What are the differences between ECC and non ECC RAM? The RAM, as you all know, has been around for a long time now, and is a necessity for every computing device that has a microprocessing unit of some kind.
While there are many ways how it can be classified, the choice of ECC and non-ECC is one of them.
The differences between ECC and non ECC RAM are very clear, not only how they work but the features they have. While identifying either isn’t very difficult, you have to be mindful while selecting one, depending on what sort of a system you use.
Both articles on ECC and non ECC RAM have been uploaded, and we would suggest you check those first so that you have a clear idea about this one as well.
While both are temporary forms of memory, the two types can be distinguished on the following grounds:
Differences between ECC and Non ECC RAM
1. Physical difference
The basic difference that can be observed between the two is the number of memory chips present in each module. A standard non ECC RAM module usually has 8 memory chips, while an ECC memory module has 9 or more than that.
This 9th chip is responsible for error detection and stores parity bits for its correction. Now there may be a difference in the number of chips, and usually, an odd number of chips would indicate that the module is capable of error-correcting.
2. Error Correction
The main point where the ECC and non-ECC RAMs differ is that the first one corrects the errors in code at the smallest level, while the other offers no such features.
Both the purpose of these are the same, that is providing the CPU with the essential data at hand so that it can process them easily without having to procure them from the slower storage drives.
But ECC RAM checks for any corruption that may have taken place in any part of the code so that system crashes are minimized, and servers keep running continuously.
Non-ECC RAM even though with more speed and performance comes at a cheaper price and with lots of variations. ECC RAM, on the other hand, comes at a steeper price than the other type.
This difference is worth it for workstation users and such, but on a consumer level, there is no point in choosing the expensive RAM when you won’t be able to use the extra features.
In terms of working speed, the ECC RAM is slower than the non-ECC type. Any other RAM stick can dedicate all its potential towards storage and in most cases even though you might be able to detect errors, those cannot be corrected.
On the other hand, ECC RAM has extra processing to do while checking for errors, and when such an error is found every individual bit of data is examined.
This is why those are so reliable, even though it takes up time for these actions and the working speed of the RAM is reduced. ECC RAM generally has a lower clockspeed than non ECC RAM.
Which is Better – ECC or Non ECC RAM?
See this depends entirely upon your uses and what kind of a PC you have. Both are necessary for their advantages, or the other would have never been invented.
ECC RAM is the type that suits workstations, servers, and any other such computing scenario where the loss of data is a concern.
In places like these there is a requirement for absolute consistency and reliability, which is provided by ECC RAMs even though they are slightly slower. Here the expensiveness of such RAM is justified.
Data is still of value here, but is mostly personal and not as much as those present in the servers. Thus, non-ECC RAMs which are cheap and faster than ECC modules would be better here.
ECC RAM has its utilities, but only in specific environments that are not like we have at our homes or small scale offices. So the decision is somewhat simple here.