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Intel says CPU only supports dual channel RAM, but the motherboard has 4 slots?

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  3. Intel says CPU only supports dual channel RAM, but the motherboard has 4 slots?

User Info: GoldenSun3DS

GoldenSun3DS
3 weeks ago#1
I'm confused.

https://ark.intel.com/products/126684/Intel-Core-i7-8700K-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-4_70-GHz

https://ark.intel.com/products/126689/Intel-Core-i3-8350K-Processor-8M-Cache-4_00-GHz

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/ffYWGX/gigabyte-z370-hd3-rev-10-atx-lga1151-motherboard-z370-hd3-rev-10

Intel's pages on Coffee Lake CPUs say they support up to dual channel memory and DDR4-2400/2666, but the compatible motherboard specifications have 4 RAM slots and support for DDR4-4000 or higher.

Does Intel's mainstream CPUs work with quad channel memory or not?
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User Info: PhilOnDez

PhilOnDez
3 weeks ago#2
No. They only have a dual channel memory controller. They support up to two dual channel sets, however, at least that's the most I've ever seen on a board.the Kabylake lake X parts still used the same memory controller so when you stuck it in a board with 8 dimm slots (dual quad channel) half of your slots were disabled.

The triple channel mainstream stuff of yesteryear supported up to 6 dimms and the current quad channel parts support up to 8. Same with the hex channel Xeons supporting up to 12.
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User Info: GoldenSun3DS

GoldenSun3DS
3 weeks ago#3
PhilOnDez posted...
No. They only have a dual channel memory controller. They support up to two dual channel sets, however, at least that's the most I've ever seen on a board.the Kabylake lake X parts still used the same memory controller so when you stuck it in a board with 8 dimm slots (dual quad channel) half of your slots were disabled.

The triple channel mainstream stuff of yesteryear supported up to 6 dimms and the current quad channel parts support up to 8. Same with the hex channel Xeons supporting up to 12.


So then why do Z370 motherboards have 4 RAM slots?
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User Info: PhilOnDez

PhilOnDez
3 weeks ago#4
Because there's extra room on the board and it lets you fit twice as many sticks of ram, more of less. They generally only give you two on Itx boards because there's no room and it doesn't have a performance hit.
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User Info: GoldenSun3DS

GoldenSun3DS
3 weeks ago#5
PhilOnDez posted...
Because there's extra room on the board and it lets you fit twice as many sticks of ram, more of less. They generally only give you two on Itx boards because there's no room and it doesn't have a performance hit.


So then 4 RAM sticks in a Z370 motherboard with an i7 8700k or i3 8350K will act as dual channel, but with the full capacity?

What about the clock speed? Any way to get DDR4 3600 working on i7 8700K or i3 8350K?
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"Why? Because of... DESTINY? PAH ha ha

User Info: BrokenMachine85

BrokenMachine85
3 weeks ago#6
GoldenSun3DS posted...
PhilOnDez posted...
Because there's extra room on the board and it lets you fit twice as many sticks of ram, more of less. They generally only give you two on Itx boards because there's no room and it doesn't have a performance hit.


So then 4 RAM sticks in a Z370 motherboard with an i7 8700k or i3 8350K will act as dual channel, but with the full capacity?

What about the clock speed? Any way to get DDR4 3600 working on i7 8700K or i3 8350K?


Q1) Yes.

Q2) Check your motherboard manual or vendor compat list, it'll tell you what it supports.
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User Info: Chass1990

Chass1990
3 weeks ago#7
in practice, whether a chipset support dual channel or quad channel doesn't seem to matter too much:
https://www.pcworld.com/article/2982965/components/quad-channel-ram-vs-dual-channel-ram-the-shocking-truth-about-their-performance.html

Basically, you don't need to worry about it and just get as much RAM as you want/need up to the mobo's maximum supported memory.

Regarding RAM clock speed, what's listed on the CPU is just the supported baseline. It doesn't mean you can't go above that, it'll just be considered overclock via Intel's XMP which you need to enable on the UEFI (before coffee lake, they typically listed 1333/1600 on the CPU specs). You can go up to whatever your motherboard supports.
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User Info: PhilOnDez

PhilOnDez
3 weeks ago#8
GoldenSun3DS posted...
So then 4 RAM sticks in a Z370 motherboard with an i7 8700k or i3 8350K will act as dual channel, but with the full capacity?

Yeah, pretty much. All other things being equal (timings/clocks) there shouldn't be a performance difference between 4x4 and 2x8

GoldenSun3DS posted...
What about the clock speed? Any way to get DDR4 3600 working on i7 8700K or i3 8350K?

Yes, but it's a bit more involved than activating an XMP profile and leaving it be. To go past the supported memory speeds involves increasing your base clocks as well. This can lead to instability on a chip by chip basis and if you have to drop your multiplier to achieve stability you may end up losing performance. I'm not the most familiar with this though so someone else could probably give a better explanation
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User Info: Hypertext_Eye

Hypertext_Eye
3 weeks ago#9
PhilOnDez posted...
To go past the supported memory speeds involves increasing your base clocks as well.

It doesn't have to. Memory has its own multiplier. You don't touch the base clock at all.

User Info: PhilOnDez

PhilOnDez
3 weeks ago#10
Hypertext_Eye posted...
PhilOnDez posted...
To go past the supported memory speeds involves increasing your base clocks as well.

It doesn't have to. Memory has its own multiplier. You don't touch the base clock at all.

That's true up to a point, you can go as high as your CPU supports, like I said. To go beyond that point requires a motherboard that supports it and when you select a memory profile that's beyond what the CPU supports it starts increasing your base clock to push the memory speeds higher, the motherboard will have the proper settings to match whatever speeds it supports for each profile. I did a bit of poking around and apparently this only applies to locked chips though, on unlocked chips the memory controller seems to be able to be overclocked beyond the specified max frequencies without messing with the base clock, so I was only half right though.

This was true up through at least Broadwell, so things might be different with chips that support DDR4. I haven't really heard anything about it changing but it's also not something I keep up with because the difference between ddr3 1333 and 2133 is is basically nonexistent.
Every time I try to go where I really wanna be it's already where I am, 'cuz I'm already there
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