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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question Lets talk about ram....

Heres the deal. I have 3.5 gigs of DDR2 5300 ram. Three identical sticks of 1 gig each and one 512 stick of another brand. My computer has four slots and it does the dual channel ram thing if you set it up right.
So what do you think would be better?

1) Use all of the ram in snigle channel mode
2) Use two gigs in dual channel mode
3) The three identical one gig sticks in single channel mode and leave out the other branded 512.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

use all of the ramin single channel mode. It is better to have 3.5 gigs of ram than 3 gigs imo.

Jimmy
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:19 AM
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

I'm workig on a similar problem. do I park my ram in the carport, or in the driveway?
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

My Ram is in the driveway, but I drive it on the parkway.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

Ram is cheap enough these days. How about getting a 4th stick of 1 gb and have 4 gb and dual channel?
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

What motherboard is it? I know on AMD Socket 939 boards, if you run four sticks, you have to drop the ram speed from 400MHz to 333MHz. A similar effect might occur with your setup as well.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

If your going to put in RAM. I think most computers (Mine Included) will only accept one type of RAM. Meaning you can't have 512 and 3 gigs. Also usually different ram (Companies) won't work together to well for whatever reason. So yeah, just go buy another gig off newegg.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

Quote:
Originally Posted by legendeath View Post
If your going to put in RAM. I think most computers (Mine Included) will only accept one type of RAM. Meaning you can't have 512 and 3 gigs. Also usually different ram (Companies) won't work together to well for whatever reason. So yeah, just go buy another gig off newegg.
Usually, most computers will take different sized RAM, as long as it's the same type. I think you are thinking about speed. Now you can mix two different speeds, but the higher-clocked RAM will drop to the speed of the lower-clocked RAM.

But for simplicity's sake, it's best just to always use the same type and size as possible, in matching pairs (eg - 2x1GB OCZ EL DDR400 PC3200, or 2x2GB Corsair DDR2800 PC26400, etc.)
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

What operating system do you use? Vista 32 bit will only use 3GB.
XP will use up to 3GB, but you have to mod the boot.ini
Either way over 3GB is a waste of $$ if you use 32 bit versions of Windows.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:47 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

Quote:
Originally Posted by taracatac View Post
What operating system do you use? Vista 32 bit will only use 3GB.
XP will use up to 3GB, but you have to mod the boot.ini
Either way over 3GB is a waste of $$ if you use 32 bit versions of Windows.
Yep, most programs (unless the most intense photo editing programs, etc) won't even utilize 3.5GB. So if you put in that extra stick to get 3.5GB and your speed drops, you might actually see worse performance. But it all depends on the motherboard.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

if theres dual and single arnt you suppossed to just use either all dual (or one dual) or all single (or one single)?

But yeah ram is best if idenical sticks are used, if the pc allows the single to be used as well, may this cause bottlenecking as its a different type?

my mobo has two duals and two single slots, i just have two identical 512 ram sticks in the dual slots.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

As said, it depends on the motherboard (well mostly the chipset, somewhat the BIOS I guess).
I have an Asus P5B Deluxe motherboard with Intel P965 chipset, which is very clever about memory. It is able to use some memory in dual channel, and the 'remainder' in single channel mode.
I run 3 GB myself, with 2x1 GB sticks and 2x512 MB sticks, and it can run all of that completely in dualchannel, I just have to stick them into the right slots.

Some boards/chipsets are more picky, and will only run dualchannel if they can run ALL banks in dualchannel.

As for different brands/types of memory... Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It mainly has to do with the addressing. Some sticks have 8 chips on them, others have 16 for example (usually double-sided). It's hard for the memory controller to address such different memory sticks together.
As long as they're physically the same type, the actual brand doesn't matter. Speed doesn't even have to match, you'll just take the lowest common denominator. Faster memory can always run at lower speeds.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 12:08 PM
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotti View Post
Heres the deal. I have 3.5 gigs of DDR2 5300 ram. Three identical sticks of 1 gig each and one 512 stick of another brand. My computer has four slots and it does the dual channel ram thing if you set it up right.
So what do you think would be better?

1) Use all of the ram in snigle channel mode
2) Use two gigs in dual channel mode
3) The three identical one gig sticks in single channel mode and leave out the other branded 512.
OK, I'll be the first person to actually answer your question - 2Gb in dual channel mode is better than 3Gb or 3.5Gb in single channel mode.

Your best bet is to put 2Gb in dual channel and evilbay the other 2 sticks.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
OK, I'll be the first person to actually answer your question
It's difficult to give him the best solution because we don't know the chipset/motherboard.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 12:44 PM
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Re: Lets talk about ram....

All else being equal 2Gb of dual channel RAM is better than more single channel RAM.
It just is.

There might be circumstances/application where more RAM even if slower is better but these will be rare.
Also we're not talking 512Mb in dual channel vs 1Gb in single channel in general or 1Gb in dual channel vs 2Gb in single channel running Vista in which cases more RAM will be better than faster RAM - we're talking 2Gb in dual channel vs 3Gb in single channel and in this specific case 2Gb in dual channel is better.

32bit Windows OS still has difficulty handling more than 2GB - it's counter productive to have more than 2Gb RAM in a 32bit OS machine anyway even though it can officially handle 3Gb so this specific question has a very easy answer.
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