Intel socket LGA1366 CPUs have an embedded memory controller, meaning that it is the processor – and not the chipset – that defines what memory technologies and the maximum amount of memory you can have. The motherboard, however, may have a limitation as to how much memory can be installed.
At the moment the integrated memory controller from socket LGA1366 processors supports only DDR3 memories up to 1,066 MHz under triple-channel architecture, however Gigabyte says the X58-USB3 supports DDR3 memories up to 2,200 MHz through overclocking.
One of the highlights of the X58-USB3 motherboard is the presence of six memory sockets, and not only four. This allows you to make future memory upgrades without having to remove your current memory modules and, at the same time, to keep the maximum performance possible.
Just to clarify, in order to achieve the maximum performance you have to install three or six memory modules. If you install three memory modules you have to use sockets with the same color. If you install a different number of memory modules the system won’t achieve its maximum possible performance.
On motherboards with only four memory sockets you have a problem: if you add a fourth memory module this module will be accessed at single-channel performance (1/3 of the maximum transfer rate), so for you to add more memory keeping the maximum performance you have to remove your old three modules and install new ones. This upgrade is more expensive than using a motherboard with six sockets, where you can simply add three more modules and keep your old modules installed.
Since currently DDR3 memory modules can be found in capacities up to 4 GB, you can have up to 24 GB with this motherboard, if you use six 4 GB modules.
The first, third, and fifth sockets are white, while the second, fourth, and sixth are blue. In order to achieve the maximum performance you should install three or six memory modules in order to enable triple-channel architecture. When only three modules are used, install them in the white sockets, otherwise your computer won’t turn on.