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Can DDR3 triple channel be used in dual channel boards?

Tags:
  • Memory
  • DDR3
  • Dual Channel
  • Triple Channel
Last response: in Memory
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July 28, 2009 10:45:22 PM

On a hypothetical, if I were building 3x dual channel DDR3 systems, could I buy 2x triple channel kits and break them up? Seems like the dual channel kits all require 1.8v or more to run at PC12800 and the triple channels do it at 1.65v. Is there any other factors to consider or is it cut and dry?

More about : ddr3 triple channel dual channel boards

July 28, 2009 11:08:06 PM

Yes,you can get 2x tripple channel and get them into the 3xdual channel.The opposite would be trickier though,because you would need to find out dual channel ram that runs on 1.65V.
a b } Memory
July 29, 2009 12:13:09 AM

It's cut and dry.

If the motherboard uses DDR3 RAM it's the same RAM whether it's bundled with 3 sticks for Triple Channel or 2 sticks for dual channel. Different RAM may have slightly different voltages but should work in all motherboards.

Assuming you are building an x58 based system with something like the Core i7 920 you are using Triple Channel.

You will want to get RAM like this:
6GB DDR3 (3x2GB) 1066MHz

It's better to get 1066MHz with lower timings than to get 1600MHz with higher timings (it's complicated). More than 6GB is a complete waste unless you have some very unusual requirements. It's quite difficult even when doing considerable multitasking to notice a difference above 4GB but I still recommend 6GB above 3GB. If I had a high-speed SSD I might actually consider the 3GB, but I won't get into the relationship between hard drives/SSDs, multitasking and RAM. I've done EXTENSIVE testing and know a lot about computers.

There's really not much to think about. You buy your motherboard and it will specify the details though all DDR3 should fit in all motherboards.
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a b } Memory
July 29, 2009 12:24:46 AM

FYI:
It's NOT 3xdual channel. It's 2xTriple Channel.

Yes, you could buy three packs of two RAM sticks for a total of 6 and it would be the same as buying two packs of three but if you haven't bought any why do this?

Again, when building a Triple Channel X58 Intel System you should be going with 3x1GB or 3x2GB. People seem to think more is better but that's not always true. I don't think any games would run differently between the two but you should notice a little difference when significantly multi-tasking including when quitting a game back to the desktop. Many games buffer less than 1GB. I don't know of any that use more than 2GB.

The quick response of a high-end SSD aids in multitasking which is why even as a gamer I'd be tempted to go with 3GB instead of 6GB and reduce the power and noise of the system slightly.

RAM optimization:
1) Vista has a better memory optimization than XP but also requires more RAM. So the general experience is BETTER with more RAM (say 2GB+) but POORER with less RAM.

2) Windows 7 uses the BEST of both worlds. The RAM footprint is decreased and it also has better memory management than XP (and Vista too I think).
July 29, 2009 11:02:01 AM

photonboy said:
It's cut and dry.

If the motherboard uses DDR3 RAM it's the same RAM whether it's bundled with 3 sticks for Triple Channel or 2 sticks for dual channel. Different RAM may have slightly different voltages but should work in all motherboards.

Assuming you are building an x58 based system with something like the Core i7 920 you are using Triple Channel.

You will want to get RAM like this:
6GB DDR3 (3x2GB) 1066MHz

It's better to get 1066MHz with lower timings than to get 1600MHz with higher timings (it's complicated). More than 6GB is a complete waste unless you have some very unusual requirements. It's quite difficult even when doing considerable multitasking to notice a difference above 4GB but I still recommend 6GB above 3GB. If I had a high-speed SSD I might actually consider the 3GB, but I won't get into the relationship between hard drives/SSDs, multitasking and RAM. I've done EXTENSIVE testing and know a lot about computers.

There's really not much to think about. You buy your motherboard and it will specify the details though all DDR3 should fit in all motherboards.

Thanks photonboy, that's the depth of answer I was looking for. Won't bet getting into SSDs, but was thinking of cas 7 1600 and underclock it to 1333 and start the tightening process. It would be $25 cheaper than 3 separate sets and a better product I think with the lower voltage requirements.
July 29, 2009 2:29:05 PM

photonboy said:
FYI:
It's NOT 3xdual channel. It's 2xTriple Channel.

Yes, you could buy three packs of two RAM sticks for a total of 6 and it would be the same as buying two packs of three but if you haven't bought any why do this?

Again, when building a Triple Channel X58 Intel System you should be going with 3x1GB or 3x2GB. People seem to think more is better but that's not always true. I don't think any games would run differently between the two but you should notice a little difference when significantly multi-tasking including when quitting a game back to the desktop. Many games buffer less than 1GB. I don't know of any that use more than 2GB.

The quick response of a high-end SSD aids in multitasking which is why even as a gamer I'd be tempted to go with 3GB instead of 6GB and reduce the power and noise of the system slightly.

RAM optimization:
1) Vista has a better memory optimization than XP but also requires more RAM. So the general experience is BETTER with more RAM (say 2GB+) but POORER with less RAM.

2) Windows 7 uses the BEST of both worlds. The RAM footprint is decreased and it also has better memory management than XP (and Vista too I think).



hey check this out http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261815-30-ddr3-system
lemme know what you think about that question... cause im wondering the same.
November 6, 2011 3:56:44 AM

photonboy said:

It's better to get 1066MHz with lower timings than to get 1600MHz with higher timings (it's complicated).


Photonboy, could you explain why the timmings are better than speed? I do computers for a while, a friend o'mine who has the same length of experience I have took his time to explain it to me but still cannot get a grip and tests didn't show that on my benchmarks.

This friend was dealing with some 1600 memory running 1066 on timmings like 5 and said it would be much better.

My main workload is photoshop and autocad type applications.

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Take care.
!