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Is it ok to use all 4 DIMMS on my MoBo ?


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(moved from General area as I am asking specifically about Corsair. Please tell me if I have posted in the wrong place)


I am completely confused and would appreciate any help I can get. The time for me to return my memory and choose something different (if more appropriate) is limited.


I just built a new system and want to make sure I've made a smart choice regarding memory to use.


I built Asus P5W DH Deluxe, Intel E6600, 4GB of Corsair Twin2x2048 6400C4 Memory, Raptor drives etc. XP for now, Vista soon.


1. The P5W should support up to 8GB of memory

2. I chose the Corsair RAM because both the Asus and Corsair websites recommended it

3. The MoBo only sees the RAM as PC5300; It is my understanding that I will have to set the timings manually in the BIOS to gain the benefit of PC6400. I have not yet tried this as I am trying to get the rest of my XP install stable first.


I normally post to a photography forum, and was asking for advice on my new machine for use with photoshop. Someone who seems to know more than me commented that:


"4 DIMMs is going to be VERY challenging for the chipset to manage without crashing or errors. I think that you should set your memory timings very conservatively. If you can still do an exchange, I would recommend swapping to a 2x2GB arrangement for better reliability and an easier time moving your timings right to spec."


Is this correct??


I am confused on a few levels


1/ This MoBo should support up to 8GB of RAM, so why would 4 be a problem?

2/ Why have 4 DIMMs if they will cause crashing and unstability?

3/ I cant even seem to find 2 x 2GB Corsair DIMMS ( http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?minorcatid=105&subminorcatid=80 ) so does such a thing even exist?


and most importantly..


Does what he said make any sense? Should I keep the 4GB (4 x 1GB) I have now, or should I be changing to something different? I am a bit scared that after spending all this money to find out I cant even use 4GB (4DIMMS) ???


Finally... I am using XP (32bit). XP only sees 3.12 GB of RAM (as does the POST display when I boot up). This was mentioned in the manual and I can live with it for now. But can you confirm that when I upgrade to Vista, all 4GB will be available?


Any other help on setting the memory timings on the BIOS would be appreciated. (I actually tried this once, using settings from a master thread somewhere on this site, but it seemes to cause instability issues. I think next time when I chnage the settings I should run Memtest first?)


Sorry that was a lot to cover. Thank you very much for taking pity on me.

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Ive been googling site:houseofhelp.com like mad...

Its quite overwhelming for a nweb


I have found a few comments from RamGuy that seem to imply that if I use 4GB with the MoBo, I will probably only be able to use 667Mhz instead of 800.


Also considering the fact that XP only seems 3GB..


would I be better off just using 2GB of the 6400C4 @ 800mhz,

or all 4GB, knowing I can probably only go to 667mhz?



Secondly, more research on Vista/64bit/32bit OS... some places I have seen say the 32bit version supports 4GB, but everywhere else on this site says 3GB.


I guess I am wondering if I have wasted money on the extra 2GB... and would like to return it if I dont need it.


My machine is used for Photoshop mainly. This might not sound like a big deal, but I process RAW files from a professional Canon DSLR, so it definitely puts a load on the system, especially when I am managing RAW file sin Lightroom, and processing in Photoshop...


please help, as I am very confused.

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  • Corsair Employees

I would not suggest more than two modules in any system for best performance, if you did use four yes the MB may have to slow the memory down when you install more than two modules.

I would suggest reading threw BIOS sees 4GB, Windows sees 2.96! and Twinx-2048-3200c2 - 3.25gb

To help explain some of the limitations.

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Thanks for your prompt reply RAM GUY :)


A follow up:


I had already read the limitations of the 32BIT OS, and I can live with that.


However, I guess it seems that Windows seeing 3.12GB (with 4 installed) still seems like that would provide more/faster memory than having only 2GB.

Why would this not be the case?


Further to that, I notice that Corsair does not seem to make any 2x2GB modules, while your competitors do. Is there a reason for this.


Bottom line for me is that I doubt the vendor will allow me to return the extra 2GB, but maybe I could convince them to let me upgrade to 2x2GB sticks. I would love to buy Corsair as I have been really impressed with this forum as far as support goes.


That or just tell me I am overkilling..


Maybe 2 x 1GB sticks, and overclocking my CPU and RAM will give me the fastest performance (vs. 4GB RAM limited at 667mhz).


Thanks again.

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I have exactly the same combination to which you're referring to and surprisingly I too am using the machine to do primarily Photoshop and also video editing. I'm using 4x1G 6400C4 Dominators running at PC2 6400(800). As long as your power supply is good and stable (i.e >750Watts), you shouldn't have any problems. My machine runs for hours on end transcoding videos and I haven't run into any problems yet (using Vista Ultimate). Hope this helps.
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