Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.

By: Adrian (a.delete@this.acm.org), December 17, 2020 7:40 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Björn Ragnar Björnsson (bjorn.ragnar.delete@this.gmail.com) on December 16, 2020 10:09 pm wrote:
>
> The padawans here may not know that back in the day, even after they were born, it was
> as simple as pie to order simms and dimms with parity/ecc at little additional cost.
>
> Sure, if you didn't care about ECC you could shave off a few percentage points on
> the price of memory. Big deal, but not for everybody, I'd always go for the slightly
> more expensive option (at least I could use it in system that supported it).
>
> Then something happened which changed the DRAM landscape forever (hopefully not forever though).
> What happened? Intel started producing processors that had no, absolutely no, nada, ability to implement
> ECC. These CPUs have for the last two decades been by far the bulk of processors sold. Could you
> have undetected memory errors? Yes, it's a near certainty. Could these have had serious consequences?
> Hard to say, are you working on anything that could have serious consequences?
>
> At a guess, an ECC capable DIMM costs 5-9% more to get to an end user than one that is
> without ECC. I'm willing to pay more than that for such a "fancy" feature, but oh-no, it's
> nearly impossible to source un-buffered ECC ram at reasonable speeds and/or prices.
>
> This in-line ECC appears to be a colossal kludge, presented as
> a feature, to solve a problem that never should have existed.
>


Intel is a large company, with a huge number employees, so it is not unexpected that there are both many Intel people who are doing good things and many Intel people who are doing bad things.

While there have always been many Intel employees who have worked hard to design products that would satisfy the needs of the customers or to write programs that would allow the customers to use efficiently their products, it appears that Intel has also always employed some people whose only worry was how to devise new schemes to extract money from their customers without providing anything useful in return, or even worse, while providing something flawed.


I completely agree that Intel is the entity guilty for fooling most people of the planet in believing that it is OK to buy and use computers that are not guaranteed (in a reasonable sense) to function without errors.

The main point in this evolution was the introduction of the Intel Triton chipset for Pentium CPUs, in early 1995. So the evil masterminds of this evolution must have belonged to the Intel management during 1993 ... 1995.

Unfortunately everybody else embraced enthusiastically this Intel strategy, because it was a great method of making more money. The naive customers continued to pay the same amount of money as before, for a slightly cheaper hardware, while the knowledgeable customers were blackmailed to buy so-called professional hardware, for a supplementary cost many times higher than the cost of the ECC HW.


We will never be able to compute all the damages that Intel caused to their customers all over the world with this tactic, so Intel is extremely lucky, because they will escape punishment.

One reason why Intel is lucky, is that there are so many software bugs in various programs, so that almost always whenever a computer crashed or gave weird errors, that was assumed to be caused by hard-to-reproduce software bugs. This assumption was probably true in most cases, but many such cases could have also been real undetected hardware errors.

During the years I have also noticed many cases of differences in a small number of bits in some large files downloaded from random servers on the Internet, which are more likely explained by undetected memory errors while the files transited some server with non-ECC memory. However the most frequently encountered large files are video/audio/picture files and there errors are very seldom noticed, so very few people are likely to become aware of them.

On my computers I have always used only ECC memory, cursing Intel every time when I make a purchase, for the extra money and searching time that I have to waste.

While logged memory errors are not frequent on new hardware, the ECC saved me in several cases by pinpointing memory modules which suddenly began to have frequent errors, after many years of use, as a prelude to becoming defect.


So I really hate Intel for pulling this off.

