DDR5 RAM on-die ECC, and locking out Google search


So, I was talking with an associate and we got into a discussion about RAM and current vs last generation. DDR4 is cheaper but DDR5 has ECC. They proceeded to tell me that not all DDR5 RAM is ECC. I said while that it's true that not all have the extra chip, that all DDR5 has on-die ECC. He tried looking it up on the system computer and just kept showing me the inventory page like that was in any way helpful. I asked him to look it up on Google and he stated that it's blocked on the associate's computers. I said to look it up on a display model then and he said he wasn't allowed. So I went ahead and did it myself because the display models will work because if a customer can't look things up on Google they'd assume it's a broken machine, and since I'm a customer I can (within reason) do whatever I want. So I then read off the following information to him from a Wiki:

"Unlike DDR4, all DDR5 chips have on-die ECC, where errors are detected and corrected before sending data to the CPU. This, however, is not the same as true ECC memory with an extra data correction chip on the memory module. DDR5's on-die error correction is to improve reliability and to allow denser RAM chips which lowers the per-chip defect rate."

This post is less about ODECC and more about employees need to be able to look up information when a customer corrects them to either prove them wrong (which I could have been) or learn something that will help them in future sales. Like "Oh, DDR5 has on-die ECC which while not being as good as regular ECC does help protect your data a bit more than last generation's DDR4 memory did."

I get blocking off certain websites, but in the modern age where everyone has a phone and we can look up whatever we wish with that at any time as long as there's WiFi or an ethernet cable (because who doesn't carry a USB to RJ45 network adapter with them at all times?) isn't it a bit silly to have such a policy in place?

Just wanted to state that I think it's silly is all. I doubt policy will change just because of my rant, but one can hope.

One final thought, just because I like the quote: "The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" - John Gilmore


  • PowerSpec_MichaelB
    PowerSpec_MichaelB ✭✭✭✭✭
    First Answer 5 Insightfuls First Comment 5 Awesomes

    There is no policy that prohibits access to Google or other common search engines. We often use search engines and other forums for research on the fly. I can't speak to the limitations of the associates system, however I can say for certainty that no such policy exists from a corporate perspective.

    The only thing we block network wise on the floor networks is Steam, Battle.net, Origin, and other game launcher sites because we do not want to bog down the bandwidth with large game downloads. We have special networks for those services with different network provisioning and QoS settings.

    As for the discussion of DDR4 vs DDR5 in terms of On-Die ECC, I wouldn't really consider this a noteworthy feature in terms of stability. As you referenced from your search, ODECC does not function like traditional ECC. It handles errors that occur within the DRAM IC, not on the bus itself. Similar features have existed on DDR4 (Memory Scrambler in BIOS being an easy comparison to make here) and with DDR5 being in its infancy, you'll find plenty of threads online discussing instability with XMP/EXPO that the ODECC simply cannot correct. Data sensitive servers will still want traditional ECC DIMMs.

    When I think of DDR5 features that are exciting, my #1 talking point is the independent 32-bit channels on the DIMM. Much like traditional rank interleaving, you gain the ability to read from one 32-bit channel while simultaneously writing to another. On smaller data sets, this significantly reduces round trip latency as you'll be able to do with functions within a single cycle.

    I personally still prefer to use DDR4 as it boots significantly faster (Memory Context Restore is a bit touchy at the moment) and it's a bit more fun to overclock. I'll be giving DDR5 a bit more time to mature before I personally adopt it. None of my workloads are bandwidth sensitive so it's easy for me to stick to older technologies at the moment.

  • Scary_Guy
    Scary_Guy ✭✭✭
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes

    Yeah, I just like DDR4 because the last gen is usually cheaper than current (especially ECC as it's actually affordable, as on-chip DDR5 ECC is pretty hard to find and pretty expensive if you do.) I don't need the latest and greatest, for what I do this is plenty.

    I mean on-die ECC is really just a marketing term, but it's still technically a thing. Realistically though as you said it is moot and in any mission critical applications OCECC is an absolute necessity (also for anyone who just values their data, because as a society we should want data integrity to be more of a priority IMO.)

    Nice to know my friend was BSing me too, so thanks for that. Though it's nice to think that I might have annoyed him with my workaround of said "rules" (either real or imagined.)

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