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Dual channel Memory question

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  • Memory
  • Dual Channel
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October 12, 2006 10:12:17 AM

I have a 1gb and 512mb memory sticks, If I replaced the 512mb with another 1gb of the same manufactor would it run dual channel? If not is it worth replacing it all with 2 new 1gb sticks to run dual channel?

More about : dual channel memory question

October 12, 2006 10:31:37 AM

That depends on whether or not a) your mobo supports it and b) your CPU supports it.

What mobo and CPU are you using?
October 12, 2006 12:14:45 PM

Unless I stand corrected, dual-channel has nothing to do with the CPU. At least with modern CPU's. I'm not talking about a PIII or AMD K6-2. I thought it was strickly a motherboard issue. If the mobo supports it, then you don't have to worry about what chip you are using.

Dual-channel from Dell. Dope, I just said the "D" word.
Related resources
October 12, 2006 1:37:50 PM

It only depends on the cpu as far as what socket it is.
Socket 754 for example does NOT support dual channel while socket 939, AM2, 775 etc do support dual channel.
October 12, 2006 5:14:04 PM

Socket A had dual-channel support (at least my mobo) but yet Socket 754 did not. Another reason to stay away from Socket 754.

You learn something everyday. Thanks for the clarification.
a b } Memory
October 12, 2006 5:38:44 PM

Quote:
Socket A had dual-channel support (at least my mobo) but yet Socket 754 did not. Another reason to stay away from Socket 754.

You learn something everyday. Thanks for the clarification.


754 is long dead....and it had no dual channel becuase at the time it did not need it....due the the IMC.....shame that 754 went squish so fast....
October 12, 2006 5:51:41 PM

Another thing - you need 2 memory modules of the same size and speed. You can't have dual channel with just one memory module.
October 12, 2006 7:10:21 PM

Quote:
... you need 2 memory modules of the same size and speed and same internal organization. ...
October 12, 2006 7:42:04 PM

Quote:
... you need 2 memory modules of the same size and speed and same internal organization. ...

I don't know what you mean by internal organization. Do you mean low vs high density RAM? Or double vs single sided?

Here are rules for dual channel, from intel:
Quote:
Rules to Enable Dual Channel Mode
To achieve Dual Channel mode, the following conditions must be met:

* Matched DIMM configuration in each channel
* Same Density (128MB, 256MB, 512MB, etc.)
* Matched in both Channel A and Channel B memory channels
* Populate symmetrical memory slots (Slot 0 or Slot 1)

Note: Configurations that do not match the above conditions will revert to Single Channel mode.

The following conditions do not need to be met:

* Same brand
* Same timing specifications
* Same DDR speed

Note: Memory channel speed is determined by the slowest DIMM module populated in the system.

http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs...

Speed here doesn't apply because the memory will probably downclock itself to the most common denominator between the memory modules. (e.g. a 333Mhz and a 400Mhz DDR modules will work in dual channel, but at 333Mhz - the 400Mhz will downclock to 333Mhz).
October 12, 2006 10:52:47 PM

Quote:

I don't know what you mean by internal organization. Do you mean low vs high density RAM? Or double vs single sided?
yes and yes.

Quote:

Here are rules for dual channel, from intel:
Rules to Enable Dual Channel Mode
To achieve Dual Channel mode, the following conditions must be met:

* Matched DIMM configuration in each channel
* Same Density (128MB, 256MB, 512MB, etc.)
* Matched in both Channel A and Channel B memory channels
* Populate symmetrical memory slots (Slot 0 or Slot 1)

Note: Configurations that do not match the above conditions will revert to Single Channel mode.

The following conditions do not need to be met:

* Same brand
* Same timing specifications
* Same DDR speed
...

Certainly different manufacturers will have different designs that give different levels of leeway. The Intel design above is very accomodating. My Athlon notebook, OTOH, won't run in dual channel mode even with a pair of SODIMMs of same capacity and organization. They differ in speed and in latency, however. YMMV.
October 12, 2006 11:22:28 PM

Quote:

I don't know what you mean by internal organization. Do you mean low vs high density RAM? Or double vs single sided?
yes and yes.

