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What's faster: 4gb in dual or 6gb in single?


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#1 Marth_01

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:44 PM

Hello,

So I've come across a strange situation.
I've got a motherboard with 4 RAM slots and I've got three 2gb triple-channel RAM sticks.
What's faster: putting them all in and having 6gb but in single-channel, or putting in two and having 4gb but in dual-channel?

For other computer specs, I have 64bit Win7 and use 3DS Max and After Effects.

Also, is it possible for me to buy a single (identical brand and speed of course) stick of 2gb RAM and put that in and have 8gb in dual?

Thanks for your time!

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 10:35 PM

What's faster: putting them all in and having 6gb but in single-channel, or putting in two and having 4gb but in dual-channel?

It's hard to say for certain. If the system is swapping to the page file and giving you momentary lags, then going up to 6GB could be faster for you. If the current 4GB of memory is adequate for what you do, then the lower memory bandwidth of single channel operation could negate any small benefit of the extra memory. Actually trying it both ways is probably the best way to find out.

is it possible for me to buy a single (identical brand and speed of course) stick of 2gb RAM and put that in and have 8gb in dual?

It depends on whether your system mainboard has this capability (mixed or asymmetric mode). What is the model of computer if it's a brandname, or the mainboard if it's a generic system? If you don't know, you can Publish a Snapshot using Speccy.

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#3 Marth_01

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 10:41 PM

The motherboard I have is this: http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3238#sp
I don't know if it supports mixed.

Also, it says it supports 1.5V RAM. If I put in 1.65V RAM, does that hurt it?

Thanks for the quick reply!

#4 Platypus

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:14 AM

Your motherboard manual only shows Single Channel Asymmetric mode, and I believe this is how the P55 support chipset operates, so Dual Channel Mode requires 2 or 4 DIMMs. The board has adjustable memory voltage in the MIT (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) section of the BIOS. All DIMMs should be of the same voltage rating to ensure correct operation.

If you don't have a copy of the manual to check out the options:

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3238#manual

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#5 Marth_01

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:44 AM

This is the RAM I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145286
Is it possible to buy this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145285

Would I have 8gb of dual-channel if I used three of the triple-channel sticks and one of the dual-channel sticks?
They have the same timings and same voltage, but it would be mixing dual channel and triple channel RAM.

Thanks.

EDIT: Would it, by that logic, be possible to buy this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145327
Which is one 4gb stick, same timings and voltage, and put that in the last slot, giving me 10gb total?

Edited by Marth_01, 07 June 2011 - 10:46 AM.


#6 Layback Bear

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:08 AM

Dual or triple channel is not controlled by the ram sticks, it's controlled by the mother board. It is sold 2 at a time or 3 at a time for convince. If you have a dual channel m/b then ram should be installed 2 at a time in the slots the mother board manual indicates. Some m/b want slots 1 and 3 and others want 2 and 4. If you have a triple channel m/b then you install 3 sticks of ram at a time to take advantage of triple channel. My last m/b is triple channel and 6 memory slots. If I only install 3 sticks my manual tells me to put them in slots 2, 4, 6. If I put them in 1,3,5 it will not boot. The advantage of buying quality ram packaged 2 or 3 at a time is that they have been tested and matched to each other. To me one stick is not a option because who wants single channel. IMO all ram should be matched to get proper performance. For sure the voltages should be the same. You have probably read that some have miss matched ram and the computer booted and ran. Not good enough for me, running properly is what I look for.




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