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Checking if it is Correctly Enabled

After installing your memory modules, the final step is to check if the dual-, triple- or quad-channel architecture is correctly enabled.

Currently, most motherboards will display this information on POST, which is the screen that appears right after you turn on your computer, showing some information about your system. Look for phrases such as “Dual Channel” and “Single Channel.” See Figure 15.

Dual Channel EnabledFigure 15: PC with dual channel mode correctly enabled (see “at Dual Channel”)

Another way to check this is by running a hardware identification utility. We recommend running CPU-Z and checking the memory information presented on its Memory tab, at “Channels #.” See Figure 16. On this same screen, you can check the current real memory clock rate and timings. Keep in mind that the real clock rate is half of the stated memory clock. In our example (Figure 16), the memories were being accessed at 333 MHz, i.e., “667 MHz.” This is a good place to check if your memories are being accessed at their full speed. If not, you need to check to see what is wrong. (Usually there is a misconfiguration on the motherboard setup or a limitation of the CPU or chipset.) Tip: Some older Athlon X2 processors have a problem where memories can’t be accessed at their full speed. Click here for more information.

Dual Channel EnabledFigure 16: PC with dual channel mode correctly enabled (see “Dual” at “Channels #”)

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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.