I agree with you! Usually I find that this is motherboard dependent and is usually documented in the motherboard manual.

Interesting that the notebook wouldn't run in dual channel.

YMMV, indeed. :) 
October 13, 2006 1:13:09 AM

So did they answer your question? You need two ram sticks to have dual channel. Without going into details that I don't even understand, dual channel means two sticks. They need to both be PC3200 or whatever you desire if you can help it, brand doesn't matter, and you should have the same amount of ram in all the slots you fill. Also, if you have 4 slots, make sure the sticks are spaced with a slot in between, putting your first stick in the slot closest to the processor. Dante asked you the most important thing out of all the replies "What is your CPU and your Motherboard?" The reason this is most important is because depending on the cost of ram, adding ram may not even be with your time and money. Other considerations might be to save up a bit more and getting a newer system altogether.
October 13, 2006 4:05:09 AM

Ryan, although the suggestions you made above are often correct, they're not always.
The idea behind dual channel is that two memory controllers divide the memory between them, and each works on its half only. This means both can always work at the same time, doubling the amount of data transferred to/from memory in every time period. Some MB designs are very picky, requiring that DIMMs be used in identical pairs, so each memory controller can access exactly the same type of memory. Some, such as the Intel design above, give lots of leeway, only requiring that the total amount of memory each controller accesses be the same, but allowing different mixes of module sizes/designs/etc, as long as the total for each controller (channel) is the same.
If the OP has a MB with strict requirements, he'll need to buy 2 new modules to use for dual channel to work. If the requirements are loose like with the Intel, then replacing the 512MB with a 1GB module will work fine.
October 13, 2006 6:07:21 AM

I have a A8N-E motherboard and a amd 4200+x2 cpu. Do you just need two memory chips the same size and same mhz? or do they have to be identical and have to buy them at the same size?
Thanks
October 13, 2006 10:28:17 AM

Looking at your mobo it says that you have dual channel. You can use dual-channel on here yes, but 1) it's a good idea to match the stick according to size and latency. 2) try to match brands. Anyways yeah, hope that helps and good luck!
October 13, 2006 3:10:23 PM

Without having that mb myself I cant say for sure but its a safer bet to just buy a matched set. It might work if you just buy 1 more of the same size but you wont know till you try.
October 13, 2006 7:09:23 PM

Your MB manual and/or tech support will know the answer. We're just guessing.
October 13, 2006 8:05:10 PM

Quote:
I have a A8N-E motherboard and a amd 4200+x2 cpu. Do you just need two memory chips the same size and same mhz? or do they have to be identical and have to buy them at the same size?
Thanks


Your motherboard may only require one stick of memory. Even though my 3500LL Pro ram sticks came packaged together and are recommended for my Asus A8N-32 SLI Deluxe mobo, I split my ram up and put one in my other system (uses an Asus A8N-VM CSM board, yes that ram will work on it if anyone wondered!)
If you're considering buying ram, you should probably get just what you need, as hardware changes so fast. A 1 gig stick or 2-512mb sticks may be enough. If you do get a 1 gig stick you can always add 3 more later for a total of 4gigs, but sometimes two 512 sticks can be accessed a tad faster by your mobo. I generally buy more ram only if a certain game requires it or if my system is running slow (accessing paging file a lot). Today's standard is probably 1 gig, Vista may tax your system even more if you decide to get it. Odds are though, your system will run on only 256mb's of ram. I was actually able to turn my paging file off on my system with a 1 gig ram stick, although when I put in 512 of PC2700 ram the computer failed to boot without the paging file available.
October 14, 2006 12:34:34 AM

Two dimms are not required on any consumer level board.
1 Dimm is all you HAVE to have.
If he wants dual channel then two dimms are required.
October 14, 2006 1:18:22 AM

Quote:
Two dimms are not required on any consumer level board.
1 Dimm is all you HAVE to have.
If he wants dual channel then two dimms are required.


