What are determining factors of maximum memory supported?

I'm quite inexperienced with computer hardware in general and I am slightly baffled by the way the maximum memory of a motherboard is determined. Some boards that have the same number and type of memory slots support different amounts of memory. For example I've seen quite a few LGA 1336 boards that come with 6 x 240 pins yet sometimes support 24 GB and other times 12 GB. If not all 240 pin memory slots support 4 GB a slot then why is it not specified more formally? All of the other specifications are usually identical in the descriptions, such as the memory standard and channel supported... actually, i just noticed an important difference, the memory standard for the 12 GB is 1600 MHZ without an overclock whereas the 24 GB needs an overclock to achieve 1600 MHZ. Seems like I may have answered my own question, but just to be sure...
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More about what determining factors maximum memory supported
  1. Motherboard manufacturers usually only support memory that they've actually tested in their motherboards. 4GB DIMMs are still relatively rare, and so I suspect that not all manufacturers have bothered testing them in all their boards yet. But I'd be surprised if any LGA1336 board wouldn't work with 4GB DIMMs, at least at stock speeds.
  2. the determining factors are design of mb and memory controller.

    AMD ind I7 cpu's have integrated memory controllers older intel boards have the memory controller built into the northbridge.

    As to the mb it's just that some are better built to allow higher settings. Bear in mind 99% of consumers are not held back by even the lowest speced mb.
  3. Thanks both of you for the answers. One more thing, do you think this (EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard) board will support 4GB DIMM's or not? I'm just looking for something upgradable without spending too much, but honestly I don't know if it is worth it to go the extra $50 or so to get 12 extra GB that I may not even need for a while.

    Another thing, why is it that the boards that support 24 GB also have a slower memory standard?
    ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard supports 24 GB of DDR3 memory but only has memory standard of 1333 MHZ without overclocking. The other link I gave above supports only 12 GB but with the higher memory standard of 1600 MHZ without overclocking. Is the memory standard and total supported memory somehow related (higher memory supported => lower memory standard)?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I am new to this whole thing and all these specs are quite confusing.
  4. no that board will not take 4gig sticks

    MB manufacturers have to decide where to put the extra effort and where to cut comers, so the can deliver a quality product without to high a price.
  5. Then why is it that the EVGA manual for that board says that it supports 24 GB (4GB 1600 MHZ a slot)? I'm really frustrated by the inconsistencies between different retailers and the manufacturers. I have noticed that for example Tigerdirect and Newegg report some different specs. When all fails should I just rely on the manufacturer's specs?

    Look at these two links on Newegg and Tigerdirect, which specify different maximum memory amounts for this Asus P6T motherboard.

    Newegg: ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Tigerdirect: Asus P6T Motherboard - LGA 1366, Intel X58, SATA, SLI Ready, CrossFireX Ready, Triple Channel DDR3 support, RAID, Hyperthreading support

    Feel free to check the Asus manual for it also, which specifies 12 GB.

    I don't know whether to attribute this to retailer oversights or what, but it's not very reassuring when you're trying to get good information.
  6. I just checked the evga website, manual, and newegg and found 12gig limit at all sources
  7. From the EVGA manual (here, page 10):

    Motherboard Specifications
     Size ATX form factor of 12 inch x 9.6 inch
     Microprocessor support Intel Core i7 processor
     Operating systems: Supports Windows XP 32bit/64bit and Windows Vista 32bit/64bit
     Contains INTEL X58 and ICH10R chipset
    System Memory support Supports triple channel JEDEC DDR3-1600. Officially supports up to 24GBs of DDR3 memory.
     USB 2.0 Ports
    Supports hot plug
    Twelve USB 2.0 ports (Eight rear panel ports, four onboard USB headers) Supports wake-up from S1 and S3 mode Supports USB 2.0 protocol up to a 480 Mbps transmission rate

    I know the EVGA site specs said 12 GB but as you can see in the manual it "Officially supports up to 24GBs of DDR3 memory". Is there a difference between the "Supports triple channel JEDEC DDR3-1600" and the "Officially supports 24GBs of DDR3 memory"? When it is says 24 GBs is it referring to some lower standard than triple channel DDR3-1600?
  8. my mistake i pulled the sli manual instead of the le manual. Contact asus and ask them to confirm either way. Do you actually plan on using more than 12 gig? and if so for what.
  9. I think you mean contact EVGA right? Although in one of my previous posts I did mention an inconsistency with an Asus board as well...

    Lol, you may be right, I may never have to use more than 12 GB anyway. It's kind of a long shot but maybe it may help me way down the road, who knows? If you must know I kind of like having bragging rights also.

    Having searched around a lot for an answer I may just abandon the issue and just go with trial and error, or post at EVGA's forums. Thanks for the help.
  10. yeah i did mean evga

    there are few people out there who can use the 3.5 a 32 bit os gets you. let alone the 6 many are putting in i7 builds for nothing more than bragging rights.

    By the time you need that much you will need a new mb anyway.
  11. There are a lot of us out here working with virtualization to comfortable with it when we get to client sites and to be able to study our IT stuff without constantly restarting VMWare or our virtual machines. I for one would like a desktop that is powerful enough to run 3 servers with MOSS/Exchange/SQL respectively. Then my desktop needs enough power left over to run the high end dev tools I play with along with many apps at once while working. Yep there are lots of me out there too....the IT world is pretty big and most of us need VM's now. I used to have a DEL PowerEdge at home for this use but can't afford the upgrade to a 64 bit monster now. Just food for thought. 3.5 GB is nothing in today's PC. The average user...who's that?
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