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RAM set-up confusion...

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  • RAM set-up confusion...

    So I just upgraded my RAM from 2 x 512MB DDR2 PC4200 at 3 - 3 - 3 - 10 timings to 2 x 1GB DDR2 PC4200 at 3 - 3 - 3 - 8 timings. My motherboard has 4 RAM slots and supports dual channel mode. The two pairs of RAM are different brands. With that in mind, which do you think would offer greater performance?

    Set-Up A
    2 x 1GB DDR2 PC4200 at 3 - 3 - 3 - 8 timings (Dual Channel A)
    Total Memory: 2GB


    Set-Up B
    2 x 1GB DDR2 PC4200 at 3 - 3 - 3 - 10 timings** (Dual Channel A)
    2 x 512MB DDR2 PC4200 at 3 - 3 - 3 - 10 timings** (Dual Channel B)
    Total Memory: 3GB

    ** I assume that I would have to run my RAM at the slower speed because that's the top speed of my old RAM (the 2 x 512MB).

    I ask because I'm not sure how the rule "same brand, same size, same speed" applies in different channels. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: RAM set-up confusion...

    go with more... 3gig of SLIGHTLY slower timed ram will definitely trump 2gig of negligibly faster ram.

    mixing and matching ram is fine if you are not super tuning your rig... and it sounds like you are not.
    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

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    • #3
      Re: RAM set-up confusion...

      I do know that the speed and timings will affect performance, but with a total of 3 GB of memory the most important thing is will the extra RAM cause less paging issues, and therefore better overall performance. The games I play most (PR) use a lot of system RAM so by going from 2 GB dual channel to 3 GB not dual (due to a bad stick ruining the dual channel setup) I still had better overall performance, especially when alt+tabbing in and out of the game and with additional programs like Teamspeak and mumble.

      When I got a replacement pair and upped to 4 GB with mixed speeds but dual channel I was not able to notice a difference over the previous 3GB not dual channel setup except alt+tabbing and running multiple programs was more responsive.

      So, dual channel is nice, and even if you mix and match (and your board allows it) you will most likely be better off with the extra RAM when judging an impression of performance even if artificial benchmarks make it look less so. I'd put in all the RAM in when it is from 2 to 3 GB.

      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.


      • #4
        Re: RAM set-up confusion...

        Thanks for your recommendations, gentlemen! I'll put the 512's back in. If I could still +rep you both, I would!




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