Should frequent flyers get Xeons and ECC memory?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Peon, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Peon

    Peon Notebook Deity

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    A weird thought came to mind - since being on a plane exposes you (and your laptop) to far more bit-flipping radiation from cosmic rays, should frequently flyers opt for ECC memory as a safeguard?
     
  2. Jarhead

    Jarhead Perfectly Sane

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    Well, you're right in that there is slightly more radiation at altitude, though even then the chances of having some sort of serious error shouldn't be that much higher than ground level (and already the damaged at ground level is practically zero). Not sure about the laptop world, but some i3s also have ECC support.

    That said, I'd just keep backups of your data and fall back to those if anything were to go wrong. Maybe take a DVD/BR backup with you so that you can restore on the plane or just after landing :p
     
  3. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Moo

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    Not an issue. If you're that concerned, don't do the work on the plane, or alternate saves between two different devices and often (or set up a script to auto backup your active files to a USB flash drive every 5 minutes). Chances of both corrupting are next to zero and if it does chances are the plane is in an unrecoverable accelerated descent.
     
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  4. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Prophet

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    In a previous job, I flew at least a dozen times a year for more than five years with my MacBook Pro. Most of those flights were from Chicago to the west coast, so roughly four hours each way. Never had any problems with data loss. As long as you're backing up frequently, it shouldn't be an issue.
     
  5. Jarhead

    Jarhead Perfectly Sane

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    To add to the above experiences, I've also not had any issues running non-ECC memory on flights between Charlotte and Las Vegas (4-5 hours each way).
     
  6. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    There is essentially one reason to run ECC memory: whatever you're doing is important enough that errors from cosmic radiation will be costly and/or dangerous. There aren't many scenarios like that for one individual.

    Clusters used for scientific calculations: sure, compute time is expensive and when you're running something that takes multiple days, the off chance of an error is not appealing. On a laptop though, nah, not needed. There might be other reasons to want the Xeon CPU' but ECC memory isn't one of em.
     
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