I have a question about dual channel...

By wolfram · 26 replies
Oct 15, 2006
  1. Hi guys,

    I've been thinking about returning my two 512MB Value Select sticks, and get a 512MB X 2 Dual channel kit.

    But my main question is:
    If I get another 512 X 2 kit in the future, and if Corsair changes again the revision, will I be able to enable dual channel? Do all the 4 sticks have to be INDENTICAL?

    Thanks :wave:
  2. Bazikstano

    Bazikstano TS Rookie

    the pairs have to be identical.
    2x512=the same
    2x1 (4 example)=the same
    and make shure you put the memories in the correct place.
  3. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Thanks for your response :)

    Then, let's say, I buy one 2 X 512MB dual channel kit, and then, maybe next year, I get another kit. And Corsair changes again the revision. Will that setup work properly in dual channel? Or just single channel mode?

    I really want to have 2 GB of RAM, because someday I'll have to get Vista....
  4. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 596

    I got 2GB for 170$ :D Cas 4 also. Ddr2 667. pqi TURBO with heatspreaders. OC RAM.
  5. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    But yours is DDR2, mine is DDR1, and it's more expensive :mad:
  6. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi wolfram,
    Most chipset/mainboards only care about each channel being the same, not all banks/chips.

    i.e. you can even have dual-channel with 2x256 & 2x512 in most four-slot dual-channel motherboards. For both channels to work, only a *pair* of memory must be matched, with matches for both banks.

    So yes, if you buy 2x512 now (say Corsair) then say in a year buy 2x512 Kingstons, this will work in *most* good quality, good bios-support mainboards.
  7. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Thanks a lot Sharkfood. You're always SO HELPFUL mate!!

    Do you think it would work on a Biostar T-Force 6100-939, Nvidia Geforce 6100 chipset, and an Athlon 64 3800+ Venice?

    Probably yes, but I want to be sure, before I spend big $$$ on that.

    Thank you a lot mate :)
  8. wallabing

    wallabing TS Rookie Posts: 69

    Ok here it goes.

    As long as you use dual channel kits, you will always get dual channel capability with your RAM.

    You can use 2 different brands of dual channel kits, and it will all run in dual channel mode with no problems.

    If you buy single sticks only, then you have the problem of sticks not being compatable for dual channel, and you have to do a ton of reseach to see if they are compatable with your existing ram.

    Hope this helps.
  9. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    That's why I started this thread. I bought two single 512MB sticks, and then won't work in dual channel, because one stick is double sided, and the other is single sided. And I really want to enable dual channel RAM :)

    Now, I'm gonna buy a 512 kit, and maybe next year, I'll get another kit. Thank you a lot guys for helping me out.

    Regards :wave:
  10. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Sorry, but I now have another question:

    If I use all the four slots on my mobo, will that decrease memory & system performance? I heard that Venice´s and Sandy´s don´t have any issues with that, but is it true?

    Thanks :)
  11. wallabing

    wallabing TS Rookie Posts: 69

    Using all ram slots is fine. No problem at all. All AMD and Intel cpu's will work fine.

    I'm using all 4 of mine and I see no problems or decrease in performance.
  12. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Ok, thanks. I remember those New Castle and Winchester's running all the four RAM sticks at CR2, and DDR333. But the newer cores are supposed to run @ DDR400, and CR1....

    Thank you a lot. Regards :wave:
  13. Bazikstano

    Bazikstano TS Rookie

    Everything is said xD...

    Maybe in some mobos, like DFI LAN PARTY UT NF4 you could have some configurations problems, but nothing else..

    Saludos desde Chile
  14. Tedster

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

    I've have owned this RAM and it is pretty good and fairly stable. Yes, your channels must be matched, but if you have two channels then your second pair can be of a different type. I don't recommend it, but it should work.
  15. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Thanks for your input Tedster, but why don't you recommend it?

    BTW, Saludos desde Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Bazikstano. Ya hacía mucho que no había alguien que hablara español por aqui ;)
  16. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    If you run two different dual channel kits it's very important that they can both run the same voltage and timings. Running all four slots will force 2T command rate with AMD CPU's(most Intel mobos always run 2T.) 2T is about a 10% bandwidth hit, but really just a 3% overall performance hit. If you can use all the added memory it will be faster anyway.
  17. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi Wolfram,
    I do not believe there are any AM2 core's that you need to worry about number of memory modules vs. speed.

    Older AMD's of particular stepping cores had limitations as the on-chip memory controller would step down to maximum speed of DDR-333 if using 4 double-sided modules. I do not believe this impacts any of the AM2 line though due to revamps of the on-chip memory controller for DDR2.

