Quad Channel Memory

avi1231

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Currently I'm sitting on 2 sticks of 2gb G-Skill RAM (totaling 4gb) on a Gigabyte z68ma d2h b3 motherboard. I'm considering upgrading because it's feeling like 4gb just aren't cutting it. My debate is over going for 16gb quad channel memory and putting my current 4gb in some backup chassis or something. The problem there is I have an Intel i5 2400 which doesn't support quad channel memory from my bit of research. The big question, does that mean the memory won't work or that it will just work in dual channel mode?

Other question, is it better to just get some other dual channel set whether it's a 2x4gb (8gb kit) to total 12gb?

Thanks for any guidance. :)
 

CDdude55

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Currently only X79 boards are capable of quad channel, it has nothing to do with the memory sticks. If you want to go quad channel you're going to need to change your CPU and motherboard first.

I say if your current amount of memory is not cutting it then just grab a 8GB or 16GB kit. Extra memory bandwidth (like quad channel) makes little differance, in most instances it's bettter to have more RAM rather then more bandwidth/speed.
 

avi1231

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That was my impression. So, you're saying a 16gb (4x4gb) kit labelled as quad channel will just run in dual channel if my setup won't support quad, correct?
 

CDdude55

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Yep that is correct, a quad channel kit is just a kit with 4 memory modules. Now of course if you use them on a non X79 board you won't get quad channel badnwidth, it defaults to single channel. But they should work fine, as they are still just standard RAM sticks.
 

randomkid

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This is correct.
To OP: Note however that quad channel kits might be more expensive than 2 x dual channel kits mostly because the manufacturer guarantees the 4 working together. This is just a thought. If you can find quad channel kits that are same cost or cheaper than 2 x dual channel kits of the same capacity, go for it. But if not, go for the cheaper 2 x dual channel kit since you will not lose anything in terms of performance.
 

avi1231

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Thanks again. I think what I might do is take my decent 4gb (2x2gb) kit and add a 2x8gb for a total of 20gb if it's price efficient. Not sure how it goes if I have 2 dual channel kits set into the proper DIMMs. Will they run in dual channel mode?
 
A couple of things:
1) make sure your MB supports upto 32 Gigs. I have a first generation Z68 and it only supports upto 16 gigs.
2) if a gaming rig, there is little advantage going above 8gigs. If heavy into photo editing and video editting there are some programs that can take advantage of more than 8 gigs. Even with 64 bit OS, a large number of programs are still 32 bit and limited in the amount of ram that they can use.

Bottom line - Adding 2 x 4 sticks to your 2 x 2 = 12 gigs. So Unless you need more than 12 gigs of ram that is the route I'd go.
 
I don't recommend 'mix-matching' kits of different IC's and especially if the Frequency, CAS Timings or Voltage are any different. Doing so risks instability and errors. It's a lesser problem with DDR3-1333 RAM, and I still recommend setting the Frequency, CAS and Voltage in the BIOS.

Therefore 'ideally' it's best to get a fully matched 4x4GB kit. Even 'mixing' 2x4GB + 2x4GB is a 'Mix' and can be a problem - CAS Timings are not guaranteed, XMP will not work properly, and >DDR3-1333 there's no gurantess the Frequency + CAS will work per Rated individual set. RAM is dirt cheap.

There's no P67/Z68 that cannot run 4x8GB (4xDIMM), it's the limit of the CPU's IMC. I've seen LGA 1366 run 6x8GB just fine though Intel rates 24GB; the CPU is based off Xeon.
 

avi1231

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I think I've settled on this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233198&Tpk=CML16GX3M4A1600C9B). I'll just toss my 4gb (2x2gb) into another rig and use the 4x4gb.
 
The CML16GX3M4A1600C9B set is fine, you'll need to either use XMP + Profile 1 <or> Memory Multiplier -> 16 and set the CAS Timings/DRAM Timing Mode -> Quick, 9-9-9-24-2N (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS-CMD) CMD= Command Rate.

Good Luck! :)