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Quad Channel memory or Dual Channel

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I know this was asked before, but the posts I read got me confused.

My mobo spec says:
Dual channel memory architecture
Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM sockets
Supported DIMM types:
PC2-5300 (667 MHz)
PC2-6400 (800 MHz)
Non-ECC memory only, unbuffered
Supports 2GB DDR2 DIMMs
Supports up to 8 GB on 64 bit PCs
Supports up to 4 GB on 32 bit PCs

I have the E8600 Core 2 Duo

If i have the opportunity should I get a:
Quad kit of 4x2gb = 8gb
or
Two dual channel kits of 2x2gb = 8gb

the quad kits are cheaper.

I know.....don't put any money into that old sys. But if someone could shed some light I'd appreciate it.
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post #2 of 18
Only the X79 platform on the consumer side has quad channel memory, your system has a dual channel memory controller with support for 2 DIMMs per channel.

For modern workloads I'd advise getting 8 GB of RAM. If you can get the "Quad" kit for cheaper, the better, but those DDR2 kits aren't "Quad channel" kits, they are matched sticks that are certified to work well together. In fact, that stands for DDR3 kits too, you can use them on an X79 system or on a Z87 system. You can even use them in a dual channel memory configuration on the X79 platform if you want to. That "Quad channel kit" designation can be inaccurate depending on the specific usage.
Edited by tpi2007 - 3/14/14 at 8:54pm
 
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for replying.

Ah. So an inaccurate advertisement might say "quad channel DDR 2 memory" when actually it's probably four modules of dual channel that are tested or garunteed to work well together.

But in the end two dual channel kits (e.g. 2 kits of 2 x 2Gb) should work well as long they are the exact same model from the same company. right?

Thanks.
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post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwrmx24 View Post

Thank you for replying.

Ah. So an inaccurate advertisement might say "quad channel DDR 2 memory" when actually it's probably four modules of dual channel that are tested or garunteed to work well together.

But in the end two dual channel kits (e.g. 2 kits of 2 x 2Gb) should work well as long they are the exact same model from the same company. right?

Thanks.

Whether it's dual channel or quad channel, it is only 2 or more sticks that have the same timings and operating speeds that may have come from the same batch.
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post #5 of 18
A "memory kit" is just multiple DIMMS sold in the same package that are built to the same specifications with the same binning of ICs/boards etc. A "dual channel kit" just means "2 very similar DIMMS." A "quad channel kit" just means "4 very similar DIMMS."

If you are working with a dual channel platform, it is best to stick with 2 DIMMs whenever possible. If you need 8GB. 2x4GB is preferable to 4x2GB. If you need 16GB, 2x8GB is preferable to 4x4GB. If you need 32GB. You have no choice, 4x8GB is the only option wink.gif
     
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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwrmx24 View Post

Thank you for replying.

Ah. So an inaccurate advertisement might say "quad channel DDR 2 memory" when actually it's probably four modules of dual channel that are tested or garunteed to work well together.

But in the end two dual channel kits (e.g. 2 kits of 2 x 2Gb) should work well as long they are the exact same model from the same company. right?

Thanks.

Modern memory controllers, which already includes your Intel platform are not that picky, Intel even has a Flex memory mode which gives you the best of both worlds should you have an uneven combination (say three out of four DIMM slots used or sticks with uneven memory quantities).

The worst thing that can happen is that the system will default to the lowest common denominator, so if you have two dual channel sticks with different timings and / or voltage, the system will use the values that both the kits can use, which is to say, the highest latencies and lowest voltages, in many of these cases the minimum common denominator is the industry standard JEDEC specifications for a given memory type and speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

A "memory kit" is just multiple DIMMS sold in the same package that are built to the same specifications with the same binning of ICs/boards etc. A "dual channel kit" just means "2 very similar DIMMS." A "quad channel kit" just means "4 very similar DIMMS."

If you are working with a dual channel platform, it is best to stick with 2 DIMMs whenever possible. If you need 8GB. 2x4GB is preferable to 4x2GB. If you need 16GB, 2x8GB is preferable to 4x4GB. If you need 32GB. You have no choice, 4x8GB is the only option wink.gif

4 GB DDR2 modules are too expensive, at a minimum of $100 each, whereas you can get 2 GB modules for around $30. For his older platform 4 x 2 GB is the better investment. I was able to run 4 x 2 GB at 800 Mhz with the FSB at 1600 with a Core 2 Quad Q9550 at 3.4 Ghz (stock voltage), I didn't try more, but I'd say that that is already pretty reasonable in terms of price / performance.
Edited by tpi2007 - 3/14/14 at 11:22pm
 
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post #7 of 18
lol.... There's an interesting concept. Buying DDR2 as an INVESTMENT? Perhaps the 2GB modules represent a better VALUE biggrin.gif
     
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

lol.... There's an interesting concept. Buying DDR2 as an INVESTMENT? Perhaps the 2GB modules represent a better VALUE biggrin.gif

?

Yes, investment, as in spending money and getting a return in added functionality. DDR2 RAM may not be up to speed for the latest games, but having 8 GB of it still represents much smoother OS multitasking, for example.

8 GB of DDR2 800 memory would cost him $ 210 in 2 x 4 GB sticks, versus $ 120 in 4 x 2 GB sticks.

So, yes, spending less for an older platform if you decide to spend the money on it, is a better investment than going for 2 x 4 GB sticks, which is not a good advice in this particular case.

So, yes, a better investment. Yes, I said investment. Four times. thumb.gif
Edited by tpi2007 - 3/15/14 at 11:36am
 
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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for taking time to respond. I understand more now.

I look at it as a potential value investment as I keep an eye out for how to keep an older system doing what I need it to do for 3 more yrs.
It's paid for. I have a system and it works well with what I have. If by chance a friend or work is getting rid of some memory I'm keeping my eye out considering what you said.
.
But if I buy the cheapest I see anywhere is $20 for DDR 2 2Gb Non ECC unbuffered memory (not matched).

I have 3gb now (2x500mb + 2x1gb) so I might just get 2x2gb and keep the 2x1Gb giving me 6GB total. So for $40 that's not a bad upgrade. I first want to check the timing of the memory I have though first and see if I can match it.

Thanks again.
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post #10 of 18
I missed that it was a ddr2 platform on my initial response. (667MHZ and 800MHZ are DDR3 spec speeds. 667MT/s and 800MT/s would be DDR2)

I found it humorous to be reading about computer hardware as an Investment. Given a long enough timeline almost all computer hardware will loose almost very bit of value that it ever had, unless it's perhaps a classic Mac turned into a fish tank or something.
Edited by mdocod - 3/16/14 at 6:12am
     
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