Advice needed concerning Dual Channel Memory


E

Etno

Hey folks,

I'm upgrading the old cpu/mobo/memory.

I'm going for the Athlon 2500+ (w/ 512K L2). My mobo will have the Nforce2
Ultra 400 chipset in it and is good at overclocking. I plan to run it at
3200+.

I'm getting PC3200 memory. Here's my debate though. There are 3 DDR memory
slots. Should I buy 2 X 256 matched memory sticks so that I can use the
Dual Channel feature, and if I ever want more memory just throw in another
stick....or should I go for one 512 stick now, and then in the future make
sure if I upgrade my memory I buy 2 matched ones then (won't be for at least
one year, but would probably be 2 X 512)?

If there's not much of a difference in speed with the Dual Channel, then I
guess the 1 X 512 is the best way to go for now since I know of a good sale
on one, and then in the future, the dual channel will be on larger memory
sticks.

What do you guys think?
 
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R

Ruel Smith (Big Daddy)

Hey folks,

I'm upgrading the old cpu/mobo/memory.

I'm going for the Athlon 2500+ (w/ 512K L2). My mobo will have the
Nforce2
Ultra 400 chipset in it and is good at overclocking. I plan to run it at
3200+.

I'm getting PC3200 memory. Here's my debate though. There are 3 DDR
memory
slots. Should I buy 2 X 256 matched memory sticks so that I can use the
Dual Channel feature, and if I ever want more memory just throw in another
stick....or should I go for one 512 stick now, and then in the future make
sure if I upgrade my memory I buy 2 matched ones then (won't be for at
least one year, but would probably be 2 X 512)?

If there's not much of a difference in speed with the Dual Channel, then I
guess the 1 X 512 is the best way to go for now since I know of a good
sale on one, and then in the future, the dual channel will be on larger
memory sticks.

What do you guys think?

As far as speed, dual channel beats the pants off of normal DDR memory. I'm
not really familiar with nForce chipsets, but if you only have 3 DDR slots,
then using dual channel will limit you somewhat if you need to upgrade in
the future. You could always add the 3rd stick, but you'll lose dual
channel. If you play to keep this board long, I suggest you go all out and
get 2 X 512 matched sticks. If you plan to OC, get something good like
Corsair and even move up to PC4000, if you can afford it, to give you some
overclocking headroom with the memory. Also, Corsair makes sticks with low
latency as well.

Dual channel should work on any DDR stick. All the dual channel stuff is in
the chipset on the motherboard. Ordinary DDR sticks are used in dual
channel.



--
Big Daddy Ruel Smith

My SuSE Linux machine uptime:
7:39am up 41 days 16:25, 2 users, load average: 0.28, 0.27, 0.10

My Windows XP machine uptime:
Something less...
 
S

somebody

Hey folks,

I'm upgrading the old cpu/mobo/memory.

I'm going for the Athlon 2500+ (w/ 512K L2). My mobo will have the Nforce2
Ultra 400 chipset in it and is good at overclocking. I plan to run it at
3200+.

I'm getting PC3200 memory. Here's my debate though. There are 3 DDR memory
slots. Should I buy 2 X 256 matched memory sticks so that I can use the
Dual Channel feature, and if I ever want more memory just throw in another
stick....or should I go for one 512 stick now, and then in the future make
sure if I upgrade my memory I buy 2 matched ones then (won't be for at least
one year, but would probably be 2 X 512)?

If there's not much of a difference in speed with the Dual Channel, then I
guess the 1 X 512 is the best way to go for now since I know of a good sale
on one, and then in the future, the dual channel will be on larger memory
sticks.

What do you guys think?

nForce runs fine on single channel too.
Go for 1 X 512. Running more than two symmetric sticks, will cause you
a loss of bandwidth.
I'm not entirely sure that will be noticeable on dual channel, though.
But that's my advice.
You then also have the ultimate option of going 2GB left.
 
D

DaveW

You need to buy two MATCHED sticks of RAM if you want to run it in dual
channel mode. You can't just use any two 512MB sticks. And you can't use
three sticks if you want it to run in dual channel mode.
 
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H

Hank

DaveW said:
You need to buy two MATCHED sticks of RAM if you want to run it in dual
channel mode. You can't just use any two 512MB sticks. And you can't use
three sticks if you want it to run in dual channel mode.


First off, you don't need to buy MATCHED memory to run dual channel, all it
needs to be is the same speed and type. Selling matched pair memory for dual
channel is nothing more than a way for them to charge you more. Next, you
CAN run dual channel with three sticks of memory they just have to be the
right sizes and installed in the correct slots. It sounds to me like your
ultimate goal is to have 1 gig of memory eventually but cant afford it just
yet. What you could do now is buy two 256 sticks and install them to run
dual channel. Then at a latter date get yourself a stick of 512. That way
your memory will be balanced with 512 on each channel and then you have 1
gig of memory running dual channel, simple as that. But then again it's said
that running dual channel makes very little difference.

Hank
 

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