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Author Topic: Planning a New PC Build - Advice Needed  (Read 17855 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2012, 05:17:44 PM »
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Hi,

I'm not aware of any file that has been corrupted by memory error in the 32 years I have been using computers. The main source of problems used to be user or software. That said it is quite possible I had problems with memory, without knowing.

I'm running on a MacPro and I'm using ECC memory but most PC-s I had probably had memory without ECC.


Best regards
Erik

Hi Chris, I do understand your point but I am at the top of my budget now. I priced an ECC machine and I can't swing it this time around. Maybe next time.

Sharon
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Chris Pollock
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« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2012, 10:24:05 PM »
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Lance:  Thats correct, but the purpose of the journal is to roll back any failed writes to the filesystem.  A memory error and resultant system crash would result in a corrupted file with or without data ECC.  The journal protects us against that by rolling back the failed write.....
You're assuming that a memory error will always result in a system crash.

A memory error can cause a value anywhere in memory to become incorrect. In some cases this will cause no harm at all, e.g. if the memory isn't in use. In other cases it might cause a single pixel in the image being edited to become the wrong colour. It might cause a single application to crash. It might corrupt data that's about to be written to the disk - depending on the file format and where the error occurs this could result in anything from a single incorrect pixel to an unreadable file. It might corrupt part of the file system. In some cases it will indeed crash the system.

I'm not in any position to say how serious the risk of memory errors is, but for what it's worth here are a few points to consider:

Microsoft recommended ECC memory for Windows Vista, because they found that memory errors were now a major cause of Windows crashes:

http://www.tgdaily.com/hardware-features/24190-microsoft-to-encourage-use-of-ecc-memory-for-vista

This shows that Microsoft at least believed that memory errors are worth worrying about. Unfortunately the hardware manufacturers ignored them, because ECC costs money. With the amount of memory in computers increasing, I doubt that the risk of memory errors in decreasing.

Note that the only reliable data that we have on error rates is from ECC memory, because non-ECC memory has no way to detect errors. It's probably safe to assume that ECC memory is mostly good quality, since the whole point of ECC is reliability. With non-ECC memory the error rates may be a lot higher, at least for the lower quality modules. Back in the days when memory was a lot more expensive and my budget limited (1995 and 2002), I had two bad experiences with defective no-name memory modules. In both cases the systems would crash many times per day. After I replaced the dodgy memory the machines were fine.

What worries me is that there may be a lot of memory out there with high enough error rates to cause a lot of mischief (randomly corrupting files, occasionally crashing programs, etc.) but not high enough for you to identify the problem and replace them. Google's study indicated that error rates varied widely between modules, even for the (presumably good quality) ECC memory.

As I've said before I may well be worrying about a non-issue, but I prefer to play it safe.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2012, 04:06:38 AM »
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I'm not aware of any file that has been corrupted by memory error in the 32 years I have been using computers. The main source of problems used to be user or software. That said it is quite possible I had problems with memory, without knowing.
That pretty much sums up this discussion.
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sbay
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« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2012, 10:26:09 AM »
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Hi,

I'm not aware of any file that has been corrupted by memory error in the 32 years I have been using computers. The main source of problems used to be user or software. That said it is quite possible I had problems with memory, without knowing.


I definitely have seen some files corrupted by bit errors (a small number in my lifetime). E.g., they look something like:

http://alkiratech.tripod.com/jpegcorruption/index.html

But what I don't know is how many of these errors would be corrected/avoided by ECC memory (it could have happened on the hard disk). But I do compute hashes of my raw files to guard against a corrupted file making it into all my backups.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2012, 01:56:33 PM »
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You're assuming that a memory error will always result in a system crash.


Actually, I'm not - as long as the memory error occurs within an application's data address range, the possibility of corruption exists - however if the error occurs within the program address range, you'll get an app-crash.  Modern apps will allocate data and program code on the fly - so there is no way to predict what you will get address space wise.....

Starting with Vista and Lion (Snow Leopard partially), memory address space layout randomization is now utililized as an O/S security measure. Utilized by the O/S , this ensures that remaining available memory available to applications will tend to be randomized -thats why i would expect O/S and Application crashes to be frequent enough for one to question the reliability of the computer.  Applications themselves can also use ASLR, but I have no idea whether adobe does or not......

