Error Correcting Code, or ECC memory, protects your system from potential crashes and changes in data. ECC memory catches and corrects single-bit errors on-the-fly to keep workstation applications running reliably and without error. Single-bit memory errors occur through no fault of the user. They may sometimes crash your system and corrupt data; they may even change data and go completely undetected. The longer a system operates throughout the day, the greater the risk it has for memory errors and this risk increases with the age of the system.
It is 228x more likely to see another correctable error in the same month after experiencing one.[d:6636]
Consider these potential consequences of an undetected error:
- Imagine the impact of losing an hour of a product development session. You now have to re-create and re-imagine your latest innovation.
- Visualize, or fail to visualize, the impact of losing hours of invested time in creating visually rich, engaging content for virtually any media — print, web, interactive, video, audio, and mobile.
- Picture your latest product performing incorrectly because of a change in data. Even worse, you may not be aware that it is incorrect.
Is the investment in more reliable workstation technology worthwhile?
The added investment in reliability delivered from an entry-level Intel® Xeon® processor-based workstation may be as little as $100.1 The expected life of a workstation is typically three years and the need to accommodate ever-larger models and new workflows should be expected to stress workstation design points within that time frame. Is the investment in more reliable systems worth it? Figure 1 shows the sensitivity of a $100 investment in reliability versus various salaries that range from $40 to $80 an hour. As you see in this figure, in each salary category the investment in reliability outweighs the risk of not making the investment. There is also the chance that an error could change data central to your project without your knowledge. Reliability is an investment worth making.
Figure 1. Investing in a reliable workstation with ECC memory can improve your productivity, which can significantly increase the overall return.2