Hardware Secrets

Home | Camera | Case | CE | Cooling | CPU | Input | Memory | Mobile | Motherboard | Networking | Power | Storage | Video | Other
Content
Articles
Editorial
First Look
Gabriel’s Blog
News
Reviews
Tutorials
Main Menu
About Us
Awarded Products
Datasheets
Dictionary
Download
Drivers
Facebook
Forums
Links
Manufacturer Finder
Newsletter
On The Web
RSS Feed
Test Your Skills
Twitter
Newsletter
Subscribe today!
Search



Home » Memory
Everything You Need to Know About the Dual-, Triple-, and Quad-Channel Memory Architectures
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Tutorials Last Updated: November 2, 2011
Page: 5 of 9
Enabling Dual Channel (Intel and AMD Socket AM3+)

Motherboards targeted to Intel CPUs and AMD socket AM3+ CPUs (and a few socket AM3 models) use sockets one and two as the first channel, and three and four as the second channel. In order to enable the dual-channel architecture, you have to install one module at the first channel and one module at the second channel. If they are installed in the same channel, you will have a single-channel architecture. Therefore, you must install the first memory module in socket one, and the second memory module in socket three, not in socket two. In other words, you have to skip one socket.

In order to make it easier for users, most motherboard manufacturers use different colors on the memory sockets, using one color for sockets one and three, and a different color for sockets two and four. This way, you need to install the memory modules in sockets with the same color. See Figure 5.

Dual Channel
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Install modules in sockets with the same color

In Figure 6, you can see a motherboard for an Intel CPU with two memory modules correctly installed, enabling dual-channel architecture.

Dual Channel
click to enlarge
Figure 6: Dual-channel mode enabled on an Intel system (notice the empty socket between them)

There is, however, one major exception. On some older motherboards from MSI targeted to Intel CPUs, sockets one and two use the same color while sockets three and four use another color. See Figure 7. If you install the two memory modules in sockets with the same color on a motherboard like this, they will work under single-channel mode, not dual-channel. So, if you find yourself in front of an older motherboard from this manufacturer, you should not follow the color scheme. You must install the memory modules in sockets one and three, and they will be using sockets with different colors.

MSI Dual Channel
click to enlarge
Figure 7: Older motherboards from MSI use a “wrong” color scheme; don’t follow it

If you are installing four memory modules which are identical, there is no rule to follow. Simply install all four modules in the four sockets available.

However, if you are installing four modules and they have different capacities, you will have to pay attention. The first pair must be installed in sockets one and three, while the second pair must be installed in sockets two and four. By “pair” we mean two identical memory modules. In other words, install the first pair in sockets with the same color, and the second pair in the sockets using the other color.

« Previous |  Page 5 of 9  | Next »
Print Version | Send to Friend | Bookmark Article | Comments (51)

Related Content
  • Understanding RAM Timings
  • Memory Overclocking
  • Everything You Need To Know About DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 Memories
  • DDR vs. GDDR Memories
  • How FB-DIMM Memories Work

  • RSSLatest News
    LUXA2 Releases New P1-PRO Battery Power Pack
    October 1, 2013 - 7:23 AM PST
    MSI unveils GP70 and GP60 Laptops
    September 30, 2013 - 7:23 AM PST
    AMD Unveils Next-Generation Radeon Graphics Cards
    September 27, 2013 - 5:33 AM PST
    Genius Introduces Energy Mouse in North America
    September 27, 2013 - 5:32 AM PST
    Apple Updates iMac
    September 25, 2013 - 5:27 AM PST
    .:: More News ::.




    2004-13, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Advertising | Legal Information | Privacy Policy
    All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST, GMT -08:00)