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Is 3xTriple and 1xSingle Channel hurting my performance?

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August 18, 2012 2:50:27 AM

I've only recently started reading up about memory and I'm having trouble finding a definitive answer to the above. Thanks in advance for any help you're able to offer or any suggestions on where I might be able to do some reading to get the answer :) 

I have four DDR3-1066 modules in a triple-channel supporting motherboard (ASUS P6T SE, in case it matters.) As I understand it, this means that the sticks in sockets 1, 3 and 5 will run in triple channel and the one sitting in 2 will run in single channel, which I assume means that I'll get inconsistent response speeds from the memory when I'm using more than 6Gb. Is this correct?

I'm not currently thinking too hard about upgrading (I figure the money would be better spent on a new graphics card at this point) so it's more a question of the best configuration using what I have. I figure I can do one of:

- Leave it as-is (3x2Gb running triple channel, 1x2Gb in single)
- Take one stick out, leaving just the 6Gb in triple channel
- Move the appropriate sticks and use all 8Gb in dual-channel

Only problem is that I've no idea which of the above would result in the best performance and a few hours spent Googling have yielded no real answer (or at least not something I recognised as being one - could be simply my not understanding something, admittedly!)

Typical use would be for gaming, often in windowed mode with other things running at the same time (usually Firefox, Ventrilo/Mumble and one of Spotify or iTunes. Fraps as well if I'm feeling particularly fruity :p ) Occasionally I use Photoshop as well but I rarely work on images of high enough resolution or of sufficient complexity to tax my system too much.

Any advice you're able to give, even if it's just a suggestion for a site I might visit or a search term I could use to find the info myself would be greatly appreciated :) 
a b } Memory
August 18, 2012 3:21:27 AM

You can't have triple and single at the same time. If one is in single, they're all single. The same reason why the same voltage, speed, and latency must be applied to all sticks. There is negligble difference in gaming in dual vs triple, but up to 8gb of ram will see a increase in performance. http://www.overclock.net/t/681697/the-truth-about-i7-13...
August 18, 2012 4:29:05 AM

As k1114 said they are running in single channel right now.
The best bet for you is to run them in dual channel mode.
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August 18, 2012 5:11:23 AM

the extra 2gb wont make your build faster at all because most applications don't need that much of ram ,and 6gb is even enough to disable page file toms hardware discussed this thing before here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-module-upgra...
and here how to disable page(swap file) file http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-twe...
and here how much faster when you disable page http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...
i am almost sure even with 4 sticks the mother board will work in triple channel mode give me ten minutes and ill check it for you

Anonymous
a b } Memory
August 18, 2012 5:36:02 AM

oxford373 said:
the extra 2gb wont make your build faster at all because most applications don't need that much of ram ,and 6gb is even enough to disable page file toms hardware discussed this thing before here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-module-upgra...
and here how to disable page(swap file) file http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-twe...
and here how much faster when you disable page http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...
i am almost sure even with 4 sticks the mother board will work in triple channel mode give me ten minutes and ill check it for you

you need to read that yourself :p 
Quote:
With the swap file deactivated, we ran into problems using 8 GB of RAM (as expected) when Windows ran out of memory. The red values document the state at the time of the crash. If you have 8 GB of RAM installed, you should carefully consider whether it's worth the risk of a possible crash before deactivating the swap file. The performance increase from disabling the swap file is measurable, but still rather modest. At least 12 GB of RAM is needed before you can consider disabling the swap file in a consumer-type environment without worrying--unless you use software that requires a swap file, of course.
August 18, 2012 5:37:53 AM

oxford373 said:
here is the user manual of your motherboard
http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1366/P6T/E4283_P...
they recommend you to instal your sticks on DIMM_A2 /DIMM_A1/DIMM_B1/DIMM_C1
and they will work on triple channel mode


