CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review of CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking

The CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking BIOS feature enables or disables the L2 (Level 2 or Secondary) cache’s ECC (Error Checking and Correction) capability, if available.

Enabling this feature is recommended because it will detect and correct single-bit errors in data stored in the L2 cache. As most data reads are satisfied by the L2 cache, the L2 cache’s ECC function should catch and correct almost all single-bit errors in the memory subsystem.

It will also detect double-bit errors although it cannot correct them. But this isn’t such a big deal since double-bit errors are extremely rare. For all practical purposes, the ECC check should be able to catch virtually all data errors. This is especially useful at overclocked speeds when errors are most likely to creep in.

So, for most intents and purposes, I recommend that you enable this feature for greater system stability and reliability.

Please note that the presence of this feature in the BIOS does not necessarily mean that your processor’s L2 cache actually supports ECC checking. Many processors do not ship with ECC-capable L2 cache. In such cases, you can still enable this feature in the BIOS, but it will have no effect.

 

Details of CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking

The CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking BIOS feature enables or disables the L2 (Level 2 or Secondary) cache’s ECC (Error Checking and Correction) capability, if available.

Enabling this feature is recommended because it will detect and correct single-bit errors in data stored in the L2 cache. As most data reads are satisfied by the L2 cache, the L2 cache’s ECC function should catch and correct almost all single-bit errors in the memory subsystem.

It will also detect double-bit errors although it cannot correct them. But this isn’t such a big deal since double-bit errors are extremely rare. For all practical purposes, the ECC check should be able to catch virtually all data errors. This is especially useful at overclocked speeds when errors are most likely to creep in.

There are those who advocate disabling ECC checking because it reduces performance. True, ECC checking doesn’t come free. You can expect some performance degradation with ECC checking enabled. However, unlike ECC checking of DRAM modules, the performance degradation associated with L2 cache ECC checking is comparatively small.

Balance that against the increased stability and reliability achieved via L2 cache ECC checking and the minimal reduction in performance seems rather cheap, doesn’t it? Of course, if you don’t do any serious work with your system and want a little speed boost for your games, disable CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking by all means.

But if you are overclocking your processor, ECC checking may enable you to overclock higher than was originally possible. This is because any single-bit errors that occur as a result of overclocking will be corrected by the L2 cache’s ECC function. So, for most intents and purposes, I recommend that you enable this feature for greater system stability and reliability.

Please note that the presence of this feature in the BIOS does not necessarily mean that your processor’s L2 cache actually supports ECC checking. Many processors do not ship with ECC-capable L2 cache. In such cases, you can still enable this feature in the BIOS, but it will have no effect.

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