Pentium Slayer 3 Lives

Kingston Technologies.  Remember that name.

On with the tirade…

Sometime in mid-December of 2013, a remote tap concept was put together.  Specifically, your benevolent dictator moved, and since the new place does not have access to a fibre feed, the decision was made to leave the always trustworthy Pentium Slayer 1 (and his smaller, backup-tasked brother [Pentium Slayer 2]), tied to the inter-webs by a robust 35 Megabit fibre uplink.  This necessitated a manner by which the new place could “talk” to the old place and network seamlessly, as if tied together by one big network cable.

Several nights in a dimly lit room, fueled by Cherry Coke, Mamma’s cooking, and several packs of KOOL’s, our hero did devise a plan.  This consisted of a OpenVPN UDP tunnel with 4096 secure keys, UPNP multiverse deployment, SQUID, some rSync magic, and (of course) the hardware… the new place would get a “baby rack”, a 15 slot rolling rack fed by two 2,500 kVA circuits.  LSI MegaRaid behind Western Digital RE-4 operating system drives, married to a near bleeding edge SuperMicro board and (the proverbial icing) a unmolested AMD Piledriver (the technological ‘son’ of the AMD Bulldozers which power Pentiumslayer 1).  What would we name this FLOP-chewing beast?  …

Initial build went well.  Commissioning encountered the usual hiccups, but was (of course) successful.  4 months later, the weak link exposed itself.  Repeated interrupt errors and generally ugly OS subsystem vomit all over the TTY’s was the result of at least 1 (if not 2) failed DDR3 sticks from (you guessed it) Kingston Technologies.  At $233 USD per stick (circa December 2014), this was not “budget” RAM by any means — it’s high performance near-line grade server memory for enterprise deployment.  Whilst the first two sticks were out for repair, running the system with only the remaining 2 sticks (not-ideal but still technically within specifications), at least 1 of the remaining sticks failed.  Isn’t that just depressing?

Luckily, next day air really does mean “Next Damn Day” – and the UPS man delivered my salvation post-haste.  So, after about 20 years in this tinkering game, I can offer you this advice… I never found a Kingston product that I liked.  Somehow, they’ve maintained a certain respect in the IT world, and it was that PERCEPTION which lead me to reassess my past feelings and give them another chance.  Sadly, I’ve found out what I knew all along, which is that I am almost never wrong.  Scarface said, “I always tell the truth, even when I lie.”  So say goodnite to the bad guy, and don’t buy something that you don’t trust.

If you’re wondering what we prefer for memory…(in order of preference)

– Crucial

– G.Skill (a company that came out of nowhere a few years ago, and while they ‘look’ cheap, whoever is making their sticks has done a great job.

And the not-so-goods…

– Corsair (8 failures out of 8 sticks circa 20010)

– Kingston (greater than 50% failure over 20 years mixed duty)


About The Admin

Thyne benevolent dictator.
This entry was posted in Science and Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.