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Is there a certain or measurable advantage to using ECC RAM in a desktop PC?

Is there a certain or measurable advantage to using ECC RAM in a desktop PC?

I fuss a lot over building stable machines -- in that I absolutely hate crashes, reboots, funny behaviour, etc. -- and so error-correcting a.k.a. ECC RAM would seem to solve a big problem: memory errors.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 22
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"I've used ECC ram in servers for a few years now. ECC really shines when you are using your machine heavily, as in ""it's on more than 12-16 hours a day"". Little whitebox servers I've built without ECC have, sooner or later, developed ""issues"" that required a reboot, but the ECC machines have never had these.

So my answer is: if you use your computer a lot, then most likely yes. If you use your computer 24/7, then it should be a must-have.

There are some motherboards that support ECC out there. They are usually on the ""higher"" end of things, but with a little research you can find them from various manufacturers. The only other consideration is to remember to enable ECC support in the BIOS.

Google has come out swinging on this issue. See http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=638 for how this really does affect modern-day systems."
Guest [Entry]

"We've considered it for critical systems. One problem becomes, how the heck do you do error detection in software to check your memory integrity, when the program used to run the memory integrity check can itself be prone to memory errors??? You basically can't and it makes failure mode analysis / failure mitigation difficult, so ECC is a mitigation mechanism.

This is one of those cases where if there are problems, you can actually blame cosmic rays ;)"