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Looks like a misunderstanding - Xeon 5300 series processors don't have integrated memory controller. Memory controller is part of the chipset, and the Intel 5000 series memory controllers do support ECC memory.
I agree the memory ECC parameter listing on ARK is a bit confusing especially if you look at the processor memory support then look at the memory requirements for Intel Servers using this processor. http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=28032
So here's the nub of the point of confusion:
ECC is a parallel error correction protocol, it can not be implemented on a Serial bus.
The 5300 series processors use FBDIMMS
FBDIMM use serial data link between the AMB on the DIMM and the chipset \ processors.
Since the processor / chipset link is serial to the memory, it is not ECC on that link.
However, when you check an Intel (and I am sure DELL also) server memory requirement, it will require ECC FBDIMMs.
The ECC in this case refers to the parrallel data path between the DRAM on the dimm and the AMB on the dimm and does not apply to the data path to the chipset \ processor since that is serial.
Hence the Mother Board requires ECC FBDIMM memory , the processor does not use any ECC in its link
Hope I have not confused you more.
Check your server support web site and use tested and supported memory and procesors for your mother board.
OK that's more than enough!
thank you very much for your replies,
probably the more technical details will be useful for other users in the future!