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Memory Configuration For Optimum Results


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Hi there readers, this is my first post on this forum and it should be an easy question for all you speedfreaks out there :D Here goes: for a dual channel MOBO with 4 ram slots, which set-up gives optimum results: 4 sticks x 256mb; OR 2 sticks x 512mb? Told you it was easy, didn't I!

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As stated in your question you want to run in Dual Channel. Dual Channel will work best at it's full capabilty's with 2-512. Having 4-256 could be considered redundant, thus being a non Dual Channel configuration.

So Definately you would want 2-512MB Sticks that are perfectly matched in every way.

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512mb sticks for sure, most 256 sticks are the same density as 512 mb sticks, just with more chips

 

Whats your setup?

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Hi there Crazy_Dude, thanks for the reply! I'm not sure I understand it though,

someone told me recently that using 2 x 512mb sticks instead of 1 x 1024mb stick yields a better response from the memory because with DIMM modules you have 2 sticks doing the work instead of one. I'm sorry for not being able to explain it any better :withstupid: Do I make any sense? Well anyway, reason why I'm asking is so that I can make an informed decision on an upgrade. I want to buy the ASUS A8N SLi Deluxe and was wondering which memory I should add to the CORSAIR TWINX1024-3200C2PT I already own and use. I also bought some CORSAIR CMX256-3200LLPT (2 sticks of 256mb) recently and am on the way to starting my second project and wondering which type of the above memory I should add to. Obviously, I was looking to go for the extra 2 sticks of CMX256-3200LLPT because then I would have a gig of each type and it was this that brought up the 2 or 4 sticks question. Phew, did you get that!? Anyway, has this thrown new light on my question?

 

Here's my set-up, I'm not into overclocking at the moment - don't know enough about it to tell the truth.

 

AMD Athlon XP 3200, Thermalright SP-97 heatsink with 92mm dia. Zalman cpu-fan,

ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe, CORSAIR TWINX1024-3200C2PT, HIPER 4S525W PSU, 256mb NVIDIA 6600GT, NEC ND2500A & NEC ND3520AW, Audigy 2ZS, AOPEN H600A Tower

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Hi there Crazy_Dude, thanks for the reply!  I'm not sure I understand it though,

someone told me recently that using 2 x 512mb sticks instead of 1 x 1024mb stick yields a better response from the memory because with DIMM modules you have 2 sticks doing the work instead of one. I'm sorry for not being able to explain it any better  :withstupid: Do I make any sense?  Well anyway, reason why I'm asking is so that I can make an informed decision on an upgrade. I want to buy the ASUS A8N SLi Deluxe and was wondering which memory I should add to the CORSAIR TWINX1024-3200C2PT I already own and use. I also bought some CORSAIR CMX256-3200LLPT (2 sticks of 256mb) recently and am on the way to starting my second project and wondering which type of the above memory I should add to.  Obviously, I was looking to go for the extra 2 sticks of CMX256-3200LLPT because then I would have a gig of each type and it was this that brought up the 2 or 4 sticks question. Phew, did you get that!?  Anyway, has this thrown new light on my question?

 

Here's my set-up, I'm not into overclocking at the moment - don't know enough about it to tell the truth.

 

AMD Athlon XP 3200, Thermalright SP-97 heatsink with 92mm dia. Zalman cpu-fan,

ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe, CORSAIR TWINX1024-3200C2PT, HIPER 4S525W PSU, 256mb NVIDIA 6600GT, NEC ND2500A & NEC ND3520AW, Audigy 2ZS, AOPEN H600A Tower

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Yes your right, your motherboard supports dual channal, in other words you have two channals from your system to your memory, so you get twice the bandwidth because you have one stick on each channal instead of just one stick on one channal.

 

EDIT: just read the second part of your post, in that case you can't get another 2 sticks because your mobo only supports 3 slots, you have two already filled up, so once again i'll have to point to 2x512

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well... depends on what you are doing. if you do crazy multi-tasking or want load times in the newer games to imporve, having for instance, 2 GB, would provide better performance for 1 Gb in dual channel.. but you would lose the optimized running of dual channel..

