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    SubjectRe: memtest86, built into kernel
    Matti E. Aarnio writes:
    >> No mainframes ran with ECC memory boards, so hardware faults got logged.
    >> PC's _had_ parity to show you errors in RAM. Now they don't bother (I guess
    >> because the people who make the PC's make so much bad memory they dont want
    >> you to find out).
    >
    > http://www-cs.intel.com/oem_developer/chip_pci.htm
    >
    > Pick "General" from that (the URL is VERY long..), and
    > go see about "Evaluating the Need for Parity in Desktop PCs"

    Basically they say there that with modern SIMMs the MTBF for a soft
    error (ie. alpha particle corruption) is between 12-30 years of
    continual system use.

    Given that it happens so rarely, that parity is only 50% likely to
    catch the error anyway, and that parity requires an extra 12.5% DRAM,
    it doesn't seem worth it to me. ECC is more useful, since it will
    correct single-bit errors rather than just hanging.

    -Matt


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