    Tedster warns of unmatched banks as your system will allocate/time all banks to the speed of the slowest bank. Stability and issues will also be a case of BIOS support, which I can't say Biostar ranks highly on my own personal list in this department hehe.

    Overall though, I would just try to get the closest match possible down the road. If there is a minor revision change of the same series, this wont be enough difference to squak about. If you go from say single-sided to double-sided with totally different chips on the modules.. then yah, you'd be hoping for good BIOS support for timing/presenting these to the on-board controller in a way for best performance/stability.
  18. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Thanks for the replies guys. Really appreciated.

    Maybe AM2 cores, with their improved memory controller, don't have issues running all the four DIMM slots.
    But I do not have an AM2 CPU hehe :), I have a 939 Athlon 64 3200+ Venice (overclocked to 3800+, to keep the 400 MHZ RAM).

    I don't plan to get a 512 Corsair kit, and another 512 Kingston RAM for example. I plan to get a Value Select 512 kit, and then in the future, another exact kit, same model, same brand, same voltage, but probably (only Corsair knows), different revision.
    What do you think about this? Should I just keep 1 GB dual channel RAM, or in the worst case, 2GB of single channel RAM?
    BTW, I just upgraded my Biostar BIOS, I hope that could help ;)

    Thanks :)
  19. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Go with the dual channel. Sharkfood ran performance tests between single and dual channel in a different post and I was surprised at the difference. 1gb will be fine for now. Adding more value ram in the future for Vista should work just fine.
  20. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    The dual-channel posts I showed were on Prescott Pentium-4 cores. ALL AMD's do not show the kinds of improvements as Intel's as they are far superior with less clock speed (highly optimized pipeline).

    While there is a measurable improvement in bandwidth between single and dual-channel on AMD's, it doesn't have the same perverse effect on floating point/integer operations like it does on Pentium 4's. Prescott cores have the biggest gap due to their reductions in design that places a severe need for a primed L2 cache and performance ratio due to core speed vs. optimizations.

    So even single channel on that 3200+ will perform admirably and have performance where it counts (MIPS/MFLOPS for games and multimedia).

    I'd also say grab CPU-Z and see what stepping your 939 (sorry, thought you had an AM2 for some bizarre reason.. not enough coffee lately lol). If it's a Exx series, there might be some double-sided module concerns at 4 sticks.
  21. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    That's right, its all coming back to me now :)

    Sharkfood: Next to Howard, you have got to be one of the most intelligent peeps on here! You need to fill in your profile so we can see where you've gotten all of your knowledge from.
  22. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    I really agree with nickslick74. I really admire you, Sharkfood, I wish I'd had the same level of knowledge as you. Your posts are always quality ones :grinthumb
    It's nice to have you in Techspot!

    I have attached a CPU-Z dump. I have returned the CPU to it's original clock, just for this log :) If I see a performance decrease, I'll return it to 3800+ speeds ;)

    It appears to be a DH-E6 revision. Hopefully, it's a good revision.

    Thanks guys :wave:
  23. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    For sticks will reduce stability. At stock it should be fine, but when overclocking it WILL lower the maximum speed. It would be best to use just two 1 GB sticks.

    I hope the price comes back down. Not too long ago I got a two gig kit of OCZ Platinum PC-3200 for about $150, now it's $300! Even the PC2-6400 two gig kit I bought in June was just $170. Memory prices have doubled over the last few months.
  24. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Thanks for the response.
    Anyway, I won't keep this processor too much time. I should change it next year. I want a San Diego 3700+, and I will give this CPU to my father.

    And you're right about the RAM. I just bought some months ago, a 512 MB Value select stick, it costed me 36.99 plus shipping, now its near $60?!?!

    And I don't want to switch to DDR2 yet. I don't want to change my mobo and my CPU socket. That would be too expensive for me....
  25. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Thanks for the kind words guys. I truly appreciate it and I'm honored to hang-out with the really awesome techo-folks here at TechSpot. :)

    Well Wolfram, that's an E6 stepping core, which have been known to have some issues with tighter timings + 4 double-sided sticks @ ddr-400 speeds. :(

    It'll really come down to 1T vs 2T timings, BIOS support and the modules themselves. If you do go 4-sticks and wind up with ddr-333 speed, try moving up the timings to 2T as even the most stalwart E3/E6 stepping cores can usually muster ddr-400 speeds @ 2T/double sided modules.

    In all reality though, in games that can use it (EverquestII, BF2, BF2142, etc.etc.), the 1T vs 2T really has little impact though as the extra memory alone makes a huge difference.

    Good luck man!
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...