Probably stupid Dual Channel RAM question

By jsmith24
Jun 24, 2006
  1. Hi all,

    I'm building a new system and sweating over motherboards and such, but my main question is Dual Channel RAM. Okay, don't flame me too badly..

    I know that the chips have to be identical and paired up, but does that mean it works like some RAID systems? That is - if I install a pair of 512MB sticks, does the system see 512MB total or 1GB total?


  2. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,122

    The system will see 1GB w/2 512mb
  3. jsmith24

    jsmith24 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for the quick reply!

  4. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    it still sees a total of 1GB, but the way it accesses different.

    it can be similar to RAID for purposes of explantion. there are different configurations of RAID, mirrored RAID sees only half of the total storage volume, because it writes the same thing on both drives. but striped RAID see the full storage volume but reads/writes to both drives at the same time by splitting up data.

    dual channel RAM works in a similar way. but instead of splitting up data, it splits up commands. with dual channel you will still have 1GB but you don't have to wait for the first stick to be fully utilized before the second stick is accessed. in dual channel, each command alternates between the 2 sticks. the benefit is that it doesn't have to wait for the first command to finish before starting a new one.

    so you still have the full 1GB of RAM, but it is used much more efficiently.
  5. jsmith24

    jsmith24 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, KingCody.

    Thanks for explaining it that way - that's what I was so clumsily trying to say before (the idea of mirrored versus striped RAID).

    Thanks again! Now if I can just get a handle on a video card... :)

  6. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    video cards can be very confusing. what's your question?
  7. jsmith24

    jsmith24 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey KingCody,

    Confusing isn't the word. :) I'm upgrading from an old system with a GeForce Ti200 128MB AGP card to a system that will have PCIe slots, so I will need a new card. I don't want to spend a fortune, and I basically want a card that will perform at least as well as the old AGP. I'm not a heavy gamer, but I do like to play occasionally. So, I want to be inexpensive but still be able to play a game or two. That's my predicament. :)

    Thanks in advance,

  8. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    oh.. hehe I didn't realize you were the same person that posted this question running in the audio and video forum.

    we'll leave that question there ;)
  9. jsmith24

    jsmith24 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Hi again folks,

    Thanks again for all the help and guidance, in this forum and the video forum. Here is what I decided on:

    Asus A8N5X motherboard (nForce)
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (retail with fan)
    XFX 7600GS 256MB PV-T73P-UDS3 PCIe video
    Corsair 1MB dual channel memory kit
    Antec Smart Power 2.0 350W PSU

    On the power supply, I figured that mine was about five years old so I wanted to go with a new one instead of using some adapter to make the 20 pin ATX I had fit the new 24 pin "EATX" connector on the new mobo.

    It may not be the best gaming system in the world, but I think it will get me by just fine. :)

    Sincerely though - thanks for the very helpful, very FAST help I received here! Also, thanks for not making me feel like a complete and total *****!

  10. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    You`re going to build a very good system. Good for gaming.

    Very nice buy! :wave: :grinthumb :giddy:
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