Upgrading nMP RAM (ECC or no?)

maplingstorie

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2009
363
97
Malaysia
Hey guys, I've been googling like mad about this ECC stuff and still couldn't find the answer i'm looking for. Long story short, ECC corrects errors at the cost of its performance and are more expensive. I'd like to know whether it is worth for me to get ECC for video editing and music production. What tasks will benefit most from ECC? Thanks :D
 

cruisin

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2014
956
215
Canada
For most things you can get away with not using ECC RAM. Smartphones, Macs other than Mac Pros, and most PCs don't use ECC RAM. ECC is best used where precision is important, like long calculations that must be correct or you will have to waste time to redo them. ECC is about 2% slower, and not noticeable in most tasks.

Will you notice if a pixel if a frame in a video is slightly the wrong shade? Errors could happen, or not. You may never notice. Sometimes you want guaranteed accuracy, which is why workstations traditionally used ECC RAM for both system RAM and video card RAM.

In short, it depends on expectations of accuracy. You are not doing calculations, so in general you will be ok.
 

sirio76

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2013
295
85
Last time I check ECC for the nMP was about 15% more expensive than non ECC, you will not save that much. I've payed 64GB 1866mhz ECC from Crucial about 650$, and about 550$ for standard 1866mhz DDR3, I'm sure that anybody who can afford a 12core nMP can also afford to spend a few bucks more and go for supported ECC;)
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,095
4,155
The Peninsula
Troubleshooting

One of the best reasons to get ECC is that you never need to worry if some glitch or crash is due to a memory error.

Single bit errors will be corrected and logged calling out the suspect DIMM.

Multi-bit errors will crash the system with a message that a memory error has occurred - most likely with an indicator that tells you which DIMM got the error.
 

maplingstorie

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2009
363
97
Malaysia
Yeah.. I guess i'd probably go for ECC.. since it's a workstation and is supported, so why not try and make use of it. I was afraid of the performance drop since it's 2%, meh I can live with it. Thanks guys.. i'll be upgrading my RAM IF apple doesn't release an updated thunderbolt display this month.. :D
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,095
4,155
The Peninsula
Yeah.. I guess i'd probably go for ECC.. since it's a workstation and is supported, so why not try and make use of it. I was afraid of the performance drop since it's 2%, meh I can live with it. Thanks guys.. i'll be upgrading my RAM IF apple doesn't release an updated thunderbolt display this month.. :D
Also note that the 2% figure refers to accesses to the RAM itself.

Since the Xeons have huge caches, most applications will see much less than a 2% hit - probably immeasurably small.
 

maplingstorie

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 25, 2009
363
97
Malaysia
Also note that the 2% figure refers to accesses to the RAM itself.

Since the Xeons have huge caches, most applications will see much less than a 2% hit - probably immeasurably small.
ahhh.. good to know. would video or music editing benefit from the xeon's huge caches?
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,095
4,155
The Peninsula