How important is ECC?

Hey all,

I've read some of the posts in the archive about ECC memory, but I still can't decide if it's important for my needs.

I use a computer strictly for music production (recording, editing, mastering, etc), and it puts A LOT of strain on a system. Short of real-time video editing, it is the most strenuous activity you can put a PC through.

We value fast processors, fast hard drives, gobs of memory, and stripped down BIOSes and OS's. High-end audio cards (eg, RME, MOTU, etc.) are finicky about hardware choices, so the smallest details are important in a successful rig.

I am torn between the Asus P4C800, Asus P4P800, and Intel D875PBZ. Both the Asus boards offer APIC (extended IRQ's), but the Intel board does not (at least from what I read).

<b>But the item that I keep coming back to is ECC memory capability.</b>

If this weren't a deciding factor, I would choose the P4P800 hands down. But I plan to start with 1 GB of DDR400 (2 x 512MB DIMMS), and eventually upgrade to 2 GB (4 x 512MB).

<b>So how important is ECC with large memory banks?</b>

I've polled my friends in this niche, but haven't gotten much of a response. My current rig (800 MHz PIII) has ECC memory, but it was an easy choice (440Bx supports it, and it was negligible cost).

Any feedback / insight is appreciated.

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  1. heya wiggum:

    If money isnt a concern, and you want your data to be virtually free of error, then ECC is recommended for that type of application, as you will be crunching large amounts of data.

    It seems to me that you are wanting to make sure your data will be as error free as possible.

    Time is money and delays are unacceptable.

    ECC is definately the way to go in this case.

    However it should be noted that not even ECC can prevent all data errors, but it will help minimize the chance of catastrophic errors.

  2. Thanks Xeen.....

    I'm going to conduct a poll in a music forum to see what everyone is using, but I think ECC is a safe bet.

    Since Kingston makes some certifed 512 MB 3-3-3 modules, I should be okay. I was pretty sure that Corsair was going to be my memory of choice, but they don't play the ECC game (not at 400 MHz at least).

    Thanks again for the feedback.

  3. ECC is only needed when you need to be 100% error free. IN music, 99.9% error free is more than acceptable, as 0.1% corruption would be imperceptable to any ear. But non-ECC is more reliable than that...I'm guessing on the lines of 99.9998%. Plus, using ECC slows your system down!

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
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