Memory for X11SBA-LN4F



  • I'm considering an X11SBA-LN4F pfSense build.

    Can someone tell me if they see anything wrong
    with this choice of memory?

    It's available at a very good price locally, just wondering
    if the fast 9-9-9-24 is likely to cause a problem?

    Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3L
    1600MHz CL9 1.35v SODIMMs
    (CMSX8GX3M2B1600C9)

    Memory Type DDR3L
    Package Memory Format SODIMM
    Package Memory Pin 204
    Memory Size 8GB Kit (2 x 4GB)
    SPD Latency 9-9-9-24
    SPD Speed 1600MHz
    SPD Voltage 1.35V / 1.5V
    Speed Rating PC3-12800 (1600MHz)
    Tested Latency 9-9-9-24
    Tested Speed 1600MHz
    Tested Voltage 1.35V

    Thanks…



  • I don't see what that won't run.  For reference, here are the Samsungs that I bought from eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/282062626482?rmvSB=true

    Very similar specifications.



  • @Engineer:

    I don't see what that won't run.  For reference, here are the Samsungs that I bought from eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/282062626482?rmvSB=true

    Very similar specifications.

    Hi Engineer…

    Thanks for the reply... quick question....
    I see the Samsung specs as CL11 @ 1600 (CL9 @ 1333), the Corsair I specified is CL9 @ 1600.

    Is the faster speed likely to cause an issue?



  • @guardian:

    @Engineer:

    I don't see what that won't run.  For reference, here are the Samsungs that I bought from eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/282062626482?rmvSB=true

    Very similar specifications.

    Hi Engineer…

    Thanks for the reply... quick question....
    I see the Samsung specs as CL11 @ 1600 (CL9 @ 1333), the Corsair I specified is CL9 @ 1600.

    Is the faster speed likely to cause an issue?

    To be honest, I don't know 100% for sure but I would venture to say with 90% certainty that it will run just fine.



  • On the board description was written about the RAM:
    Memory Capacity: Up to 8GB Unbuffered non-ECC SO-DIMM, DDR3-1600MHz, in 2 DIMM slots
    Memory Type: 1600/1333/1066MHz DDR3 SO-DIMM, 204-pin gold-plated DIMMs
    DIMM Sizes: 2GB, 4GB
    Memory Voltage: 1.35 V

    So it must be a 2 GB or 4 GB module and also 1,35V.
    And it could be a DDR3 RAM module with 1600MHz, 1333MHz or 1066MHz.

    If it would be my board I would try out the 1600MHz instead of the lower speed ones,
    so you could be not on the wrong side that the CPU is sufficient enought but the memory
    system gets saturated.



  • Hi

    @BlueKobold:

    On the board description was written about the RAM:
    Memory Capacity: Up to 8GB Unbuffered non-ECC SO-DIMM, DDR3-1600MHz, in 2 DIMM slots
    Memory Type: 1600/1333/1066MHz DDR3 SO-DIMM, 204-pin gold-plated DIMMs
    DIMM Sizes: 2GB, 4GB
    Memory Voltage: 1.35 V

    So it must be a 2 GB or 4 GB module and also 1,35V.
    And it could be a DDR3 RAM module with 1600MHz, 1333MHz or 1066MHz.

    If it would be my board I would try out the 1600MHz instead of the lower speed ones,
    so you could be not on the wrong side that the CPU is sufficient enought but the memory
    system gets saturated.

    For reference anyone reading this then note that no memory runs at 1600MHz, it seems to default to 1066MHz with no way of overriding this in the BIOS.  It may be the recommended tested memory on Supermicro's website will run full speed, but no reports of anyone using it so it may not, and only one listed which isn't easy to source.

    The BIOS will report 1600MHz memory, reading that from the chip, but running dmidecode in pfSense (or via the remote management and hardware tab) will show memory running at 1066MHz, defaulting to the slowest speed.

    The board will support one 8GB SO-DIMM, although 2x4GB is probably better for interleaving.

    I've asked Supermicro regarding memory not running at it's rated speed but they will offer no support as I'm not using the recommended memory for this board.

    Regards

    Phil



  • Amazon has both the 4GB modules and the 8GB modules from the approved memory list both at reasonable prices.

    I'm betting there is some performance to be gained by running the approved memory modules. See the attached screen shot from the motherboard manual.




  • Hi

    There would only be the performance improvement that running at 1600MHz compared to 1066MHz provides.  The modules they show as tested are nothing out of the ordinary and any other standard SO-DIMM running at 1600MHz would match their performance.

    The manual or the specification on the website make no mention that only one particular type of memory module runs at 1600MHz, and everything else runs at 1066MHz, so very misleading.

    It is very odd a manufacturer deliberately down rates memory that isn't in their approved list, after all, memory complies with the JEDEC specification and reports to the board it's rated speed and other settings, designed to always allow memory to run at it's rated speed without a BIOS needing to have an approved list, so it is very odd Supermicro have restricted the speed on anything other than one type of tested memory.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the approved memory is also running at 1066MHz, until someone tries it, we will never know for sure.

