I would also like to know this answer. I am interested in purchasing a A7N8X-dx deluxe with the xp2500+ barton. I wish to buy 2 pc2700 dimms but I read that special ram may be needed to get the duel channel ram working? I have no definite answer to this question and was wondering if someone could please clear this subject up regarding duel channel ram vs non duel channel ram in a motherboard that uses duel channel ram (what a mouth full ), like that of the A7N8X-dx deluxe
I'm not sure about the Abit board, but most BIOS's on the later boards have a Dual Channel Mode that shows during Post to let you know that it's in Dual. I'm running the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Rev. 2.0 & I think in BIOS rev. 1006 or 1007 that the Dual Channel Mode was added to it's BIOS so you could see it during Post.
Prior to that there was nothing to show that your in Dual Channel Mode unless you benched it to see the difference. The way it's always worked is there 2 controllers on the board. 1 controller has 2 dimm slots. The other has 1 dimm slot & is offset from the other 2 dimm's. So if you have 1 stick in the offset dimm & the other in either of the 2 remaining dimm slots, then your running Dual Channel Mode. Simple as that.
If you wanted to prove it to your self you could move both dimms into the 2 slots close together & bench it. That would give you a score in Single Channel Mode. Now move 1 of the dimms back to the offset slot & bench it. You should see improved scores in the benches because your now in Dual Channel Mode.
I'm running the same board & the same chip. Here's the deal on the RAM. You don't need to buy the matched sticks that are tested in Dual Channel by the manufacturer. They get quite a premium price for those paired sticks. Are they any better than regular RAM? No.
Get 2 sticks of the same high quality cas 2.0 RAM, be it 2700, 3200, 3500, or what ever flavor your getting. You'll end up with essentially the same thing. Really anything over 3200 will be a waste on this board.
If I were you I'd get 2 sticks Kingston Hyper X 3200. 2700 is for the 333 FSB cpu's. Which is fine if: 1. your never going to OC, or 2. you don't want to buy a XP3200 @ 400 FSB to plop in the board.
I'm running the Hyper X 3200 for 2 reasons. 1. I'm OCing my 2500 & 2. I want to get the 400 FSB 3200 to plop in my board when the 64 comes out & the prices fall. That's the end of upgrade on the current socket.
This board & CPU as a general rule, OCs so well that 3200 isn't wasted on it. I've built 5 or 6 of them so far for people & I've yet to find one that you can't set the Clock Multiplier to 12.5 & run 2800 speeds right out of the boxes on the stock air cooling with the Hyper X. Actually your running 2700 RAM speeds OCing this way. That's with the RAM in Sync (Preferred for the best speeds & lowest latency).
Now to push the board harder you can up the FSB & lower the Multiplier to 10 & get to 200 FSB @ 3200 speeds in Sync. 200 FSB in this arrangement is running the RAM @ 3200 speeds that the RAM is rated for. With 2700 your RAM will crap out on you at some FSB below 200 FSB because the RAM can't keep up with the OC. Becomes the bottleneck. The other thing is your all set to grab a 3200 cheap & run that cpu in Sync.
Now running a XP3200 on the board an argument could be made to run 3500 RAM for FSB OCing. I personally believe that the North Bridge will over heat going much above the 200 FSB. So I believe 3500 is wasted on this board.
Thanks RCPILOT, I took your advice and i found a great price on the OCZ 2x256 duel channel 3200 ram set at cl2. I am planning on OC the mobo's FSB to 200 so that i can use that ram to its full potential. Do you have any other advice? Hopefully my final product, which im purchasing tomorow, will be 2500+ barton w/ Abit NF7-S V2.0 NFORCE2 Motherboard and the OCZ 2x256 Duel chan cl2 ram arriving in the mail withing a day or so. Decided to change to the abit board because of the bad wrap iv heard and problems iv had regarding asus boards in the past. The abit is so similar to the asus equivilant anyway, its also 20 bucks cheaper.
No more advice to give you really. You've got a system that will practically build itself. I've never worked with the board your getting, but the Nforce boards grab all the generic drivers they need off the XP - SP1 cd when you load it. Then you can just sweeten it up with the latest drivers & your good to go.
I set up everything with optimal settings on RAM timings. Once it's loaded & stable Then I go back into BIOS & set the timings to aggressive, boot it & bench it. Stable there, then go back into BIOS & change the multiplier to 12.5. Than your running 2800 speeds @ 2.09 gigs just that easy, in sync. with the RAM running 2700 speeds. To get up to 3200 speeds & beyond that's when you play with the FSB & multiplier settings to go up to 200 FSB.
That's where I'm running my rig. I'm to lazy to mess with the timings. I'm waiting for the 3200's to drop in price. Then I'm slapping 1 of them in there to use the rest of the RAM. If you get a better setting out of it, let me know, I'll try that.