How important is ECC?

Hi!

I am using computers for 20 years now, even putting them together myself. However, I never had a problem like the one that is supposed to be corrected by ECC.

I know the price with ECC is just a bit higher than without it, but how important is ECC today? Are there any statistics how often does ECC "kick-in" in average use today?

Thanks.
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  1. Best I can tell, with my limited knowledge, is that if you need a platform to run and keep running, then ECC is more important since without it you risk a crash, and that could come at a bad time. You already knew that though.

    For statistics wise I'm sure that the number presented with ECC memory still holds. Something about for ever one gigabyte of storage, one bit will fail to properly do what it needs to do, over the course of however long it was. In my ten years of using computers, I think I've only had that one stray bit go goofy once. Wasn't too long ago when my previous computer gave a pop-up saying something about how an unknown hardware device failed. I figured it was that thing ECC is supposed to catch, and kept on going with things, didn't need to do anything.

    From my perspective, ECC is helpful, but to the average consumer it's a little bit of overkill. Worst that would happen for me is a game could crash on me, but more likely it'd just be something won't display properly, like a picture or movie. A quick restart of the application and things are good again.
  2. For my sanity Error correction and control as IBM intended it... would only be truely helpful with a memory protected operation environment. Garbage in... Possible in speculation on how to break the "winner of the cage" processes in the multicore environments and get down to real parrallel processing or transactional processesing ECC could have a "token" to play.

    Pappaous
  3. One thing to note is that ECC memory for mainstream motherboards is in limited to non-existent supply. The ECC memory that is widely available is *registered* memory for servers, which won't work on most mainstream MBs.
  4. Quote:
    One thing to note is that ECC memory for mainstream motherboards is in limited to non-existent supply. The ECC memory that is widely available is *registered* memory for servers, which won't work on most mainstream MBs.


    I was looking for ECC memory for my new build. No luck. I remember reading about ECC years ago. I thought by now it should be more common.
  5. For home/gaming usage, I didn't notice a shred of difference on my older machine (Athlon XP with DDR ECC) until one of the memory sticks started failing. Gave me lots of blue screens as time progressed and when I ran memtest, one of the sticks was going out the door. I didn't bother RMAing it to Crucial in the end though though it may have been covered by lifetime warranty. I guess I could still now but it's no longer my main machine and I simply substituted other DDR memory inside.
  6. Quote:
    One thing to note is that ECC memory for mainstream motherboards is in limited to non-existent supply. The ECC memory that is widely available is *registered* memory for servers, which won't work on most mainstream MBs.


    I was looking for ECC memory for my new build. No luck. I remember reading about ECC years ago. I thought by now it should be more common.

    It's just not that useful to most people, and with the performance impact makes it even less appealing.
  7. Quote:
    Hi!

    I am using computers for 20 years now, even putting them together myself. However, I never had a problem like the one that is supposed to be corrected by ECC.

    I know the price with ECC is just a bit higher than without it, but how important is ECC today? Are there any statistics how often does ECC "kick-in" in average use today?

    Thanks.


    Utterly useless. Is your computer mission critical, meaning you will either lose lots of money or your life if the computer crashes? If yes, then you need it. If not, then you don't need it. Memory doesn't get very many errors or at least those that crash the entire system. You don't need it.
    There is a rule of thumb:

    A reasonable rule of thumb is to expect one bit error, per month, per gigabyte of memory.

    But one bit error is nothing, I think. That means one "1" goes to a "0" spontaneously, in the billions of ones and zeros in the computer.

    ~Ibrahim~
  8. ECC memory are mainly for important servers and systems. As for desktop and gaming regular non-ECC are good to go.
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