Want stable PC. Maybe XEON with ECC RAM?

To Whom It May Concern,

It is my desire to build a stable computer that performs relatively well. List of requirements below. I have been living with a relatively unstable computer for several years now (crashes once a week or so), and it is time to upgrade before I throw it out the window. I think XEONs with ECC memory are the best way to go?

List of wants from PC:
- stream 4k Video from youtube and other sites
- two GBs of backed up storage
- a little gaming, probably 970 or similar

Where I am now:
I do not think I will need more than four cores. this looks like a good choice --> Intel Xeon E3-1241 v3. I think I need ECC Memory to help with the "stability" thing.

Where I am stuck:
- What MOBO works with XEON and ECC?
- How do I figure out what Power Supply I need?
- Can I re-use any of my current computer equipment?

If you have any ideas please let me know.

Thank you for your time

Pretty hard to justify ECC RAM for what you want out of the system. Run of the mill ddr3/4 is more than fine. Instability comes from shitty psu's, messy driver installs, running outdated bios versions, faulty components (RAM, motherboards etc.)
A 1241v3 xeon is just an i7 minus the igpu component. Add to that a decent h97 motherboard + whatever RAM you need ~ 16gb is plenty + a good quality psu (wattage will depend mostly on what GPU config you go with) but just be sure the psu uses a good OEM (eg XFX & some EVGA, Corsair, Coolermaster units etc roll with re-badged Seasonic = high quality). Chucking some yumcha psu with over the top wattage ratings will equal disaster eg the CM eXtreme 725w.


~ i think you mean 2TB, anyways new Hitachi's, WD Blacks and maybe a few Seagates (enterprise stuff) is worth a look.

depends on what you have..

Read reviews of your intended GPU for a start from somewhere like Guru3d, they always give a great suggestion for the minimum PSU whatever GPU it is that is reviewed. Parts lists like PCPP give a rough estimate of total system usage. Just give yourself some headroom wattage wise so the PSU isnt always balls to the wall. If it suggests the system uses 430w then perhaps look at a 600w so you have that headroom.

Xeon with ECC doesn't offer stability on their own. Same as deejeta said, it's more like a combination of things.

To me personally, for the use you are referring to, I think it's unnecessary and counter productive to go for Xeon and ECC. Not to mention a bit slower speeds for gaming at a much extra cost.

Any modern setup, with an updated bios and stable updated drivers, will provide you with more power and reliability than your current experience.

If I were you, I would save my bucks from that server grade equipment and get me an i7 with at least 16GB DDR4 Ram, and invest more on a PSU and a good motherboard Z170 or X99. Those are base for a system that will meet your needs more than enough for the next 2-3 years.

A Xeon with ECC is needed for complex calculations that need to be handled in volume. As a browser machine with a bit of gaming on the side, you will never use it to it's potential.

I hoped I've helped a bit.

All the advice is helpful! Thank you ladies and gentlemen. Looks like I have more research to do. Thanks.


LOL. That is a long list of places instability can come from, and I may have a little from everywhere you mentioned.

I currently have (in my classic system):
CPU - E8400
MOBO - EVGA 790 Ultra SLI
PSU - Corsair HX620
RAM - Samsung (Random)


Sir, I certainly hope so. My big fear is spending 1k on a CPU, MOBO, RAM and PSU of gaming grade components that crashes only to find out that I could of spent 1.5k on server grade equipment that is completely stable.

Random crashing is probably a bad power supply

You don't need ECC for much of anything outside of servers.

And you should definitely get a 390 over a 970, at least in the US.

and if you're that concerned about your PC, get a UPS for it in case of sudden power loss

Although I can see, and understand, your desire for a stable system, a Xeon chip is likely not the best way to achieve that.

Xeons are designed to run 24/7/365 under high load which requires great stability. However, if you do not need to run your CPU at high load most of the time then a consumer/enthusiast chip would suffice.

Also, ECC is actually less stable as it actually crashes the CPU when a memory error is detected, where as non-ecc memory does not have as robusk error detection, making non-ecc actually more stable - assuming there is an error. Of course though, if you spend $2k on a chip, it is likely better silicon than a $500 chip

As others suggest, if stability is your concern then investing in a quality mothetboard PSU with consistent power output and no question components in your system (e.g. a 5 year old wireless card that works when you roll a 7) then you should have a stable system.

The stability of a CPU at a given frequency is governed by its RC time constant (resistence x capacitance a.k.a tau), where C = Power/((activity factor)(Voltage^2)(frequency)) and R = Voltage^2/Power. So if you are willing to do a bit of experimentation you can actually calculate the (theoretical) highest frequency you should be able to reach at a given frequency so you can allow your chip enough headroom to be very stable - without having to make it too hot, or alternately the lowest theoretical voltage that you require, and a little headroom, if temps are an issue of yours for stability.

Instable systems can be caused by manny things, a crappy mobo for example.
i dont realy think that you would need ECC ram.
And as far as intel ms platform goes, if you want ECC support on socket 1150, then you are going to need a server grade C-series chipset board.
Z / H / B series chipset boards dont support support ECC.

But i still dont think that you realy need ECC.
What is your budget if i may ask?
If you stream allot of 4k content, you might concider a X99 5820k.

If you are serious about stability the first thing you should purchase is an APC-UPS.

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I think for what you describe a XEON with ECC memory is an overkill. If you were to make a small home server or a NAS that works high loads 24/7 and moves data constantly then yes. But not for what you are describing. Instabilities might be caused by a number of things, hardware or software, that are probably particular to your build. You can make a perfectly stable system with more mainstream components and get more value for your money. If you do streaming I would go for a higher core solution, Either and AMD FX 8-core or if money is not an issue an X99 build that will work perfect for you.

Mobo list: http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/CPUs/Intel/Xeon/E3-1241_v3_motherboards.html

Cyberpower pure sine wave units are pretty good too.

Link: http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/ups-systems.html

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OK yall, thanks for the advice. Tomorrow some PC components come in, i went with non-Xeon parts. Although IMO it would of been cool to have Xeon parts, but I do like the extra money in my pocket. Let us see how it goes. Thanks again.

Intel i7-6700
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2133