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Running Dual Channel :: Dimm1234 or juat Dimm1

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13

Hello All,

I would just like to know if dual channel starts up when both Dimms contain identical memory or does it only require one Dimm?

For example, if Dimm 1 and 2 both have 1GB matching DDR2 memory, will I be running at dual? Or does it require Both Dimm 1 and 2. And then 3 and 4 to have identical memory?

Here is the link to my MOBO memory specs. I'm just trying to understand how to get running in dual. SOS! Thanks!

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimE521/en/SM_EN/parts.htm#wp1184464

PC SPECIFICATIONS:
#########################################################################
PC Model :: Dell Dimension E521 (stock MOBO)
MotherBoard ID w/ date (generated from EVEREST) ::  12/09/2006-C51MCP51-6A61HM39C-00
OS :: Win XP Home
CPU :: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+
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Question by:w3developing
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todd_beedy earned 500 total points
ID: 22737900
Dual channel ram means that you must use two modules of ram in a single channel (ie channel "a" on your MB) to get it running in "dual channel mode"

You could install 2 out of the four slots and be running "dual channel" provided they are installed onto #1 and #2 DIMMs.

~Offshoot
-Is there a particular reason you are worried about "dual channel" as opposed to the amount of ram? Are you limited on the physical sticks of ram you are putting in or can you elaborate more on exactly what you are trying to achieve here please.
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by:w3developing
ID: 22737914
I would assume putting: 1GB in DIMM1 & 1GB in DIMM3 might start dual channel? From the documentation, I cannot be certain of this.

Running a total of 2GB dual channel.

I'm a bit lost on this..
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by:w3developing
ID: 22737921
todd_beedy,

Ok I think I get you.. I would just test this out, but I am still waiting for the ram to arrive.

So basically, if I at 1GB in Dimm1 and 1 matching GB in Dimm2, I will activate dual channel?
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by:todd_beedy
ID: 22737926
yes correct.

You place one stick into #1 and the second into #2 and you are running dual channel.
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by:w3developing
ID: 22737927
Ok here is a diagram:

Channel A

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 1 - X

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 2

Channel B

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 3 - X

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 4

The "X"s above represent where I understand the 2 1GB sticks need to be to activate dual. Do I understand right?
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 22737938
Sorry! You posted that before I finished. I've been reading on Google, and another claims the diagram is correct... So it's conflicting...

Maybe someone will jump on here to second my diagram is wrong.
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by:todd_beedy
ID: 22737940
Channel A

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 1 - X

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 2 - X

Channel B

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 3

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 4


Is the proper way to activate your dual channel.
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by:todd_beedy
ID: 22737953
it all depends on the motherboard and which "banks" are the matching channels to allow for dual channel activity.

I will find a better way to explain it.
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by:w3developing
ID: 22737961
I was under the impression the Dual Channel required use of both channels. But I appreciate and clarifications... This is making me bonkers.

You probably saw this already, but here is a link to dell about my MOBOs mem:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dimE521/en/SM_EN/parts.htm#wp1184464 
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by:todd_beedy
ID: 22737966
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/133/2

VERY good explanation.. if you look at the bottom of page 3 you can see how each motherboard can be different. It depends on how the MB is set up and how they have their channels set up.

Some boards use 1 and 2 for the same channel and then 3 and 4. Some boards use 1 and 3 for the same channel and then 2 and 4.

Check out that link.
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by:todd_beedy
ID: 22737974
Btw the way.. your scheme was correct and I was incorrect.

You need to use the following...

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 1 - X

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 2

Channel B

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 3 - X

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 4
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by:todd_beedy
ID: 22737980
ROFL actually no... that one listed above is for Intel... sorry I misread your pc specs.

Intel

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 1 - X

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 2

Channel B

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 3 - X

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 4

= Successful dual channel

AMD


[-------------------------] -  Dimm 1 - X

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 2 - X

Channel B

[-------------------------]  - Dimm 3

[-------------------------] -  Dimm 4

= successful dual channel
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by:todd_beedy
ID: 22737988
And to check and see if it works..

use CPU-Z

http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
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Author Comment

by:w3developing
ID: 22738015
Ohhh... the missing link - I had no idea that the type of MOBO reflected how the dual runs. But I see since I am running this AMD it's different than an Intel...

See my old pc was an intel, and that ran as you described, but I could not see why there would be a difference.. I guess the missing link was the type of mother...

Thanks for toughing this one out :) I can sleep tonight in non wonder!!
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Expert Comment

by:todd_beedy
ID: 22738021
Glad to help!

Sleep peacefully

-Todd
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