Is it better to purchase 4 2GB RAM sticks, or 2 4GB RAM sticks, or does it affect performance?

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Vaive's picture
Joined: 08/23/2012
Posts: 1

Hello there, I'm trying to get a build list together for building my first computer and I was curious if there's a performance difference between getting 2 4GB sticks, or 4 2GB sticks of RAM.

spawnkiller's picture
Joined: 05/06/2012
Posts: 315

2X4gb will be a better option as it'll be easier to configure and run and let you room for a future upgrade... generally fulling all dramm slot is really rough on the mobo and won't run quite as well than 2 stick

Have 4X2gb sticks of Hyper X ddr2-1066 @ 1126mhz 5-5-5-15-52 PL8 (2.3V). i can run 1256 5-5-5-15-52-PL4 on 1 kit and 1232 5-5-5-15-52-PL6 on the other but together only 1164 5-5-5-15-52-PL7 maximum and 1126mhz PL8 stable without throwing 2.5V in each dimm (the max voltage option i have to bench)

It's not the ram that can't go higher, it's the memory controller hub that starts making electrical noise at higher frequency and with 4 dimm fulled it's a doubled interference that the MCH need to control even if the Drive strenght is set to it's max (OC-1333mhz) i can't go higher...

If you don't overclock, then no difference at all, just pick value ram 2*4gb maybe 2X8gb as it's really cheap on these days...

PS: Drive strenght setting is the strenght of the signal needed to ensure good signal between MCH (memory controller hub) and CPU/RAM

Gaming PC: MSI Z77A-G45 ::: Intel Core I7 3770k @ 4.83Ghz ::: Zotac GTX970 Amped about 1500mhz Boost (OC) ::: 32GB 4*4gb G.Skill 2240mhz CL10 ::: Soundblaster XZ and ASUS Xonar DX ::: Crucial M4 128gb (windows) + Intel 330 180gb (Steam games) + 4X1TB Caviar Black (storage in raid 10) ::: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold M1000 ::: Antec P280 ::: BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 2 ::: Triple BenQ XL2430T ans Asus VG248QE on top ::: Logitech G510 ::: Logitech G502 ::: Logitech Z906 ::: Steelseries Siberia V-2 Black & gold edition

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Razear's picture
Joined: 12/30/2008
Posts: 1127

It is better to go with the highest denomination you can get since this will allow room for future expansion if need be. There is no performance difference between the two configurations assuming they are both the same spec.

eire1274's picture
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1324

DDR3 really shows little slowdown in large modules until you start looking at 16Gb and larger. 1, 2, 4, and 8Gb modules are within 1% access time given strobe delays. Moving up to 16Gb, it approaches 3%, and 32Gb (on what is being produced so far) is over 10%, but of course these memory levels are super-duper cutting edge and not in the desktop market yet.

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Nick McDermott - 3dGM Admin & SpamKiller

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 16

If you are thinking about OC your modules, a set of 2x4g is better than 4x2g. Thats because its easier to OC 2 than 4 moduls

CPU: Amd x3 720BE, GPU: XFX 7850 2gb, RAM: Kingston Hyper X 8gb ddr3 , MB: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3,
Case: Cooler Master 690 II Advance, PSU: Chieftec CFT-650-14CS

Joined: 09/23/2012
Posts: 2

its better to get 2x4g. 1)less technology to deal with(overclocking or managing)2) save space for future upgrade( if you want to add another 4g or so)