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Nehalem - Tri-Channel Memory What will you be getting - 3x 1GB or 2GB

Last response: in CPUs
September 30, 2008 4:48:43 PM


I wasn't sure if this should be in the CPU section or the memory section but assumed as its largely about an upcoming CPU so put it in here.

But I am very eagerly awaiting the release of Nehalem, and from the looks of it it's now at the least 5 weeks away from release :bounce: 

So I figured I should start saving and planning for my new build as this will be here in no time.

However one thing I have been considering just fir the first time today is with regards to the new tri-channel memory the X58 Nehalem motherboard will have.

So I was curious on the consensus as to what people will be going for in this regards.

Either 3 x 1GB DDR3. Which would also be the 3GB sweet spot to use with 32-bit Vista.

or would people be planning on going 3x 2GB and having 6GB and using 64-bit Vista.

Since the X58's announcement I have been always planning on going 6GB and x64.

However on reflection today I am not 100% sure and considering 3GB at the moment considering the DD3 hasn't dropped in price as much as I would have liked, and that 3GB may be more than ample and thus can continue with the easy life using 32-bit and be oblivious to worrying about compatibility of my software/hardware.

But I am curious what others are planning on doing when buying their new setups and their reasoning for this.

Thanks for any input.
September 30, 2008 4:56:07 PM

I will need to wait until I see what speeds I would need.

Example - There is DDR3 1333 for very little.

The next step up, is quite a bit more money.

Myself, I will likely not be building again until memory prices drop.
I will be doing at least 3x4gb(12gb) on my next system.
The price of RAM will likely determine if I do it in the spring or need to hold out.
September 30, 2008 4:56:12 PM

I'm thinking I am going to buy 3, 1GB Sticks on launch, then eventually upgrade up with 3 more 2Gb sticks for a total of 9Gb in the future, not really typical but photoshop is a memory whore.
a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
September 30, 2008 5:36:24 PM

I'm not planning on a new build right away, since my current one is still quite up to the task. Now that that's out of the way: I use Vista 64 now, and see no reason to not go at least 3x2GB.
September 30, 2008 5:55:17 PM

geotech said:
By the way Zenmaster, DDR3 is not supported out of the box, I believe they will make it possible to flash the BIOS later to support, not at launch though.

EDIT: Source

That article says nothing about "Flashing" a BIOS.
Folks have been using DDR2-800 and better for a LONG time now.
But the fastest bus standard is still DDR2-667 for a 1333FSB.
Everything else is an OC.

Just like DDR2-800 and better are supported, so will be the higher DDR3 Modules.
And likely right out of the "Box", since the Box is the Mobo box and not the CPU box.

We will need to see various test scenarios to see if what speed rams are required based on different
OCing options.
a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
September 30, 2008 6:33:15 PM

I'm going for 3x2GB initially, and possibly adding 3 more 2GB sticks later for 12 gigs (likely 1066, maybe 1333 depending on price). Matlab sucks memory to an incredible extent, and I want to avoid any more memory errors.
September 30, 2008 6:35:17 PM

Well I would say 3x2GB. The future is any way for the 64bit systems...

The other thing is that will the 3 channel memory be very usefull at home use? More propable it is needed in server machines when there are 3x16GB, 6x16GB memory or more...
It will be interesting to see!
September 30, 2008 6:54:39 PM

geotech said:
By the way Zenmaster, DDR3 is not supported out of the box, I believe they will make it possible to flash the BIOS later to support, not at launch though.

