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Memory question

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SMann

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Memory question

PostSat Jan 05, 2008 1:52 pm

Hello All,

I will soon be assembling a new HW computer based around the Intel Q6600 Core 2 Quad processor and D975XBX2KR motherboard.

I want to populate the board with 8 GB of DDR2 800 RAM but I am unsure what memory modules to purchase. Martin has strongly suggested using ECC memory. My understanding of computer memory is quite limited so before I begin a research project on this arcane topic I thought I would ask for input from those of you who are knowledgable on the subject.

I have been looking at the Patriot Extreme Performance PDC24G6400ELK modules. They seem reasonably priced (4 GB $114.99 at NewEgg) but I haven't been able to find a specification anywhere that shows if they are ECC or not.

Thanks in advance for your sage advice!

Steve Mann
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Radioman

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PostSat Jan 05, 2008 7:21 pm

I've recently built a dedicated Hauptwerk platform around an Intel D975XBX2 motherboard, equipped with four sticks of Kingston 2GB 667 ECC DDR2 SDRAM. Hauptwerk runs extremely well, and the platform is very stable (Windows XP x64 Edition).
However, in various forums around the internet, users of this board complain that it has a habit of "frying" certain memory modules, especially when all four slots are occupied.
See: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... 1&page=172

So, if I were you, I would go for Kingston ECC memory modules.
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SMann

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PostSat Jan 05, 2008 8:59 pm

Hi Radioman,

Thanks for the reply! It sounds like the posters on that forum are into serious overclocking. I don't plan on doing that. I wonder if this Intel board causes damage to RAM modules if used with default settings?

Steve
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Stefanussen

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PostSat Jan 05, 2008 9:46 pm

Hi, SMann, I'm a system builder by hobby and profession so I should be able to help you out here. I recently built a gaming system that I'm going to be re-purposing into a HW machine here pretty soon, I'm using a C2D E6750 and just upgraded it to 8GB RAM. I frequent the [H]ard|OCP forums frequently, which is a lot like xtremesystems.com, big into overclocking. We usually avoid ECC (registered) memory. I think most people thing the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. For your motherboard, I'd recommend this. This is what I have my machine, in my humble opinion, it'd be hard to go wrong with two orders of this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231122
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SMann

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PostSun Jan 06, 2008 11:32 am

Thanks Stefanussen for the helpful information. Those modules look like an excellent value and well up to the task. One thing I do like about the Patriot modules are their bladed aluminum heat sinks.

I did a bit of poking around on the web and found this fascinating forum thread about the pros and cons of ECC memory. It dates back to 2004, but should still be relevant.

http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=007OGq

Newegg.com is running a deferred payment financing offer right now with no payments and no interest for 12 months from date of purchase, so I decided the time was right to upgrade my system!

Best Regards,
Steve Mann
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mdyde

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PostSun Jan 06, 2008 3:35 pm

I personally would always go for ECC in preference if building a PC with more than 2 GB or so of memory. If the figure quoted from IBM of 1 bit of memory corrupted on average per month per 256 MB of non-ECC memory are correct:

http://www.eetimes.com/news/98/1012news/ibm.html

... then a PC with 4 GB of non-ECC memory is likely to have 16 memory corruptions per month on average (presumably if the PC is left turned on constantly). A memory corruption might cause nothing worse than a slightly click in your audio, or it might cause a crash, or it might cause some other completely arbitrary software misbehaviour.

In this forum post somebody actually measured the performance of both ECC and non-ECC memory and reported no difference at all in performance:

http://www.buildyourown.org.uk/forums/t ... C_ID=16274

Personally I'd also never overclock a PC due to the increased risk of instability. I don't know for sure, but I'd be extremely surprised if the Intel motherboard had reliability problems if used within its intended operating parameters (i.e. not overclocked). Intel motherboards are normally very good quality.

Just my personal views!
Last edited by mdyde on Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Stefanussen

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PostSun Jan 06, 2008 3:36 pm

Thanks for posting that link to the discussion of ECC RAM. Right now RAM prices are at an all time low. $95 for 4GB of high quality, high speed ram is quite a steal.
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Stefanussen

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PostSun Jan 06, 2008 3:43 pm

mdyde wrote:I personally would always go for ECC in preference if building a PC with more than 2 GB or so of memory.

I'd defer to Martin on this one, he's the developer of HW, he knows what works best with it.

mdyde wrote:Personally I'd also never overclock a PC due to the increased risk of instability. I don't know for sure, but I'd be extremely surprised if the Intel motherboard had reliability problems if used within its intended operating parameters (i.e. not overclocked). Intel motherboards are normally very good quality.


Yes, I'll second that ...if you don't overclock the odds of running into stability problems are slim to none. For someone who's not a hardware junkie, I'd totally agree, just stay away from overclocking. But just a disclaimer, some of the C2D/C2Qs have an obscene amount of untapped headroom which can (relatively safely, provided you really know what you're doing) be gained through overclocking.
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PostMon Jan 07, 2008 1:49 am

Stefanussen wrote:Thanks for posting that link to the discussion of ECC RAM. Right now RAM prices are at an all time low. $95 for 4GB of high quality, high speed ram is quite a steal.


..or $80 for 8GB, but is out of stock now.
http://www.directron.com/d2u800c2gbr.html

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