Duel Channel vs Quad channel ?

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by MGaz, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. MGaz

    MGaz All wheel driver!

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    just wondering, when a mobo says it supports 'Quad channel' is that actually a memory 'mode' ?

    Or does it simply mean it just excepts two sets of duel channel memory?

    I'm asking because if i buy 16GB's of memory for my MSI P55-GD65 will it except 'Quad channel' memory? or will it simply run it as two pairs in 'duel channel mode' or will it disable any duel channel/128bit enhancements altogether? :confused:


    Am I making any sense? lol sorry.
     
  2. Sihastru

    Sihastru Never been clicked

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    When manufacturers sell memory kits in the desktop segment and call them 'quad channel' it just means that the kit contains 4 (or it could be 8) perfectly matched DIMMs.

    A 'dual channel' kit will contain 2 (or 4) perfectly matched DIMMs.

    Because all the DIMMs in the quad channel kit are matched, it is ofcourse backwards compatible with the 'dual channel' configuration since they adhere to the all the 'dual channel' requirements.

    You can install a 4 DIMM quad channel memory kit on a 'dual channel' motherboard, but it will not run in 'quad channel' mode, it will just be running in 'dual channel' mode.

    It is always a good idea to check if the voltage required by the DIMMs, dual or quad channel, is in fact supported by your platform. Usually memory manufacturers will include JEDEC profiles with their RAM, so that they have safe fallback operating parameters that should be compatible with almost any motherboard.

    To conclude, the 4 DIMM 16GB quad channel kit (4x4GB) will work with your motherboard but it will operate in dual channel mode. It will work exactly as two 8GB matched 2 DIMM dual channel kits (2x2x4GB).

    The advantage running a quad channel kit in a dual channel system is that you know that the DIMMs are perfectly matched and if one of the DIMMs gets fried then the manufacturer will replace the whole 4 DIMM kit. If you have two dual channel kits, and one of the DIMMs goes bad, the manufacturer will only replace one of the kits and you might get a different set as replacement. There is no disadvantage.
     
  3. IvanV

    IvanV HH Assassin Guild Member

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    In short, the "quad channel kit support" claim on your motherboard specs is next to meaningless.

    Any kit contains a number of identical modules, ensuring that when they are installed on a motherboard, they will operate in whatever mode that motherboard supports for that number of modules. So when you use a quad channel kit (in other words, 4 identical modules) on an LGA1155 mobo, they'll work flawlessly, in dual channel.
     

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