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Thread: Can you mix ECC and Non-ECC Ram

  1. #1
    Banned Crump's Avatar
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    Can you mix ECC and Non-ECC Ram

    Should you mix the two? ECC is better isn't it?

  2. #2
    Elite Member Jim's Avatar
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    Er...don't think you can. Think its the same as it is with parity and non-parity, that mixing = no.

    As for performance, I think non-ecc is slightly better, due to the fact that the ecc needs to "check" the data. Er...something like that.

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    I checked and I believe ecc is more expensive so naturally i thought it was better. Been too long since i studied this stuff.

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    Elite Member Jim's Avatar
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    I believe Parity and ECC memory are usually used by servers and stuff like that, since it needs the data accuracy.

    But for home use, its not necessary.

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    Disable Parity and ECC in the BIOS and mixing the 2 shouldn'tcause any problems, the extra parity bits will be ignored. I'd reas yur documentaion though incase your chipset has special considerations. Just FYI parity memory can do ECC. ECC is implemented on the mainboard. ECC memory can't do straight parity checking.
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    64bit is correct. when you would normally run into problems is if you were to enable ECC, and mix ECC and non-parity RAM. since the non-parity RAM does not support the feature, the chipset would throw a fit.
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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    You can mix them, but most of the new motherboards will detect that there are both types installed, and default to using non-ECC across the board. Some and older motherboards prob wont work with both installed at once. You'll lose the extra stability of using ECC if you mix a standard DIMM in there.

    ECC is used in NT servers for stability and data integrity, you'll usually see that 9th chip on there which runs the extra parity check. You don't gain performance in speed at all, just stability, and they don't like to be overclocked past spec, so it's not good for gamers really, they're mostly for servers.
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    just as an addition to yeoldstonecat's post.....

    if you dont run ECC ram in an ECC environment, many ECC modules can be overclocked nicely. it really does depend on the quality of the RAM itself, but i have found really good quality ECC RAM to be of higher quality than its cheaper non-parity counterpart (by the same vendor using similar chips).

    in my fun/personal system (KT7A-RAID, 1.1GHz 200MHz T-Bird with a 143MHz memory speed. its only 14MHz OCd on the CPUs FSB as i have the HostCLK+PCICLK enabled). i currently have 128MB of high-quality Hitachi ECC RAM (running in non-parity mode) rated for CAS2 @ 100 and CAS3 @ 133. but as i stated, i have it running at 143MHz @ CAS2-2-2.

    i have 256MB of ECC in my server, but its "generic" American Megatrends ECC RAM, and it doea not like to be OCd in ECC mode.

    anyways, for what its worth, ECC RAM tends to consist of higher quality chips, with and SPD EEPROM that should be right on the money.
    Last edited by smaier69; 07-24-01 at 06:48 AM.
    "I think this day will go down as a black day in the history of mankind"

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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Interesting, I hadn't messed around with running ECC in non-ECC Mode. I had some Crucial ECC PC100 sticks in my home rig for a while, from a Proliant server. They didn't like going past 117 FSB. I did a hardware upgrade, going to PC133 anyways, but currently that RAM is in our clans new game server, sitting up at our ISPs data center, running nice and stable on NT Server. Didn't want that system crashing, since it's long distance and we need it up 24/7.

    Just for some other jaw dropping news, over at my buddies house the other night, he rebuilt his rig, Asus CUSL2 motherboard with an old PIII 733 on it. Mixed RAM consisting of some PC100 and PC133. He's running his FSB at 158 ! ! ! Holy smackerals! Stable too!
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    158? wowsers. if somebody had asked me an "is this possible?" question regarding that, i would have probably said "no". thats pretty impressive.

    i guess it has a lot to do with the chipset involved as well. i read some reviews of TinyBGA PC160 on different chipsets, and the results were surprising. some of the new chipsets souldn;t push it past 135MHz while some couuld go the whole 160MHz. the CUSL2 is a fine board........ obviously by some of the results people can get with it.

    there seems to be a great deal of alchemy in achieving the most out of individual components. sometimes its not up to exactly what individual component you have... its what you plan to use it with.
    "I think this day will go down as a black day in the history of mankind"

    -Leo Szilard - December 2, 1942, following the first successful nuclear fission test.

  11. #11
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Yeah, and what's even funnier, is I'm a preacher of top notch brands, like Crucial, Mushkin, etc for memory, and he's one of those "Generic" users. So he got a good laugh at my face when I saw his system running stable at that FSB, especially with a stick of 100 in the mix.
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