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Tri-channel Memory on a Dual-Channel Board?

I have recently bought parts for a new system I am building, and I have made an assumption and later realized a problem may arise. I searched for a 2000Mhz memory and was looking for some Dual Channel memory for the board I bought. The title listed it as 2x2GB 2000Mhz Memory...

I made the assumption after seeing the title that it would be a Dual-Channel memory or capable of it, as it came in a pack of 2 Sticks. Looking into the products specs further I realized that they state they are Tri-Channel memory.

I got a few questions that would be along the lines of compatibility...
Such as,

Does Tri-Channel memory mean that it is pre-setup to only work in a tri-channel setup or does that mean it can be used in upto a Tri-Channel setup?

Does Tri-Channel memory work in Dual-Channel motherboards (or atleast my board)?

If it "should" work, is there any risks or problems with voltage and malfunctions?


Here are the parts I ordered: (with Links to where I got them)

MOBO : EVGA 790i SLI FTW Motherboard from TigerDirect

Memory : Patriot PC16000 2000Mhz 4GB (2x2GB) Memory from TigerDirect
(They must have recently took the item off the site so not sure if this link will work, but in the link it comes up as Dual-Channel memory section of the site in the Navigation near the top : / )

CPU : Intel Q9550 Processor from TigerDirect

Video Cards : Dont think it makes difference but I went with 2 BFG GeForce GTX 260 OCX 896MB MAXCORE going to run in SLI setup Video Cards (Got 2)

Please, Looking for answers, possibly with a link to more info on the subject or the answer itself?
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    No problem or danger with a triple-channel kit. You only end up with one extra module that if you decide to use would make your dual-channel into single-channel.

    Marketers just name these dual-channel and triple-channel kits but they are just the same ram's bundled up. The main advantage to this is that retailers or distributors could jack up the price either on the single modules or the x-channel packs.
  2. You can use a triple channel memory kit with a dual channel board (assuming no problems with the board and that particular RAM), but the board will run your memory in single channel if you want to use all three sticks. Running the memory in single channel as opposed to dual channel will cause a drop in performance.
  3. The kit came with 2 sticks, but the specs listed it as tri-channel. So I only got 2 sticks which I planned to use as Dual-Channel. Both your replies (from megamanx00 and amnotanoobie) are saying that triple channel memory can be used in dual-channel setup on the motherboard. Apparently I worried about nothing...

    I'm still a noob with PC Parts and in-depth functionality. Maybe I'm bad at searching, but I have looked on Google for this question or similar and all I ever found where other forums. By any chance do one of you have a link to an article or a manufacture website about this type of stuff? I want to learn more about its functions and details, or is all that info just sorta learn from experience or some common computer modding knowledge ? :P

    Thanks, more confirmations are welcome... the parts should be coming in soon and I'll try putting it together with that RAM and testing it. Hopefully no errors or other bad things happen :sweat: .

    I'll look back here to check any updates before assembly and I will post problems or my results when completed.
  4. Actually, be double, triple, quad, x-channel it is still the same thing, RAM. The triple-channel kits are an easier way to sell and distribute 3 sticks of RAM, and you're guaranteed that you are getting RAM from the same batch and usually the same week.

    If there were no triple channel kits you'd have to buy a dual-channel kit then buy a single stick just to enable triple-channel.

    You could read up more about dual-channel, I forgot which board introduced it first. Also I believe there are articles about single-channel vs dual-channel performance.
  5. Over the weekend I built my PC and didn'thave any problems with the memory, specially with the BIOS set mostly to auto settings..... But I came accross another Problem after updating my Windows XP to SP3 and i installed drivers, when i got to video drivers I would get black screens or windows would freeze before it boots (at the load screen). I have tried many things trying to get it to run...different drivers and taking out one of the video cards trying one alone... nothing seems to have worked yet.

    This is the wrong spot for the new problem, so I will be posting a fully detailed question in the nvidia section of the video card forums... Will update with a link when I am finished with post

    Edit: The Link to the Video Card Problem
  6. Megamanx00 said, "You can use a triple channel memory kit with a dual channel board (assuming no problems with the board and that particular RAM), but the board will run your memory in single channel if you want to use all three sticks. Running the memory in single channel as opposed to dual channel will cause a drop in performance.."

    Does this mean that all three sticks will only run in single channel or that you can run two in dual channel and the third in single channel?
  7. Quote:
    Megamanx00 said, "You can use a triple channel memory kit with a dual channel board (assuming no problems with the board and that particular RAM), but the board will run your memory in single channel if you want to use all three sticks. Running the memory in single channel as opposed to dual channel will cause a drop in performance.."

    Does this mean that all three sticks will only run in single channel or that you can run two in dual channel and the third in single channel?


    All 3 would run in single channel --- it will use the mode that is most compaitible to the setup and all modules need to run in the same mode ! --(ie 1 module = single channel, 2 modules =single or dual channel, 3 modules = triple or single, 4 modules = dual or single, 5 = single channel, 6 modules triple,dual or single ) - and since in this case the CPU does not support triple channel having 3 modules would mean they all run in single channel !
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