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DDR Dual Channel question

MARCin

TRIBE Member
Ok, so i'm in a dire need to upgrade my RAM, and while checking out the prices I came across this Dual Channel deal. So my question is is it just a fancier version of ddr memory, and do you need a special socket that will support dual channel, or will a regular ddr socket work fine?
Also, is brand name worth the extra money when it comes to memory, or will I be fine with just a generic no name RAM. And if the name is important, which brands would you recommend I get/ which ones to stay away from?
Thanks in advance,

marc..
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I am not sure what you mean but if it is dual channel ddr2 it won't be compatible with regular ddr.

buying ram can be complicated. look at what you already have and do a search for the part number to see if you can find something of the same type and speed for optimum performance.

Note that although there are many different types of ram companies,most use chips from a handful of vendors (samsung chips etc...)

You can spend a lot of money on ram too. Our TRIBE board database server for example has over $3000 worth of ECC server RAM on it. It is kingston brand ram and not the most expensive either!

I tend to like kingston because they offer a variety of pricepoints for different markets (gaming, home use, servers) and their products are supported for life.

this site can give you some insight into different types of ram
http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/RAM.htm
 

Dr. Grinch

TRIBE Member
DDR2 won't fit in your DDR mobo

Dual Channel is chipset specific. If your motherboard chipset doesn't support it, it just wont take advantage of it. It won't not work or something. So if you found a gig of RAM for a good price that you know your board will support, go for it. Just reference your mobo manual first before you do anything.
 

randyval

TRIBE Member
as far as named brands are conserned, i like mushkin or kingston ram myself.
or kingston value ram is good if your on a budget.
the other generic ram is crap (from my personal experence)
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
There's a big debate on whether dual channel memory configs actually do much in the real world. I personally am running two 512M in dual channel mode on my mobo. If you plan on running in dual channel mode, it is recommended to buy the kits that have the two sticks of memory as they have been tested by the vendor to make sure they are a good match for each other. That's very important for dual channel configurations.

Oh and btw, you can use dual channel specific memory in regular DDR slots. They're actually the same memory only that they've been tested to be of exact specifications so that dual channel configs work better.

Lobo
 
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jmaggs

TRIBE Member
He never said he was looking for DDR2 in his post. DDR2 and Dual Channel DDR are two completely different things. Like Lobo said, you can run Dual Channel DDR in a standard DDR Mobo, you just won't benefit from the supposed speed advantage you could get.

I splurged when I got my ram, and picked up 1GB of Crucial Ballistix Dual Channel PC3200 DDR400 ram, and it is super quick. Not even that expensive either (around $350 I think I paid).

As far as other name brands go, just do your research and make sure your RAM is compatible with your Motherboard. You will never be able to tell this with generic RAM, so go with name brands.
 
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jmaggs

TRIBE Member
DDR is a type of SDRAM

Double Data Rate - Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory

Theoretically twice the speed of standard SDRAM.

Old SDRAM had clock speeds of 100mhz/133mhz. You see DDR ram which runs at 200/266 or even faster if your RAM bus on the motherboard can support it.
 

Dr. Grinch

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Aerius Zension
What's the diff between DDR and SD-RAM?

Clock Speed and Physical footprint
SDRAM is 168 Pin
DDR is 184 Pin

I only mentioned DDR2 because Alex brought it up for some reason
 
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lobo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by MARCin
Thanks for all the input. I'm assuming my motherboard will not support dual channel, because it wasn't mentioned anywhere that it would. Here's a link to it:
http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socketa/a7n8x-x/overview.htm
Was trying to e-mail Asus about whether it would, but found it too frustrating :(

Yup you're right, it doesn't support dual channel setups. That's alright anyways. I hear that AMD based setups don't see a very big increase in using dual channel memory compared to one big single stick of memory.

Lobo
 

Dr. Grinch

TRIBE Member
AMD Dual Channel Chipsets are pretty obscure (I think there's only two)
I had that board though, it's a terrific mobo.
If you can pick up a Dual Channel kit for a good price then go for it, it'll still work, you just won't see the increased FSB speed.
 

rod_g

TRIBE Member
FYI . If you are really bored and want to see the difference in Dual Channel mem speed vs. non Dual Channel, pull out the 2nd stick of ram and seat it in a non Dual Channel slot.

It makes a huge difference in speed, but keep in mind running DC mem limits your OC capabilities
 

Liquidity

TRIBE Member
i think the general consensus is that there's a 9% average improvement...? can't remember where i read that...


anyhoot, first look up your motherboard specs on the internet (or the manual if you still have it). it should say whether it supports dual channel or not there.

the tricky thing about dual channel is that they say that the two pair of sticks should be matched up pretty closely.
-they MUST be the same size in terms of memory.
-they SHOULD be from the same company, even from the same batch. that's why they sell ram in "dual channel" pairs. i managed to get away with pairing my corsair ram with samsung, so i think ymmv...
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Originally posted by MARCin
Again, thanks for all the replies. My choice came down to these ones:
http://wintroniccomputers.com/wintronics/viewProduct.jspa?productId=402880e50123569b01012371157f001d
http://canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=003982&cid=RAM.178
Which one of the two would you guys think is a better choice? Or if you know of a better choice for me, feel free to post it aswell!

marc..

don't buy anything from canada computer because if something goes wrong with it you will have a nightmare getting an exchange or refund - rather pay a couple of bucks more somewhere else (other places will even match CC prices too).
 
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