Ya think? Now you're just stating the obvious. :-P We went over that already. But clarification is always good. I don't pretend to be an expert, I just try to help by saying what I think or have read elsewhere. If I'm wrong I'm happy to accept criticism by someone who knows more.
October 14, 2006 3:10:50 AM

You said
Quote:
Your motherboard may only require one stick of memory.

You seemed to be suggesting that dual channel mode was possible with only 1 dimm.
So I felt it necessary to clarify that.
I have been building my own computers since my 286 so I believe I know what I am talking about :) 
October 14, 2006 3:19:41 AM

Ooh, big man on campus. :-p Alright, well I didn't mean to imply anything. I'm 26, and was technologically deprived as a child. :-P I didn't get a nintendo till I was 14 and a computer in the house till I was in my mid teens. My experience was limited to wordperfect starting in 6th grade, and then in HS I took every comp class it had to offer, mostly programming. Hardware is my new "bag" and I'm learning as fast as I can. I bought a crappy Dell a few yrs ago and recently I researched a lot online and built a couple 64 bit systems. Just trying to offer what info I can to other newbies like me. :-P
October 14, 2006 3:26:42 AM

You do realize that if your using a socket 939/940 board and you only put one of those dimms in your depriving yourself of some performance right ?
Potentially a lot as you really need at least 1gb for good performance these days. Pretty soon we are gonna need at least 2gb at the rate things are going.

Yea im an old timer. I remember when the 486dx2-66 cpus came out and I got one for a steal. only $700 dollars with a mb.

I wasnt biting your head off anyway you know ? :p 
October 14, 2006 4:18:37 AM

How well can you explain overclocking? I have 2-1 gig sticks and am getting more soon. They're about 300 for a pack of 2. I don't think my ram is running at top speed as it is. I noticed a significant performance decrease in Oblivion when I took out 1 stick. Although my frame rate is also limited by my overclocked 7800 GT (256mb). I should mention too that my CPU is an AMD X2 4200+ which runs at 2.2 ghz. I've got a fair amount of devices on this comp, although everything is shut down in bios that I'm not using, like serial ports etc. Does this PM thing work and would you like to help me OC a little?
October 14, 2006 4:41:26 AM

I have no clue what they're saying really...it's like it's in a language I don't yet understand. I've tried reading a couple of sites and just can't combine it with my bios. I need someone to tell me what to set each multiplier at and walk me through it my first time. Maybe I'm stupid but I'm just having a hard time with it. Also, I'd really really hate to do something wrong and have to reset my bios and then flash it to current again. I don't really even know how to do that without checking the manual. I know this ram can handle overclocking without overheating, I have pretty good air cooling in my thermaltake kandalf case, even have a 25cm fan panel...do you have yahoo or something?
October 14, 2006 4:54:30 AM

Look last time I tried this with a guy via icq he didnt understand what he was doing and set his voltage WAY too high and fried his cpu/mb then blamed me.
He wasnt supposed to even touch it yet we were just starting out...
So sorry no I cannot help you. I only do that in person now.
October 14, 2006 5:21:18 AM

Haha! That's funny. Rest assurred, I'm not an idiot. I'm intelligent, and I type well and I type fast. I'll be sure to convey to you exactly what all the settings are under what headings in the bios. I know my parts and can read. You're kind of missing the point, I don't WANT to fry my board or chip or ram. I PREFER to go slow and KNOW that I'm doing it right. Give it a shot please?
October 15, 2006 3:12:38 AM

Very informative, thanks a bunch Mondo! I'll see if I can figure out my bios a bit more now. At least I'm STARTING to understand how they measure timings. Should I be worried about overheating the ram if it's within limits and I have good case airflow? It's Corsiar 3500LL Pro ram...comes with heatsink. If my ram is rated at 2-3-2-6-T1 what does that even mean??? I need to check out the specs on my RAM too to make sure I OC within limits, but I still really am at a loss. One more thing, I'm running XP Pro 64-Bit; any idea on which benchmarks work best with it?
October 15, 2006 3:49:13 AM

Quote:
... If my ram is rated at 2-3-2-6-T1 what does that even mean??? ...

