Okay, so I just ordered my new board and cpu, GA-EX38-DS4 and a Q6600. My new mobo supports both ECC and non-ECC memory, I have never had the option of getting ECC memory with my previous boards. The price is just about the same either way I go. Is the ECC a bad choice to get for a gaming computer. I read an article that says it can slow down the system 1-3%. I'm not to terribly concerned about that small of a performance drop, especially since it is a quad core processor. What do you guys think, also what memory should I get for the board, it will be a 2x2 kit. I need specific model numbers, not just a manufacturer. Thanks.
Well I am not sure to be honest with you. My gut tells me not to go for it if you are going to play games as it will affect gaming performance. Not many gamers ever get confronted with this query because it usually ended up being server application driven and with new boards like the ASUS Supercomputer it has become an option for gaming board capable of doing server duty. Weird circle, but kinda cool to have the option.
My short answer would be (even though by now you do not need the advice anymore) is to NOT go for it.
It really depends on how important it is to you to have a rock-solid system. Personally I find it abhorrent that memory is the ONLY component which manages data on most desktop systems that has NO error checking whatsoever.
I've been stung by very occasional intermittent memory problems in the past, so I elected to go with ECC memory on my new Core i7 system (actually a Xeon W3520, equivalent to a Core i7 920). I chose that because I consider my data to be the most precious thing on my computer system and the thought that it might get scrambled unbeknownst to me is very scary.
If you're JUST using the system for gaming, then rock solid reliability may not be the highest thing on your list of priorities, so ECC may be overkill. But if you also use the system to store important or precious data, then IMHO ECC is a very good idea.
I find it hard to believe in this day and age that everyone is accepting of digital data that is 99.999% accurate. Who cares if you have to reboot your computer every so often. That doesn't waste any time. How about those weird program crashes; those are ALWAYS the software writers problem. Right? Who cares if your only JPG picture of that important loved one is digitally damaged by a memory bit error and your not able to recover it. Loud pops and bleeps (and other digital bit error artifacts) in songs aren't that bad when your listening at top volume to your favorite mp3 (or other digital format) song. The web page jams as it loads onto your machine and it requires you to refresh the page. That wasn't too bad of a bit error. Your digital video hangs or the picture suddenly shows up with tears or strange colors and then goes back to normal. That isn't that bad. I would imagine that there are cases when the bit error isn't that bad if it actually damages your computer or perhaps your new expensive smart phone (after the warranty is out). It's not too bad if it causes you to have to pay large amounts of money for someone to rebuild its software or you just buy another more expensive new one. The fact that no one needs to have ECC memory and you can barely find a new computer with all the great multimedia gizmos that has error checked memory. Not bad at all. No one has a server at home storing gigabytes of important data (non-replaceable pictures, music, videos) such that they would need ECC error checked memory which is considered only important for servers.
Gamers should be the only people who want all of the above problems just so they can get that shot off in 5-10% less time than if they had error checking in there computers. And when they get that shot off their opponent's machine locks up and their game ends. Not bad at all with 99.999% (instead of 100% error checked hardware).