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system requirements question - ECC or non-ECC RAM

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The subject pretty much says it all. For a new PowerMac to use with Retrospect Server should I get ECC or non-ECC RAM? Does it matter to Retrospect? I have to justify the added price, or I can save money by getting the standard RAM. Don't see this mentioned in system requirements anywhere.




-Derek Cunningham

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It's simply a reliability versus cost question. Neither Retrospect nor any other application can or will see the difference. If you have ECC RAM, single bit errors will be corrected and logged. FYI Apple's AppleCare policy is that they won't replace ECC RAM unless you get multiple errors within a 24-hour period. Simply as calibration, our Xserve G5 (about 4 months old, now), like all Xserves, has ECC RAM and one of the banks seems to be mildly marginal and sees an ECC error about once a month. Of course, because the error is corrected, there's no data loss. With non-ECC, non-parity RAM (which is what you are considering as your alternative), the system never knows when some data is bad. If a data error happens in the OS or in a program, either a mistake or corruption or perhaps kernel panic will result, depends on where the error happens. But you could never know if its a data corruption error until months, years later. If it happens to an area of memory used by Retrospect, it just might mean that your backup is corrupt, and you won't know it until you go to restore (if then - perhaps you will just restore bad data). Again, it's simply a reliability versus cost question. How much do you value your data? For my business (and I would imagine, almost any business), it's a no-brainer to go for the most reliable infrastructure you can afford. It's very analagous to asking to justify a UPS or backup for your program. Not if it fails, but when, and what is the cost of failure. Hope this helps. Russ

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