[SOLVED] DDR3 Dual Channel 1066 Mhz vs Single Channel 1600 Mhz


Dec 17, 2015
I am making this post to ask which memory setup is better: DDR3 Dual Channel 4x4 gb 1066 Mhz or Single Channel 2x8 gb 1600 Mhz. I can no longer use 4x4 GB in dual channel mode at 1600 Mhz because of damage to my motherboard.


A couple weeks ago I managed to bend some pins on my Z77 Asrock Extreme4 motherboard (do NOT try to install a CPU when you have not slept for 24 hours!). I took it to a repair shop and they straightened the pins and it works, but they told me one of the memory channels no longer works.

I have 4 sticks of 4 GB Corsair XMS 3 DDR3 memory sticks. After the MB has been repaired, if I set the memory at 1333 or 1600 Mhz and there is a memory stick in one of the two slots of the second channel, the PC will not POST properly, it hangs up at Dr. Debug code 49 (EM post memory initialization codes) or sometimes 33 (CPU post-memory initialization. Cache initialization) and then the PC restarts and repeats the process.

I played around with different memory configurations and discovered that the second channel can work if and only if I set the RAM speed to 1066 Mhz in the BIOS. I can then use all of my 4GB sticks in Dual Channel mode.

Is it worth it for me to get a new 2x8 gb memory kit to use it in single channel at 1600 Mhz? Or is 1066 Mhz dual channel with my current kit a better option? I plan to build a new PC in about a year when hopefully the semiconductor shortage ends, so this PC will become secondary anyway. I also do not feel like getting a new motherboard as I would have to order one from Ebay, which I do not trust.

Things I need my PC for:
  • gaming, I want to run most AAA games before 2017-2018 without bottlenecks caused by the RAM. These days I mostly play GTA 5, Minecraft, Dying Light.
  • I also do some light amateur video editing, mostly Handbrake compressions and trimming and combining videos.
  • programming, running IDEs like IntelliJ, Eclipse, CLion, Android Studio, some C/C++ compiling (I am a CS student).
  • a lot of Machine Learning, which I plan to run on my GPU, probably a lot of deep learning with TensorFlow.
CPU: i7 2600K 4.3 Ghz
Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler
Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4
RAM: 4x4 GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3, normally runs at 1600 Mhz
GPU: EVGA GTX 980 Superclocked
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 256 GB SSD + a hard drive
PSU: Seasonic S12II Bronze 620W

Thank you in advance!
I would go with a 2x8GB setup, but go even faster than 1600 and get a set rated for 2133+ so you can OC to 1866+, which will be an improvement over 1066 for what you're using it for.


Apr 29, 2020
Since you are going to be using 2x8 sticks, that is still dual channel. It's dual channel when they are either 2 or 4 sticks of RAM installed. You should be able to run your RAM at 1600MHz without a problem.