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Windows 7: Ddr3 ram


31 Jan 2011   #1

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 
Ddr3 ram

While browsing the specs on several motherboards I'm considering, I noticed in the RAM specs, that some listed 1600MHz DDR3 (over clocking). What does the parenthetical note mean? Does it mean that this speed of RAM is only needed if the rig is over clocked?

I also noticed that one board listed ECC or non-ECC in the specs. I'm sure that ECC is more expensive...is it worth it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Jan 2011   #2

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
While browsing the specs on several motherboards I'm considering, I noticed in the RAM specs, that some listed 1600MHz DDR3 (over clocking). What does the parenthetical note mean? Does it mean that this speed of RAM is only needed if the rig is over clocked?
When you overclock your system there are several ways of doing it. One is to increase the speed of the Bus, meaning it's a synchronous overclock. This means that all the devices controlled by the Bus speed are going to run faster than they were intended to, including the RAM. If your RAM was barely fast enough to keep up at the regular clock speed it would likely give you errors when running at a higher speed. One way to solve this is to buy RAM rated faster than necessary. When you overclock the Bus the RAM has no trouble keeping up.

This also avoids the possible downside of an asynchronous overclock, one where CPU end of the Bus gets boosted but the rest of the system stays at stock speed.

Quote:
I also noticed that one board listed ECC or non-ECC in the specs. I'm sure that ECC is more expensive...is it worth it?
ECC memory is used mostly in servers. Unless something has changed (or I'm just flat-out wrong ) it actually runs a tad slower than non-ECC RAM, mainly because it needs an extra step to check the data passing through it before it gives it the okey-dokey. Unless you have a specific reason for it, ECC is unnecessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #3

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
ECC memory is used mostly in servers. Unless something has changed (or I'm just flat-out wrong ) it actually runs a tad slower than non-ECC RAM, mainly because it needs an extra step to check the data passing through it before it gives it the okey-dokey. Unless you have a specific reason for it, non-ECC is unnecessary.
Your last sentence seems to go in a different direction from the one before it...are you recommending to use ECC memory, even on a non-server rig?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2011   #4

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
ECC memory is used mostly in servers. Unless something has changed (or I'm just flat-out wrong ) it actually runs a tad slower than non-ECC RAM, mainly because it needs an extra step to check the data passing through it before it gives it the okey-dokey. Unless you have a specific reason for it, non-ECC is unnecessary.
Your last sentence seems to go in a different direction from the one before it...are you recommending to use ECC memory, even on a non-server rig?
Ooops. Meant to say the opposite.

Edited.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #5

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

You spoke of ECC only being a tad slower than non-ECC, but from what I Googled, the fastest ECC memory was 1333. The 1600 appears to only come as non-ECC, therefore ECC would put a bigger hit on speed than a tad, unless comparing only these versions of 1333.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #6

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
You spoke of ECC only being a tad slower than non-ECC, but from what I Googled, the fastest ECC memory was 1333. The 1600 appears to only come as non-ECC, therefore ECC would put a bigger hit on speed than a tad, unless comparing only these versions of 1333.
A more precise way of putting it would have been for me to say that at the same rated speed, ECC will be a bit slower than non-ECC.

The rated speed is somewhat of a red herring here, since 1333/1600/Whatever just refers to the highest speed the RAM can be expected to run at accurately. A good analogy might be that of two drivers on a road trip. One (the ECC driver) stops every ten miles to check his map and make sure he's on the right course, the other guy (the non-ECC driver) plows on ahead without checking. If both cars were capable of the same top speed, the non-ECC guy who doesn't stop ought to get to his destination first - assuming he doesn't make any mistakes. The ECC driver is going to take a bit longer because he's stopping to check his map more often but has a far better chance of getting exactly where he wants to go without making any mistakes along the way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #7

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

That is a good analogy, but it leaves the question of just how common it is for non-ECC to make a mistake, and when it does, how quickly it gets back on path (I'm assuming that it's mistakes are not permanent).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #8

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

RAM Reliability: Soft Errors

Soft errors can often go unnoticed. The other kind give you the good old BSOD. You see ECC Memory mentioned with servers so often because they are often used for more critical tasks (like businesses) whose owners don't mind spending a little more money and sacrificing a wee bit of speed in exchange for not having to reboot the computer or have their data corrupted. For the typical home user it's not necessary. In fact, even in the high-end community (businesses, again) there is a lot of debate as to whether ECC gains you a whole lot in the long run.
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