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DDR3 - dual channel vs. triple channel?





Helios
Right, so I'm really new to this DDR3 business.
Please, can somebody explain the dual channel DDR3 supported motherboards and the other ones with 6 slots?
I tried looking for a good explanation online, but didn't find any good article or something in that sense.
fadirocks
from what I heard from Tom's Hardware DDR3 triple channel kinda failed and doesn't have much advantage over dual channel
David_Pardy
I would find that surprising given some of the tests Guru of 3D have done. Granted triple channel is only a new technology, I would be in no hurry to rule out its usefulness.

Currently, triple channel RAM is ONLY available when you're using an Intel I7 processor on a compatible motherboard.


If you've got the money and are looking into upgrading, I would say go for it as the I7 processors are expensive but unmatched in processing power.

If you're looking at upgrading but aren't filthy rich, I would strongly suggest building a Phenom II X4 965 machine with 4 or 8GB running in dual channel. The AMD machines are fantastic bang for buck and you can't really go wrong with that Smile.

I'm planning on building a new machine around next July or so. My research has led me to believe that running two ATI Radeon 5770 in Crossfire is the best bang for back (at this point in time) for graphics performance (better and cheaper than a single 5870), coupled with the Phenom II X4. Depending on what's actually available when I build the new machine, I may end up going with a triple channel DDR3 system as my next computer is going to be as future proof as I can make it.
coreymanshack
fadirocks wrote:
from what I heard from Tom's Hardware DDR3 triple channel kinda failed and doesn't have much advantage over dual channel


Go read the Toms Hardware i7 vs Phenom...
Triple channel DDR3 more than doubled memory bandwidth
ciureanuc
My bosses bought a new Mac Pro with Intel Xeon Processor.
3Gb of DDR3 memory.
Because the old one had 4Gb memory, they asked the IT guy to upgrade the new one to at least 4Gb memory.
The guy said the reason for this 3Gb memory is because the stuff work triple channel and he advised not to do the upgrade -> +1Gb means 4 slots occupied instead of 3.

What do you think, what is best: 3Gb in triple channel or 4Gb with no 3 channel option?

I have to add that this computer is used 90% to process BIG Photoshop files. (BIG = 600cmx1000cm printed banners)
Helios
Yeah I also heard that it's better to have 3GB (or 6GB and so on) over 4GB (or 8GB and so on).
I'd really like to dive into the very technical details of this though.
I have some background in hardware design, and I think I'll find this interesting.
coreymanshack
Helios wrote:
Yeah I also heard that it's better to have 3GB (or 6GB and so on) over 4GB (or 8GB and so on).
I'd really like to dive into the very technical details of this though.
I have some background in hardware design, and I think I'll find this interesting.


if you are on the i7 3 channel is better
Helios
Because of the integrated memory controller I guess?
coreymanshack
Helios wrote:
Because of the integrated memory controller I guess?


The memory controller is built to have enough bandwidth for 3 seperate channels, instead of the original two giving more throughput.

You can look at some articles on Toms Hardware because that is where I learn everything.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2325.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-module-upgrade,2264.html

Those are some interesting articles about memory, but they don't really tell you why you should go with three sticks, I'm sure you could find it somewhere on there though.
taytay
While buying some more RAM on newegg.com I noticed in the advanced search, they have some Quad channel RAM. How much better would That be than triple channel I wonder... Very Happy
coreymanshack
taytay wrote:
While buying some more RAM on newegg.com I noticed in the advanced search, they have some Quad channel RAM. How much better would That be than triple channel I wonder... Very Happy


It wouldn't be quad channel, it would just be three channels and one would have two sticks instead of one.
taytay
coreymanshack wrote:
It wouldn't be quad channel, it would just be three channels and one would have two sticks instead of one.



..... wait what?
Helios
coreymanshack wrote:
taytay wrote:
While buying some more RAM on newegg.com I noticed in the advanced search, they have some Quad channel RAM. How much better would That be than triple channel I wonder... Very Happy


It wouldn't be quad channel, it would just be three channels and one would have two sticks instead of one.


You mean that it's a triple channel with one of the channels using two DIMMs instead of one?
coreymanshack
Helios wrote:
coreymanshack wrote:
taytay wrote:
While buying some more RAM on newegg.com I noticed in the advanced search, they have some Quad channel RAM. How much better would That be than triple channel I wonder... Very Happy


It wouldn't be quad channel, it would just be three channels and one would have two sticks instead of one.


You mean that it's a triple channel with one of the channels using two DIMMs instead of one?


Right, no performance advantage.
taytay
Well that's the stupidest thing I've heard. I'll call it false advertising. We have dual channel ram, and triple channel ram. If they're going to sell "Quad channel Ram" I want to expect performance exponentially better than dual or triple!

gar. That's all I have to say
coreymanshack
taytay wrote:
Well that's the stupidest thing I've heard. I'll call it false advertising. We have dual channel ram, and triple channel ram. If they're going to sell "Quad channel Ram" I want to expect performance exponentially better than dual or triple!

gar. That's all I have to say


They also have hexa channel ram! LOL
Phenomonster
Quad channel RAM is still dual channel, but all (4) memory modules are identical. In a dual channel kit the 2 modules are identical. If anyone has ever had to replace dual channel RAM under warranty you get a new kit as opposed to replacing one module. Same goes for Hexa channel, it's 6 identical chips, but still triple channel. They're more expensive because it's more difficult to produce that many identical DIMMs. As far as performance is concerned, I do not know if it is a significant increase. May be a good topic for tomshardware, overclock3d, or hardwarecanucks etc etc to examine.

Edit: did some more reading myself and the DIMMs aren't identical but they are tested to ensure compatibility at the rated speeds and timings. This still costs thhe manufacturer extra money so you pay the premium.

On another note GSkill has a 48GB DDR3 kit. 12 four GB DIMMs tested to run @ 1900MHz...

http://www.gskill.com/news.php?index=340
Aredon
Generally speaking it depends on your price range. Honestly, numbers aside, you will not notice a significant difference between dual channel and triple channel. I just built an i7 (LGA1156 aka dual channel) for under a grand, that's more than I can say for any possible triple channel board. (considering I also bought a GTX 470 Smile)
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