Finally, I have to agree with Erik, that it's quite rare.  If your nervous about it, you can look at hard faults (page faults in win XP) in event viewer or resource monitor, you are specifically looking for Invalid faults, which can indicate a memory error, program bug, or something malicious.  Also, MS has an excellent memory test diagnostic that can be run for extended periods, any machine I build will have this run for a minimum of 24hours.....
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 02:07:57 PM by John.Murray » Logged

alifatemi
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« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2012, 05:23:52 AM »
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getting back to mother board, what about AsusP8Z77 instead of P9x79? it supports both 2nd and 3rd generation Intel and got lots of goodies except limited ram to 32 instead of 64. It looks to me P9 is more Pro without on-board graphic.
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Ali
Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #66 on: August 09, 2012, 07:19:40 AM »
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I definitely want room to expand the memory. That is a must for me. The Asus board I have chosen does well in Adobe Premiere benchmark tests. My last system was built with an Asus board and was extremely stable until we managed to kill it.

Sharon
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #67 on: August 09, 2012, 03:00:42 PM »
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Sharon:

AVA is a good outfit, good reputation...  Another is Puget Systems.

I'm alittle concerned about some about some of the advice; you should stay with socket 2011 for your intended use.  Socket 1155 is great for "enthusiast" use, gaming, etc - but the problem with that platform is memory access:

Socket 1155 uses an external onboard memory controller - meaning all memory access from the CPU is limited by the capabilities of your chipset.  Performance gains can only be had using very fast, low latency modules, with direct tradeoffs of performance vs: stability.

Socket 2011 uses an on die (ie on the CPU itself) memory controller, bypassing any chipset memory controllers.  If you look at memory placement on 2011 boards, you'll notice how memory modules are tightly clustered arounbd the CPU.  In addition, memory access is interleaved - in the case of this platform, you populate memory in 4's, each module is addressed in round robin fashion.  This reduces the effect low latency memory has on overall performance, allowing you to choose less expensive, higher stability modules.  I would highly recommend choosing a mainboard with 8 available modules vs: the more common 4 module boards.....

A lot of advice appears to be based on Newegg searches - thats great, but be aware they will sell anybody, anything, whether a "collection" of parts is appropriate or even compatible is of no concern to them - if you look at reviews, you can plainly see this.  I'm an Intel channel partner and obviously have a preference toward their mainboards (their engineering support is magnificent) - in the case of the model I pointed out, every negative review was posted by someone who neither understood or applied the relevant BIOS patch, and downloaded the correct drivers......  

Finally, you posted that you intend on using Adobe Premiere; this will decide your video card selection, as Premiere's Mercury rendering engine will only utilize nVidia GPU's.  Premiere officially supports only "workstation" class cards, but by altering %sysvol%\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS6\cuda_supported_cards.txt  many desktop class video cards can be effectively used.

Studio 1 Productions has a fascinating article exploring this with some suprising results in testing:

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm

Let us know what you decide!

-John



 

This post of John's was also a major consideration for me.
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2012, 07:22:18 AM »
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My new computer is here and it is fabulous. I went with the new geforce GTX 660ti and I did not go with ssd drives but rather all Caviar black - a 500 gb, a 1tb and two 2tb. I'm so impressed with the video card. All the photos on my website look perfect and I haven't calibrated the monitor.  I went with a big case - the cooler master HAF 932 advanced which has enormous fans - one about 12inches wide on the side - and another 6 incher on the top and some on each end - and yet it is very quiet.

AVA did a great job - it came packed well and the inside of the case is so free of cables I could store some books in there.  Cheesy

Thanks to all who helped me - I very much appreciate all of you.

Sharon
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lfeagan
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« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2012, 02:36:55 PM »
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Congratulations. Enjoy!
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Lance

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NikoJorj
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« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2012, 03:09:10 AM »
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On that note, it would be interesting if Adobe introduced a feature into Lightroom X (some future version) that included a preference where image checksums would be maintained in the database (or elsewhere) for all of the images and LR would verify the checksum regularly (perhaps the first time the image was accessed during a single execution of the application).
Sorry to hijack the thread, but that feature is already implemented in LR4 if you use DNG files : see http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=66054.0 eg.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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