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DDR3 Memory for Intel 17 Motherboards - Dual vs Tri Channel

Last response: in Components
December 1, 2010 3:20:42 AM


I have been looking at Memory Sticks to use in a 1366 pin connection Motherboard and trying to identify compatable RAM. It looks like the motherboard, a Gigabyte GA-X58 FTW3 132-GT-E768-KR model calls for the use of triple channel memory sets over dual channel RAM. If I install 3 identical sticks, would they qualify as triple channel,
or must they be labled as such? If I installed 3 dual channel sets, would this be the same as 2 triple channel sets (if all sticks exactly match)?

I realize I could install six identical pieces of RAM, and as long as the MOBO manufacturer has identified them as compatable, they should work, but if they are dual channel, or if they are not triple channel, would I be sub-optimizing the system?

It looks like some excellent products are available in pairs, but I am passing them them up since they are not 3 channel sets. Is this possibly a mistake? :o 
December 1, 2010 1:24:24 PM

The MOBO I listed was incorrectly identified. It should have read Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R. Being an X-58 MOBO, I understand it requires Tri-channel RAM. I have a pair of Dual Channel G.SKILL Ripjaws: F3-12800CL9C-8GBRL RAM (4GB x2). If I added another 4GB stick, would the system consider this to be a Tri-Channel installation?

I am probably going to RMA these or install them in my wife's workstation which currently has two G.Skill Ripjaws 2GB sticks of the same speed and CL, on her 1156 LGA ASUS P7P55D-E LX MOBO with an i3 560 CPU. That would bring her system up to 12 GB of total memory. I am concerned this is a waste of money considering her system only has an Intel i3 CPU and she's a stock market trader; not a Gamer. ;) 
a b V Motherboard
December 1, 2010 2:04:14 PM

If you install the RAM in two slots of the first three and two slots of the second three, it should run as dual channel memory. This should be in your motherboard manual. There will be a technical performance drop but it should not be noticeable under most if not all circumstances.

If the sticks are identical you can install 3. It doesnt need to be labelled as triple channel.