Dual Channel Ram question?

By JohnnyFiVe ยท 24 replies
May 11, 2006
  1. i was wondering what exactly does duel channel ram mean?
    I have an AMD HP Media Center PC
    AMD X2 Duel Core 2.20ghz
    2 gig 1gigX1gig ram DDR3200 /4 dim slots up to 4ghz
    Mobo Amythyst MS7184
    is Dual channel compatible

    also wondering if I add and extra 512 in the 3d slot and leave the 4th empty does that disable duel channel? does it have to be 2 and 2 in order to work? and what would be the difference if i added the 512 and it did disable duel channel? is having it duel channel make it any better then just adding the extra 512 to the memery. and do they both have to be 512 or can i put 512 and a 256 in the other 2 to make duel channel work?
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    Dual channel just means two data channels at one time. Adding a third stick would probably remove the dual channel functionality. As far as I know, dual channel does very little on AMD systems, due to the on-die memory controller of the CPUs. You probably wouldn't notice any performance difference.

    You already have 2GB of RAM, why do you want to add another 512MB.
  3. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    1. in an AMD system, RAM sticks have to be paired. if you add a 3rd RAM stick it would disable the dual channel mode.

    2. there is no reason to add 1 512MB stick to a system that already has 2GB in it. you are probably not even utilizing the 2GB now, nevermind another 512

    3. on single core systems, the increased bandwidth of dual channel doesn't give much performance boost, but a dual core system can utilize it much better so it does indeed boost performance
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    um- not quite. I have an AMD on an MSI motherboard. I have 3 sticks of identical RAM and they're run in duel channel..... 1.5 gigs.... which is pretty much overkill. I really have never had a need for more than 1gb, even with games.

    really depends on the motherboard.
  5. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    i stand corrected...

    i knew that certain Intel chipsets could run uneven amounts of RAM in dual channel, but I didn't know that any AMD systems could do it as well.

    is that a 64 or XP system???

    does that mean that they're fighting each other to the death?? haha just kidding! :D :D :D
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I have an MSI K7N2 Delta 2 Platinum motherboard running an Athlon 3200+XP CPU.

    And definately all 3 sticks of RAM run in duel channel.
    It's a 32bit Athlon XP system. (not 64)
  7. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    that's news to me... I didn't realize that any AMD systems could do that, but oh well I guess you really do learn something every day ;)

    ...BTW you said "duel" again, haha you're RAM sticks must really hate each other.. :D :D :D
  8. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    In AthlonXP days, the memory controller was not on the CPU so how the memory controller worked depended on the chipset used (in Tedster's case a nForce2 chipset which had two memory slots as channel #1 & a third memory slot as channel #2).

    Dual channel is very usefull especially with a dual-core CPU as the memory has to feed two CPUs instead of one. The extra 512mb will lower the overall memory bandwidth & it is noticeable.
  9. JohnnyFiVe

    JohnnyFiVe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I do alot of Rendering and modeling work with maya so figured i would maximize the comp to get a faster performance. And just bought another 512 PC3200 so i have both in there now. Wondering will the dual channel work now since i have the same in and also noticed with ddr they say #'s like CL3 and and CR and others after the #'s what do those mean? and do u need ram that is actually "dual channel" for it to work?
  10. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    CL stands for CAS LATENCY. basically the lower the number = the faster the RAM.

    Simply adding more RAM does not always improve performance, and in some cases can reduce performance.

    here's a good guide that explains RAM timings.
  11. JohnnyFiVe

    JohnnyFiVe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    can u add different letter ones together? or should they be the same? and do they have to be same make i have the 2 1gigs Samsung and the 2 512s Kingston. Does that interfere with the duel channing if they r not same make? here r the numbers i could find on the ones it came with

    1gig PC3200U CL3

    New ones i put in
    Kingston 512
    Kingston 512

    the first kingston doesn't seem to list any Cnumber but i do have another of the 2d one thx for the info couldn't find that info again saw it once
    thx for the link but its not the same thing i found b4. The one i found somewhere b4 said what each of the CR U C3 all those things meant but can't seem to find it again.

    sorry if these questions sound stupid but i know nothing about ram when it comes to latency and that kind of stuff
  12. Vaynard

    Vaynard TS Rookie

    Hello ^_^


    Does That mean I can Add 4 Stikcs to get dual Channel?

  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    if you read a few replies back, you'll see this is not necessarily true. I have an AMD system with 3 matched sticks and they all run in duel channel. It really depends on the motherboard.
  14. Vaynard

    Vaynard TS Rookie

    no I meant an AMD 64 system :)
  15. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Umm, the 939 socket Athlon 64 are dual channel, the 754 socket Athlon 64's are not.
    Johnny5: latency doesn't matter but they have to be of the same size and speed/type. Example 1Gb, DDR400 (PC3200). They also have to be installed in the correct slot pairing in the mobo (check the manual).
    Vaynard: I beleive I answered your question above.
  16. IBN

    IBN TS Guru Posts: 487

    I have a intel based mobo and you need both banks to be equal in order for ram to run in dual channel mode.
  17. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    still depends on your mobo maker.
  18. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Posts: 149

  19. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    good article, but not quite accurate. Some motherboards, such as mine run in duel channel with an odd amount of ram sticks.

    I have an MSI K7N2 Delta 2 Platinum.
  20. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Duel =
    Dual =
    ;) ;) ;)
  21. mod-newbie

    mod-newbie TS Rookie Posts: 26


    duel and dual indeed have different meanings

    you've got a keen eye there king.. lol :haha:
  22. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    haha - glad you noticed! Normally I'm pretty good with grammer and spelling... whoops. missed this one! ;)
  23. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    in Tedster's defense he is a very good with spelling and grammer, in fact I think thats the only thing he's ever mispelled

    its just funny how often people mistake duel for dual... hehe. just trying to keep you on your toes Ted! :haha:
  24. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Posts: 149

    Not that I am a stickler or anything, but grammer is spelt grammar. Hehe thought that was kind of ironic.
  25. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    haha, that's awesome! :haha: hold on while i pull my foot out of my mouth ;)
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