Thursday, February 12th 2009

Phenom II AM3 Plagued with DDR3-1333 Issue

Barely a week into the introduction of the DDR3-supportive AM3 socket CPUs, the processors seem to be having design flaws. This, as circulated by AMD in its revision guide document for the 10h family of processors (found here, page 80). The issue, as described by AMD, centers around the DDR3 memory sub-system. On machines with more than one PC3-10600 (1333 MHz) memory module populating a memory channel, the users may experience unreliable operation. The company does not get into the specifics of the symptoms. This issue however, does not affect systems with a module per channel (one or two modules installed in the motherboard), and only those with three to four modules installed.

The AMD K10 memory controllers on AM3-socket processor provide a 128-bit wide memory interface (with DRAM Ganged mode enabled), which amount to two 64-bit wide memory channels. On most motherboards, four DIMM slots with two slots sharing a memory channel are present. With this issue, one is not recommended to use more than one DDR3-1333 memory module per channel. AMD recommends a quick fix for the issue for systems using more than one DDR3-1333 module per memory channel: to manually specify the memory to run at 533 MHz (1066 MHz DDR), and accordingly set DRAM timings. As a little compensation, one can tighten DRAM timings with the drop in frequency. AMD will fix this issue in the next stepping (sub-version) of the CPUs. The "x-factor" with this erratum revolves around DRAM voltage, a significant factor. One might note AMD saying "the processor memory subsystem may exhibit unreliable operation over the allowable VDDIO voltage range", which leads us to think if there is a potential workaround with adjusting the DRAM voltage beyond the allowable range (read: over-volting the memory). We hope to hear more from AMD on this.

UPDATE (02/13): AMD replied to the report, saying that work is in progress toward fixing the issue. While not getting into the specifics, AMD indicated to us that apart from addressing the issue, the company is also working toward something "which will make you ‘feel cozy’ about the DDR3 support". The statement is ambiguous, and is best left uninterpreted at this point in time.
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105 Comments on Phenom II AM3 Plagued with DDR3-1333 Issue

#1
Konceptz
AMD is struggling to compete with intel and now they are having these problems? What happened to AMD? I remember my first PC opteron 170 @ 2.8ghz used to scream. Its like their engineering has just gave up.
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#2
DOM
this is going to suck for ppl that have been waiting to go to DDR3 with AMD cuz there going to want DDR3 for high frequency
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#3
Konceptz
this is going to suck for everybody, if AMD can't compete it will drive prices up for everybody.
Posted on Reply
#4
DOM
Qx9770 :confused:

your talking about prices :roll:

but im sure there on it already with a new steping
Posted on Reply
#5
Urbklr
Well, guess I'm buying an Intel again until the new steppings. Was sooo excited for the 925 tooo :(
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#7
AlCabone
DDR3 isn't worth the price anyway, and it doesn't even have a real performance benefit (for AMD)
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#8
kid41212003
Only affect who uses more than 1 module per channel, which mean this only affect people who use 3 or 4 sticks.
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#9
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Its amazing I have DDR3 issues just like AMD. My problem is I cant afford DDR3.
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#10
Urbklr
by: btarunr
Unless you need >4GB (2x 2GB) of memory, this issue won't affect you.
I will soon, besides...if it doesn't work the way it's meant too...I'm not spending $230+ on it..
Posted on Reply
#11
Konceptz
by: DOM
Qx9770 :confused:

your talking about prices :roll:

but im sure there on it already with a new steping
The 9770 was handed down to me, you honestly didn't think......:laugh:
Posted on Reply
#12
phanbuey
by: TheMailMan78
Its amazing I have DDR3 issues just like AMD. My problem is I cant afford DDR3.
:roll:
Posted on Reply
#13
mtosev
by: TheMailMan78
Its amazing I have DDR3 issues just like AMD. My problem is I cant afford DDR3.
sell your car, house, wife, yourself JUST GET DDR3 :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#14
suraswami
not again AMD.:mad::banghead::banghead: Why can't you shut up, not blow your trumpet :slap: and get back to the works to bring a real CPU? Why do you want to shoot yourself twice?
Posted on Reply
#15
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
This sucks, kind of defeats the purpose of moving to DDR3 if you have to run it at DDR2 speeds.

I'd still consider one of these, their DDR2 performance is more than enough to justify buying one to me. Though, as already stated, perhaps a simple over-volt will solve the issue.
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#16
Castiel
When I rebuild my next system(Damn College Funds!!:banghead:) I will be going INTEL. I am not going to wait for AMD to come out with some good hardware. There 2 years behind Intel and they need to get there work together and start putting out some good stuff. Come on they can't even put a freakin Phenom with DDR3 memory? I rather have a faster chip with DDR2.

I officially announce today I am going full Intel!!:D
Posted on Reply
#17
DOM
by: Konceptz
The 9770 was handed down to me, you honestly didn't think......:laugh:
can you handed it down to me :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#18
jbunch07
I'm glad I didn't go ddr3, i figured that something like this might happen, DDR2 FTW!
Not that this is a huge problem for most people, but I think I'll wait till they get all the kinks worked out of it.
Posted on Reply
#19
devguy
Seriously, though. How many of you are going to afford 8GB ddr3 memory? Perhaps by the time that would be a reasonable purchase (pricewise and necessity wise), one could buy 2x4GB ram modules and there is your 8GB. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they find a way around this with bios updates for the motherboards.

If there is one thing I've learned from running two AMD machines with all DIMM slots filled, it is to not do that again. And so I certainly don't care about this.

Edit: also remember that most of the current gen Phenoms allow for DDR2 1066mhz memory modules. However, when you populate all four DIMM slots, you usually cannot keep that option and must run them at 800mhz. The solution is to up the reference clock until you get the modules back at 1066 and problem solved. I don't hear too many complaints about that. And I'm pretty sure it will be the same with Phenom II.
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#20
ShadowFold
Meh DDR2 is still more than fast enough. Kinda sad to see there is a problem with DDR3. I'm sure they will get a revision out like they did with the TLB 9600/9500.
And seriously, it says they are gonna fix it. How many retail DDR3 boards and CPU's are even out yet? Jump to conclusions why don't you..
Posted on Reply
#21
Castiel
by: jbunch07
Yeah that's a good idea. let's turn this into a fanboy war. :rolleyes:
lol, well better watch what you say, don't want a MOD to come in here and start swinging the ban stick.
Posted on Reply
#22
Jakl
:cry:

Why AMD!!! Why!?!?!

:banghead:

There are pushed back again
Posted on Reply
#23
uber_cookie
by: jbunch07
Yeah that's a good idea. let's turn this into a fanboy war. :rolleyes:
actually i am fan of AMD but this is turning into joke now :D they should of scraped phenom architecture and start again :(

Just hope they can cope with the loss...
Posted on Reply
#24
xfire
by: Castiel
lol, well better watch what you say, don't want a MOD to come in here and start swinging the ban stick.
Yes ban the use of the word Intel.(evil intel)
The proccy the must not be named.
Posted on Reply
#25
mtosev
by: Castiel

I officially announce today I am going full Intel!!:D
welcome to the dark side. :laugh::laugh::laugh:
Posted on Reply
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