Ampere Altra Q64-22 + AsRock Rack ALTRAD8UD does not POST or power on

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Hydraulix989

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Nov 12, 2023
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Hi! My Ampere Altra Q64-22 + AsRock Rack ALTRAD8UD does not POST or power on.

I've stripped the board of everything but two sticks of known-good RAM and the CPU. I've also tried two known-working power supplies. I also tried manually clearing the CMOS. I also measured the CMOS battery, and it's reading 3V DC, as expected.

IPMI via OpenBMC works fine, I get a ping and can open the web UI, but the Power status in the web UI is "unknown" no matter what I do, with the CPU installed in the motherboard. Every sensor and health check in the web UI passes. I just cannot get it to power on no matter what I do (even tried manually bridging the front panel connector power pins), and there's no VGA output no matter what I do.

As an experiment, I even removed the CPU. Interestingly enough, the CPU health check passes with the CPU removed, AND interestingly enough, the Power status now goes to "green".

At this point, it's either the board or the CPU that is DOA. How can I further diagnose this? Is there anything I can do to help repair this at this point???

I really just want a working Ampere build, this is so disappointing to spend $1500 on parts, and it doesn't work. I thank you in advance for and really appreciate any help...
 

iGene

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Jun 15, 2014
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Is your RAM model in QVL? My past experience with Ampere processors is that they are very picky with RAM models.

Try enabling serial console redirection and see if there's any messages from serial port, there might be more detail error message.

You can also try with 1 stick of RAM only, might work.
 
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Hydraulix989

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Nov 12, 2023
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I tried two types of DDR4 RAM, both of which work in my other rigs. One stick, two sticks, different slots -- all make no difference.

I looked at the AsRock Rack web page for this board, and the QVL list is empty:

Do you know any RAM that might work with Ampere? Is there a similar board with a more populated QVL list?

SOL console, event log, and POST log are all empty. SOL console states the following: "System must be powered on to connect" even when the system is "powered on" (bridged front panel connector power pin, all LEDs are lit, IPMI interface loads).

Huge appreciation if you can help suggest RAM that might work from your rare experience of working with Ampere processors, thanks a bunch and Happy New Year!!!
 
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Hydraulix989

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Nov 12, 2023
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Ahhh! That is it, I was trying to use UDIMM...

AsRock does not specify anywhere whether it should be ECC or no ECC? Do you know? The Gigabyte Ampere board's QVL only lists ECC in the QVL...

I am using a CORSAIR SF1000L modular 1000W power supply. It only has one 8pin EPS. Do you recommend any better alternative? SFX or ATX with front-to-back cooling.

Thanks a bunch for your help!
 
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Hydraulix989

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Nov 12, 2023
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Sigh, I don't use X for various reasons, and it would be good to know _why_ Patrick says to wait. If it's just because of snags like wrong kind of memory and incomplete documentation, then that's not at all insurmountable. I suppose the "bundle" also includes the memory, too, given they already sell a board+CPU+heatsink bundle today for $1,500?

Well, I'm already buried in the sunk cost fallacy at this point, hopefully the memory + extra PSU cables solve everything...
 
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Joe Speed

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Jan 18, 2024
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You want RDIMM or LRDIMM DDR4-3200. Ampere Altra Mt Jade "AVL" approved vendor list has all of the DIMMs, SSDs, NICs, DPUs, storage controllers, et al. that are tested and supported with Ampere Altra reference platform "Mt Jade".

NVIDIA GPUs are a different list. I've not heard of any since Turing that didn't work. I've seen Ampere Altra users running RTX A4500, 4060, 4070, 4080, 3070, A10, A16, L4, A2000, A4500, 4000 Ada SFF, A100, H100, and others. NVIDIA Arm HPC Developer Kit | NVIDIA and NVIDIA AICAN cloud gaming platform use the Ampere Altra processor.

btw, more active, passive, and water block cooling solutions are coming for Ampere Altra. IMHO for now use the included 2U passive and later swap in the cooler what you really want.
 
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bexcran

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Jan 18, 2024
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IPMI via OpenBMC works fine, I get a ping and can open the web UI, but the Power status in the web UI is "unknown" no matter what I do, with the CPU installed in the motherboard. Every sensor and health check in the web UI passes. I just cannot get it to power on no matter what I do (even tried manually bridging the front panel connector power pins), and there's no VGA output no matter what I do.
The SOL via the web interface doesn't appear to do anything. Being OpenBMC, you can access the 'real' SOL consoles by ssh'ing to high ports - i.e. ssh -p 220x root@BMC-IP .

