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ECC vs non-parity SDRAM

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by angel, Oct 15, 2001.

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  1. angel

    angel Thread Starter

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    Honestly, I haven't looked into this too much but thought maybe someone here would have some quick input.

    What is the difference between ECC vs non-parity for error checking. Specifically, would mixing these likely cause problems?
    The motherboard specs on Gateway's site specifically states ECC SDRAM (edit: I guess is says non-ECC also). However, if I check Crucial's site for recommended ram for my system, they say non-parity (it's a Gateway Select 1300). I have no idea what Gateway actually placed in this system and just want to be sure that I don't cause probs. So that's my main question - will mixing non-parity and ECC cause probs?

    And before you ask, no, I don't have the exact model of the board buy I plan to grab that tonight to find the documentation. All I know at this point is what is listed <a href="http://www.gateway.com/support/techdocs/references/motherboard/0aavw/Oaavw1.shtml">here</a>.

    On this topic, other than simmtester, are there other utils like this that will give you detailed specs? I was going to try it but discovered it won't work with NTFS.

    FYI - this is not world shattering - just wondering before I order some cheap (cost) ram.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rockn

    Rockn

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    Try SiSoft Sandra, not sure it will give you the exact specs for the memory tho. Just go on Gateway's web site, look for make and model or even by serial number and it will tell you exactly what is in your computer. Do not try to mix ECC and non parity memory...they won't play well together.
     
  3. angel

    angel Thread Starter

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    The link in my first post is the only information I could get on Gateway's site about the board. I used their little system info software thing (not sure what it's called) and got the shipped specs on my specific computer but it didn't say anything more about the ram other than '256MB PC133 SDRAM'.

    Anyway, I guess you answered my question about mixing them.
    Now I just need to find out for sure what exactly I have now. I tried Si-Soft last night but didn't give me that information.
     
  4. angel

    angel Thread Starter

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    I found some additional information that also clued me in on how to tell if what I have is ECC or not.
    ******************************
    Can you mixed ECC and Non-ECC DIMM Module ?

    No. When adding new memory, you need to match what is already in your system. ECC (error checking and correcting) modules have an extra chip that detects if the data was correctly read or written by the memory module. If the data wasn't properly written, the extra chip will correct it in many cases (depending on the type of error). Non-ECC (also called non-parity) modules do not have this error-detecting feature.

    You can determine if your system has ECC by simply counting the number of black memory chips on each module. ECC (and parity) memory modules have a chip count divisible by 3. Any chip count not divisible by 3 indicates a non-parity memory module.
    *******************************
     
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