To dual-channel or not to dual-channel



I’m in the middle of building a new computer

AMD 3200+

and am wondering if there is a simple decision about memory

2x512 dual channel

Which would be the better way to go?

No gaming or video, just a lot of BS-ing and burning.


2x512 MB Dual Channel



Faster and usually cheaper ($20 less that a 1G stick when I built mine)

btw, you don’t need a dual channel kit, it should work with any two sticks that are the same brand, speed, and size that are bought at the same time


Always go for two to equal what you want. That way if one is faulty you still have use of the PC until you can get it replaced, it was the advice I got from my local supplier even though it made them less money.


I look at it this way 1 gig = 1000megahertz

2x512 = 1024 megahertz

JayC30 has a good point too.

Great advice as far as I see here.


there’s gigahertz(speed) and gigabytes(size)

now gigahertz ram would be ddr3?


2x512 given your usage.

there is a possibility that if you don’t get two matched sticks (i.e. factory tested to work in dual channel), dual channel [I]might [/I]not work properly. most of the time if you buy two of the same brand, size, speed sticks you can get them to work in dual channel, but ocassionally manufacturers have different revisions of the same [B]model [/B] that use different ICs (i.e. actual memory chips) and might not work properly in dual channel.

Dr. Who - sorry, but your comment above doesnt make any sense at all.


The case for dual channel in Socket A was questionable (the only thing to benefit immencsely was Nforce2 onboard video)

The case for dual channel in a socket 939 platform is rocksolid - both the CPU and probably a PCI-E graphics card can use the full bandwidth. S939 [B]IS[/B] the dual channel AMD platform, S754 is the single channel, so you would not want to hamstring it back to single channel.

Actually, AMD gain very little from the socket AM2 move to DDR2, as the Socket 939 / dual DDR400 synchronous was so well balanced.


part of the reason AMD moved to DDR2 with AM2 is to increase the memory bandwidth available to multi-core CPUs (X2 and primarily Opteron) so that all cores have more bandwidth with which to work.


DDR3 is out already ? LOL ! :slight_smile: (j/k)

Actually as long as you match up two RAM modules that are supported by your motherboard and run well alone, and as long as both the modules use the same RAM timings there should be no problem running them in dual channel mode - In some cases you will have to disable AUTO settings in BIOS and configure your timings MANUALLY and use the slowest of the two sticks as reference - Of course you can try this, and in many cases it would work, however I would always recommend buying them in kits, for better stability, reliability and performance.

As to gigahertz being DDR3, I must be the luckiest person in the world then :D:D:D


1 gig = 1024 MegaBytes

2x512 = 1024 MegaBytes



Why do companies move so fast ? It was not long ago that I got my Socket 939 motherboard - Now this new AM2 will render Socket 939 obsolete (already) - The same way they rendered Socket A and regular AthlonXPs obsolete :smiley:


Thanks for the info :bow: :bow:
Now I just have to decide whose to buy…looking at corsair, kingston and patriot.


preliminary tests show the am2 and ddr2 with less than a 10% performance improvements, quad core cpu’s will push things along tho, course you’ll be on vista and have 16 gigs of ram


DDR3 is out already, mainly used for RAM on vid cards and is not used (currently) for system memory.

running lowest common denominator RAM timings doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll run in dual channel. some ICs prefer to be run at certain timings and voltage and lowering latency (or increasing latency for that matter) doesn’t mean they’ll run in dual channel succesfully. most of the times they will and, not trying to scare anyone, but it’s not guaranteed. if you don’t know what i mean, read up on RAM latency and mobo compatibility (per IC).

frequency and capacity are completely different things. if you don’t understand those two mutually exclusive concepts, well…read up.

socket 939 is far from dead (most likely at least 2 years away)…don’t let AM2 scare you away from building a 939 system.

as i already mentioned, AMD’s move to DDR2 is primarily for dual/multi core systems.


OCZ :slight_smile: Go OCZ :smiley: I recommend the 2 x 512 or 2 x 1024 OCZ DDR500 Gold Rev2 or Platinum series… Stable as a rock and ideal to OC your Athlon64 :slight_smile:


2 years for Socket 939 ? Wishful thinking - :smiley: Sorry but I am skeptic, I think Socket 939 will be phased out this year, in Q4’2006. I mean as it is I hear they will phase out ATX, phase out x86, and phase out everything we are used to…Not too encouraging.

Oh and you are wrong, Vista will require 1TB of RAM to run with the same performance as XP…Running Vista with anything less than 1TB of RAM will require disk swapping :slight_smile:


Go 1 * 1Gb, it’s way better for the future if you want to upgrade, there minimal performance difference on Socket 939 CPUs anyways…
You’ll be more than fine with Corsair Value Select 1Gb CAS3.

As for those shouting go OCZ / Corsair XMS they’re 1337… unless you overclock (FSB, timings doesnt do any difference thats noticable) its a waste of money and several hardware sites have a bunch of nice graphs showing that its not worth the effort and money. Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that a CPU overclocks as well as the reviewers or your neightbours just because its the same model.



Maybe you meant 1Gb?

I can’t imagine home system with 1TB of RAM in the nearest 10 years… :confused:


If anyone is wrong, it’s you… 1 terabyte of ram? What medication are you on? Do you have a clue how much memory that is?

“Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.” /.