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Author Topic: SD RAM - ECC or NON ECC ?  (Read 525 times)
WB9YCJ
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Posts: 283




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« on: July 14, 2008, 03:13:35 PM »

Whats the differance as far as usability?
Is NON ECC OK mostly for web surfing.

Thanks in advance,

Ken
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KB1NO
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 10:12:09 PM »

ECC (Error Checking and Correction) Memory is mostly used in Workstations and Servers.
In those applications there is usually a huge amount of memory and it is more likely that a soft error will occur,
so ECC memory is used to detect and correct single bit errors and detect multi-bit errors.
An example: a memory cell (bit) gets hit with an alpha particle and loses it's charge..so one bit changes.
Highly unlikely, however, that this would be a problem in any common desktop system.
 
In most desktop or laptop PCs, ECC is not even supported.
If you would happen to find ECC memory compatible with a particular PC,  the  PC would ignore the ECC feature.    

Bottom line: In most common non-critical applications ECC memory is not needed.
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WB9YCJ
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Posts: 283




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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 01:41:36 AM »

Thanks John, question fully answered.
According to your answer, I suspect many desktop PC owners unnecessarily purchase ECC - wasting money.

73
Ken
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K3EKO
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2008, 02:55:46 PM »

http://cr.yp.to/hardware/ecc.html
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KB1HTW
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008, 02:39:41 PM »

KB1NO says "ECC (Error Checking and Correction) Memory is mostly used in Workstations and Servers. In those applications there is usually a huge amount of memory and it is more likely that a soft error will occur,
so ECC memory is used to detect and correct single bit errors and detect multi-bit errors."

And what makes you think that modern desktop applications don't use huge amounts of memory? Right now, on the XP SP3 pc I'm using to type this very message, Firefox v3.0.1 is using 99.5MB of RAM, Outlook 2007 is using 50MB, - and they typically use much more. Right now, Windows reports that 829MB of my 2048MB (2GB) of RAM are in use. And I'm not doing anything remotely memory intensive, like viewing HD video. It's not rare to see Firefox or IE using 200MB if I have lots of tabs open. Or have Word or Excel using 100MB or more.

With basic PCs shipping with 1GB of RAM, and standard office PCs shipping with 2GB of RAM, the chances of random bit errors are getting pretty high. Virtually all modern PC chipsets from Intel, AMD, and even Via support ECC memory. It's not the old days where only a server or workstation had 256MB of RAM anymore...
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