now slightly slower than it was, not because of the F3c BIOS but because after reading your BIOS update instructions I now leave my non-existent floppy as the first boot device, and it seems to waste a few seconds looking for it.]

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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    I will forward this info along to the BIOS engineers and see if I can get a answer.
    That was over three weeks ago now. Based on your past experiences, are you still optimistic about getting an answer, or should I give up on getting a BIOS fix and start looking at alternative solutions (exchange for an ASUS motherboard or whatever)?
    Antec P182 case, 4xNoctua 120mm fans at 5V for silence, Corsair VX550 PSU, Powerware 5110 700VA UPS with 100Ah battery, ASUS P5E motherboard at minimum voltages throughout except CPU, Q9550 CPU at 3.33GHz undervolted by 0.15V for silent air cooling, TRUE 120 CPU cooler, 6GiB KVR800D2E5 ECC RAM at 940MHz 5-5-5-15, 2xWD6400AAKS drives in software RAID1, DVR-216 DVD drive, EN8600GTSLN fanless graphics card, Samsung 215TW monitor, 64-bit Linux OS

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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    I'm having similar problems with GA-X48-DS5 and ECC memory KVR800D2E6K2/4G. Not sure what BIOS version I have, but it was the newest beta at official website at March.

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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    Quote Originally Posted by beltbraces View Post
    That was over three weeks ago now. Based on your past experiences, are you still optimistic about getting an answer, or should I give up on getting a BIOS fix and start looking at alternative solutions (exchange for an ASUS motherboard or whatever)?
    Sorry, I have been having a tough time keeping up here and it seems my email was not replied to about this issue or I would have been reminded of it. Is this in Ubunut only? I mean, do you have the same issues in windows?

    Not saying this is the or a issue, I just personally wondered about it.

    See below note

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobatus View Post
    I'm having similar problems with GA-X48-DS5 and ECC memory KVR800D2E6K2/4G. Not sure what BIOS version I have, but it was the newest beta at official website at March.
    I just sent in a email about this, should have some information for you in a few days or so, hopefully by Monday/Tuesday at the latest.

    Will keep you all informed

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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    Is this in Ubunut only? I mean, do you have the same issues in windows?
    Actually I first thought this was just Ubutun problem and even made bug report about it (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/367774), but if beltbraces tried with Asus motherboard and didn't have same problems makes me think this is gigabyte bios issue.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    It could be just the BIOS I just wondered since he did not mention windows. I will let you know what I hear back

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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    Sorry, I have been having a tough time keeping up here and it seems my email was not replied to about this issue or I would have been reminded of it. Is this in Ubunut only? I mean, do you have the same issues in windows?
    I don't have Windows installed. However, I tried setting up the Windows 7 Beta, and it seemed to work. But then Linux too works perfectly well; it just fills the logs with a constant stream of memory error messages. I don't know where to look on a Windows system to find EDAC errors logged, so I can't tell if the same thing is happening there.

    What I really need is some genuinely bad ECC memory, so I could make sure that real problems are being logged, and then check to see that the same logs remain silent with good ECC memory...
    Antec P182 case, 4xNoctua 120mm fans at 5V for silence, Corsair VX550 PSU, Powerware 5110 700VA UPS with 100Ah battery, ASUS P5E motherboard at minimum voltages throughout except CPU, Q9550 CPU at 3.33GHz undervolted by 0.15V for silent air cooling, TRUE 120 CPU cooler, 6GiB KVR800D2E5 ECC RAM at 940MHz 5-5-5-15, 2xWD6400AAKS drives in software RAID1, DVR-216 DVD drive, EN8600GTSLN fanless graphics card, Samsung 215TW monitor, 64-bit Linux OS

  10. #10
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    Default Re: ECC problem with GA-X48-DS4

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobatus View Post
    Actually I first thought this was just Ubutun problem and even made bug report about it (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/367774), but if beltbraces tried with Asus motherboard and didn't have same problems makes me think this is gigabyte bios issue.
    Quite possibly it is both. I think the problem is that memory locations are being read before being written, and of course memory with random content is very likely to have multibit errors.

    If the BIOS does a memory test that writes to every memory location (as the ASUS BIOS seems to do) then the problem goes away (even with the maximum 8GB writing to each memory address only takes a second or two).

    It would also be possible for the operating system to initialize all the memory during boot. Unless some standard defines that this is the responsibility of the BIOS it could be argued that the OS ought to do it.

    Tobatus, what happens when you run memtest86 and let it check all your memory addresses at least once before you boot into Linux? Do your errors go away like mine do?
    Antec P182 case, 4xNoctua 120mm fans at 5V for silence, Corsair VX550 PSU, Powerware 5110 700VA UPS with 100Ah battery, ASUS P5E motherboard at minimum voltages throughout except CPU, Q9550 CPU at 3.33GHz undervolted by 0.15V for silent air cooling, TRUE 120 CPU cooler, 6GiB KVR800D2E5 ECC RAM at 940MHz 5-5-5-15, 2xWD6400AAKS drives in software RAID1, DVR-216 DVD drive, EN8600GTSLN fanless graphics card, Samsung 215TW monitor, 64-bit Linux OS

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