So, is there something that would prevent an ECC-capable processor of
the Ivy Bridge generation and ECC DDR3L memory from working together
when installed on a B75, H77, Z75, or Z77 PCH motherboard?
According to Wikipedia on Intel Chipsets ...
Not listed below is the 3450 chipset (see Xeon chipsets) which is
compatible with Nehalem mainstream and high-end processors but does
not claim core iX-compatibility. With either a Core i5 or i3
processor, the 3400-series chipsets enable the ECC functionality of
unbuffered ECC memory. Otherwise these chipsets do not enable
unbuffered ECC functionality.
To answer your follow up "Can i use ECC ram with a ECC capable processor with an onboard memory controller, with a compatible arbitrary non workstation/desktop motherboard":
Short answer: No.
Long answer: It's Intel. Go with the specs they spell out. You want to use an Ivy Bridge Xeon, you need to use the Panther Point (C2xx)/Patsburg (C6xx) chipset. If the motherboard doesn't support ECC, don't bet on it working because the CPU has the memory controller on-board. You're betting a lot on the quality of the motherboard manufacturer and probably voiding the warranty on the CPU + RAM.
Will there be some specific configurations that gets ECC RAM to work correctly and be stable? Yea, maybe a couple. Is it really worth the risk? I highly doubt it.
Which leads me to believe you're thinking about doing this because it's either:
- Cheaper (because Intel is just so affordable (can you feel the sarcasm?))
- Available (no motherboards supporting features you want now)
- Both #1 and #2
If you're dead set on using a Xeon CPU, your best bet is to wait until they come out with a chipset that does support PCIe 3.0, USB 3, etc. etc. Now, it's Intel so if and when they decide to deliver a chipset with all those features you want, you're pretty much stuck. If time is a factor, why not go the Core i7 Ivy Bridge (non-Xeon) route that has all those features you seem to want?
Maybe this isn't the answer you want. Maybe my answer isn't very good, but I think my answer is the most realistic. Maybe you can give some more details on what you're trying to do. Maybe some people have figured out a way to do just what you're asking to do. I'd just hate to see someone gamble a bunch of money on a configuration that may or may not work. Just my $0.02. :)