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Questions regarding I3 based mobo + tripple channel RAM

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January 26, 2011 9:54:34 AM

Greetings.

I am building a new mid-level gaming PC, and have a question regarding the mobo/ram combination. As far as my hardware knowledge goes, games in general benefit a lot from RAM working in Tripple-Channel configuration. My budget is somewhat limited, for now I've settled on a 3x 2GB RAM kit from Kingston, running on 1600 mhz. Here's the link to it:

http://www.emag.ro/memorii/kit-memorie-kingston-6gb-3x2...

I know that Kingston is a lower priced manufacturer, but I've had RAM modules from them in the past, and was completely satisfied with the quality of their products (however, if you guys know of reasons for which buying this kit is a bad idea, please share).

Now, to the question itself. I am looking for a moderately priced Motherboard that can run triple channel RAM at 1600mhz, with a 1156 socket, since the CPU I've chosen is a i3 - 540 @ 3.06 Ghz. Also, is the CPU itself capable of running RAM at 1600 mhz, or will it be limited to a lower frequency.

The motherboards that currently grabbed my attention were:

Gigabyte H55M-D2H - http://www.emag.ro/placi_baza/placa-de-baza-gigabyte-h5...
Gigabyte P55-UD3L - http://www.emag.ro/placi_baza/placa-de-baza-gigabyte-p5...
Asus P7P55-LX - http://www.emag.ro/placi_baza/placa-de-baza-asus-p7p55-...

I would appreciate any input about this. Do any of these mobo's have triple channel support, or do I have to look at higher priced ones? Is the hassle for 6GB worth it, or will 4GB in dual-channel be sufficient? And, again, will the CPU limit the speed of the RAM?

*** As a side note, to have a complete overview of the config I had in mind, the graphics card I've choosen is a GeForce GTX 460 Golden Sample from Gainward, running on 2gb DDR5 RAM on 256 bits, and the configuration would be powered by a 500W Fortron Saga II PSU (which, based on price/quality/performance reviews, should be enough to handle the entire configuration).

Thank you in advance!
a b V Motherboard
January 26, 2011 10:25:45 AM

That build is kinda out-dated - replaced with the 1155 platform

P55/1156 platform = dual channel memory, X58/1366 platform = tri-channel

get 2 or 4 sticks of memory for dual channel, 3 sticks will perform slower as it will force single channel (unmatched memory etc)

1600mhz doesnt gain much performance over 1333mhz and can have stability/boot issues, dont spend the extra $$$ on the ram speed
January 26, 2011 11:53:07 AM

Aren't 1366 socket mainboards I7 only? Also, the price range for these sockets is about twice for the 1155 socket counterparts. Is there no support for tripple channel on 1155 mainboards?
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a b V Motherboard
January 26, 2011 11:58:01 AM

1155 is the same as 1156 as apache_lives said... dual channel. And yes, 1366 is for i7 and Xeon processors (which use tripple channel memory).

Go with a LGA1155 platform build before 1156 or 1366.
January 26, 2011 12:01:52 PM

Okay, thanks for the feedback. In that case, I need to go for a dual-channel configuration. My question about this is:

If I buy separate 4GB dims (not a 2x kit), from the same manufacturer (have my eye on a Corsair Memory running at 1333mhz), can I still use them in dual-channel? This is in the case that both the dims are 100% identical, just thinking of buying them separately, due to financial limits!
January 26, 2011 12:09:17 PM

1366 is for first-gen i7 motherboards
1155 is for second-gen i7,i5 and i3

most ppl nowadays suggest you have to go with a second-gen cpu. They run cooler, are faster, cheaper...

Don't forget it's YOUR build. Don't do everything what other people say. If you want triple channel, than you need to go with a 1366 socket (and first-gen cpu)

And yes,I know. Timing isn't perfect. Sandy bridge came out a week before i was planning to order my new build, and i had to change my motherboard, cpu, ram... just to keep up with technology

Just decide for yourself what you WANT and what you actually NEED of everything. It's your choice...
January 26, 2011 12:48:22 PM

About the 1155 sockets. As far as I understand, this is a new architecture designed by Intel, compatible with the new Sandy-Bridge CPUs, such as the i5 2500K. So, this means that the older i3 540 will not be compatible with any 1155 motherboards, right?
a c 117 V Motherboard
January 26, 2011 1:41:57 PM

Syrocc said:
About the 1155 sockets. As far as I understand, this is a new architecture designed by Intel, compatible with the new Sandy-Bridge CPUs, such as the i5 2500K. So, this means that the older i3 540 will not be compatible with any 1155 motherboards, right?

That's correct !
!