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I know I could probably find the answer somewhere but finals are here and I have no time so I am going to cut to the chase and ask. I am not sure about the differences between DDR SDRAM and dual channel. The following was from NoAffinity while discussing my choice of mobo (new Abit AI7 on the way) and I didn't want to break the thread:

"The only concern with the RAM is: is that a single 1 gig stick, or is it 2x512. If it's 2x512, then you will be able to take advantage of dual channel. If it's 1x1024, then you may want to consider picking up a second stick of the same stuff, to achieve dual channel."

I was under the impression that there was a physical difference between the chips and that if you were going to go dual channel that you had to get RAM specified for it (let me guess...it is just a packaging thing...2 sticks instead of one?? that's just too easy). I know my 2 512 sticks have different chips on them. They both came from Dell but are 2 years apart in age so I am certain they are from different manufacturers. So what's the poop on dual channel and can I do it with my current setup? Thanks as always...
 

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Dual Channel RAM kits are 2 sticks of DDR ram that were tested and are ready to work in Dual Channel. Dual Channel is being able to draw bandwidth from two sticks and that way doubling it (not really but close). If the two sticks you have are not from the same manufacturer than chances are they won't work in Dual Channel, but you can always try!
So the main advantage from having 2x512 other than 1x1024 is getting almost twice the bandwidth.
Hope that helps
 

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So my assumptions were right...

Well, when the mobo gets here I will give it a try and see what happens. What will happen if it doesn't work? I am guessing it will be anything from simple memory errors while running all the way up to the system may not boot. Is this correct?

Also, what would be the correct identification of my setup if it works...do I have 512 dual channel or 1 gig dual channel?
 

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Actually, I don't know what happens but I guess it'll just say single channel and work normally. If you want to make them work together it's simple. Just put one stick in a slot and the other in the other slot (make sure they are not the same color) and they will work in single channel as 2 regular sticks.

EDIT: You can say you have 2x512 in dual channel.
 
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Quote:


Originally Posted by Jack

Actually, I don't know what happens but I guess it'll just say single channel and work normally. If you want to make them work together it's simple. Just put one stick in a slot and the other in the other slot (make sure they are not the same color) and they will work in single channel as 2 regular sticks.

EDIT: You can say you have 2x512 in dual channel.

Yep most the time it will just see both sticks as 512 say yep I have 1Gb here but nope it aint gonna be dual channel and it will default to single channel.

The thing to take into account is dual channel is onyl 1 or maybe 2% faster than single channel.

All nforce 3 boards that us A64 users have are all single channel but we still surpass most other PCs in games and benches.

Dual channel kits are not worth the money but if you do want 2x512 it is mostley cheaper to pick up 2 identical sticks.
 
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You guys all got it right on the money.
Even non-matched sticks (different manufacturers, different speeds) will still work in dual channel together sometimes. Two identical sticks will work together 99.9999% of the time (you have to have really crappy RAM to have two identical sticks that won't
). And, as Jack said, dual channel kits have been tested and are guaranteed to run in dual channel together...so basically the extra premium you're paying for a "dual channel" kit is nothing more than an assurance.
 
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