How important is ECC RAM for regular desktop use?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Loa, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm not using my Mac Pro as a server, nor as scientific workstation in a lab. Just your ordinary everyday usage.

    Would I notice anything by switching to non-ECC ram? (Except more cash in my wallet...)

    Thanks

    Loa
     
  2. ndraves macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    You will have no difference, ECC RAM comes into it's own when running a lot of stuff in memory, as you said in servers/workstation applications.

    For everyday use the as with most other desktop/laptop, non ECC RAM will be fine, and you save the $$.

    Presumably you're asking as you wish to put more RAM into the machine, if so then are you using apps that are memory intensive (ECC maybe better in this case)?
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    Couple of questions:
    • What model of MP are you running?
    • What is your target memory capacity after adding the upgrade?
    For example, 2006-8 systems would require DDR2 FB-DIMM's (due to the Xeon architecture used), but you can use non-ECC DDR3 memory in a 2009-10 model.

    ECC can become necessary with very high capacities, which is why the question on this (expect this won't be an issue, but best to be sure).

    If the capacity isn't an issue, and you can use non-ECC memory, then it won't be a problem, given the stated usage. :)
     
  4. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #4
    Hello,

    Using a 2009 MP, and my only memory intensive app is PhotoShop CS 5.

    Thanks

    Loa
     
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Stuff like photoshop doesn't need it. At most you might get a crash prevented once or twice a year (on good memory), you are correcting any errors in data by eye anyway. However it doesn't only correct the occasional error, it reports them. That is one of the bigger reasons for it being a part of the workstation and server platform specifications.
     
  6. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #6
    Is there a log file I could access for these reports? If I find 2 reports for 2 years of use, it's one thing, but if I find hundreds...

    Loa
     
  7. Mac Husky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #7
    I mess around with a RAM upgrade in my MacPro early 2009 for a couple of weeks. All information I could get was, that I have to go for ECC RAM. Found some tripple kits from Kingston - 12GB together.

    You guys say, ECC RAM isn't necessary at all?
     
  8. iRCL macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #8
    ECC Ram is ridiculous. Do not get it unless you're building a server for medical equipment or aircraft avionics or something and need to prove that you have the resistance to the absolutely insanely small chance that a bit of RAM will be set wrong.

    And regarding "memory intensive," .. please .. things are swapped in and out of memory constantly. Memory is used to aggressively cache. A modern OS such as OS X (or anything on the market today) tends to constantly have your entire RAM contents full. An error that would be caught by ECC is just as likely to happen while the contents of RAM are the same as compared to when those contents change. So it actually has absolutely nothing to do with how "memory intensive" your tasks are.

    I wish people would quit giving out misinformation on this sort of thing. It's bad enough when RAM vendors do it, at least they have something to gain...
     
  9. Mac Husky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #9
    OK. So I do not need unbuffered ECC nor registered ECC.

    Thought I should take one of these from Kingston for example.

    Now you say I could try one of those, also?!

    Are you sure? I always found 'unbuffered and registered' when I searched for the RAM upgrade in a Mac Pro with Bloomfield.
     
  10. MacProDude macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #10
    From my experience supporting network appliances with ECC memory, correctable ECC errors are generally precursors to uncorrectable ECC errors.

    The main benefit I see is that it *may* give you warning about memory errors before you start experiencing problems. The caveats are that you have to be aware that you're getting correctable ECC errors or not, and it's possible that you never get any correctable ones before uncorrectable ones start occurring.
     
  11. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
  12. RichardBeer macrumors regular

    RichardBeer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #12
    For just genenral computer use, you will maybe see an increase in performance when using non-ECC memory because of the lack of extra overhead that ECC RAM has to do when taking parity into account. I remember hearing a performance difference of about 5% but I have nothing to back up that figure.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    Yes. :)

    Take a look here.
     

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