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Memory Banks and Data Paths Question

Last response: in Memory
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March 5, 2010 10:16:24 PM

When reading my A+ book, it said that when installing RAM, you have to install enough to fill the memory bank, which is the size of the processor's data path. According to the book, the data path for all Pentiums, is 64-bit. But I know there are 32-bit Pentium processors. So I assume the 64-bit data path, is not the same as saying it is a 64-bit processor, for the purposes of installing a 64-bit operating system, or utilizing more than 3GB of RAM. So I have some questions.

1. What does the processor's "data path" refer to?
2. What do "64-bit" and "32-bit" processor refer to, if not the data path? What is the difference?
3. When installing RAM for a Pentium processor, does it have to be in 64-bit increments? Like if two, 72-pin SIMMS are equal to 64 bits, then can I only install in multiples of two, or does it just need a minimum of two? Can I install 3 or 5, or does it need to be 2, 4, or 6?
4. Do all AMD processors have a 64-bit data path, or just certain models, like the Athlon?
5. Do any processors exceed the 64-bit data path?

Thanks for any info
March 6, 2010 9:00:58 PM

You should google or wiki that data path thing. (just did: all modern ram appears to have 64-bit data path.) As for the number of ram modules you can have, you can have any number you want. But really you want 2 or 4 for dual-channel, or 3 or 6 for tri-channel if your motherboard supports it (check in the bios).
!