I'm browsing for a few low-end servers for a startup and I'm a bit confused about the different memory types. The advantage of ECC is clear - single-bit error correction. When it comes to registered memory it seems more vague, especially in systems that support both registered and unbuffered memory.
A Google search mostly finds copies of the Wikipedia article, which states that registered memory chips "...place less electrical load on the memory controller and allow single systems to remain stable with more memory modules than they would have otherwise". However I can't find any quantification of this.
What I'm wondering about is:
- Is registered memory an improvement over unbuffered when it comes to soft error rate, or is it purely about the maximum number of modules supported?
- If yes, at what point (amount of modules or GB of memory) do these improvements start to become noticeable?
For a specific example, the HP ProLiant DL 120 G6 server manual states that maximum supported memory configuration is 16 GB unbuffered (4x4GB) or 12 GB registered (6x2GB). In this case I'd rather have the extra 4GB of memory if the reliability difference is negligible.