After thinking I knew quite a bit about computers, I'm finding out just how much I DON'T know over the last couple of days trying to research this little problem. I'm hoping some of you guys can help clear things up for me.
Recently, I began using CPU-Z to get some information on how my computer was running, as I was looking to get a little more performance out of it if possible. One of the first things I noticed was, for some reason, my computer is running memory in single channel mode instead of dual channel.
To give you guys a little more background info, this is what I'm running:
E2200 Processor (Dual Core at 2.20 GHz per core)
4 GB Ram
XFX 9600 GT GPU
Giving you my motherboard get's a little tricky. According to CPU-Z, the model is MS-7399. Acording to Gateway's site, the model is MSI NVIDIA MCP73PV, and doing a search for that, I came up with MSI P6NGM. I'm guessing the last two are the same Mobo, just ones the name the package it in premades under, and the other is what it's called sold retail. I can verify both boards look exactly the same, just the one I have has a green board and the retail on is red. The first one also looks identical, so I'm GUESSING all three names are right.
Anyway, I know the Ram im currently running is only 667 MHz, so I know that upgrading to 800 MHz will give me a performance boost. I know the board can handle up to 800 MHz because of looking up the specs on Gateways site. The only thing I don't understand is WHY it's running only in single channel right now. I know that I'm running 2 seperate 2GB sticks, and from all I can tell from CPU-Z is they are the same. And from what I understand, the board should automatically detect 2 identical DDR2 sticks and run them in dual channel without me having to do anything. I've read some posts where the advice is to try running the sticks in slots 1 & 3 instead of 1 & 2, but I only have two Ram slots.
So can anyone tell me why I'm only running in single channel? Could it possibly be the fact that it's just cheap, factory Ram? Or is there something potentially wrong?
You won't notice a substantial gain by swapping memory, especially on an oem board with standard bios settings. Premium memory shines with overclocking, which your board won't do. Dual channel mode gives you maybe 5-7% performance gain; again, you won't notice the difference.
I don't have an answer for that; not worth changing motherboards to get dual channel mode. A bios flash might help, but the risk/reward factor isn't worth it. I've had a few dead boards over the years from bad flashes, even when I'm careful.