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x58 boards and ECC RAM

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mrjayviper

Registered
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
facts:

1. most x58 boards can support Xeons with a bios update. I know the board I have support certain Xeons.

2. Xeons by default can support normal DIMMs and ECC ram.

3. RAM controllers are built-in to the CPU instead of the north/southbridge.

My question is: Since the RAM controller is in the CPU, does it mean any board can support ECC RAM as long as it's supported by the CPU?

Thanks :)
 

DaveB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
While it is true that the memory controller resides on the CPU, additional traces to the DIMM slots are required on the motherboard in order for ECC to function. Workstation X58 boards all have them. For a non-workstation X58, I would check to see if there is a BIOS update to support Xeon CPUs. I would think you would need one to add ECC to the BIOS even if the traces are on the motherboard.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Probably all X58 boards will work with ECC memory regardless if there is Xeon or i7 CPU but it has to be non-registered memory. The same situation is on any newer Intel series. Simply if CPU is not supporting ECC and you use non-reg. ECC modules then memory will work but ECC won't be active.
So again:
ECC reg + X58 + i7/Xeon = won't work ( or you have some magical board designed for that )
ECC non-reg+X58+i7 = will work but probably ECC won't be enabled
ECC non-reg+X58+Xeon = will work and ECC should work too

I assume that you are asking about ECC because there are a lot of cheap ECC memory sticks on auctions.

Personally I would sell what left from X58 and look for X79/X99 or Z87/97 ... or Skylake. X58 is already slow platform. I know it's still good but has no future and even though Xeons are cheap, they are not performing so good and are not overclocking high.