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TopicPosted ByDate
In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCsGabriele Svelto2020/12/15 03:24 PM
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        ECC in SoCsAdrian2020/12/17 08:43 AM
          ECC in SoCsMichael S2020/12/17 12:06 PM
  In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UAdrian2020/12/16 07:31 AM
    In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UJS2020/12/16 09:07 PM
      In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UGabriele Svelto2020/12/16 10:00 PM
        In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UJS2020/12/17 12:39 AM
          In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UEtienne Lorrain2020/12/17 02:15 AM
            In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UJames2020/12/17 07:28 AM
              In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UEtienne Lorrain2020/12/17 09:16 AM
                In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake Urwessel2020/12/17 09:51 AM
                  In-band ECC support in recent Atom SoCs & Tiger Lake UMichael S2020/12/17 12:22 PM
    Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/16 10:09 PM
      Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maxwell2020/12/17 12:58 AM
        Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.pixiespeed2020/12/17 09:04 AM
      Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Adrian2020/12/17 07:40 AM
      Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/17 09:09 AM
        Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Etienne Lorrain2020/12/17 09:26 AM
          Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/17 09:42 AM
            Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.David Kanter2020/12/17 12:04 PM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Doug S2020/12/17 01:03 PM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.phonon2020/12/17 03:25 PM
                Internal array ECC vs. memory controllerDavid Kanter2020/12/19 10:39 AM
                  Internal array ECC vs. memory controllerJörn Engel2020/12/20 10:42 AM
                    Internal array ECC vs. memory controllerrwessel2020/12/20 10:52 AM
                    Internal array ECC vs. memory controllerDavid Kanter2020/12/20 03:44 PM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/17 04:55 PM
                Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.rwessel2020/12/17 07:34 PM
                  Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/17 09:10 PM
                    Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/17 09:43 PM
                      Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/18 09:30 AM
                        Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.anon22020/12/19 01:00 AM
                          Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/19 10:23 AM
                            Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.anon22020/12/19 03:01 PM
                              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Maynard Handley2020/12/19 04:23 PM
                                Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.anon22020/12/19 04:30 PM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/17 07:41 PM
                Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.David Hess2020/12/19 08:48 PM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Memory Guy2020/12/17 09:19 PM
      Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.rwessel2020/12/17 10:01 AM
      Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Wes Felter2020/12/18 09:38 PM
        Thanks for the confirmation!David Kanter2020/12/19 11:51 AM
          Thanks for the confirmation!Konrad Schwarz2020/12/20 09:34 AM
            Thanks for the confirmation!Niels Jørgen Kruse2020/12/20 11:01 AM
              Thanks for the confirmation!David Kanter2020/12/20 03:45 PM
              Thanks for the confirmation!Gionatan Danti2020/12/21 12:50 AM
                Thanks for the confirmation!Niels Jørgen Kruse2020/12/21 09:07 AM
            Thanks for the confirmation!David Kanter2020/12/20 03:42 PM
              Thanks for the confirmation!Foo_2020/12/21 02:01 AM
                Thanks for the confirmation!David Kanter2020/12/21 08:39 AM
            Thanks for the confirmation!Paul2020/12/20 11:29 PM
              Thanks for the confirmation!Michael S2020/12/21 01:00 AM
                Thanks for the confirmation!anon20202020/12/21 01:44 AM
                Thanks for the confirmation!Paul2020/12/22 12:42 PM
                  Thanks for the confirmation!Michael S2020/12/22 02:28 PM
                    Thanks for the confirmation!Paul2020/12/22 06:12 PM
                      Thanks for the confirmation!Michael S2020/12/23 02:55 PM
                        Thanks for the confirmation!Paul2020/12/23 03:54 PM
                          Thanks for the confirmation!Dan Fay2020/12/23 04:38 PM
                            Thanks for the confirmation!Paul2020/12/26 04:10 AM
                              Thanks for the confirmation!Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/26 08:37 PM
                                Thanks for the confirmation!anon22020/12/27 02:00 AM
                                Thanks for the confirmation!Doug S2020/12/28 12:47 PM
            Thanks for the confirmation!David Hess2020/12/21 06:35 PM
              Thanks for the confirmation!Konrad Schwarz2020/12/22 12:08 AM
                Thanks for the confirmation!Doug S2020/12/22 10:42 AM
                  Thanks for the confirmation!David Hess2020/12/22 12:32 PM
                Thanks for the confirmation!David Hess2020/12/22 12:21 PM
        Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/19 04:25 PM
          Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Brett2020/12/19 08:13 PM
            Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.David Hess2020/12/19 09:17 PM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Konrad Schwarz2020/12/21 03:29 AM
                Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.David Hess2020/12/21 06:49 PM
            Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/19 09:57 PM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/19 10:14 PM
            Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Adrian2020/12/20 02:06 AM
              Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.rwessel2020/12/20 08:43 AM
             Multi-level DRAM?Brett2020/12/20 08:07 PM
               Multi-level DRAM?Heikki Kultala2020/12/21 11:58 AM
               Multi-level DRAM?David Hess2020/12/21 07:25 PM
                 Multi-level DRAM?Adrian2020/12/22 05:15 AM
                   Multi-level DRAM?Dan Fay2020/12/22 10:11 AM
                     Multi-level DRAM?Paul2020/12/22 06:01 PM
                       Multi-level DRAM?Dan Fay2020/12/23 12:29 PM
                         Multi-level DRAM?Paul2020/12/23 01:00 PM
                           Multi-level DRAM?Dan Fay2020/12/23 04:30 PM
                             Multi-level DRAM?David Hess2020/12/23 05:05 PM
                           Multi-level DRAM?Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/25 06:44 PM
                             Multi-level DRAM?Paul2020/12/26 04:04 AM
                               Multi-level DRAM?Michael S2020/12/26 08:11 AM
                                 DIMM binsPaul2020/12/26 08:55 AM
                                   DIMM binsBjörn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/26 08:09 PM
                                     DIMM binsBjörn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/26 08:19 PM
                                       DIMM binsDaniel Fay2020/12/27 07:51 PM
                                  Is binning at the module or die level? (NT)anonymous22020/12/27 02:36 PM
                                    Is binning at the module or die level?David Hess2020/12/28 01:31 PM
                               Multi-level DRAM?Doug S2020/12/28 12:55 PM
                               Multi-level DRAM?David Hess2020/12/28 01:36 PM
                             Multi-level DRAM?anon­­32020/12/26 10:22 PM
                               Multi-level DRAM?Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/27 07:12 PM
                               Multi-level DRAM?Paul2021/01/04 04:20 AM
               Multi-level DRAM?Carson2021/01/05 12:14 PM
                 Multi-level DRAM?Brett2021/01/05 02:05 PM
        Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Björn Ragnar Björnsson2020/12/19 04:35 PM
        Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.David Hess2020/12/19 08:59 PM
          Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.rwessel2020/12/20 08:56 AM
          Enough with the idiocy ... let's have proper ECC again.Doug S2020/12/20 10:16 AM
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