Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How frequent are DRAM errors? How significant a factor is heat? Is it worth investing in ECC RAM?

share|improve this question
    
possible duplicate of Should I use ECC RAM for the next computer I build? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 11 '11 at 7:48
    
@techie007: I don't see how those two are a duplicate. Advice and frequency differ... –  Tom Wijsman Dec 11 '11 at 8:09
    
Only if your motherboard supports it. Mostly you want this for high useage servers and the boards will be designated for it. –  Fiasco Labs Nov 20 '13 at 18:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

A paper addressing this issue was published here.

"The goal of this paper is to answer questions such as the following: How common are memory errors in practice? What are their statistical properties? How are they affected by external factors, such as temperature and utilization, and by chip-specific factors, such as chip density, memory technology and DIMM age?"

And this is a part from summaries:

"This either indicates that chip size does not play a dominant role in influencing CEs or >there are other, stronger confounders in our data that we did not control for." >Similarly, "In all cases, for the same utilization levels the error rates for high versus >low temperature are very similar."

I would still recommend ECC for production systems, mind you.

share|improve this answer
    
Added some other points brought up by chris in my original answer and just made it all one. –  Troggy Aug 27 '09 at 21:37
    
You seem to have self-answered. But I don't see a frequency in your answer, are there any numbers? –  Tom Wijsman Dec 11 '11 at 8:10

According to a study done by Google, memory errors are fairly common, affecting about 8% of DIMMS per year:

[Google study]

http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~bianca/papers/sigmetrics09.pdf

[ZDNet interpretation/summary]

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/dram-error-rates-nightmare-on-dimm-street/638

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.