Difference between ECC and Non-ECC Memory

What is Memory ECC?

ECC memory, also known as Parity memory, is a type of computer data storage that detects and corrects internal data corruption or errors. It has a greater number of memory chips than a non-ECC. It’s typically utilized in computer systems that store sensitive data and where data corruption is unacceptably risky. It protects your memory system against single-bit mistakes, which occur when a single unit of data is modified during data transfer due to a network connection problem. A single bit mistake occurs when your system receives ‘1′ as a sample unit as delivered data, but instead receives ‘0′.

ECC memory is frequently confused with registered or buffered memory, however the two are not the same. A registered memory can help to stabilize data transfer, but an ECC does not do so; instead, it automatically discovers and corrects memory faults. As a result, an ECC memory that is associated with a registered memory (but not directly associated) is mostly employed in servers and workstations.

The Crucial 16GB (8GBx2) is a good example of ECC memory that is currently available and costs roughly $120 in 2021.

Memory that isn’t ECC (Non-ECC Memory)

Non-ECC memory does not have your ECC’s auto detection and correction of memory errors, but it does offer a performance gain of 2% and is usually cheaper, which, given the amount of data your system carries, may not be a huge concern.

A memory error or corruption normally occurs when a system is powered on for an extended period of time, therefore Non-ECC memory will produce an error and should be turned down every now and then. Unlike your system, which is powered by ECC memory, it can run for longer periods of time with no effect on memory stability.

Kingston ValueRAM 16GB (8GBx2) is an example of non-ECC memory that is currently available and costs roughly $74.

Non-ECC Memory vs. ECC Memory

What is the distinction between ECC and non-ECC memory?

While both perform all of the functions that a memory should, an ECC memory provides more than just data reading and writing.

Errors in your memory will be automatically detected and corrected by an ECC memory. Non-ECC memory will not work, although it will perform somewhat faster and be significantly less expensive. A non-ECC memory is often used in home systems that need all the performance boost they can get as long as they don’t stay powered-on for too long. An ECC memory has more stability, which is why it’s often preferred by servers and workstations with valuable data that users can’t afford to lose, whereas an ECC memory has more stability, which is why it’s often preferred by servers and workstations with invaluable data that users can’t afford to lose.

It’s also worth noting that combining ECC and non-ECC memory disables your ECC’s automatic detection and correction of memory errors/corruptions. So pairing an ECC memory with an ECC memory is your best choice.


Comparison Chart

ECC MemoryNon-ECC memory
Auto detects memory errors and corrects itNot capable of correcting errors but some are capable of detection
More expensiveLess expensive
2% disadvantage of performance2% advantage of performance
Recommended for system with high-value data (Servers and workstations)Recommended for standard use (Home system)

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