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Im just using 3 slot from 4 slot memory ddr3

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April 18, 2011 10:17:01 AM

hello..help me please.......
i have pc now... with
intel core i3-2100,,
msi h67-ma-e45
the motherboard come with 4 slots of memory
right now im using the 2 slots with g-skill 2x2 gb ripjaw
and i have add corsair 2gd ddr3....

is there something wrong with this ? since the system is dual channel...or should i just add another memory.. ?
thank you

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a c 241 } Memory
April 18, 2011 10:29:55 AM

That basically means you are running the system in single channel. To run it in Dual channel you will have to have either 2 or 4 matching modules (per channel) for Dual channel.
Performance difference explained here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-channel
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a c 104 } Memory
April 18, 2011 2:34:18 PM

No problem.

The first two sticks will operate in dual channel mode, and the odd stick will be in single channel mode.

In terms of real application performance or FPS, there will be no real reduction. Perhaps 1%

More ram is always better.

Sometimes mismatched ram can cause some incompatibilities, though, so you are advised to buy a matched kit if you can.
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a c 241 } Memory
April 18, 2011 2:48:28 PM

geofelt said:
No problem.

The first two sticks will operate in dual channel mode, and the odd stick will be in single channel mode.


There are only two memory channels on the board with those three modules installed one channel is populated with 2GB the other one with 4GB. That brakes the rule for DUAL CHANNEL and all the memory now runs in single channel. http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/133
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a c 104 } Memory
April 18, 2011 3:09:43 PM

The msi motherboard manual is silent on the question.

But in my Asus P8P67-M PRO manual, it says you can install varying memory sizes in channel a and b. The system maps the total size of the lower sized channel for the dual channel configuration. Any excess memory from the larger sized channel is then mapped for single channel operation.

I suppose it is possible that an inferior bios might not work that way. How odd sized ram works will then be a motherboard specific question.
I think the capabilities of the newer chipsets may have changed the rules since the linked article was written in 2008.
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a c 241 } Memory
April 18, 2011 3:17:45 PM

That is something I have never seen before, had to check but if that is the case what is the point in matched sets of ram any more?
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a c 104 } Memory
April 18, 2011 3:28:00 PM

rolli59 said:
That is something I have never seen before, had to check but if that is the case what is the point in matched sets of ram any more?

Some motherboards are sensitive to mismatched ram. Even the same part numbers can be made up of different manufacturing technologies if they are in different kits.
I think the newer Intel memory controllers are better able to handle this. But, it is still probably better to buy what you need all at once in a single kit.

The single vs dual(or triple) channel operation is a different issue. Regardless, I think more ram is better, even if some of it has to operate in single channel mode.
Real application performance or FPS is minimally impacted with faster or slower ram operation.
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Best solution

a c 241 } Memory
April 18, 2011 3:34:05 PM

geofelt said:
Some motherboards are sensitive to mismatched ram. Even the same part numbers can be made up of different manufacturing technologies if they are in different kits.
I think the newer Intel memory controllers are better able to handle this. But, it is still probably better to buy what you need all at once in a single kit.

The single vs dual(or triple) channel operation is a different issue. Regardless, I think more ram is better, even if some of it has to operate in single channel mode.
Real application performance or FPS is minimally impacted with faster or slower ram operation.

I agree on the more ram is better (as long as it is put to use) regardless of its mode of operation for normal use and gaming
"Tom's Hardware found little significant difference between single-channel and dual-channel configurations in synthetic and gaming benchmarks (using a "modern" system setup). In its tests, dual channel gave at best a 5% speed increase in memory-intensive tasks." (From the Wikipedia article)
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June 30, 2011 3:02:00 PM

Best answer selected by johnthesmilers.
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