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Using 3 DIMMS of DDR3 triple channel in an AMD system

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March 13, 2010 12:47:32 PM

Hello I am a Noob with what maybe a silly question. I am rebuilding my system on the cheap (hopefully). I bought a Phenom II X4 965 CPU, I just bought the Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 board yesterday and then I have what may now be my problem child. I snatched up a great deal on ebay, a Patriot DDR3 6gb 1333mhz (PVT36G1333ELK) 6gb kit. I read that it was triple channel and whatever but it was a great deal new and ddr3 so I got it. Now I'm waiting for everything to arrive and I am not sure if I will be able to use it. I called Patriot and they gave me a nebulas answer of well its for I7s but they don't know I can try it. The thing is I don't want to open it if its not going to work. So I checked the Asus site and its listed but as working 1 DIMM 2 DIMMs 4 DIMMS. Does anyone know if I will be able to put all three DIMMS in and the system work properly? Really given the set up so far will the system work. Any guidance will help. I am basically trying to keep cost down on this build but I want it somewhat "future proof." What would be the best set up, will it run in single channel if I use 3, and if so will that slow it down? So to summarize I have ordered the following so far.

Phenom II X4 965
Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3
Patriot DDR3 6gb 1333mhz (PVT36G1333ELK)
and I have a 550w Power supply from my old system which I hope to use

I know its a lot but thanks

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a b V Motherboard
March 13, 2010 1:26:10 PM

You can use all 3 modules on the motherboard. There is no problem there. The configurations shown in your manual are only the "recommended" configurations. 3x2GB will work just fine, but it won't work in triple channel mode. Two of them will operate in dual channel, and the last one will operate in single channel, but you still get 6GB.
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March 13, 2010 1:31:38 PM

gracefully said:
You can use all 3 modules on the motherboard. There is no problem there. The configurations shown in your manual are only the "recommended" configurations. 3x2GB will work just fine, but it won't work in triple channel mode. Two of them will operate in dual channel, and the last one will operate in single channel, but you still get 6GB.



Awesome thanks, Gracefully! :D  Should go in the 1, 2, 4 slots or does it matter? and there won't be an issue with with them being designed for I7s I assume because memory is memory, right.
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a b V Motherboard
March 13, 2010 1:36:37 PM

DDR3 is DDR3. A DDR3 module will fit into any DDR3 slot, whether it's advertised for the i7 or not.

There is no particular arrangement in which you should place the modules. If you only had two modules, you would put them in the matching color RAM slots. For example: your RAM slots could be colored: blue, black, blue, black. Each blue-black pair is a "channel". If you put a module in the first blue slot and another module in the second blue slot, you have two modules in two channels, so they operate in "dual-channel" mode. It won't matter where you place the last one. It will run in single-channel mode because it doesn't have a partner (sad. :( ) The i7 motherboards have three of those pairs, and that's what lets them run in triple-channel mode. It's the design of the platform.
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March 13, 2010 1:41:31 PM

gracefully said:
DDR3 is DDR3. A DDR3 module will fit into any DDR3 slot, whether it's advertised for the i7 or not.

There is no particular arrangement in which you should place the modules. If you only had two modules, you would put them in the matching color RAM slots. For example: your RAM slots could be colored: blue, black, blue, black. Each blue-black pair is a "channel". If you put a module in the first blue slot and another module in the second blue slot, you have two modules in two channels, so they operate in "dual-channel" mode. It won't matter where you place the last one. It will run in single-channel mode because it doesn't have a partner (sad. :( ) The i7 motherboards have three of those pairs, and that's what lets them run in triple-channel mode. It's the design of the platform.



Great answer thanks for the info. That clears it all up. My poor single Dimm might not be alone for long I will search for a partner for him and I have a hot lead. Thanks so much.
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a b V Motherboard
March 13, 2010 1:48:01 PM

If you get a partner for that last (sad) DDR3 module, make sure it's of the same frequency, timings, and voltage. That said, your current trio of DDR3 modules run at 1333 MHz, CL9, at 1.65V. If you get a 4th module, you should try to match those. Preferably, get from the same manufacturer, in this case it's Patriot. Other than the uniformity in the modules (It wouldn't look good if you had 3 blue modules and 1 red module, right?), you won't run the risk of confusing the memory controller about which settings for frequency, timings, and voltage to use.

You should know this by now, but to be able to use all 6 (or potentially 8? :) ) GB of RAM that you bought, you should use a 64-bit OS.

