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Poor performance - Corsair DDR3 6GB kit


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I asked recently on these forums why Corsair did not manufacture low latency memory in triple channel 3GB configuration. I was told this was due to limitations in the supply of appropriate modules.


As a result, I decided to buy the 6GB kit of the triple channel 7-7-7 latency RAM, innocently thinking that there would be no issues running this memory configuration in Windows XP 32 bit.


Well, I was in for a shock, because whilst the memory works perfectly in Vista 64 bit, providing all the performance I was expecting, when I run XP 32 bit, the memory no longer works in a triple channel configuration!


My passmark memory scores in Vista 64 are the expected 1600 or so, but they are only about 900 when using Windows XP 32 bit. This difference in scores is borne out by poor performance when playing games. And if I put the older, high latency 3GB kit back in, then the lost performance is mostly restored.


I was under the impression it did not matter if users had 6GB of memory when running a 32 bit OS - I thought the only consequence was supposed to be that the extra 3GB of memory was simply un-usable. But I did not realise another consequence of this would be that triple channel would no longer work!


I am quite frustrated right now, since for some games I still need to use Windows 32 bit due to antialiaising issues with the Vista / Windows 7 64 bit. But the performance is extremely poor with the Corsair 6GB low latency kit installed, but OK with high latency 3GB kit. and when I need to use Vista 64 bit, I want the 6GB kit - not the 3GB kit.


My mainboard is a Gigabyte EX58-UD5. Does someone know how to fix this problem so that I can get proper triple channel functionality in Windows 32 bit when using the 6GB kit?

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There is no such thing as Dual / Triple Channel memory, as this is a property of the memory controller in how it handles memory. This is why you can place memory in different slot configurations on a motherboard and it will register as single or dual or triple channel.


In otherwords, it's not up to the OS itself to run the memory in triple or dual channel mode.


What games are you having issues with? Do you have XP fully updated?

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I am having issues with all applications. All 3D games run with considerably reduced performance, regardless of title. 2D applications are less snappy - the machine simpy does not run as fast as it did before. And this is comparing brand new installations of both OSes from a fully formatted hard drive.



So in summary:


3GB Corsair DDR3 9-9-9-24 with XP 32 bit = OK


3GB Corsair DDR3 9-9-9-24 with Vista 64 bit = OK


6GB Corsair DDR3 7-7-7-20 with XP 32 bit = painfully slow


6GB Corsair DDR3 7-7-7-20 with Vista 64 bit = OK



And yes, all software and drivers are 100% up to date with both OSes.

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I was already well aware of that. That was why I asked the question several weeks ago about the availability of low latency RAM in 3GB configuration for 32 bit users. I was also fully aware that the OS would ignore 3GB of the 6GB memory.


What I was not aware of, however, is that installing 6GB of low latency RAM would absolutely cripple the performance of my machine in Windows 32 bit as opposed to just using 3GB of the slower RAM.


So I have basically wasted my money on this 6GB of RAM because now Windows XP 32 bit is completely useless to me unless I put up with the huge performance drop (useless for gaming). And I can't use 64 bit Windows all the time because 64 bit has antialiaising issues with too many games that Nvidia are never going to resolve.


I hope this post at least serves as a warning to anyone wanting to still run Windows XP 32 bit on a Core i7 triple channel machine and who is thinking of buying a 6GB RAM kit.


I guess someone is going to get a great deal for some as-new RAM on eBay next week.


The answer is only buy it if you are prepared to suffer a huge drop in performance when booting into Windows XP 32 bit.

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I would suggest talking to Microsoft about that; as far as I know there is no problem running more than 4 Gig of memory but because of the way Windows works it may be creating a really big swap file that you don't need.
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