I currently have an ASUS Maximus Formula with 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 RAM and Q9400 running @3.6 GHz.

I am quite happy with CPU performance and I want to upgrade my graphics card and RAM as 4GB is not really enough for today's applications/ games. The problem is that on the specification of the motherboard it states '4 x DIMM, Max 8GB' and then it goes on to say 'Dual Channel memory architecture'. On the actual motherboard it is clear that there are 4 RAM slots, but I am just sceptical as to what it means by 'Dual Channel memory architecture' on the specification.

The question is, if I bought exactly the same model of RAM (two more 2GB sticks) would my motherboard actually support it? Also, my current RAM is overclocked @450 MHz, and if I started using quad channel configuration (4x2GB) instead of dual configuration (2x2GB) would that affect the overlooking at all?

  • if you populate all four slots with matching sticks of RAM, you don;t need to worry about dual channel configuration. Basically, dual channel lets the CPU use two banks of ram simultaneously, so you get double the bandwidth to RAM, but you need to put your sticks in the right slots if you are not going to use all of them. Your motherboard manual will tell you which slots are on which channels, and you want to fill each channel with the same number of chips of the same size and frequency. If you fill all 4, and your sticks match, then you don't need to worry about it much. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:27
  • Note that Dual channel doesn't have anythign to do with the RAM itself, just the slots its plugged into. Since you have 4GB via 2 chips, doubling it to 8GB using 4 matching chips should work swimmingly. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:30
  • @FrankThomas You are wrong in stating Dual Channel doesn't have anything to do with the ram itself. Some ram cards do not support dual channel.
    – Frostalf
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:35
  • @Frostalf explain exactly what you mean?
    – DrZoo
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:39
  • Op, upon reread, I think I see your confusion. having 4 chips is not quad-channel (at present, I'm sure in the future quad-channel arrays will be common), because your motherboard will bundle two slots into each channel. usually its like Channel1 = slots 1,3 and Channel2 = slots 2,4. Consult your motherboard manual. This is one of the two things that I always lookup when building on a new mobo (the other thing being pinouts for case buttons and lights). Sorry I missed that earlier. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Dual channel memory architecture deals with how the memory communicates with the memory controller. The dual-channel architecture expands the number of data wires available in the memory data bus from 64 to 128. This helps speed things up a bit. It doesn't have anything to do with how many sticks the board can hold.

The configuration you have is correct, and your board can support 4, 2GB sticks that are DDR2 1200*/1066/800/667 MHz.

Also, what graphics card are you looking to get?

  • @Dema Overclocking your memory is a BIOS setting (unless this is a really old MoBo and it is set using jumpers). I would not expect the memory speed to change unless you added memory that doesn't support the current overclocked speed. So yes, it could correct the memory speed to one of the normal lower memory speeds.
    – Musselman
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:48
  • Thanks a lot, that explains why the Mobo's 4 ram slots are separated into 2. I am currently debating over the 960 and the 750ti. I understand that the Q9400 will probably bottleneck the 960 in CPU bound titles, but the gtx 750ti performance seems kind of meh, especially for the newer titles. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 18:56
  • @DemaUshchapovskyy I would agree that your CPU would bottleneck both GPUs. That's why I was asking. Your CPU, and motherboard are pretty out of date. Depending what you do on your PC, you could see some nice improvements in performance with a new CPU, and a motherboard that supports DDR3 RAM.
    – DrZoo
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 19:12
  • You are right, I might spend my money on new mobo, ram and cpu now and save up for a couple of months to get a new graphics card. Or possibly just not upgrade anything at the moment, wait for Kaby Lake and then overhaul my whole PC. Thanks for the suggestion. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 19:24

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