4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 13, 2010 3:42 AM by Reed Jar

    Dual Channel vs. Triple Channel

    Reed Jar

      Greetings to all,


      As a long-time lurker, this place has been invaluably my go-to site for all things hardware related for my 1st Adobe video-editing rig (who would have thought?).  In fact, all the major components of my build were inspired directly from Mr. Millaard's tech notes (and a few others here) and from the benchmark posts.  After nearly three months of painstaking hardware (and budget) deliberation, I have acquired almost every part except the GPU (an eVGA GTX-480 pending from Dell) and the RAM - for which my question concerns.


      As the title implies, how much performance difference are there between dual channel over triple?  As far as my research here tells me, the consensus leans toward triple channel (minimum 12gb) with emphasis on low latency and high speed (for overclocking).  Hence, if I were to take the same principles and apply them unto the dual channel route - i.e. 3 pairs of 2x2gb dual sticks with 1600 mhz speed and CAS 7 latency - would this be advisable?


      Conversely, I have confirmed that my ASUS P6X58D Premium board supports dual channel which leads me to believe that I could pull off the A1-B1, A2-B2, C1-C2 configuration I am hoping for above.  Is this setup (or any variations) possible or is it just wishful thinking altogether?


      Appreciate your input in this matter.





      While I'm at it, I might as well throw a two-fer and inquire about the Fermi card I mentioned above.  For those that own it, how would you comment on its stock cooling?  Many, it seems, complain about its high energy consumption thereby output, which makes me wonder whether to invest in an aftermarket cooling of some sort.  I currently have the Noctua NH-D14 (w/ stock fans) inside a Storm Sniper Case with various case fans - are these enough?

        • 1. Re: Dual Channel vs. Triple Channel
          Powered by Design Level 4

          The ASUS P6X58D has:





          Number of Memory Slots6×240pin
          Memory StandardDDR3 2000(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066
          Maximum Memory Supported24GB
          Channel SupportedTriple Channel





          • 2. Re: Dual Channel vs. Triple Channel
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            Welcome to the forum, Reed.


            X58 mobo's are all triple channel with 6 DIMM slots. That is the major distinction with the P55 boards, that use dual channel memory and have only 4 DIMM slots. There are some more limitations with P55 boards, but since you have already opted for the X58, I'll skip those differences.


            Economically, only 12 GB kits are sensible at the current time. 24 GB would be nice, but are a serious burden on your wallet.


            You have a very nice CPU cooler, with one drawback. It is huge and that means that a number of memory choices are out, because of the very high cooling fins installed on some memory chips, like the Kingston HyperX and the Corsair Dominator range. There just is not enough physical room between the memory sticks and the Noctua cooler.


            My suggestion is to look at regular size sticks, like the OCZ3P1600LV12GS, which is one of the very few 1600 hex-kits with 7-7-7-24 timings and with a decent price. Maybe Geil has similar sets, but the OCZ was the only one I could find here in the Netherlands that met DDR3 1600 with the lowest CAS latency available.


            The GTX-480 runs pretty hot and when you want to lower the temperature, you have to increase the fan speed and sometimes it looks / sounds like you live close to a busy airport like O'Hare. With stock cooling I usually have the core temp around 53 degrees C without becoming too noisy. It did require me to mod my case a bit, by installing a large 25 cm side panel fan.




            Hope these remarks help. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask. That's what we are here for.

            • 3. Re: Dual Channel vs. Triple Channel
              Powered by Design Level 4

              When looking at your picture at full rez there sure is allot of dust and hair Harm.


              Do you have cats ?


              It looks like rub marks where a cat would rub.


              I know our cats like to rub my system.


              That side fan you added looks like a speaker.   lol





              • 4. Re: Dual Channel vs. Triple Channel
                Reed Jar Level 1

                As expected, thanks kindly for the welcome, Mr. Millaard, and the prompt reply(ies),


                Indeed, the P6X58D is an X58 mobo (as its name imply) with triple channel support and 6 DIMMs, with the added support for dual channel - granted the sticks are inserted via the corresponding A1-B1 slots - or at least, this is according to the mobo's memory compatibility list from ASUS.  My research in other hardware/overclock forums, furthermore, have also verified such configurations - some even as unorthodox as 2 sets of dual sticks to fill 4 of the 6 DIMMs in a triple channel plus the lone extra DIMM, for what makes, I guess, still a total of 8gB RAM (?).  They argue that as long as the memory sticks are identical (even if they aren't bundled together as triple channel), the mobo's memory controller will aggregate them accordingly as triple or dual channel and not what the sticks are bundled themselves.  Although I'm nowhere near as hardware savvy in these matters, there is a point in their logic.


                In retrospect, however, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, this route just complicates matters more in an already complicated (and finicky) structure that is the motherboard.  I agree that the 12gB kits is among the most sensible, and if I had my way, I'd just plop down a 6x2gB kit and be done with it.  However, at the moment, the 3 sets of 2x2gB prove to be more (financially) sensible for me - which is what prompts my question.  The caveat, it seems here, is that this route is untested (unless someone can attest to this setup and its performance/stability) and will likely be a compromise in RAM performance down the road.


                With the NH-D14, I have to admit, it was actually per your suggestion that I decided to go with it as my cooler.  Many people swear by it and I can only see for myself its size and performance once I begin my build.  I do make sure to refer to the RAM compatibility list from the Noctua website for memory choice.  Since you mentioned Geil, Newegg has these for a discount if I purchase two sets.  The CAS 8 latency seems fair enough for me, although my only concern is that there are very few, if any, reviews for these - and Geil isn't exactly a tried-and-true brand either.  On the other hand, the OCZs are out of stock in Newegg - everywhere else, are outside my budget.  Based on reviews with OCZ sticks, it seems that people have a hard time maintaining their rated speed and latencies - how goes it for you, Mr. Millaard?


                The GTX-480 I've just ordered from Dell should arrive soon and based on your air cooling setup (your case, looks very intimidating, by the way - which is it?), I shouldn't be too worried?  My CM Storm Sniper will be outfitted to the brim with fans (perhaps overkill) - dual 120mm High-speed Yate Loons each to the side and the top, 1 x 200mm stock fan at the front, 1 x 140mm Scythe Kaze Maru (1900 rpm) at the bottom, 1 x 120mm Gentle Typhoons (1850 rpm) at the rear - and of course, the stock fans from the NH-D14.  O'Hare indeed!  I wouldn't be surprised if my case suddenly takes off mid-air once I trip the switches in full gear.