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Upgrading RAM on a triple channel X58 MoBo, what is best?

I am running an X58 MoBo that has outdated triple channel support. I was running 3x2Gb sticks for 6Gb total, I want to upgrade to 16Gb. Now the MoBo supports 24Gb but you cant buy triple channel Ram anymore. Should I get dual channel or quad channel, and will I be fine with 2 8Gb sticks,or would it be better to go with 3 8 Gb sticks? Or should I just go with 12Gb (3x4gb sticks) for the best speed. (not looking to spend a fortune on RAM)
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  1. Best answer
    To begin, there is no such thing as "triple channel ram". You can have ram run in different configurations: single channel, dual channel, triple channel, and quad channel. The possible configurations are dictated by what the motherboard is made to support (as well as what the cpu is made to support). Your motherboard can run ram in single, dual, and triple. Here is a little video that explains what I said about channel configurations:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D8fhsXqq4o

    In theory, dual channel is better than single channel and triple is better than dual. However, this doesn't not translate to much tangible real-world performance gains, if at all. This would mean that you can just run a single module of 16GB of ram and not notice any difference than if you had 2 8GB modules running in dual channel. Here are some links that show tests and benchmarks that demonstrate this:
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2982965/components/quad-channel-ram-vs-dual-channel-ram-the-shocking-truth-about-their-performance.html
    http://www.overclock.net/t/681697/the-truth-about-i7-1366-memory-both-dual-channel-vs-tri-channel

    If you want to upgrade from 6GB to 16GB, you would want to focus on finding matching ram. For ram to "match", they need to have the same rated speeds, , size, rated voltage, and timings/latencies. It is also very important that the actual chips on the PCB matches. Sometimes manufacturers may decide change out the chips they use for a particular lineup of ram due to costs or supply limitations, leading to 2 packages of ram with the same product ID not working together properly in rare occasions. This may not always be the case, as sometimes mix and matched modules of ram CAN work together perfectly.

    In this case, you can simply buy 2 packages of 2x4GB ram, 1 package of 2x8GB ram, or just 1 module of 16GB ram. As long as they packages are of the same product ID, you can feel fairly confident that they could match. Just run Memtest once you installed them to check if you actually are working well together.
  2. LowlySkeleton said:
    To begin, there is no such thing as "triple channel ram". You can have ram run in different configurations: single channel, dual channel, triple channel, and quad channel. The possible configurations are dictated by what the motherboard is made to support (as well as what the cpu is made to support). Your motherboard can run ram in single, dual, and triple. Here is a little video that explains what I said about channel configurations:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D8fhsXqq4o

    In theory, dual channel is better than single channel and triple is better than dual. However, this doesn't not translate to much tangible real-world performance gains, if at all. This would mean that you can just run a single module of 16GB of ram and not notice any difference than if you had 2 8GB modules running in dual channel. Here are some links that show tests and benchmarks that demonstrate this:
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2982965/components/quad-channel-ram-vs-dual-channel-ram-the-shocking-truth-about-their-performance.html
    http://www.overclock.net/t/681697/the-truth-about-i7-1366-memory-both-dual-channel-vs-tri-channel

    If you want to upgrade from 6GB to 16GB, you would want to focus on finding matching ram. For ram to "match", they need to have the same rated speeds, , size, rated voltage, and timings/latencies. It is also very important that the actual chips on the PCB matches. Sometimes manufacturers may decide change out the chips they use for a particular lineup of ram due to costs or supply limitations, leading to 2 packages of ram with the same product ID not working together properly in rare occasions. This may not always be the case, as sometimes mix and matched modules of ram CAN work together perfectly.

    In this case, you can simply buy 2 packages of 2x4GB ram, 1 package of 2x8GB ram, or just 1 module of 16GB ram. As long as they packages are of the same product ID, you can feel fairly confident that they could match. Just run Memtest once you installed them to check if you actually are working well together.


    I went with two 8Gb sticks. I looked it up in the Mbo user manual, and I can run 4 sticks and still run in triple channel, but 4 4gb sticks was way more costly, and the manual advised against running Mhz above 1200 if you are running 4 sticks or more. I went with 1866 Mhz, so I will run two 8Gb sticks in Dual channel, I would think the extra RAM will far outweigh the reduction from triple channel to dual channel, specially because it seems that nobody runs triple channel anymore.
  3. For the amount of performance gains, its usually better to have more ram (if you currently have less than 16GB of ram) than to try to get a smaller amount of ram to run in triple channel.

    We are reaching the point where it is now a bare minimal to have a system with 4GB. For the AVERAGE user and gamer, 16GB of ram should be more than enough to satisfy the needs of almost all applications that they could possibly want to run. Thus, having 8GB running in dual channel in your system would be a fairly good mid ground, which most people adopt.
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