Channels / Bandwidth
Just as the move from single channel DDR memory to dual channel DDR memory allowed for much improved memory throughput and performance, the move to triple-channel DDR memory with the Core i7 promises similar benefits. While it's unlikely that most will use a Core i7 without a triple-channel DDR3 subsystem (as most OEMs are building within these guidelines, and triple channel memory kits are relatively affordable), we were curious to know how much this new feature actually helps performance.
We put together some configurations using single channel (1x module), dual channel (2x modules) and triple channel (3x modules) to see how the additional memory bandwidth of a triple channel configuration helps synthetic and real-world benchmarks.
In our first few tests, with the exception of the SANDRA latency benchmark, moving from one, two, or three memory channels has a significant impact on performance with the Core i7.