That is the right set up for 4 sticks of ram, but it won't be triple channel. That is most likely the set up for dual channel. It's not possible to run triple channel unless you have a number of sticks divisible by 3 (3, 6, 9, etc).
August 18, 2012 5:50:43 AM

i have i7-920 with gigabyte x58 with 6gb RAM and i disabled page file three years ago and i have never had any problem ,i also think almost no body do 6threads 2 gb per thread,so this problem wont happen to him ,so it deppend on what kind of applications he use .
quote from this page http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-twe... (We expect the biggest outcry will come from the contingent of folks who simply cannot get behind disabling the paging file. There are good points to be made on both sides of this debate. And while we'll refrain from encouraging you one way or the other, we will say that, if you want to give life without a paging file a try, keep an eye on memory usage for a bit first. You want to be darned sure that your peak memory use, plus a healthy buffer between 25 and 50%, doesn't exceed your installed memory capacity. For instance, if you're only rocking 6 GB of RAM, you wouldn't want to see memory usage exceed 3.5 or 4 GB. If it does, consider installing more memory before taking a risk with your machine's stability) so toms hardware recommend to disable page file with 6gb if you dont do high multitasking
August 18, 2012 6:26:37 AM

oxford373 said:
now i am 100% sure his 4 RAM sticks will work on triple channel mode asus didn't write that on their x58 user manual but gigabyte did and here is gigabyte x58 user manual
http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Manual/motherboard...


In that case it is using an Intel feature "Flex Memory Mode" which makes the 3 modules run in triple channel and the single stick run in single channel. Because the CPU has to communicate with 2 different speeds of memory which is a bit slower than running it in triple and single channel at the same time.
Anonymous
a b } Memory
August 18, 2012 6:29:51 AM

oxford373 said:
i have i7-920 with gigabyte x58 with 6gb RAM and i disabled page file three years ago and i have never had any problem ,i also think almost no body do 6threads 2 gb per thread,so this problem wont happen to him ,so it deppend on what kind of applications he use .
quote from this page http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-twe... (We expect the biggest outcry will come from the contingent of folks who simply cannot get behind disabling the paging file. There are good points to be made on both sides of this debate. And while we'll refrain from encouraging you one way or the other, we will say that, if you want to give life without a paging file a try, keep an eye on memory usage for a bit first. You want to be darned sure that your peak memory use, plus a healthy buffer between 25 and 50%, doesn't exceed your installed memory capacity. For instance, if you're only rocking 6 GB of RAM, you wouldn't want to see memory usage exceed 3.5 or 4 GB. If it does, consider installing more memory before taking a risk with your machine's stability) so toms hardware recommend to disable page file with 6gb if you dont do high multitasking

you are completely misguided by reading one article.

you have no idea what applications or usage the OP has for their system and your recommendation is completely inappropriate.

bottom line is if the swap file isn't needed it won't be used; there will be no performance difference. you can stop "cherry picking" parts of different articles.

(troll radar on)
August 18, 2012 6:32:08 AM

yes the memory bandwidth will be 5% slower , does he really have to care about that,i don't think so
August 18, 2012 6:52:23 AM

oxford373 said:
by the way disabling page file is 15-100% faster , it depends on what kind applications he use.
just see how much faster with HDD activity rendering
on this page http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...

Lets have a look at a more up to date and much more in debth article: http://www.tweakhound.com/2011/10/10/the-windows-7-page...

His conclusion?

Based on my observations there is no performance benefit to running without a pagefile.

It is possible that gaming performance might be improved marginally (but not significantly) without a pagefile BUT:

1 – It will depend on using game intensive enough to really push your hardware, especially memory.

2 – It will take benchmarks on that specific game to tell what difference if any it will make. said:
Based on my observations there is no performance benefit to running without a pagefile.

It is possible that gaming performance might be improved marginally (but not significantly) without a pagefile BUT:

1 – It will depend on using game intensive enough to really push your hardware, especially memory.

2 – It will take benchmarks on that specific game to tell what difference if any it will make.


August 18, 2012 7:35:54 AM

if you saw the computer specs of this benchmark you wouldn't read the rest of the article because core2quad/C2D have very slow memory bandwidth
and here is the specs of your article

computer Specs
OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model Inspiron 530
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz, 2400 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB DDR2(PC2-6400)
Video ATI Radeon HD 5670
Sound SoundBlaster XFI Fatality
Drives:
OS drive – 2 x WD Raptor 150′s in RAID 0 (modded BIOS for RAID 0)
Other drive – Seagate Barracuda ST31000333AS 1-TB

it only make a sense for people who have normal HDD and core i or phenomeII/athloneII cpus which they have much faster memory bandwidth

quote from your article (I choose my older computer because:
1 – It more closely represents what the average reader / user will have vs. my main rig.
2 – My main rig has had the hell beat out of it benchmarking over the last 3+ years and I just didn’t want to pound on it any more. )
its much worse than toms hardware article
!