Your PSU should be enough to run the entire system without issue, as long as it is ATX 2.x standard. It should have the 24-pin ATX connector and the 4/8-pin CPU connector.
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March 13, 2010 2:18:24 PM

gracefully said:
If you get a partner for that last (sad) DDR3 module, make sure it's of the same frequency, timings, and voltage. That said, your current trio of DDR3 modules run at 1333 MHz, CL9, at 1.65V. If you get a 4th module, you should try to match those. Preferably, get from the same manufacturer, in this case it's Patriot. Other than the uniformity in the modules (It wouldn't look good if you had 3 blue modules and 1 red module, right?), you won't run the risk of confusing the memory controller about which settings for frequency, timings, and voltage to use.

You should know this by now, but to be able to use all 6 (or potentially 8? :) ) GB of RAM that you bought, you should use a 64-bit OS.

Your PSU should be enough to run the entire system without issue, as long as it is ATX 2.x standard. It should have the 24-pin ATX connector and the 4/8-pin CPU connector.



I think the PSU does. I got scared there for a minute but I found the 4/8-pin CPU connector. The PSU is a VIO ATX12v (KY-650ATX ATX 12V) I couldn't find it on google though. I bought it about 4 years ago now but I haven't used it in the last 2 years (I've been using my MBP, and I am sick of trying to run games in Fusion and bootcamp is annoying to reboot). The original idea was to build a hackintosh and run Windows on a separate partition. I figured a more powerful system with better cooling would fly compared the the MBP with runs hot and slows down when running OSX and Windows. For now, I'm concerned with getting a Windows system up and running though.

What OS do you think would run best? I'm really open to anything, OSX, Linux, Windows. I have XP disks, never cared for Vista after I saw it on my Ex's laptop. I was running the beta of Windows 7 in fusion liked it but I realized it was probably a system drain for what I was doing with it so I got rid of it and I am sure its expired. I have the Snow Leopard disk and the original Leopard that came with the MBP but of course then I still have no windows games. I saw keys for windows 7 being sold ar those legit or something that will bite me later?

As for the fourth DIMM its exactly the same kind, someone is selling the 3rd one of their kit and using only 4gb. So that shouldn't be an issue (unless I don't get it and I have to search again).
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a b V Motherboard
March 14, 2010 12:43:36 AM

Let XP die. Sorry, but it's a dinosaur. If Vista wasn't the slop that M$ made it to be, XP would be resting in peace by now. Linux has been pretty good in my experience. The Ubuntu flavor is what I used. Of course it would be better to get Win7 for the platform's advantages.
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March 15, 2010 3:18:16 AM

gracefully said:
Let XP die. Sorry, but it's a dinosaur. If Vista wasn't the slop that M$ made it to be, XP would be resting in peace by now. Linux has been pretty good in my experience. The Ubuntu flavor is what I used. Of course it would be better to get Win7 for the platform's advantages.



Haha, I know, but I didn't see the point of Vista. My old rig was running fine with XP and I had an X41 tablet which couldn't handle vista/would have been slowed down by vista. Then I stopped using them both in school and just used my MBP when the old MB died. I like Win7 actually or at least the beta; I just hate to feed the machine and/or pay full retail ( I don't think you can upgrade from XP). Maybe an OEM copy, if new egg or someone has it. Maybe I'll look into Ubuntu so long as it can emulate window so I can run games.

In other news I got the last dimm so I should have four matching Patriot DDR3 2gb dimms. So that solved that prob.

Thanks for all of your help.
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a b V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 1:11:20 PM

No Problem.

Welcome to the TH forums.
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March 15, 2010 2:10:37 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Newegg does carry OEM versions of Windows 7.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $104.99


OEM is just the disk and key no packaging right? Do you know if the people selling "genuine" keys and install disks on ebay are legit. I figure its either some hacker with a key generator or someone who buys keys in bulk, like those multikey packs, and resales them for profit.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 80 V Motherboard
March 15, 2010 2:14:35 PM

I wouldn't trust buying a "genuine" key on e-Bay. The OEM version from Newegg does come packaged in a CD case with the disk, key, and a small manual. I've used OEM versions of Windows from Newegg for years without any issues.
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March 15, 2010 2:30:31 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I wouldn't trust buying a "genuine" key on e-Bay. The OEM version from Newegg does come packaged in a CD case with the disk, key, and a small manual. I've used OEM versions of Windows from Newegg for years without any issues.


Cool thanks for the advice.
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March 25, 2010 3:32:57 AM

Best answer selected by jasev01.
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