However, what I would like to know-- can ECC memory be used in place of non-ECC memory? Or does ECC require specific support for it by the motherboard or what ever? I have a Chaintech VFN4 mb with 2x512 Kingston value RAM. If I go to 2x1024 I'd like to know if I can go the ECC route. But then the question arises: is ECC memory worth it?
ECC is mainly used for servers and other mission critical applications that requires extra security and stability. Non-ECC are for regular use like for gaming and home pc. ECC rams are a bit slower since it works with extra steps thats prevents errors and are a bit expensive in most cases. You can use both in a Non-ECC motherboard, but you have to use an ECC supported motherboard to use the ECC feature of the ECC rams.
ECC requires support from the motherboard. If your looking into building a gaming rig, don't buy ECC ram. It generally had higher latencies than non-ecc. ECC (error-correction code) was developed for servers and workstations and have no benefit in desktop PCs.