I've found the following consoles running:

Port 2200: Nothing (?)
Port 2201: Secure Console (TF-A)
Port 2202: SCP (SMpro and PMpro)
Port 2203: Host (UEFI/OS)

When the host turns on, the PMpro first runs, followed by the SMpro, then the Host starts executing. On the Host console, if everything works you'll see DRAM initialization followed by TF-A followed by UEFI.

Hopefully there will be a hint of what's going wrong. Unfortunately VGA doesn't initialize until late in the UEFI boot process - so well after any DRAM errors etc. will have been printed to the serial port(s).
 

bexcran

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Jan 18, 2024
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Sigh, I don't use X for various reasons, and it would be good to know _why_ Patrick says to wait. If it's just because of snags like wrong kind of memory and incomplete documentation, then that's not at all insurmountable. I suppose the "bundle" also includes the memory, too, given they already sell a board+CPU+heatsink bundle today for $1,500?
I suspect it was just the price: motherboard plus CPU and heatsink for $1500 is a good deal.
 

ar_a

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Nov 12, 2018
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btw, more active, passive, and water block cooling solutions are coming for Ampere Altra. IMHO for now use the included 2U passive and later swap in the cooler what you really want
@Joe Speed I’m wondering if you have any more information about this one?

I have a board and cpu but I can’t obtain a satisfactory cooling solution. Any extra thoughts?
 

Joe Speed

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Jan 18, 2024
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@Joe Speed I’m wondering if you have any more information about this one? I have a board and cpu but I can’t obtain a satisfactory cooling solution. Any extra thoughts?
One way to get coolers for ASRock Rack Ampere is patience. CPU coolers are coming to Newegg and Amazon. There are already many Ampere Altra CPU coolers but most of them are made for specific users, e.g. Google, Oracle, Microsoft, HPE, Hetzner, Supermicro, ADLINK, Gigabyte, General Motors, et al. and so are not in retail click-to-buy. Note that being a mATX board, the ASRock Rack has the DIMMs very close to the CPU socket so coolers with a base that is wider than the socket won't work. All "Mt Jade" heat sinks made by CCIC/NCIC "Nidec" Welcome to CCI fit perfectly. Supermicro's heat sink does not. ADLINK's water block fits but their 1U active heat sink does not.

Ampere Altra water block and AIO cooler discussion thread here: Compatible coolers? | I-Pi SMARC and one of the water blocks Alphacool Eisblock XPX Pro 1U Ampere LGA 4926 (13529)
2U passive Mt Jade clone off Alibaba https://x.com/hordak82/status/1747452381581951440?s=20

fyi I can chat on twitter/X @joespeeds, Facebook, or email joe@(you know where I work). Ampere's Developer Relations engineers hang out here Ampere AArch64/ARM64 Developer Community We like to learn about interesting things people are doing with Ampere and how we might help.
 
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geerlingguy

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Nov 10, 2021
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www.jeffgeerling.com

ar_a

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Nov 12, 2018
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Noctua now has two coolers announced (though not available through any retail channels yet...) for Ampere, both seem to work great (Patrick tested them: https://www.servethehome.com/making...octua-nh-d9-amp-4926-4u-and-nh-u14s-amp-4926/
Thanks @geerlingguy! I've been in touch with both Dynatron and Noctua. Dynatron looks to be tooling their factory with availability of their coolers around March. Noctua said "currently in production". So looks like things are moving.
 

Stephan

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Apr 21, 2017
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Would have missed @geerlingguy 's the video if Wendell hadn't retweeted it.

Had cringes during mainboard installation. One wrong move and you rip off some SMD components on the underside. Styrofoam strips first, mainboard into case and onto foam second, orient board, pull foam.

150W idle is rough. Minus 30W the HDDs and 5W the SSDs, 10W potential saving when not running fans full throttle so naked system guzzles up 100W. That is double of one of my 8259CL systems with 6 RDIMMs. No C-states?

Those Samsung RDIMMs might run hot, gotta invent your own fan curve so you don't go deaf. On Intel, the Aspeed 2500 has IPMI accessible fan/temperature curve control.

Kudos for being upfront with the sponsoring.

Single and multi-thread performance is probably interesting to put the CPU in the spectrum between a recent Pi and an Apple M1/M2.