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Using 4 sticks in Dual Channel mode?


Killerbee

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I have a question about dual channel mode. At this moment I use 2 x 512MB memory in dual channel mode but I read somewhere that it isn't possible to use four memory banks in dual channel mode. Is this correct cuz I couldn't believe it? I would like to know this since I'm thinking of upgrading. I also have a question about this one. What would you guys suggest with keeping dual channel in mind if I want to have at least 2 gigs of ram? Concerning this question I got 2 main questions about it:

 

1) Is it wise to buy another 2 x 512, so I can make use of low latency timings (2-2-2-5) but can't upgrade in the future unless I throw out 2 strips?

 

2) Should it be more efficient to buy 2 x 1 gig (i.e. TwinX2048-3200C2), so I can make use of less fast latency timings (2-3-3-6) and have 3 gigs in total?

 

Could both setups run in dual channel mode though? Thanks in advance for answering my questions!!!!

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First thing, you cannot mix memory with this MB and or platform.

Second, if you use more than two double sided modules it may by default slow the system to DDR333, that is true.

Last thing, if you want to go to Two Gig of memory I would suggest replacing your memory with one Twinx2048-3200C2 set of modules or for best performance one set of Twinx2048-3500LLPro.

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Thanks for your quick reply!!!! Is it true that the only difference between the TwinX2024-3500LL Pro and the TwinX2048-3200C2 is the amount of MHZ and the latency of 2-3-2-6 instead of 2-3-3-6? Cuz my mobo only supports 3200 MHZ modules I think and the difference in latency isn't really significant, is it?

 

Btw if this is true then it sux big time!!!! I bought this comp just a few months ago and thought that upgrading wouldn't be such a big problem. Well, let's pretend that using 4 banks can cause that I can't use Dual channel anymore. Would this be such a large performance difference?

 

What do you mean by exactly match? You mean I only can upgrade with TwinX1024-3200XL Pro like I use now or that only the pair of strips that are in Dual channel mode need to be exact the same? So for example: I add an extra 2 gig to what I have already by using TwinX2048-3200C2 and put them in the other banks aswell.

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Mmmm, I bought this memory a half year ago or something so I guess it would be kind of hard to meet this requirements. Do you think this is possible cuz I don't know how often versions change and so on? What would you suggest, the same as Ram Guy told me to sell this memory and buy i.e. Twinx2048-3200C2? Is this set of memory also capable of running on 1T in my mobo?

 

And what is the difference between bank and slot cuz I thought it was the same?

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Watch this:

http://www.corsairmemory.com/corsair/products/tech/memory_basics/153707/index.html

 

Slot just means the physical slot on the motherboard. Bank / rank refers to how the memory was built and cannot necessarily be seen.

 

Command Rate is a fucntion of the motherboard, not the memory, but yes, TwinX2048-3200C2 shouldn't have an issue running like that.

 

Yes, 2 X 1GB is better than 4 X 512 MB.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can't back up anything I'm about to say, but, after hours online and a few glasses of wine, I think I remember reading that with DDR it is actually better to have more sticks than less (512x2 is better than 1GBx1). I know it's mentioned above that it's not, but could someone explain to me why, or post a link with funky pie charts or something?

 

TIA,

BK

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I can't back up anything I'm about to say, but, after hours online and a few glasses of wine, I think I remember reading that with DDR it is actually better to have more sticks than less (512x2 is better than 1GBx1). I know it's mentioned above that it's not, but could someone explain to me why, or post a link with funky pie charts or something?

 

Actually, as a general rule, dual-channel DDR1 memory controllers work best with four banks/ranks of memory - four single-sided DIMM's or two double-sided DIMM's. (Single-channel DDR1 memory controllers work best with only two banks/ranks of memory - two single-sided DIMM's or one double-sided DIMM.) If you exceed the "optimal" amount of banks/ranks, there will be increased loading on the memory controller, forcing you to use a higher voltage and/or looser (higher) latency timings and/or a slower memory clockspeed and/or a 2T instead of 1T command rate.

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Yes, 4 sticks will run in dual channel mode, of course there can be disadvantages that you may run into when using more than 2 sticks, as Ram Guy has said. All 4 sticks would have to exactly match as well.

 

For the certifiable (like me)

As with all things, there can be exceptions.

 

Just this year I had four sticks of 256Mb Kingmax TinyBGA DDR-500 (admittedly some very different DDR).

My DFI Expert motherboard would NOT use ANY combination of these (One, two, or four sticks). And these were "matched" DIMMs (consecutive serial numbers).

 

Then I changed to a DFI Venus motherboard and everything changed.

Short version - I found I could run two of the 256Mb Kingmax TinyBGA DDR-500 sticks in the "Orange" slots AND two sticks of 1Gb ******** Gold DDR-500 in the "Yellow" slots at the same time!

 

That is:

1) All four DIMM slots populated.

2) Two pair of different brand DIMMs

3) Two pair of radically different SIZE DIMMs (256M vs. 1Gb)

4) Two pair of DIMMs with radically different CHIPS on them.

 

And they ran fine together.

 

This is without doubt NOT the norm, and has little practical value.

 

However, if you already HAVE dissimilar DIMMs, go ahead and TRY them.

They probably WON'T work (like my Expert board), but they MIGHT.

 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Just don't go out a BUY some wierd combination.

There is no point to it. :sunglasse

 

PS: My recomendation to anyone (Killerbee) with a "current" motherboard would be to buy a 2 Gb matched pair (TwinX) of whatever flavor you fancy that is recomended by Corsair.

This should help with both games and Windows Vista when it comes out later this year.

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Thx for your answer. I'm starting to think that I will go and buy me some TwinX2048-3200C2 and try to mix them with the memory I already have. Like you said maybe it works, if not I still can sell the ones I have at this moment. Although the modules I have now will run at lower latencies, since C2 will only accept 2-3-3-6-1T or slower, I will have 3 gigs in total then. I was just wondering if there is a software program with which you can benchmark each setup to test which one is the fastest?
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LOL!!!! I saw that ofcourse but actually there is a point to it. I already got me some 2 x 512 MB Corsair memory for half a year now and I want to have 2 gigs at this moment. So why wouldn't I go out and buy me those nice 2 x 1024 MB modules and put these in aswell to see if it works. If not, I can sell the previous ones or else I got 3 gigs instead of 2. I'm affraid it won't work and I have to sell the 2 x 512MB modules but that's the offer I have to make to go to 2 gigs.
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Just to give you an update. Today I bought me some C2 memory and tried to install it together with the memory I already had, to get a total of 3 gigs. This worked but only with very poor memory settings. First I tried by using auto in the BIOS config which worked but the settings were: 3-4-4-8-2T @ 200Mhz. So I tried to get it a bit faster using: 3-4-4-8-1T @ 333Mhz. When I tried to reboot my comp started to freak out so I guess you guys were right (as always) and I just have to sell my TwinX1024-3200XL Pro modules.
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You will need to set the command Rate to 2T with more than 2 double sided modules installed. And I would not suggest more than one set of modules for best performance with this platform.
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