Dual channel memory questions

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Punkrulz, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Punkrulz

    Punkrulz Somewhat eXPerienced

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    Hey guys,

    The motherboard I am going to be getting [The MSI Neo-2 Platinum] has 4 memory slots with dual channel capability. I've never worked with Dual Channel before, so I have a few questions.

    1) The size. If I am running 2 512mb PC3200 DDR Sticks as 1 channel, will I be using 1024mb of memory? Or will my system see 512mb?

    2) If the system will be seeing 1024, will (1) 1024mb PC3200 Chip be better than (2) 512mb PC3200 Chips as a channel?

    What are the distinct advantages of using dual channel compared to single channel?
     
  2. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

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    man if u use 2 512mb sticks the system will see 1 gig. and its lot better 2 get 2 512mb sticks rather than 1 1gig stick coz:
    1. 1gig sticks r realy expensive compared to two 512s
    2. by usin 2 512s you get to use dual channel

    regarding the 2nd question, getting dual will give you a greater bandwidth therefore greater responsiveness and overall better performance.

    how do u know how to setup dual channel?
    well use one of the 512 stick in the first slot and the 2nd stick in the 3rd slot. using the 1st and 2nd slot will run it in single channel mode. on most boards the 1st and 3rd slots are differently coloured from the other slots which means they are for dual channel.

    so definately dual channel is the way to go. also IMO it would be better if you got faster ram say PC3500( about $200 for 2x512mb). also what brand are you using?

    hope that helps let me know how ur getting along.......... c ya
     
    Punkrulz likes this.
  3. Punkrulz

    Punkrulz Somewhat eXPerienced

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    It'll be awhile until I'm able to let you know how I'm getting along with the memory. I know that it's going to be a little while until I'm able to purchase the parts and then build the computer. I just wanted to make sure that my system would see 1GB of memory in Dual Channel mode, instead of using just 512. I am already aware that to set it up you have to put it in slots 1 and 3, that's one of the things I did know, it's just that I didn't know how much memory would be detected since I haven't worked on dual channel memory systems that much.

    The motherboard I am getting states that it can only take up to 400MHz memory, which is PC3200... so that's why I listed that number. I don't know brand I'm going to get, probably one of the brands that gives me good performance for a lower dollar cost. But thank you for explaining it to me!
     
  4. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

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    ur welcome m8, as for the ram speed it says 400mhz cuz thats the stock speed, if you wanna oc to say 250mhz then u need faster ram (ddr500) to run at a 1:1 ratio, although you cud run it with a divider but ull loose some performance.
    if you want get ocz ram they r the best IMO, im u wanna oc but feel ram price is too much maybe you could get some generic ram rated to run at speed above 400mhz, pc4000 for instance. anyways i gtg its 1:45am here, gotta sleep, cya
     
  5. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    getting higher fsb ram isnt always a good idea as the timings are slower, so you get almost no real performance increae.

    Your best bet is to stick with very high quality PC3200 sitting on 2225 timings and loosen them off if you decide later to OC.

    Also as "lead installer" for Circuti City, you should know this already :p
     
  6. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

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    mayb LordOfLA, but most people who hav a64 get around pc3700, actually im really not that experiencedd with AMDs. anyways i guess ur right.
     
  7. Android412

    Android412 OSNN Addict

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    How do you know if your RAM can do dual channal? I assumed you had to buy "dual channal" RAM, so set mine up in single channel mode.
     
  8. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    there is no such thing as "dual channel ram"!

    Dual channel just means the memory controller (northbridge or cpu) has a "channel" for communicating to 2 ram slots at once rather than one at a time.
     
  9. Elektro Slime

    Elektro Slime Harware Guru

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    hey theres no such thing as dual channel ram, its the chipsets support for it that matters, as long as u get two similar modules they should run in dual channel.
     
  10. Punkrulz

    Punkrulz Somewhat eXPerienced

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    Location:
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    Lead installer at Circuit City has nothing to do with it. I'm not doing many memory installations let alone dual channel setups over there. For the most part people are getting package deals which involves printer and Battery Backup installations, software installations, and tuneups. Yeah there is a fair share of internal component installations, but the people who are buying computers there don't know jack about Dual Channel Memory Setups...

    Thanks for the information guys.
     
  11. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

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    I think LordOfLA was just givin' ya a hard time. But here's something: make CC pay for you to go get A+ certified.
     
  12. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    LA, not in the case of my ram. lol. i'm actually gonna try to trade my ram in again at the next computer show. 1GB (2x512) Cas 2 DDR400 not sure what brand, but according to CPUz it's from Xerox. meh. anyway, back to what i was saying. can't overclock with it if my life depended on it. seems as if the system won't boot if the RAM isn't running at 400Mhz. I used to have my 2.4 up to 3.0, which caused my old DDR to be running at 415Mhz. This ram..... don't like that very much. makes my PC go haywire. i even tried OC'ing my CPU to 3.6 so the ram was running at exactly 400Mhz. didn't like that either.
     
  13. American Zombie

    American Zombie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Like was already said it is bandwidth.

    If running at 400 FSB then with single channel you get 3.2GB/sec Peak memory bandwidth and with dual you would get 6.4GB/sec.

    Breakdown for peak bandwidth is as follows and dual channel doubles them:
    FSB-400/333/266/200MHz
    PMB-3.2/2.7/2.1/1.6GB/sec)
     
  14. Punkrulz

    Punkrulz Somewhat eXPerienced

    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Woodbury, NJ
    I already am A+ certified, but that course never taught anything about dual channel memory setups and stuff. I was only asking a question guys, knowing anything about dual channel setups has nothing to do with my performance at Circuit City or my job function there... Not to mention that my status at CC hasn't been brought up in this post by me, so that's irrelevant. Meh, oh well, again thanks for the information.