Dual Channel Q

What does it mean when a motherboard says it only supports dual channel? My mobo says that, but it has 4 RAM slots. Does it mean that I can put in four but if I only put in 2 I have to put it in the same-colored slots and I can't have just 3 sticks?
4 answers Last reply
More about dual channel
  1. It means that it will support a dual channel RAM (twins) instead of triple channel (triplets). You can definitely use 3 sticks of RAM at an expense of losing the Dual Channel advantage.

    Hope this helps! :)
  2. damasvara said:
    It means that it will support a dual channel RAM (twins) instead of triple channel (triplets). You can definitely use 3 sticks of RAM at an expense of losing the Dual Channel advantage.

    Hope this helps! :)

    But what if i used 4 sticks? Would it still be dual channel because each stick has a 'twin'? Or would i lose the advantage of dual channel?
  3. Dual channel is the name of the technology. Configuring your RAM placement in your mobo is how you achieve/activate dual channel. The use of paired, not necessarily matched is one of the requirments. See below.


    Rules to Enable Dual Channel Mode
    To achieve Dual Channel mode, the following conditions must be met:

    Matched DIMM configuration in each channel
    Same Density (128MB, 256MB, 512MB, etc.)
    Matched in both Channel A and Channel B memory channels
    OR

    Populate symmetrical memory slots (Slot 0 or Slot 1)
    Configurations that do not match the above conditions will revert to Single Channel mode.

    The following conditions do not need to be met:
    Same brand
    Same timing specifications
    Same DDR speed
    Memory channel speed is determined by the slowest DIMM module populated in the system.

    *This really depends on your motherboard. Some manufacturers use a color
    -coded system (meaning use the same colors) and some require that you use the symmetrical approach (meaning same slot on both channels).
  4. Joe12o said:
    But what if i used 4 sticks? Would it still be dual channel because each stick has a 'twin'? Or would i lose the advantage of dual channel?
    Simple answer: yes you can use 4 DIMMs.

    Simply put, you can use any amount of DIMMs that is a multiple of 2 with dual channel and multiple of 3 for triple channel. Yes this is probably oversimplified, but still rather easy to remember :P.
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