    Their approved SO-DIMMs are not readily available in the UK, so I bought Micron memory, this memory is approved by Supermicro on other motherboards of theirs, just not this one.  The fact the list is so short for this board is almost like they have a hardware problem with memory running faster.

    Regards

    Phil



  • I happen to have 2 of those exact modules in mine. They were the only DDR3L in my bin.

    BIOS reports 1600MHz, but dmidecode and IPMI report 1066MHz, like everyone else's.

    
    SODIMM1
    Max Capable Speed: 1600 MHz
    Operating Speed: 1066 MHz
    Size: 4096 MB
    Serial No.: 09276B90
    Part No.: HMT451S6BFR8A-PB
    Manufacturer: Hynix Semiconduc
    
    

    I'll reach out to support and see what they say.



  • Hi

    Thank you so much for posting your results with the official tested memory.  As I sort of expected, the 'official' memory is also reporting itself running at the slowest supported speed.  So this isn't an issue with the board only running the tested memory at 1600MHz and down rating all others, but an issue with all memory only running at 1066MHz.

    So either we have:

    1. BIOS problem and it isn't setting the memory correctly, needs a BIOS update to fix
    2. Hardware/design problem, where they found the board wasn't stable running at 1600MHz so have down clocked the memory speed
    3. A reporting problem from the board, it is running at 1600MHz but not reporting correctly

    We wait to see if Supermicro provide an update.

    Regards

    Phil



  • This is my conversation with Supermicro:

    My question

    According to this output:

    Memory Device
                Array Handle: 0x0029
                Error Information Handle: Not Provided
                Total Width: 64 bits
                Data Width: 64 bits
                Size: 4096 MB
                Form Factor: DIMM
                Set: None
                Locator: SODIMM2
                Bank Locator: P0_Node0_Channel1_Dimm0
                Type: DDR3
                Type Detail: Unknown
                Speed: 1600 MHz
                Manufacturer: Kingston       
                Serial Number: 6032F323 
                Asset Tag: A2_AssetTagNum0
                Part Number: KHX1600C9S3L/4G 
                Rank: 1
                Configured Clock Speed: 1066 MHz
                Minimum Voltage: 1.35 V
                Maximum Voltage: 1.5 V
                Configured Voltage: 1.35 V

    the Kingston memory has a clock speed of 1066 Mhz. I have the two banks occupied with same memory modules.
    I can’t change anything in the BIOS and according to the manual the memory should run at 1600 Mhz. Only 1333 Mhz memory should clock down to 1066 Mhz.
    How can you explain this?

    Answer

    The memory hasn’t been validated by supermicro so compatibility can’t be guaranteed.
    This being said are you already using the latest website bios for the X11SBA-LN4F if not then this bios might resolve this issue since it has updated memory microcodes.
    Link to latest website bios.

    Windows ME based bootable USB stick (X10):

    1.      Download the Windows ME boot files and the utility to create the USB stick here.
    2.    Unpack the utility and the boot files
    3.    Insert a USB stick into your system (Warning, the stick will be formatted)
    4.    Start the HP utility and create the bootstick using the ME files.

    Steps to flash the BIOS:

    Using the .zip File

    Make a bootable USB stick
    Unzip and copy the files to the USB.
    Boot up the system using the USB stick.
    At the command prompt type “ami <bios filename="">” to update the bios.
    The upgrade is finished when your back at the c:\ prompt</bios>

    Follow up

    Well I think it is time for a BIOS update then. I am on the latest.
    First of all I find it strange that nothing is said in the manual about compatible memory.
    Second, when I go to your website to look for compatible memory I can only find 1 TESTED module and that memory exists since 2013. Can you give me an address in the Netherlands where I can buy it? It is hard to find!
    Now I am thinking hard to send this board back to where I bought it because it doesn’t function the way I expect it to do.

    Answer from Supermicro:

    The memory should still be available we still have plenty in stock you can find all distributors in NL on this link.

    I know it is ridiculous!



  • Hi

    That's poor support, however I've had better joy.

    The answer seems to be that the DMI data isn't updated correctly, it is this data shown in IPMI and when using Dmidecode.

    Supermicro support went to the trouble of installing Windows 7 and sent a screen shot showing CPUID with memory running at 1599.3MHz and FSB:DRAM of 1:2.  CPUID uses live data rather than simply reading the static DMI table so I would be more prone to believe CPUID in this case. Perhaps the board boots at 1066MHz first and the DMI data is updated before the board has configured the memory to run at 1600Mhz, or it is never updated and so just left at the minimum default.  Clearly this is a bug still in the BIOS, but seems to be cosmetic.

    When I get chance I will install Windows 10 and try CPUID myself and report back.  Are there any similar tools for pfsense that can query more directly upto date memory information?

    Regards

    Phil



  • Hi

    Just an update.  I installed Windows 10 and have run CPU-Z which is showing DRAM Frequency at 1599.3MHz, so all seems good and the 1066MHz is an incorrect value in the DMI table.  This is using Crucial/Micron memory.

    Regards

    Phil


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