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Dual Channel question

By genegold ยท 16 replies
Mar 31, 2007
  1. I have a MSI K8NGM2-FID board (Athlon 64/3000). I put in two Corsair 1GB PC3200/400 MHz DDR 184-pin two-sided memory sticks in the first two slots, one green/one purple, i.e., making dual channel. So far so good. Since I had a similar Kingston two-sided KVR400/512 laying around, I decided to get another that was on sale. However, I discovered after opening the package that this new stick with the same number (and voltage) is one-sided. The two work, 2944mb now showing, but I wonder if this is still dual channel operation. How can one tell if the memory configuration is working as dual channel? Thanks.
  2. raspygold

    raspygold TS Rookie

    I have two ideas:

    Sometimes when booting it will show you a rundown of your current memory settings (about the same time as the option to load into BIOS) where it shows your memory size and on mine it shows it as being dual-channel too.

    If that doesn't show it my first thought is CPU-Z.

    If you download that and run it then check the Memory tab, in the general box it will have the type of RAM and across from that it'll show the channels the RAM is running on. For instance it should say "Dual" in that textbox.
  3. genegold

    genegold TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks! CPU-Z was easiest and it showed Single. Took those 512s out and now it says Dual. Don't look forward to returning this stick to Radio Shack now that it's opened, but I don't see how one could know it was one-sided from the numbers on their website and package.
  4. raspygold

    raspygold TS Rookie

    what do you mean by "one-sided"?
  5. genegold

    genegold TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Memory chips on one side (8x64?) . My others have them on both sides (16x32?).
  6. Grafficks

    Grafficks TS Rookie Posts: 302

    Being "one-sided" does not affect a memory module's ability to be configured in dual-channel mode -- as long as both modules are identical.

    What I am thinking happened here is that your "Kingston two-sided KVR400/512" that you had laying around did not identically match with the new one you bought. Because of this, when you installed them, your existing dual-channel configuration cannot be preserved.

    Was the new Kingston RAM you bought allegedly supposed to be the same as the one you already have? And it just turned out that it wasn't?
    You must make sure that you are getting the exact memory module that you already have (match the product numbers). It's always best to get dual-channel memory in kits.
  7. genegold

    genegold TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well yeah, that's what I've been saying, they're not physically the same, thus no dual channel. The price has jumped a bunch since midnight, but here's the item link: http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...gston+512mb&kwCatId=2032061&parentPage=search. The one I already had looks almost the same on the label side, close enough that you'd have to know what to look for, and the labels have the same model number, KVR400/512R, and another long number under the label. I've assumed a hassle on the return, but neither Radio Shack's return policy nor the specific product page say memory can't be returned, so I'll see.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,513   +2,307

    Why ????

    Why is everybody so adverse to going to the motherboard web site, downloading the motherboard manual and then reading it? It will explain what you can and cannot do with memory modules.
  9. genegold

    genegold TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm not clear why you stuck your editorial thoughts on my thread, but here, let me reach next to my desk and quote what the manual says (the page is bookmarked): "...memory modules of the same type and density are required while using dual-channel DDR, or instability may happen." Well, there was no instability and there is nothing on the new package to indicate the type is high density, though I was wondering if that's what the one-sided set up meant. Thus, I asked for a way to verify whether it was dual channel or not - and got an answer.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,513   +2,307

    Because I'm unfortunately prone to editorializing

    My experience is with Intel Boards. Intel implements what they call "flex memory technology". It's much more liberal than the scenario you're describing, takes up about 8 pages of diagrams and cause and effect readings. Since I have nothing additional to offer technically, please accept my apologies.
    A great many of these RAM threads will generate a scolding/admonition of sorts to read the "Installing RAM guide" (not by me). The hard and fast rule is that the "2 Channel DIMMs must be exactly the same", read into that bought in pairs. In practical application, that may vary.
  11. genegold

    genegold TS Rookie Topic Starter

    In CPU-Z, for the two Corsair 1GB sticks running dual channel it shows Max Bandwith as "PC3200 (200MHz)." Is that a way 400 MHz stick should show?
  12. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Welcome to TechSpot genegold :)

    yes, that is correct. DDR400 runs at 200MHz. since it is "double data rate", it's transfer rate is twice it's actual speed (400MT/s).

    BTW, go easy on that quote button, you're gonna wear it out ;)

    cheers :wave:
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    read the installing ram guide in the guides forum. Don't mix-match ram speed, types, sizes, or brands - and yes Cap'n Cranky (I wrote the guide)... I refer to it because noobs constantly have problems on this site when mix-matching ram (as in this case.) I firmly believe in the KISS method (keep it simple stupid). While there are always exepctions in the PC world, if you follow the guide, you won't go wrong.
  14. raspygold

    raspygold TS Rookie

    Oh, now I have a question.

    Would his system be better off running his current dual-channel arrangement or would it benefit from the extra ram that he wanted to put inside the system making it no longer dual-channel?
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,513   +2,307

    Tedster, Were On The Same Side....

    First I'm on board with you 100%. Your way will absolutely, positively, work. Other ways only might work. And a fine guide it is. Here is my only reservation about dealing in absolutes: Intel's 'Flex Memory Technology" is different, way different. Okay, I understand that there doesn't seem to be any status or interest in Intel boards in these parts due to the lack of control in their BIOS.
    No overclocking! Like noobs should be screwing around with processor voltages and such. I always suggest reading a Intel 9xx series board manual, if only for relaxation. Since I have been chastised for butting in and editorializing, I actually find your approach invigorating. Really!
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,513   +2,307

    An Obvious Trade-Off...

    If you need your stuff done in a hurry, dual-channel. If you have problems with programs overusing the swap file, then more single channel might be better, since RAM whether single or dual channel is always faster than allowing the system to write to a hard drive.
  17. raspygold

    raspygold TS Rookie

    indeed, Memory > Virtual Memory
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