What are the different Memory Variations
ECC Unbuffered DIMM
ECC Registered DIMM
ECC Fully Buffered DIMM
ECC Load Reduced
ECC Unbuffered SODIMM
*These variations are broken down further into different sub categories which include, Genre, Build (No of Pins), Capacity, Speed, Density and Dimensions which we are not listing on this page but can be found explained within the FAQ section on our website.
NON-ECC Memory – Who uses it:Non-ECC DIMM & SODIMM memory is the type that the vast majority of PCs and laptops use, this includes Personal Computers for home use and low end office Workstations. For the majority of systems being upgraded, you will never need to use ECC Memory.
ECC stands for Error-Correcting Code. ECC Unbuffered, ECC Registered, ECC Fully Buffered and ECC Load Reduced DIMMs are types of Ram Memory with a difference, Ram memory with ECC are able to identify and correct the most commonly occurring types of soft memory errors.
What ECC Memory stands for:
ECC Memory – Who uses it:Most of us won’t have any need to come into contact with ECC RAM. It is used in Servers and high end Workstations by industries where they cannot allow data corruption to occur within their systems, e.g. the Government, Financial or Scientific sectors.
Potential errors caused by corrupted data are routinely located, checked and corrected by sending all data via the computer’s memory bank register. This task takes extra clock cycle(s) (compared with Non-ECC memory) for the ECC memory to perform, but it is worth it, as hugely damaging mistakes for the types of companies that use them are eradicated.
In short, no, you can’t.
Can I mix ECC Unbuffered, ECC Registered, ECC Fully Buffered, ECC Load Reduced and Non-ECC DIMMs / SODIMM’s in my PC?
As a simple rule, each of these memory types are designed to work on their own as they are created to perform different functions.
There are some higher end Workstations and low end Servers where you can mix Non-ECC and ECC Unbuffered DIMMs, however certain performance aspects are affected (check our online configurator to see if this relates to your model if it does consult your user manual for further explanation or contact us).
The following is a guide as to when you are able to use Non-ECC and ECC Unbuffered DIMMs individually or in conjunction with one another in your system:
- Error Correcting not needed: - If you do not require the ‘Error Correcting’ function of the modules to operate as they should in your system, then you may be able to use Non-ECC alongside ECC Unbuffered DIMMs. The system will simply ignore the ‘Error Correcting’ aspect of the ECC Unbuffered DIMMs and it will act as if the memory didn’t have it at all.
- Parity Checking not needed: - If you do not require the ‘Parity Checking’ function of the modules to operate as they should in your system, then you may be able to use ECC Unbuffered instead of ECC Registered DIMMs. The system will understand that the memory installed does not have the ‘Parity Checking’ aspect, however, you will still utilise the ‘Error Correcting’ aspect.
On some systems, you may be required to disable the ‘Parity Checking’ in the BIOS.
ECC Registered, ECC Fully Buffered and ECC Load Reduced DIMMs will only work on their own, if you install any of these modules together your system will not work or you will experience a wide range of performance issues.
It is important to select the correct Memory / Ram for your system - BEFORE carrying out an upgrade!
We understand that on occasion RAM compatibility issues (especially in older models) can lead people to try and use ECC Unbuffered, ECC Registered, ECC Fully Buffered and potentially ECC Load Reduced memory modules in a non-parity checking machine. If you are in the position where you would like to try this please check the information above, use our online configurator and/or contact us for assistance first.
Although we have hundreds of thousands of upgrade options on our website there are new models being released daily, also there are older models which have DIMM requirements that are very specific. If you cannot find your model on our configurator then please contact us as we are sure we will be able to help you.