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Buffered RAM

Non Buffered RAM


What is the difference between buffered RAM and non buffered RAM?

There are two main types of memory, unbuffered and buffered. The biggest difference between the two is that buffered memory includes a layer of processing power to keep speed things along. There are pros and cons to each of these options, so let’s give a look at each one and explore further.

The key advantage of buffered memory is a processing chip that receives information directly from the computer. This buffer chip then sends out the information to be processed by the other chips on the memory stick, allowing the computer to send information to one target instead of several chips on the RAM.

With unbuffered memory, the computer will communicate directly with the individual memory banks, so the CPU will send the information to be processed to each chip on the stick of RAM. While this does allow the system to be a bit more expandable and a bit more flexible, it also does require a lot more processing power.

Different types of Buffered Memory

  • Registered Memory has an extra chip that acts a middle man in the communication between the computer and the memory modules chips. Each stick of RAM has a number of chips on it, which when communicating directly with the computer, takes more signals. The buffer chip serves to reduce the number of signals that have to be sent by the computer.
  • Fully Buffered Memory is basically an elder version of registered memory. You don’t find fully buffered DIMMs or FB-DIMMs in DDR3.
  • Load Reduced Memory is a recent version of buffered memory. The advantage of load reduced memory is a rank issue that sometimes will not allow all the DIMM slots to be filled with quad rank memory modules.

What is ECC Memory?

ECC stands for Error Checking and Correction memory. ECC memory is essential to higher performing enterprise level environments. The way in which ECC works is the memory chips are able to fill in any missing pieces that get lost in translation. ECC is able to identify bits of information that went missing, and then back fill them in to make for much more stable storage.

ECC memory tends to be more stable and reliable than standard RAM, as you will see a much lower rate of failure in using ECC memory compared to a standard RAM.

However, there are disadvantages to using ECC RAM. ECC RAM is slightly slower than non-ECC RAM, simply based on the role it has to play in error correcting and checking all of the data that goes through it. Also, the cost is much higher