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Yes your right, your motherboard supports dual channal, in other words you have two channals from your system to your memory, so you get twice the bandwidth because you have one stick on each channal instead of just one stick on one channal.

 

EDIT: just read the second part of your post, in that case you can't get another 2 sticks because your mobo only supports 3 slots, you have two already filled up, so once again i'll have to point to 2x512

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Aaaahhh! :rolleyes: Now I understand you! But what about a MOBO with 4 RAM slots in dual channel configuration? If I bought another 2 sticks of 256mb making 4 altogether and added this to my new set-up I would then have 512mb in each channel, all the slots would be filled up and the CMX256-3200LLPT has a lower latency than the TWINX1024-3200C2PT stuff. Forgetting the latency for the minute,

4 x 256 in the above set-up is surely the same as 2 x 512 is it not? Yes, I think I'm getting the hang of it now! So it wouldn't make any difference at all if I was to buy another 2 x 256 sticks! Yes it would because the 256mb sticks have a lower latency and are marginally faster. I just have to juggle some figures about now, if you're having trouble following this reply it's just me talking and thinking out loud to myself :D

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Aaaahhh!  :rolleyes: Now I understand you!  But what about a MOBO with 4 RAM slots in dual channel configuration?  If I bought another 2 sticks of 256mb making 4 altogether and added this to my new set-up I would then have 512mb in each channel, all the slots would be filled up and the CMX256-3200LLPT has a lower latency than the TWINX1024-3200C2PT stuff.  Forgetting the latency for the minute,

4 x 256 in the above set-up is surely the same as 2 x 512 is it not?  Yes, I think I'm getting the hang of it now!  So it wouldn't make any difference at all if I was to buy another 2 x 256 sticks!  Yes it would because the 256mb sticks have a lower latency and are marginally faster.  I just have to juggle some figures about now, if you're having trouble following this reply it's just me talking and thinking out loud to myself :D

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ok a few things

 

the 4x256 wouldn't matter on that particular system so yeah that'd be fine

 

NEVER mix differant latencies together, that'll just give you errors, all the sticks have to be the same

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main reason most ppl suggest only putting 2 sticks comparead to 4 sticks is it is easier for overclocking. not sure how, but it is. i know you said your not into overclocking yet, but eventually you mgiht be. and if not, leaves more room for upgrade

 

and btw, i got a question, i think its the same one he is asking, if you have 4 sticks of ram, you are still dual channeling right? if its the same sticks and the mobo supports it. or do most mobo's only support dual channel when you have only 2 sticks of ram? jsut wondering

 

welcome to OCC btw

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ok a few things

 

the 4x256 wouldn't matter on that particular system so yeah that'd be fine

 

NEVER mix differant latencies together, that'll just give you errors, all the sticks have to be the same

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Actually wrong, (i have to go look this one up) if the sticks are double sided they may not even work as 4 sticks (again got to check that), but you DO loose the extra boost of 1T comand rate over the forced 2T of 2 sticks. So, while 256x4 still gives you 512mb per channel you'll loose 1T capability.

 

As for the diff latency of the ram...you wont get any errors if you run the rated settings of the slower ram...

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Actually wrong, (i have to go look this one up) if the sticks are double sided they may not even work as 4 sticks (again got to check that), but you DO loose the extra boost of 1T comand rate over the forced 2T of 2 sticks.  So, while 256x4 still gives you 512mb per channel you'll loose 1T capability. 

 

As for the diff latency of the ram...you wont get any errors if you run the rated settings of the slower ram...

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i'm running 4 sticks with my P4 and its a 1T, so does the k7 (socket A athlon) But the Athlon 64 has the onboard memory controller and that particular cpu does set back the ram from 1T to 2T

 

as for the latency isussues, its still reccomended by most mobo manufacturer to use the same sticks

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