Posts Tagged Under: motherboard

Budget Showdown: R3 3200G & GTX 1650 Self-built PC vs. Upgraded Prebuilt PC from eBay

Up until a few years ago, the value king for gaming was the Intel i5 processor. More recently, AMD’s Ryzen APUs have stolen the show at the low tiers, and we all know that no integrated graphics from Intel can currently compete with AMD’s Vega 8 and Vega 11 iGPUs. So it’s a no-brainer for gaming builders at very low budgets (who are entirely skipping graphics cards) to go with Ryzen APUs.

But outside of such head-to-head CPU comparisons, a broader value question remains for upper-low-tier (and lower-mid-tier) builders: how would a self-built system balanced around AMD’s newest R3 (including a discrete graphics card) compare to a highly discounted prebuilt system with a few key upgrades?

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Lopsided Memory Channels: Uneven RAM Set-ups Explained

Uneven RAM feature image

Recently, we talked about memory channels: What they are, what they do, and why modern computers have multiple. But what happens when you aren’t using the common one or two identical sticks in each channel? What if you have one channel with one stick, and another with two? What if you aren’t using RAM from just one RAM kit, so you have one 4GB stick and one 8GB stick? Some claim that all your RAM works in single-channel mode under such circumstances, but how is that possible when you are physically using more than just one channel on the motherboard?

In this article, I will explain what happens when a different amount of RAM is installed into each of multiple memory channels on a motherboard (when memory channels are populated unevenly).

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RAM Channels Guide: The What, and The How

If you’ve ever taken a look at a product page for sticks of RAM, or at the specifications for a CPU or motherboard, you’ve probably seen “memory channels” mentioned.

For many beginners, this sparks questions like, “What’s the deal? Does dual-channel mean I can only use two sticks? What do multiple channels do that one channel doesn’t? Can I use quad-channel RAM on a dual-channel motherboard?”

The answers to those questions and more can be found below, so read on!

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Motherboard VRMs: What are Power Phases, and How Many Should I Have?

Motherboard VRM Power Phases Explanation

Often, motherboard product pages and online forum users mention a motherboard’s VRM and how many power phases it has. Being a somewhat technical topic, VRMs aren’t an easy topic to get into. So today, we will introduce the concept of the VRM and these so-called power phases as simple and straightforward as possible, so that you can easily discern what a motherboard product page is telling you (and when it matters).

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