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Dual Channel vs More RAM

By fulchat
Jun 11, 2007
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  1. Maybe a simple answer but the fact that I dont know what the answer is means I have to ask. I have 2x512 running a 939 socket single core AMD 3800+ @ 2.7GHz. Installed RAM is DDR400/2x512 running in dual channel. Ive come across a stick of DDR333/512 and I would like to use it but I need to know if Im going backwards in terms of performance. As you can see my overclock is not great at all so I dont consider it a concern to revert back to stock frequency (2.4GHz) as long as Im gaining performance with more RAM. Theres no need to get specific if you dont have the time but a general rule of thumb would suffice.

    Thanx
  2. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 743

    Unless i'm mistaken ,if the stick of ram is the same spec, then on certain boards it will still use your existing ram in dual channel mode, but with the extra stick added as well in probably single channel.

    This will need clarification, but i'm sure i've read or heard it somewhere.
  3. fulchat

    fulchat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Please somebody say its so.................................

    Thanx for your reply.
  4. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    1. memory can only run in one mode at a time; single channel or dual channel. it cannot operate in both modes similtaneously.

    2. on certain intel and pre-AMD64 motherboards, it could run in dual channel mode with an odd number if sticks (one stick would have to equal the total amount of the other two sticks).

    3. on AMD64 systems (including socket-939) the memory controller is on the CPU, so the motherboard model doesn't matter (when refering to memory/channel configurations).

    4. socket 939 systems can run an odd number od memory sticks, but it will revert to single channel mode, regardless of what memory sticks are installed.

    5. as for what is better [performance--wise] is different for each person. use a memory usage monitoring program to see how much physical memory you're currently using. if it's less than 1024MB then it's fine the way it is and you'll benefit more from the dual channel. if you're using more than 1024MB then you will probably benefit more from the extra 512MB of physical memory.

    cheers :wave:
  5. fulchat

    fulchat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thankyou much.
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