Check out the video intro to memory by Corsair that is linked to near the end of the FAQ.
October 15, 2006 3:51:39 AM

dispite what people think turning off page filing will not speed up your system. It will however be forced to needlessly load files into memory that dont need to be. Take longer to access and compile data because there isnt any pre compiled data since there is no page file. IT will slow down your computer by needlessly using ram for a number of things it wouldnt if you didnt turn it off. It will cause crashs slowdowns and instability's you wouldnt normaly get if it didnt have to fill its memory with all that usless junk that was normaly stored in page files on the hard drive. Just for refference yes his computer would run on 256 megs but then again i have gotten xp ro tun on alot less. There should be noted there is a difference between running and running correctly. As far as im concnerned 2gigs is the norm now has been for a few months. Your computer needs more ram then 99% of people put into it. That is why there is page filing. Take page filing away and memory specs for everything shoots up.
October 15, 2006 4:03:06 AM

It's funny that you say 2 gigs is the norm since XP 32 bit only uses 2 gigs max...and most places like Dell, HP, etc. (where MOST people buy comps from STILL) only put in about a gig. So to say that 2 gigs is "NORM" is a bit far fetched. It's probably BEST, and will SOON be norm, but in the average computer used on a daily basis across America there isn't 2 gigs of ram. NORM implies average. On a world scale it'd still be around 512 or less.
October 15, 2006 4:04:57 AM

XP uses up to 4gigs not 2. and i dont think of OEM computers as a benchmark for anything.
October 15, 2006 4:07:33 AM

XP won't register 4 gigs, do your research. And it's a good thing we're not going by what you "think." OEM computers are the norm, you have to consider them when talking about "the norm." It's like saying you only think of Macs when you're talking computers. You've got to consider windows systems, since they're the "norm." You're obviously not a software engineer, since most cater their software to the common market. Hence, why Windows XP didn't look a bit more like Windows Vista...our systems weren't built to handle that much beauty.

From the RAM GUY at Corsair.com

"With an FX-57 if you use 4 modules you will be limited to DDR333 at 2T command rate and more than likely you would have to relax the timings. In addition, what O.S. will you be running? if its Windows XP I would not suggest more than 2 modules for best performance."
__________________
Ram Guy

Corsair is just one site I happened to be on when writing this. You can find lots of places where they recommend only 2 gigs for Windows XP.
October 15, 2006 4:11:40 AM

windows can recognise and use up to 4 gigs i have done my research on the matter it is and has been capable of utalizing up to 4 gigs of memory. The only hold back on it was the memory controlers and bios of a motherboard. No i wont consider a OEM as the norm ever. people bent on building the cheapest computers to sell large numbers of junk isnt imo worth looking at. If i go out and look at OEM's im sure i would find alot of usless computers with 512 megs of ram.
October 15, 2006 4:14:16 AM

I get your point, but you're not listening...if most people buy junk, then junk is the norm...your viewpoint is completely irrelevant now because you're tainted by your inability to acknowledge that the average consumer isn't educated when it comes to tech. Computer geeks aren't "THE NORM." Get over yourself.
October 15, 2006 4:21:48 AM

Im not sure how im suppose to get over my self. Not caring about people who do nothing but spread sheets and surf the web doesnt make me full of my self. The reason those OEMs can get away with selling junk is because the average person is a idiot or doesnt care they have crap. It isnt a inability when you ignore. When i said that i wasnt talking about the mass's and what they have since i could care less i was reffering to programs what they demand not what the average user has.
October 15, 2006 4:36:13 AM

