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2GB Dual Channel vs 3GB Single Channel - Suggestions?

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March 11, 2010 10:08:54 PM

Hi.

I'm currently having 4x1GB DDR2-800 modules installed on my GA-MA69G-S3H. I'm using Windows 7 32bit and am not going to upgrade to 64 (due to the well known problems and because it's only profitable with at least 6 gigs of RAM). My GF8 eats up 756m addresses. So I have 3.25GB left and Windows only seems to use 3 whole Modules - 3GB. Should I remove 2 Modules and run 2GB Dual Channel instead of 3GB Single Channel? I can't decide. Pls help me! =)

(Does anybody know if the timings also depend on the number of modules installed? The modules I bought should be able to 4-4-12 and not 5-5-15, what they're currently doing.)

Thank you!
annih
a c 234 V Motherboard
March 12, 2010 12:55:46 AM

Removing a module doesn't quite make sense to me. Keep all 4 and run them in dual-channel mode. What happens if you run the modules at 4-4-4-12 timings? What modules do you have?
a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2010 2:35:25 AM

Sometimes to run 4 sticks you have to up the voltage or relax the timings or frequency.

Agree with GhislainG, not sure why you'd remove a module. Keep all four.
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March 12, 2010 7:44:34 AM

Hm. I CAN have dual channel on all 4 modules? So what causes them to single channel at the moment?!? Got 4x Kingston HyperX. (http://www.alternate.de/html/product/Arbeitsspeicher_DD... - Dunno if linking is allowed, pls don't kill me!) I can't set any timings in BIOS as far as I know by this time.
a c 234 V Motherboard
March 12, 2010 9:14:01 AM

Load CPU-Z and click the Memory tab. Is Channels # Single or Dual? Click the SPD tab and verify that all modules are the same (select slot #1 thru #4). Two or four identical modules should definitely run in dual channel mode. What happens if you manually set the timings to 4-4-4-12 at 2.0V?
March 12, 2010 1:09:55 PM

annih,
I went through the same thing a while ago...I kept thinking "would it be faster to have less ram at 1T vs more at 2T? The answer is that 1T vs. 2T doesn't matter in the real world. Go with the 4gb and relax. look at some of the articles on ram and timing here at Tom's and on anandtech.com. Except for synthetic benchmarks (which make it look like a HUGE difference) it might only matter 2-3%. But having all 4gb will matter depending on the OS and applications
March 23, 2010 10:10:58 PM

My bios does not provide any options for setting the mem timings. But seems the modules provide 4-4-4-12 when running at only 266 MHz. At least that's what CPU-Z tells me. And yes, I used CPU-Z before. It was the original reason for this thread. =)

Now one weird thing: I noticed that Windows only recognized 3070 MBs. Bios said the same, so I switched them around a little bit. 2 modules - dual channel - no problem. 3 modules - single channel - of cause. But after I switched no 3 and 4, my system noticed 4 GBs of RAM miraculously. And now they even run in dual channel. WTH?
a b V Motherboard
March 23, 2010 11:32:19 PM

Sounds like one of the RAM sticks wasn't seated all the way. Now that you've taken out and put them back in they're making full contact. That or your board was just being very flaky.
!