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4x 2GB or 2x 4GB?

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AMDluvr

Registered
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Which is easier for overclocking? I've decided on Mushkin Blacklines, and I want 8GB but if I remember right it's easier to do 2x 4GB, I want to make sure before I order though.
 

PhaseZero

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2003
I would think the 2x4gb as i think some boards limit the speed if all slots are populated. Though the price difference between the two seems crazy, almost double.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Its the banks/ranks more so than populated slots IIRC...

With that in mind, unless you are doing some heavy encoding/rendering or running multiple VM's 8GB is overkill.

2x2GB is what I would do.
 

bruceymoo

Registered
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Location
Palmerston North, New Zealand
To be honest i would choose 4Gb. Also it depends on your operating system aswell.
Im not 100% sure on windows 7's at the moment, but if your computer is Vista then 32 bit OS can only have up to 4Gb and 64 bit can have 8Gb.
Alot of other things come into play aswell, for instance depending on your CPU and how many processors it has, then the more ram you have,alot will go into cache.
It happens to me, i have intel core 2 quad and 3Gb ram and nearly half goes into cache, plus it is specifically a gaming computer.
As someone else said, 8Gb is overkill and in the end the decision is moneywise and filling up your ram slots. If you are wanting to look at overclocking go to my thread i created.
 

killem2

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
To be honest i would choose 4Gb. Also it depends on your operating system aswell.
Im not 100% sure on windows 7's at the moment, but if your computer is Vista then 32 bit OS can only have up to 4Gb and 64 bit can have 8Gb.
Alot of other things come into play aswell, for instance depending on your CPU and how many processors it has, then the more ram you have,alot will go into cache.
It happens to me, i have intel core 2 quad and 3Gb ram and nearly half goes into cache, plus it is specifically a gaming computer.
As someone else said, 8Gb is overkill and in the end the decision is moneywise and filling up your ram slots. If you are wanting to look at overclocking go to my thread i created.

I have a core 2 duo, and 4 gigs of a ram and the hd 5850 and I am still getting messages that my pc is low on memory. I'm getting 8 gigs in a month to prevent it.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
What are you doing killem that its saying that...? I have 4GB (64bit OS) and I can run COD4, while streaming music online as well as having a 1.5GB VM.......
 

Chixofnix

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Location
Kansas City, KS USA
To answer the original question, I would prefer 2 sticks to 4 for the same capacity of RAM. Halving the number of components halves the chance of a faulty component issue in the near or long term. Should you pursue overclocking the RAM, you're also held back by your weakest link and again it's better to have half as many chips.

@killem and others considering >4Gb of RAM: Try not to be put off by how this thread started with an "A or B" question and received a bunch of "you're wrong choose C" responses (shame! ;)). There are legitimate reasons you might want more than 4Gb of RAM but they're very limited and application/task-specific. OS plays a role as well.

Before resorting to a potentially pricey upgrade that might not fix the problem:

The "low system memory" messages you're receiving could likely be caused by a memory leak from a badly written or corrupted install for specific software (running with or without your knowledge). If that's the case you could resolve the situation by uninstalling and/or reinstalling said offending software. Assuming Windows: Next time you see that message, bring up the task manager (ctrl+alt+delete), click the "processes" tab and rank the listing by "mem usage" to help target the source of your problem.

Another app-specific cause could be how the program handles the system memory. Video editing software packages like Adobe Premiere often need to have their settings tweaked based on the type of files you're working with to work optimally with your hardware. Again it'd help if we knew what exactly was demanding more system memory of you.

Of course you should also check that your pagefile isn't tiny and/or cramped for lack of free HDD space on your pagefile drive!
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
The "low system memory" messages you're receiving could likely be caused by a memory leak from a badly written or corrupted install for specific software (running with or without your knowledge). If that's the case you could resolve the situation by uninstalling and/or reinstalling said offending software. Assuming Windows: Next time you see that message, bring up the task manager (ctrl+alt+delete), click the "processes" tab and rank the listing by "mem usage" to help target the source of your problem.

Another app-specific cause could be how the program handles the system memory. Video editing software packages like Adobe Premiere often need to have their settings tweaked based on the type of files you're working with to work optimally with your hardware. Again it'd help if we knew what exactly was demanding more system memory of you.

Of course you should also check that your pagefile isn't tiny and/or cramped for lack of free HDD space on your pagefile drive!
+1 well said. What I was getting at....
 

Yellowbeard XMS

Official Corsair Tech Support
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
LOL...I'm just curious how people know how much memory the OP needs?

AMDLuvr, it's a mixed bag right now. In general, 2 modules will OC better than 4 due to less loading on the memory controller. So, 2 modules is the way to go if you want more than what I consider a moderate OC.

However, the newer 2GB die ICs needed for 4GB modules are not nearly as fast for higher OCing as the current ICs are. So, you "might" end up capped by the memory either way you go.

What system are you considering this for?
 

chop_wood

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Location
San Diego, CA
i get the memory warnings with my 6gb, but in my case i think its just Aero overloading and not the physical ram itself.. happens when i get tab/window happy over a few days. tries to tell me to turn to basic theme haha.. this is rare tho. it takes a serious amount of windows.

@op ... dont be silly. 2 extra bills cant be worth it. wouldnt you be running at least x58 if money was to be spent that frivolously? or maybe im off on the price diff
 

Weeman

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Just for my own personal knowledge have any of these memory warning been specific to Virtual memory? Does windows 7 differ between the two? Potential bug maybe?
 

Airbornederekc

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Location
Massachusetts
Like Chixofnix said less chips the better but not always worth double the price. that is a judgement call. if its 50 vs 100 maby but not 300 vs 600 or above. thats just nuts to spend unless its mission critical.
 

terran2k

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
i never really seen much of a problem overclocking with 4 sticks vs 2 sticks. my cpu still reached the same max stable speed at whatever voltage, but I never really OC my memory to ultra high speeds. I did have my crucial ballistix running at almost 1200Mhz (if I remember correctly) for a little while, that was 4 x 1GBs.