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Thread: RAM:1 stick or 2?

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    Lightbulb RAM:1 stick or 2?

    Which is better? 2x512MB DDR2 (800) 4-4-4-12 or 1GB DDR2 (800) 4-4-4-12 for use in a Asus M2N-SLI NF570 AM2 DDR2 (800) PCI-E 16 (x2) Deluxe.

    I thank you.

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    Usually having two sticks is faster due to Dual Channel (make sure you put the RAM into the corresponding slots) and so there's a performance difference, but if your looking to upgrade in the near future living with a 1Gb stick is a good idea meaning you can run two 1Gb sticks in dual channel in the future. It depends on what you are planning on doing in the near future.

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    WEEEEEEEEEEEEE! MadduckUK's Avatar
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    i wouldnt go for 2x512's if your buying them new anymore. As Skyrail says it would be better to go for just the one stick now and put up with the tiiiny performance hit in order to get another 1GB stick in the future.
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    Ah Okay, I thought as much. Yep I plan to upgrade in the future but I guess I wouldn't benefit from having a matched pair. ho hum

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    Sorry to disapoint but Dual Channel ONLY runs with matched pairs of RAM. You can't mix and match your RAM to give it dual channel ability.

    Also the performance increase with dual channel is negotiable and it really isn't all that it is hyped about.

    Due to programs requiring more RAM these days you'd be better off going for one stick of 1GB, which leaves you easily able to upgrade to 2GB+ later without the worry of running out of RAM slots.

    FinalD

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    there is a danger that by the time you buy a 2nd 1gb that the spec of the memory iis changed. Value brands for example chabge with supply & demand so i wouldn't choose to get 2x1gb with a gap between the purchase. Even relatively high spec memory does change so i'd suggest tthe worst solution - save & buy 2gb together.

    luck

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    I agree with Supershanks, at this point 2Gb is generally becoming more of a necessity. 2x1Gb sticks can be had for cheap enough these days as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FInalD View Post
    Sorry to disapoint but Dual Channel ONLY runs with matched pairs of RAM. You can't mix and match your RAM to give it dual channel ability.

    FinalD
    Not quite, my NF2 board is running Dual Channel with 3 different sticks of RAM

    As far as I understand it, Dual Channel works if the modules are the same size, eg 512+512 1gb+1gb, but the modules don't have to be identical. It more relates to a way of addressing memory in parallel to increase bandwidth without expensive memory.

    At least that is how I understood it...

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    I took it to be that the actual chips had to be the same batch number to get true dual channel running on yor system (aong with a DC capable board).

    All I know is that there isn't much point in it really as it doesn'tmake a real noticable difference to having lots f random sticks.

    Solong as you mix and match with the same speed RAM you certainly won't get any loss in performance, and I'm sure the amount of RAM is more of a gain than the dual channel.

    But I am open to being proved wrong.

    FinalD

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    It was a general rule of thumb that you should have two sticks the same to get dual channel working reliably. In releases of motherboards over the past year it hasn't been so much of an issue, you still need the same size and speed of RAM but mixing manafacturers should still work. If you can, better to get matched though.

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    Thanks everyone but you have all really confused me!
    I plan to buy 1GB CorsairXMS2 DDR2 (800) 5-5-5-12
    And will hopefully be able to buy another stick (which will be exactly the same) in 6 months time.

    am I right in thinking:

    more (DDR2 800) RAM =ok
    The same make and latency= good
    the same make, latency and matched pair= very good

    However there is not that much difference between all the above.

    what do ya say to that...

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    It won't be a true matched pair, but as it has been said above for all modern purposes it will run nice and fast and wonderfully.

    800 is good ram to go for, looks like you've picked some decent stuff unlike some people when they are not sure about what is what.

    FinalD

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    Quote Originally Posted by FInalD View Post
    I took it to be that the actual chips had to be the same batch number to get true dual channel running on yor system (aong with a DC capable board).
    FinalD
    By having a 'matched pair', you are less likely to have one stick of RAM holding back the other, but you can go dual channel with any combination of RAM (but the sticks need to be the same size, I think).

    Like Dave87, I'm currently running an NForce2 board dual channel, with a matched pair of Corsair TwinX with BH-5 chips along with a stick of Samsung PC2100 CL2 all running at 200MHz 2.5-3-3-6, even though the Corsair stuff will go to 220+MHz 2-2-2-5, as I value the extra 512MB over the small speed gain.

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    Thanks everyone but you have all really confused me!
    I plan to buy 1GB CorsairXMS2 DDR2 (800) 5-5-5-12
    And will hopefully be able to buy another stick (which will be exactly the same) in 6 months time.
    By which time corsair may have changed the chips used so they will be anything but a matched pair. A better result may be if they discontinued it, at least you'd only spend money on 1 module

    Luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by FInalD View Post
    Sorry to disapoint but Dual Channel ONLY runs with matched pairs of RAM. You can't mix and match your RAM to give it dual channel ability.

    Also the performance increase with dual channel is negotiable and it really isn't all that it is hyped about.

    FinalD
    I'm afraid that is definitely incorrect.
    Its much easier to run in DC mode with matched pairs but, as myself and Yellowbeard once discussed, un-matched pairs do sometimes still run in DC mode.

    Its risky and not guaranteed but also far from impossible.

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    Cheers, All. I had no idea this would start such a debate. When I do get round to buying another stick of RAM I'll be back to let you know what happens. ;-)

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