Everything You Need to Know About the Dual-, Triple-, and Quad-Channel Memory Architectures

Enabling Dual Channel (Other AMD Sockets)

Motherboards targeted to all other AMD CPUs use sockets one and three as the first channel, and two and four as the second channel. (A few socket AM3 motherboards follow the scheme presented in the previous page.) 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 two. If you have four memory modules to install, simply install the second pair in sockets three and four.

The big difference is that, while on motherboards targeted to Intel and socket AM3+ CPUs you need to skip socket two when installing two memory modules, on motherboards targeted to all other AMD CPUs you need to install the memory modules sequentially.

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 two, and a different color for sockets three and four. This way, you need to install the memory modules in sockets with the same color. See Figure 8.

Dual ChannelFigure 8: Install modules in sockets with the same color

In Figure 9, you can see a motherboard for an AMD CPU with two memory modules correctly installed, enabling dual-channel architecture.

Dual ChannelFigure 9: Dual-channel mode enabled on an AMD system (modules installed sequentially)

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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