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Dual Channel with 3 sticks ?!

Discussion in 'Memory' started by |Ric|, 15 Jan 2006.

  1. |Ric|

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jun 2005

    Posts: 895

    I'm still running a socket A system and it has 3 RAM slots, over time I have filled these with 512 sticks.
    Obviously I wasn't suprised to see it run in dual channel mode with 2 sticks (provided they are in the right slots) but my motherboard still reports dual channel with 3 sticks. Is it just wrong or does it happen? I guess my only surprise is I would expect that dual channel to involve 2 or 4 sticks

    Just curious (and a little confused) really
    |Ric|
     
  2. DanMc07

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Oct 2005

    Posts: 4,041

    I cant see how your mobo is reporting 3 sticks as dule channle, probably wrong, as dule channle is 2x256,2x512 etc etc??
     
  3. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    What dual channel means is that two sticks can be accessed at once, so if you have 3x512Mb the first 1024Mb you use will come from two sticks and will be dual channel, the remaining 512Mb can only come from one stick so will be single channel.

    So you have dual channel and single channel :)
     
  4. |Ric|

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jun 2005

    Posts: 895

    special :)

    thank you
     
  5. Ollie's Gadgets

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Sep 2005

    Posts: 569

    Location: Surrey

    Thats helped me in fact. Guess I need to sell my 2x256mb and buy 2x512mb, as 2x256mb and 1x512mb will be slower. What kind of performance gain does dual channel give over having 3 installed memory chips? Is it significant?
     
  6. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    If you have three memoryslots you can put 2x256mb in one channel and 1x512mb and have 1gb dual channel memory.

    you need to put the 256mb sticks in the two slots close together and the 512mb in the slot on it's own.
     
  7. Ollie's Gadgets

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Sep 2005

    Posts: 569

    Location: Surrey

    Are you sure this will work with an older motherboard. I have the abit nf7-s which I didn't think could do that...
     
  8. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    Yes, I'm sure, I had that mobo as well so did some research.
     
  9. Ollie's Gadgets

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Sep 2005

    Posts: 569

    Location: Surrey

    Many thanks Dutch Guy.
     
  10. Vegeta

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Nov 2004

    Posts: 5,644

    Hmm ive got this motherboard - i cannot get 2X256mb and 1X512mb sticks to work in it all together.
    The two 2X256mb are dual channel and the 1X512mb is a single.
    It does work but the pc is prone to crashes when playing intensive pc games - i made a thread about this before and they said it was due to ram.
     
  11. Ollie's Gadgets

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Sep 2005

    Posts: 569

    Location: Surrey

    What ram are you using Vegeta?
     
  12. Bookime Wood

    Gangster

    Joined: 2 Jan 2006

    Posts: 175

    Location: Upgrade

    Ran asus with 3 sticks, post reports dual channel

    Ran nf7-s slot 1 = 1x512 slot 2+3 = 2x256 dual channel

    cpuz also reported dual channel, but have read that although it may report running dc at post in windows it might not be?
     
  13. Vegeta

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Nov 2004

    Posts: 5,644

    Im running Geil Ultra cas2 (not ultra x)
     
  14. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    There are three memory slots:
    || |
    The left two are connected to one channel and the right one as well.
    If there are two 256mb sticks in the left two slots and one 512mb stick in the right slot it means there is 512mb memory connected to each memory channel.

    If your system needs memory it will be shared between memory channels.

    The problem with running three sticks of memory is that the more sticks you have the more stress it is for the mobo and you will be limited by the slowest/worst stick.
    What you can do is raise the memory voltage and see if that helps, if not slacken the timings starting with CAS.
     
  15. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Aug 2003

    Posts: 18,829

    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    it's so hard to convince people of something that should be so easy to understand.

    Basically, dutch guy is spot on. The 'channel's are hardware on the board. They are the memory controllers that read and write to the ram and they are running at all times. You can not switch them off. Therefor if they have memory in one of their assigned slots, they will use it. If they both have memory, regardless of wether one has more than the other, you got yourself dual channel there kid.

    Dutch guy was also right about the remaining ram when running 3 sticks - it will be accessed as if it's single channel.
     
  16. Vegeta

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Nov 2004

    Posts: 5,644

    Hi i have 2X256 and 1X512 running, on memtest86 they kept failing test #5 however individually they were all stable, I then realised when I use all three sticks my problems occur.
    I've now upped the voltage from 2.6 to 2.7, memtest no longer gets the error - is that the problem fixed now?
    I will be leaving it overnight just to make sure.
     
  17. Dutch Guy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,563

    Location: Amsterdam,The Netherlands

    When I had a NF7-S I had to run my memory at 2.9V (I had cheap TwinMOS memory)

    But I remember a lot of people having problems with Dual Channel stability.
     
  18. Vegeta

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Nov 2004

    Posts: 5,644

    Glad its not just me then - I'll run it over night and see if its stable.