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Old 07-18-2005, 08:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Dual Channel RAM Compatability

My new dimension 4700 comes with 4 DIMM slots for ram and occupies either one or two slots (with 512 MB of DDR SDRAM). I was wondering what would happen if I bought two sticks of dual-channel ram (1 Gb RAM dual-channel pack). Would it stack with the standard ram and count as single channel (making it 1.5 gb) or would the single channel ram be bypassed and only have 1 GB dual-channel?
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You would be better off to run 1gb DC rather than 1.5gb non DC.

General rules about Dual Channel:

Dual Channel is determined by your mobo, you cannot buy Dual Channel ram. But they do sell packs of dual channel ram that is designed to run in Dual Channel.

Dual Channel will only work if your mobo supports it. Also dual channel will only work if you have an even number of sticks. The stick(s) must be on their own channel.

On a motherboard you might have 2x blue slot and 2x red slots.

To run DC with 2 sticks, you need to have either the blue or red completely filled. To run DC with 4 sticks, just fill all of the slots.

Edit: all sticks need to be the same size. And the same manufacturer for a better chance of compatibility.
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I know my mobo supports dual-channel, and it comes with 2x256mb sticks. So 2x512mb additional would be 1.5gb non-dc with all slots filled? What would be best to upgrade from 2x256mb with a total of 4 DIMM slots?
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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throw in 2x more 256mb. That will leave you with 1gb.

But personally I would sell those 2x 256mb sticks and throw 2x 512mb. So you have the potential to upgrade to 2gb.

And like I said you would be better off with 1gb in Dual Channel rather than 1.5gb. Anyways 1.5gb is a little bit of overkill. Go for performance rather than bulk.
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've also heard that having 3 sticks of RAM can operate in dual-channel, but the third stick will just run slower, is this true?
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah but that is not TRUE Dual Channel. It is a ghetto dual channel. But it seems to be only supported by SIS chipsets.


http://www.sis.com/elibrary/elibrary_index03_000006.htm
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmm, interesting....you can run dual channel with 2x 256MB modules in the appropriate slots and 2x 512MB modules in the next appropriate slots without any problems. The do not have to be all the same, each pairs has to be the same but not all four. I have never seen any issues by doing this.

BTW there is no such thing as dual channel memory, it is a process of the motherboard and the memory may be bought in pairs which is the best way to ensure you will run in dual channel.
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