EDIT: Source

Nehalem will only support DDR3 not DDR2 just so no body gets confused.
September 30, 2008 8:35:36 PM

Well, I know it has control for triple-channel, but doesn't it have dual channel, too? If so, I'd probably hit 2x2Gb to start, and add a 3rd 2Gb stick when prices drop further.
October 27, 2008 9:25:31 AM

i will do the same. 2 sticks of 2 Gb, then add one more when needed.
a loss of 1 channel will not be much of a difference in games.
October 27, 2008 10:37:12 AM

The 3-way and more RAM is to make the boards more 64-bit friendly. No specific article on this, but I keep reading this theme over and over between the lines.
So another lame guess is the Sandy-Bridge generation will be even more 64bit friendly.
October 27, 2008 10:40:20 AM

So it's my money, I will get 2 x 2 gig or 1 x 4 gig. Then I'll have some slots left over when I'll really need the extra memory.
I'll do this even if there is no Dual Channel mode.
October 27, 2008 3:36:22 PM

4gb x3 + 64bit (when i get a new rig at least). Its about time we all start to migrate, its has to happen - this just gives us a reason to do it now.
a b à CPUs
November 1, 2008 4:55:41 AM

Cripes no way would I recommend anyone build a sweet new rig and stick 3 X 1Gb sticks of ram in it.


Well think around the corner with Windows 7.

3 X 1 leaves you going nowhere without replacing sticks.

3 X 2 gives you a nice marging for next year and beyond.

Yeah it means half your ram is sitting idling now if your on XP ... but who would dish out so much cash just to cope with today's OS / Applications?

Does that sound reasonable?
a b à CPUs
November 2, 2008 12:58:31 PM

Yep it sure does because every time I listened to your kind of logic in the past I found just around the corner I needed more ram.

Plus I imagine many users would not in fact be XP32 ... they would be using Vista, and that dog needs tons of ram just to boot up.

Not saying I like it ... but many do ... and suffer in silence.

I agree smaller sticks are usually faster.

I have a couple of DDR550 here from my old rig ... useless now. Nice black shiny heat spreaders ... easily run 220 @ 22225. Two sticks of 256 TwinX are only good for show really now. Cost a heap back then too.
November 2, 2008 3:17:37 PM

It's allway up to what do you use your computer for. I have allways been in situation where more ram is more usefull than faster CPU...
For gamer the 2GB may be enough, but now I have 4Gb memory and it's not enough for some big picture editing stuff I have been doing lately.

There is not a right ansvers here, or relatively there are multible right ansvers. For me 3*2Gb looks really appealing... 6*2Gb even more, but it's not something that everyone other needs. Most of stuff that average people do, can be done with 512Mb of system memory and single core CPU... Most people in here forum are better with fast double core and 2GB of memory and the fastest GPU you can buy. And then there are those who need a lot of CPU power, and some like me who needs a lot of memory. You have to take you pick from there. The most usefull thing is to tell what combinations are usefull in specifick situations.

Text prosessing: you need to have a good monitor and keyboard
Gaming: two core CPU, the fastest GPU possible and 2Gb of memory
Picture editing: A lot of system memory
database: a lot of CPU power?

in future... who knows...
November 3, 2008 8:06:48 PM

Nope, I'd definitely start with 2x2Gb sticks instead of 3x1Gb sticks. Gives you more memory, cost difference is $15 more for an extra GB, but you lose your super-bandwidth of tri-channel (Darn!). And when you find you need some more RAM, 2 more GB is nothing, just fill in the third slot for tri-channel.
January 27, 2009 10:00:57 PM

Kinda Ironic I just found this thread after posting in this one:

I'm actually one of the few who is anxious for 8GB and 16GB DIMMs. Samsung and Micron (crucial) have both those sizes going out as previews/samples, but from all the x58 MB news I'm reading, they are saying 2GB DIMMs supported now, 4GB soon, and no word on 8GB and 16GB.

I really hope to eventually have 6*8GB or more. But I'd be happy with 4*6GB if that's all I could get today.

I'm really glad that FB-DIMMs went away. When 2-4 socket i7 server line comes out, I'm kind of anxious to build a monster system with 128GB of ram.

Before you ask, I run lots of VMware, WS2008, video editing, etc stuff - yes I do use massive resources. I just use them across many different computers today, I'd like to do more on a single VMware controlled monster.