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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Single Channel RAM v Dual Channel

    I'm running Win7 x64 [and Win10 x64 later this year hopefully] with 2 x 4GB DDR3 1600 DIMMs.

    I just got a pressie of one more DIMM the exact same--same manufacturer, same everything. My motherboard is dual channel, but the user guide says it will only support dual channel for 2 or 4 DIMMs--so if I install this third DIMM, all RAM will run on single channel mode.

    Reading around search results a bit, the consensus seems to be that dual channel is only significant for performance in rare cases like simulation or maybe 3D rendering--very little performance improvement for my various usages.

    Leaving aside for the moment if 12GB is of any practical benefit over 8GB either:
    do you guys think 12 single is likely to be better than 8 dual, or at least no worse?

    Afaik I don't ever max out the 8GB, but I may as well plug in the extra if it's not going to do any harm--at worst, it would be a spare DIMM if one of my current pair ever goes bad, and storing it in the PC is better than losing it somewhere else

    I have a separate graphics card, so RAM usage for built-in graphics is not an issue.
    ASRock H97 Motherboard
    Crucial 2 x 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM
    Intel Xeon E3-1231V3 CPU

  2. #2
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Single isn't going to feel any slower than dual except with some pretty extreme scenarios. You might be looking at saving a minute per hour max, a 2% FSB bump on the Xeon would give more - on everything.

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  4. #3
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Thank you Satrow, your comment gels with what others who seem knowledgeable are saying. I'll pop the third DIMM in then.
    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    a 2% FSB bump on the Xeon would give more - on everything.
    If by "bump" you mean overclock, neither my mobo nor the Zeon can handle that. I need stability above all, so I've never indulged in overclocking. I prefer to spend the extra which overclocking requires [more expensive mobo, CPU and cooling system] on some of the components, to end up with very good stability and still good performance.

    The Zeon is a good example--it's essentially an i7 without integrated graphics [which I don't need with my separate graphics card] and without overclocking ability, which I don't want either. It's cheaper than i7 and also runs cooler, so stability with performance.
    Last edited by Lugh; 2015-07-03 at 04:39.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    I used the mild overclock as an example based on my own experience. My Ivy 1230 v2 could safely handle going to 3.4/3.85GHz from the stock 3.3/3.7 with a big, efficient cooler, it just felt faster than stock; not sure I'd do that with your Haswell version, they have a reputation for running hotter anyway. Much of my time with the Xeon, I have it locked it down to 1.6GHz, it's more than enough for my needs.

    My RAM, on the other hand, I undervolted (1.25v at 1,600MHz) even though others were reporting it capable of 2,100-2,400.

    But, yes, the Xeons are an excellent yet frequently overlooked alternative CPU in the price slot above the i5's and into the low/mid-priced i7's, especially if you live in a region where there's a decent range of versions offered/stocked.

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  7. #5
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    But, yes, the Xeons are an excellent yet frequently overlooked alternative CPU in the price slot above the i5's and into the low/mid-priced i7's, especially if you live in a region where there's a decent range of versions offered/stocked.
    Why didn't I know this before I bought my i7 ??
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  8. #6
    Silver Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    Why didn't I know this before I bought my i7 ??
    Probably because I didn't know and couldn't tell you. I've known about Xeons since they replaced the Pentium Pro but not about how they compared with the i7. Maybe I'll tell a young fellow I know who burned up 2 i7 CPUs in his 'playing around'. The only i7 I use is in a 4.5-year-old MacBook Pro.

  9. #7
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    Why didn't I know this before I bought my i7 ??
    Well, you do now

    I'd always regarded Xeon as a server chip, and it wasn't on my radar either until I did my research to choose between i5 and i7. I saw a couple of persuasive posts from someone talking about the Xeon. Then I want searching for discussions about Xeon, and it was a clear choice given my needs set out previously.

    Fyi the hardware sites I generally research at are...
    AnandTech
    Tom's Hardware
    Tom’s guide
    ...and I log my build at the excellent...
    PCPartPicker
    ...which throws up warnings about compatibility problems, and shows current prices.

    I buy mostly from Newegg, occasionally from Amazon. Knowledgeable reviews on those sites are very useful in decision making, and often provide good usage or assembly tips too.

  10. #8
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    Someone decided to check out the Pros and Cons of Single Channel vs Dual Channel.

    http://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/13...single-channel

  11. #9
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Well maybe next time. The way I do things should be ~6 or 7 years.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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