Recently, a co-worker built two Intel Core i7 980X ($999) machines for our company. He paired the CPU with G.Skill 2x2GB dual channel DDR3 Ripjaws. I thought it was total mismatch of performance, but Windows Experience Index gave the memory a decent score of 7.7. However, we tried to transcode video with x264 at higher quality settings than with our old Core i7 920 and felt like the 980X just couldn't keep up even at 20% usage.
A) I always thought the Core i7's needed triple channel DDR3. And it should be installed in triplets for maximum speed. I never heard of dual channel DDR3 until the co-worker bought it. Is it going to totally suck?
B) The co-worker said that he purposely didn't get 3 x 2GB memory and a 64-bit OS so that the machine would run faster. He said the instructions of a 32-bit OS are smaller so the CPU can cache more instructions. How much faster are we talking about here? I always thought 64-bit processing made things faster. At least my 64-bit WinRar feels pretty fast to me...
A) Core i7 900s work best with triple channel DDR3 memory, however, there really shouldn't be that much of a performance difference between dual channel & single channel. Dual channel DDR3 is far more common than triple channel as triple channel DDR3 is only used with Core i7 900s and Bloomfield (Core i7 900) based Xeons.
B) Try 64-bit seriously, most 64-bit (ground up) applications should run faster than 32-bit which is why Adobe Premiere? I think runs a helluva lot faster as a 64-bit application, ranges from 50% - 200% if you have 16 GB of memory on a 64-bit OS compared to 4 GB on a 32-bit OS. The more memory the better.
WEI sucks, lol. My HD 4770 scores 7.2, while I've seen HD 4870s which are quite a bit faster score 6.9 or so.