Good thing that they don't care that you don't care. Without their market your super-comp wouldn't exist. Gaming is a commodity. You don't call the majority of people idiots. Most of us don't know the insulation value in our homes, or how our combustion engines work, the airflow over a jetplane, or how the heating element gets hot in our toasters, but we use them everyday. This is why tech geeks often get a bad rap, because they're so damn cocky and yet they're specialized in a certain field, just like everyone else. Investors know money, carpenters know how to frame a house and shingle, and janitors know which cleaner to use to get ink stains out of the carpet. Again, get over yourself.
October 15, 2006 4:43:42 AM

When it comes to those things they are idiots in that area to. It doesnt change anything really. Does it make you feel better or help you get your "point" accrost by attacking people? Since im far from full of my self there is no way to get over my self. Again whats cocky have to do with anything. Because i dont care about something im cocky and full of my self? what the hell are you talking about. What i said and have been saying hasnt changed applications, games, windows all use alot of memory thats not going to change because the "norm" is 512megs to 1gig, Just means a majority of computers are vastly underpowered.
October 15, 2006 4:47:10 AM

You're right, everyone's an idiot...you know everything, and you're not the least bit cocky. You've officially earned a squelch.
October 15, 2006 4:51:10 AM

I think just ignoring you would be better then listening to childish posts like your last one. No idea what a squelch is though but have fun. Unless you know how to regulate a nuclear reactor your and idiot in that field you can PC it all you want if it makes you feel better up to you. Not caring about something doesnt make someone full of them self or cocky i have no idea where you get that line of "reasoning".
October 15, 2006 5:36:30 AM

My childish response:

See? :-P

Squelch means ignore. I guess you're not a gamer.
October 15, 2006 5:41:59 AM

maybe if you made responces to what i was saying instead of what you wanted to see me saying it would have been alot nicer.
October 15, 2006 5:42:43 AM

im confused how did turning off the pagefile even get into this topic ?
You are the first one I have seen mention it. Or am I blind now ?

Btw ryanmicah is using 64bit windows in case you didnt notice so if he wants to put more then 4gb in thats fine it will work. He can put as much ram in as his mb supports.
October 15, 2006 5:47:23 AM

Old guy sits idly by taking all in through his eye...

Heh, he was arguing that 32-bit Windows makes use of 4 gigs of ram, when I've read countless places saying that it can't read all 4 gigs.
He then went on to argue that the average PC user should not be included into averages because he views them as brainless idiots and he's superior. 8O :lol: 
October 15, 2006 6:47:03 AM

windows can support 4 gigs i dont make my "opnions" on forums i make it on tech sheets. that was your first error. Your second error is thinking i said everyone is a mindless idiot and and saying i said i was superior. thats your second error. your third is you make alot of assumptions based on no fact and needlessly attack others with out thinking about what your responding to. Someone mentioned he was able to turn off page filing on his system which isnt hard just dumb. I wouldnt pay much attention to ryanmicah he doesnt seem to think before he speeks.
October 15, 2006 7:05:34 AM

Maybe you missed it the first time or maybe you're seriously this big of a moron....

Here, I'll clarify (do it again) just for you.

My childish response:

See? :-P

Now just stop talking.
October 15, 2006 7:08:34 AM

I'm begining to think your just a person of limited years or perhaps your just a moron. Is that the kind of responce that you respond to? attacking someone seems to be some sort of fun for you. Ill say it again worth ignoring since he doesnt seem to think before speaking.
October 15, 2006 9:55:29 AM

You just don't get it, do you? The very thing you're insulting me with and about you're doing...I call you a moron and you rebute with the same insult. I've already stated that I'm 26, do you even know how to read? Everything you've even attempted to say can be discounted by the stupid things you've said. You don't make a come-back with the same insult, you don't spell "speak" with two e's, you don't seem to know half the crap you're trying to say you do, you offer no good insight into the topic, and it's obvious you just want to argue, but you're not even halfways good at it. Just STOP. Spare us your idiocy and spare YOU further embarassment!
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