(just two weks ago I had to got through the same problems
and also struggled, when I read about Dual Channel RAM
Often confused: DDR2 has nothing to do with Dual Channel.
DDR2 is a “faster version” of DDR.
Duial Channel means: The Northbridge, which together
with the Southbridge builds the chipset of your MoBo,
accesses both banks of DDR (two banks build one pair)
simultanously or in other words 128bit wide accesses are
Single Channel mode means: When accessing one bank,
the other one is “idle” in that moment.
Dual Channel mode is therefore faster.
If you are not going to overclock your board it is sufficient
to buy a pair of DDR RAM from the same manufacturer
WITH THE SAME TIMINGS!!!
And: If you plan to upgrade your memory later and still
want to use Dual Channel mode insist of buying single
sided ones. The Northbridge will disable Dual Channel
mode if it recognized double sided memory.
Things, which makes RAM accesses faster while still
haveing a stable system:
DONT overclock – it is not that dangerous as often
claimed but it can make a system instable, which results
in random and sudden crashes of the whole system.
More important is to tweak the BIOS setting that way,
that they optimally foit your hardware.
RAMs are often classified by their timings.
You will things like
DDR400 2.5-3-3-8 2T
DDR400 marks the clock speed the northbrige will allowed
to access RAM. Higher number -> higher speed.
Next number is the CAS Latency which marks the time
to wait befor accessing the coloumn of the RAM – RAM
is orgnaized in Rows and coloums.
Next three numbers are other timing values, whic I
found not that important to select speedy RAM.
The last one is the command rate. Smaller number -> higher speed. 1T is good.
Most BIOSs allows to tweak those settings.
If your system hangs due to increasing speed too much
you will have to go back one step. Dont tweak more
than one setting more than one step at once !!!
Otherwise you will go back to start again and insert
another coin to play again
After haveing found a stable speedy setting boot into
a Knoppix CD and start “memtest” (dont start
memtest from a running system…) and let it do its
work for a night or so. It is just to ensure your
system is stable and to verify transfer rates and
RAM timing settings.
Here you will find the “BIOS Optimization Guide”
Have a lot fun!