First what is ECC memory? i wiki'ed it but it doesnt make much snice to me
"error-correcting code or ECC is a code in which each data signal conforms to specific rules of construction so that departures from this construction in the received signal can generally be automatically detected and corrected. It is used in computer data storage, for example in dynamic RAM, and in data transmission."
Second how does ECC memory differ from non ECC memory is it better?
ECC simply has an additional chip on the stick that monitors/fixes/prevents memory bit errors. Usually only used on servers and high availability equipment; or in l1, l2, and sometimes l3 caches.
The majority of motherboards will only support one or another, workstation and server boards for example need ECC usually and almost all consumer grade boards only use non ECC. Now if you really care to find everything out about ram that you can, figure out what an FB-DIMM has in common/contrast to simple ECC or non-ECC
All my servers use FB-DIMMS, expensive but they are the most reliable type of memory these days. Plus the whole serial thing instead of parallel. Seems like everything is going serial these days......
Edit: RDRAM was an exception, it's ECC as well, I believe it all is but I can't say for sure. I have 3 older PIII's with it and they are all ECC. Faster with my sql and mysql servers than PIII's with SDRAM, by a large margin.
The majority of motherboards will only support one or another, workstation and server boards for example need ECC usually and almost all consumer grade boards only use non ECC. ...
My experience has been that many MBs actually will support either ECC or non-ECC, but those that support unbuffered will not support registered and vice versa. Since unbuffered ECC memory is pretty much non-existent, this ends up being a moot point.