ECC RAM in Quicksilver

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #1
    I have seen various discussions around here and elsewhere about whether or not ECC RAM will work in the various G4 towers requiring SD-RAM. Most say that it won't work, with some saying that it does.

    Not too long ago, I found myself short of 512mb sticks, and went to my favorite virtual boneyard-Ebay-to stock up on them. I ordered 5 sticks of PC-133 from Hong Kong.

    This was advertised just as standard PC-133 low density RAM. Nowhere in the description nor on the sticks themselves does it claim to be ECC.

    None the less, I put one stick of it in my Quicksilver, and this particular stick is identified in system profiler as ECC.

    I've had it running for about a week, and have had zero issues. That included some heavy Photoshop use and other tasks which should have taxed the system resources.

    As I said, the RAM stick I installed is not marked as to being ECC. It is a Transcend brand stick, and carries the part number 266885-0079.

    Here's the system profiler screen shot.
     

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  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
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    Poland
    #2
    Post pic of the module, part number search returns nothing.
    ECC ones have little extra chips which handle error correction. If it would be an ECC stick, it shouldn't work together with non-ECC ones.

    More likely OS can't read SPD of the module and identifies it wrongly.
     
  3. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #3
    Here's a front and back scan. These are actually two separate modules, but look otherwise identical to me.

    I'll also point out that these have 9 chips per side-every other 512 I looked at had 8 chips per side.
     

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  4. n0cus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    #4
    The ones with 9 chips are ECC memory. Check out Wikipedia. It looks like you got ECC memory working on a Quicksilver.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #5
    That isn't ECC ram. It's missing the extra controller chip that is often half the size of a regular SD-RAM chip.
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #6
    Intell, it's ECC unbuffered from what I see. That extra controller you mentioned is present only on registered RAM. 9th "regular" chip just handles error correction.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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  8. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    Just bringing this topic back up...

    I spent some time scavenging this week, and pulled some 128mb PC100 ECC RAM out of a workstation going to the boneyard(I also have 32 modules of what I thought was 168 pin PC-100 that came out of different workstations, but apparently it's just different enough from a standard module to not work).

    In any case, I put four sticks in my Sawtooth and it booted right up to 10.4 and works fine. System profiler recognizes all the RAM as ECC.

    The RAM from my OP has made its rounds in several different computers. The Quicksilver is still running great with it. My iMac G3 currently has two modules(1gb total) and runs great in OS 9 and 10.4. I've put it in a B&W G3 tower, and worked fine although was only recognized as 256mb. I currently have a stick in a different Quicksilver.

    I'll also add as an additional caveat that my Digital Audio did Kernel Panic with 3 of the 512mb ECC sticks multiple times, always within a couple of minutes of booting. I didn't spend a lot of time troubleshooting it, but just took the RAM out and put the same random assortment of sticks I had in it before.
     
  9. repentix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    #9
    Is it actually possible to put in say 4*1gb ecc sticks and then double the available amount of ram to 4gb? 32bit should actually support up to 4gb of ram.
     
  10. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #10
    I don't think that the memory controller in any G4 system(at least that I'm aware of) supports more than 2gb of RAM.

    Although SDRAM is available in 1gb sticks, they are exceedingly uncommon and I doubt a G4 that uses SDRAM(whether 100mhz or 133mhz) would recognize their full capacity if at all. G4 systems typically won't even recognize a high density 512mb stick, and a 1gb would be like having two high-density 512s.

    MDD G4s-which use DDR-can see 1gb sticks okay(one of mine currently has two 1gb sticks in it) but-despite having 4 slots-will still max out recognizing/using 2gb RAM.

    Just for the heck of it, I stuck 4gb(2x2gb) of RAM in my DLSD Powerbook, which uses DDR2. It also maxed at recognizing 2gb.
     
  11. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #11
    The memory controller is the bottleneck. The Mac Mini G4, which was one of the last PPC Macs released before the switch to Intel maxes out at a paltry 1GB whatever you put in it. Even the first Intel Macs were limited to 2GB of RAM. It is largely the bloated nature of today's internet websites that have people reaching for RAM. Ten years ago, 2GB was deemed more than plenty for consumer purposes.
     

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