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Old August 10, 2012, 01:44 PM
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Question Difference Between Dual and Quad Channel?

Hello guys, I'm new. Anyway, I am looking to get 16gb 1600mhz memory for my computer. What is the difference between dual a nd quad channel memory? what difference will it make to gaming performance and performance in general?
Thanks for the help!

Last edited by sheelo73; August 10, 2012 at 01:48 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old August 10, 2012, 01:51 PM
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The difference is actually in the controller, not the memory. When it's dual channel the controller can access 2 sticks at once, quad channel it's 4 sticks. I have run 2 sets of dual channel sticks as quad channel in my X79 rig with no issues. The key is to have identical memory sticks in all slots.

As for gaming performance, I'd doubt you'd see much difference as most games are GPU limited, not CPU or memory speed limited. Daily use, you'd probably not notice a difference at all. It's only doing something with tons of computation like folding, rendering, and maybe video transcoding that you'd see an increase in speed.
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Old August 10, 2012, 01:58 PM
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On a side but related note, is it better to utilize two sticks of 4gb ram vs four sticks of 2gb ram (total 8gb in both cases) in dual channel? Will it be a noticeable difference in day-to-day operations & gaming? How about video editing?

Thanks!
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Old August 10, 2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakage.shinga View Post
On a side but related note, is it better to utilize two sticks of 4gb ram vs four sticks of 2gb ram (total 8gb in both cases) in dual channel? Will it be a noticeable difference in day-to-day operations & gaming? How about video editing?

Thanks!
With dual channel you are better off with 2x4GB as opposed to 4x2GB. Not only will performance be better (however marginally), but the cost is pretty similar these days, and in the event you want to upgrade you have two empty slots.
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Old August 11, 2012, 02:19 AM
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I'd assume that it's easier to overclock 2x4 than 4x2 too, if you're into that sorta stuff.
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Old August 11, 2012, 04:52 AM
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4 sticks vs 2 will use more currant and the controller will have more load and the voltage will drop more, sometime you have to increase a little bit the voltage with 4 sticks.
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Old August 13, 2012, 09:58 AM
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dual channel is for motherboards/processors that use dual channel, quad channel for motherboards/processors that can use them.,

AMD AM3/AM3+ uses dual channel memory being 2 sticks form 1 channel so in total 4 sticks over 2 channels
Intel can use Dual channel, Tri-Channel, Quad channel depending on its motherboard being used.

In some things like crunching movies, decoding software, and even some games, haveing more memory i.e 8gb instead of 4 gb can make a difference. Other times the speed/latency of the memory ddr3 1600 cl9 timings vs ddr3 1333 cl8 timings makes a pretty large difference, and with game it CAN make a difference being in dual/tri/quad channel mode but often its the speed of the memory and the latency of the memory that makes the difference, the channels not as much as either A) they are not being saturated B) are poorly optimized to take advatage of the speed given to them.

Generally speaking, first gen i7 cpu such as i7 950 can use Tri channel memory, from pure performance wise it was beneficial to have them use it in tri channel mode as in 3 sticks of memory at say 2gb a stick so 6gb total or 12gb total, it did show in games, this was partially due to "limited" ability for the IMC to truly take advantage of the sticks, it could and did bottleneck its memory controller sometimes

AMD with thier AM3 chips such as a 955 only used dual channel memory, but because of the way they were built they easily and happily deal with the information being thrown into thier memory contoller and can take pretty good advantage overall if the IMC is sped up, what they rely on is enough capacity, not channels, as per channel its quite fast, though lack of capacity can really hurt performance. 4gb to 8gb many of my freinds can tell you it gained them from 3-15fps average, and they are using like 2-6% of that memory :P

Now you have somehting like Intel 2500k which is a very fast chip, uses dual channel, and has a fast memory controller on top of it, overclock it, declock it, its still going to do what it needs to quite well.
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Old August 13, 2012, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonstongue View Post
dual channel is for motherboards/processors that use dual channel, quad channel for motherboards/processors that can use them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarJ View Post
The difference is actually in the controller, not the memory.
Let me clarify. Dual-channel, triple-channel and quad-channel kits use matched sets of memory, but the DDR3 sticks are IDENTICAL in all three cases. It's marketing, not a physical change in the memory. That's why you can use 2 dual-channel kits as a quad-channel kit.
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Old August 13, 2012, 10:49 AM
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Games unless written in 64bit won't ever use more than 2gb and if it does it usually crashes. Firefall is having this issue as we speak.
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