Athlon + PC133: no ECC?

Sean Ward SeanWard at
Wed Jun 7 10:15:54 PDT 2000

    I'm currently using two Athlon 750 systems based on the VIA KX133 (abit
KA7 mobos). It does indeed support ECC RAM, although finding PC133 ECC ram
is rather difficult, as the Athlons are very particular about the ram they
use. Several name brand rams, including Mushkin and Crucial turned out to be
unstable. However, if you can find a good provider of PC133 ECC ram, the
~450 mbps stream figures the KA7 and an Athlon 750 turns in are not bad for
commodity parts. As for other items, once you get decent ram in the systems,
they are rock solid. My one box has been up for 30 days so far (thats when I
built it). As far as the MTTR and DMA drive support, just grab the newest
patches from   for ULTRA66/100 support, and use a recent
kernel revision (such as 2.2.15) to have athlon MTTR support.
----- Original Message -----
From: Douglas Eadline <deadline at>
To: Josip Loncaric <josip at>
Cc: Beowulf mailing list <beowulf at>
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 12:54 PM
Subject: Re: Athlon + PC133: no ECC?

> On Wed, 7 Jun 2000, Josip Loncaric wrote:
> > Athlons do well on floating point, so we've been looking at building
> > some Athlon nodes for our cluster, using PC133 memory of course.  This
> > requires VIA's KX133 chipset (now) or KT133 (near future) or AMD's 760
> > (more distant future).
> >
> > On June 5th, AMD finally released Athlons with full speed on-chip cache
> > (see  These will come in
> > OEM 'Slot A' packaging for the existing Athlon motherboards (e.g. those
> > based on VIA's KX133 chipset), but 'Socket A' packaging will be
> > preferable.  The 'Socket A' Athlons will require the KT133 chipset from
> > VIA (see, at least until
> > AMD gets its 760 chipset out the door.
> >
> As I understand it, the "new Athlons" will only be available
> as socket A parts to the general public. Slot A parts will
> only be sold to OEMs and will not work with with the KX chipset
> in any case.
> (This was my understanding anyway, perhaps I am wrong)
> -snip-
> >
> > If ECC is indeed unavailable on VIA's chipsets, and AMD's 760 chipset
> > remains unavailable, things do not look so good for Athlons at our end.
> > How concerned should we be about the lack of ECC with fast Athlons?
> > This issue may even force us to go back to Pentiums.  BTW, some
> > Linux compatibility issues with Athlons were also reported, such as the
> > MTRR setup and even DMA problems with certain ATA drives, but unlike the
> > ECC situation, those compatibility issues are presumably resolvable in
> > software.
> ECC is nice. We are integrating ECC capabilities in our monitoring
> tool to detect possible problems.
> Doug
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