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RAM 2x2gb vs. 4x1gb

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by SkiDave, 17 Mar 2008.

  1. SkiDave

    SkiDave Active Member

    16 Mar 2008
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    i have heard lots of rumours flying around that it is better (peformance wise) to have 4 slots of 1GB than 2 of 2Gb. is there any truth in this??
  2. chrisb2e9

    chrisb2e9 Dont do that...

    18 Jun 2007
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    I dont know about performance but I have seen a lot of people have problems getting their systems to run with 4x1. I would go with the 2x2 myself.
  3. bubsterboo

    bubsterboo New Member

    24 Jan 2006
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    2x2gb because of the ability to upgrade at a later date.
  4. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

    15 Aug 2007
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    the only performance difference would be at similar price, 2x2GB will have looser timings.

    i'd also recommend 2x2GB, i have 4x1GB because i had 2x1 already, and when i came to upgrade, 2x2GB sticks is still above £100. so i bought the same model as my original RAM, and never had any problem.
  5. Woodstock

    Woodstock So Say We All

    10 Sep 2006
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    bit has an article coming up that will compare the two (among other things)
  6. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

    27 Nov 2001
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    Yes, though it doesn't affect all boards or all memory. Gigabyte gave a warning with their P31/ICH7 board
    Claimed reason is,
    It's also easier to get a matched pair than a matched foursome.
  7. cosmic

    cosmic New Member

    6 Jul 2007
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    Yes - I have heard that 2 sticks tend to be faster than 4 as well, but I went for 2 sticks to leave the option of adding another 4 Gig later even though 2GB sticks tend to have slower timings.

    Not sure performance wise that the "real world" differences are noticeable, but as CPEMMA says above - its going to depend on your motherboard
  8. ryanjleng

    ryanjleng ...

    15 Nov 2007
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    Go 2x2GB. You have much (* n times) less problems.

    There are quite a few variables that can go for and against the performance, when it comes to your question. Honestly, the difference is quite tiny and you can ignore it.

    The real issue is stability/compatibility. The source of the problem is not a simple one to explain or comes from a single-clear vector.

    Here's the low down on why 2x2GB is better, especially for DDR2 (but not so much for DDR3).

    It comes down to Signal Integrity with faster memory speed in DDR2. When signals fly faster, everything (RAM, Board, NB) needs to be perfectly designed, built and tuned on the BIOS. A minor electrical hiccup with DDR1 won't cause a cascading signal failure, but will crash with DDR2 RAM. Unlike DDR3, what DDR2 lacks is a continuous calibration during the working period plus a few other things. DDR2 is fundamentally weaker in Signal Calibration and Integrity.

    4x1GB configuration is weaker with DDR2 because the topology is really difficult in getting the Signal-Clock to sync from DIMM 1 to DIMM 4. That means OC is very hard to attain as DIMM 1 and 4 experience signal skewing - Mem Controller not 100% sync with each DIMM. Poorly designed or flawed DDR2 motherboards cannot run 4 DIMM in a stable manner with some brands of RAM.

    Well, i am not sure what memory controller Corsair forum is referring to, while it 'may' be true on slower budget chipsets and not the fault of the memory controller, I don't think it is real in the last 18-24 months.

    Clobber me with facts if i am wrong :)

    Go 2x2GB for stability, performance and OC potential.

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