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  • Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

    I'm upgrading to 2GB of RAM in one of my PC's - Should I buy one 2GB stick or two 1GB sticks... Dual-channel is only available when using 2 sticks right? Anyone know if that's significantly faster?

  • #2
    Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

    you need to use 2 channels to get it (ei. 2 sticks)

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    • #3
      Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

      The mobo only has 2 RAM slots, so what I'm weighing is performance now vs. upgradability (to 4GB) later. How much faster is dual-channel?

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      • #4
        Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

        Dual channel is twice as fast.

        It's also only availiable if your motherboard explicity supports it. You also failed to mention what you're starting with. Do you have zero, one, or two modules in there already? Are the old ones happy with the same timings as the new ones? What is the timing spec?

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        • #5
          Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

          Okay, post relevant information after I start to reply. See if I care! :P

          Only two slots; check your docs to ensure it allows DC. It always sucks to toss out modules since you're paying for the same memory space twice when you do. 2GB is probably fine, but if you think you're taking that mobo to 4GB, which is likely only considerable if you'll be running 64-bit OS, then get 4GB now and don't waste money by buying 6GB over the board's lifetime. That cash will go into the 64-bit loadout, or into your next computer that has sufficient ram slots.

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          • #6
            Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

            <smack> shoulda read el wiki :D

            Tom's Hardware found no significant difference between single-channel and dual-channel configurations in synthetic and game benchmarks (using a "modern" system setup).[2] Generally speaking, dual channel configuration is a very minor upgrade, and without other system tweaks, the difference may not even be noticeable. While there is no reason not to use dual-channel over single-channel, where all other things are equal, the question often comes up whether it is advisable to add additional RAM if doing so will break dual-channel compatibility. Having more total RAM available is generally more beneficial than maintaining dual-channel configuration.

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            • #7
              Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

              Another thing to consider is RAM prices are supposed to be going up again this summer, so now might be the best time to just pick up the 4 gigs, with the good stuff going for under $100 right now.
              And besides, you can always sell your old ram for a few $$ on craigslist or ebay

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              • #8
                Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

                When it comes to memory I buy the cheapest namebrand stuff I can find. More memory is almost always going to trump faster memory.

                I look at the server market where speed and reliability are very important and for the most part the memory is never high priced stuff. It bunches of cheap stuff.
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                • #9
                  Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

                  4 gigs of ram will be unaddressable by 32bit operating systems anyway. Get two 1 gig sticks and call it a day.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

                    Getting the 4 gigs I suggested above would be dependant on weather you could move the new memory to a new computer in the future.
                    If you plan on keeping the current computer you have for the next couple of years till the price of DDR3 comes down, then yeah, go with 2 gigs now.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

                      wow.. first time buying DDR2 - it's CHEAP! Just got a 2GB stick of DDR2 PC6400 (CAS4) for 58 bucks!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

                        #1 dual channel is not 2x as fast...

                        #2 even if a x86 OS cannot read >3.25gig of ram, 4gig should be the standard with prices as cheap as they are. I would rather waste 750megs of ram right now and move to x64 in 6 months. you are wasting the opportunity to use the 1.25 extra gigs now.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Buying 2GB of RAM - 2 sticks or 1?

                          32bit OS can address 4.0GB of ram total(some say 1 bit less than that, but whatever).. divide that between system memory, GFX memory, and memory for sound card (very minimal) and you would use (depending on your graphics card) 3.4GB to system memory .5GB (512mb, assuming that is your card size) to GFX, and less than .1 to your audio card (i think they make a 128mb card, not too knowledgable with audio cards... i pretty much stick to mobo sound card =/ )so if you bought your 4gb of ddr2 (which is a "theoretical" 2x speed boost(bandwidth) to ddr1 which is a "theoretical" 2x speed boost to non-ddr) than you will be sitting just dandy, and as stated above.. ram is teh cheepzor right now...
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