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Memory for a gaming computer, ECC or non-ECC?

Last response: in Memory
January 8, 2010 1:26:18 PM

I'm building a new computer and I have pretty much picked all the parts for an X58 based system. Now the only part that I haven't decided on yet is the amount an type of RAM. After doing some research I still couldn't find an answer to: What is the difference between using ECC or non ECC ram ? What I found out is that ECC ram has error correcting capabilities and slows down boot times. But how exactly (if at all) does it affect the performance of a computer that is mainly used as a gaming machine?

Now this would be nice to know for future reference but also because I have followed the market prices closely for a few months now, hoping to see reasonably priced 4 gigabyte DDR3 sticks. The DDR3 memory is still expensive costing around 360 euros but the weird thing is that the DDR3 ECC sticks cost the same amount as triple channel kit! The price on those ECC parts have dropped a huge amount while on the non-ECC it has not.

Kingston 3x4GB, DDR3 ECC 1333MHz, CL9

Kingston 4GB, DDR3 1333MHz, CL9

And for reference a 4GB kit of DDR3 costs around 100.00€.

Now if someone tech savvy could tell me why I should NOT get myself an ECC kit :D 
a c 80 } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
January 8, 2010 2:17:40 PM

You didn't specify which motherboard and CPU you're buying. To use ECC Registered memory, you need a motherboard and processors (Xeon) that supports it (usually supported by dual Xeon server motherboards). Several single CPU motherboards support ECC non-registered memory, e.g., ASUS P6T WS PRO, but a Xeon processor is required.
January 8, 2010 2:53:58 PM

The motherboard would be a DFI Lanparty that is capable of using ECC or non-ECC parts, specifically this model:

I was planning to use it with a i7-920 processor. But if the memory needs to be paired with a "server class" processor I guess I have to stick with the non-ECC rams then. Thank you for clarifying that.

The 12GB memory kit would have been nice though :ange: 

a c 80 } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
January 8, 2010 4:34:28 PM

The motherboard will accept ECC memory, but since no Xeon processors are on the supported list, I don't see the point. Don't ignore the fact that the memory controller is on the CPU. In addition, the motherboard has to also support ECC memory.

Edit: The 12GB kit of ECC Registered memory won't work on that motherboard.