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#1 Oct 03 2012 at 10:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Good Afternoon,
I currently have 2 sticks of 2GB DDR3 in my system and I want to upgrade. Is there a difference between using 2 sticks of X or 1 stick of Y? Presuming the 2 sticks of X add up to Y.

Thank you.
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#2 Oct 03 2012 at 5:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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Generally, there is an advantage to filling both slots. What you end up with is doubling the number of potential ram access pathways, though that only translates into a few percentage point boost in overall ram speed throughput. If your system only has 2 slots, and you never plan to upgrade past that ram amount, then going with two smaller sticks would be slightly better than 1 large one. You also need to ensure that your system will support whatever size sticks you plan on putting in it. Many desktop systems that only have 2 ram slots won't support the larger ones.

If you start getting into the motherboards with more channels, then you end up with ram groupings. Take an Intel core i7 socket 1155 motherboard for example. 4 slots consisting of slots 1a, 1b and 2a, 2b. In that case, it's more important to have ram in slot 1a and 2a than it is to fill slot 1a and 1b, and after slot 1a and 2a are filled, filling 1b and 2b only gives you a minor performance boost.

If you plan on upgrading in the future, it may be better to take a slight performance hit, buy one big ram stick, then buy another one in a few months when funding permits. The performance difference either way won't be huge in general once you are over the 4GB mark. also make sure you are running a 64 bit Operating system, as exceeding 4GB on a 32 bit OS doesn't do you any good at all since windows can't "see" the ram.
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#3 Oct 03 2012 at 10:39 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm running 64 bit system. I have 4 ram slots total with 2 filled with 2GB sticks. I was debating on going to 8 or 16GB. Wasn't sure if should just buy 1 big stick or split it up. My thought was 2 sticks so in case one gets corrupt I'd still have the other. just wasn't sure if there's a difference between 1 or 2.

Thank you for the response though.
Much appreciated.
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i'm not saying, i'm just saying
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Babu Voyvoda - Hyur Midlander
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#4 Oct 03 2012 at 11:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ram is still dirt cheap these days. If you have an intel chip, ram speed really doesn't matter since the ram controller is on the CPU itself now, so get the largest sticks you can find and don't worry too much about the speed of the ram. You'll want to make sure that at least the two primary channels are filled. If you have an AMD processor ram speed is a little more important, but capacity is still king for most things. Generally even for gaming you aren't going to really notice more than 12GB ram unless you have truly outstanding video cards in the system and a beefy processor and a SSD
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