I just recently purchased the following motherboard (look for the blue link below) and I had a couple of questions I was hoping people on the forums might have the answers too. The majority of my questions are about RAM and the compatibility of it with this motherboard.
Motherboard (Ram Compatibility table) : On the manufactures website on the upper right hand side of the webpage there is a link you click to view supported RAM. It is actually listed as, "Memory Support List."
1. The motherboard I purchased only supports dual channel, is this memory I have going to work in dual channel ? (I mean if I were to have 2x of the 3x sticks in the appropriate slots, would it be able to run in dual channel?)
a. What would be faster ? Running 2x sticks of RAM in Dual channel or Running 2x sticks of RAM in Dual channel and 1x additional stick of RAM in single channel ?
2. I noticed the motherboards slots are 1.5v slots, will this RAM work even though it runs at 1.65v?
a. If it does work, does that mean the motherboard is going to automatically jump up the voltage to compensate, or will the ram slow down to run at that voltage ?
b. I read that I may need to adjust the voltages myself, if that is the case, won't I need RAM to work to get to the screen to change the voltages ? (So assuming the answers to ( a ) is no to both)
3. If I wanted to complete the set of ram (run 4x on dual channel) would the following memory be a possible match ? (Please look at the Memory Link below -rather than buying another triple channel set for 1 stick of ram, I wanted to see if I could get away with buying a dual channel set.)
4. This next question is a mostly a matter of opinion, but how important is it to get memory listed under there, "Memory Support List?" (From your experience with different computers, how vital was it to have memory specifically tested for that motherboard?)
That motherboard should support dual and single channel. You might be able to have 2 modules in dual channel and 1 module in single (I did it with an old P4 system) but I don't know for sure and think you would be better off getting a dual channel kit.
If it did work there would be a performance penalty compared to a fully dual channel system and with RAM's prices these days you could get a 2x4GB 8GB dual channel kit for under $60 so you should go for the guarantee of better speed, capacity, and getting it running right. Make sure you buy a brand name kit and not generic RAM. Generic is usually cheaper but is crap and can fail quickly, not even work from the start, and possibly damage your rig.
The turbo boost means the processor can increase its power usage and temporarily overclock itself up to 3.7GHz under certain loads.
You might be able to use two of the tri channel kits with another 8GB kit but I don't recommend relying on it because mixing kits doesn't always work. You might just save the tri channel kit, give it to someone else, or sell it because there is nothing you can reliably do with the third module.
RAM that has a different voltage from the motherboard slots will probably work if it isn't more than .15v away but it will reduce the processors life time by an unpredictable amount. You should get RAM that is less than or equal to the motherboard's voltage rating for a lasting computer.
The motherboard will probably try to run the RAM at 1.65v but I don't know for sure. It may try 1.5v but it will probably run at a slower setting if it does so the RAM will probably work somehow but I can't guess at how long.
RAM that isn't on the support list but has the same specifications as some models on the list will probably work (that support list might have missed some RAM models or some RAM models may have come out since the list was made). There is never a guarantee with computers and RAM can be the trickiest part of the rig.
To summarize, I suggest buying a 2x4GB 8GB kit within the supported list or with the same specs as the supported modules (1.5v, DDR3 1066-2133, unbuffered non-parity, etc). I don't suggest you buy faster RAM than DDR 1600 as any other speed improvements depend on the application (gaming doesn't benefit from better RAM).
Thanks for the info ! I talked to a Gigabyte tech support guy and he told me upping the voltage on the RAM was possible and not hard to do. But I can see what you are talking about as far as shortening the lifespan of the Motherboard. As far as buying that RAM I think I might, but I will have to wait until I get paid = P.
You could increae the voltage on the set I suggested at least as far as 1.65v but you shouldn't need to go past 1.5v to get a big overclock with that set and 1.5v is what I suggest running your RAM at because it is the default voltage for RAM and should never have a problem unless you other settings are wrong.