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A few questions about RAM in general.

Hey people, I am buying new RAM soon, and need a little advice, some things that have always puzzled me. I will order them below for easy answering.

1) I am contemplating whether to get 4x2 or 2x4 sticks on my board. I have had multiple answers from various sources.

Some have said I am better with the 2x4 as the CPU and the memory chip on the mobo are under less strain, and that the 4 sticks are only truly useful in a quad channel system.

The others say that it is better to have 4 sticks, as to spread the workload across several different parts, giving better performance as there is more MHz allocated to each GB, producing less heat and extending life.

Which is correct?

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2) The manufacturers I am looking at are G.Skill, GeiL, Kingston and Corsair.

Are there any specific differences between the performance specs of the hardware made by these manufacturers, or is it simply down to aesthetic taste or brand loyalty?

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3) Now I know there is negligible difference between the performance of 1333MHz and 1600MHz RAM unless you are working super heavy duty or doing some very specific overclocking.

However, the site I am on is advertising some 800MHz DDR2 memory, claiming it has a lower latency and higher gaming performance for high intensity games.

Is this correct, or is it just a jargon-filled swindle?

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If someone could answer some, or all of my questions, it would be much appreciated. I understand that some of this might be in other topics, however, I think that the specificity of the questions requires me to collate them all together in this fashion, as all need to be considered at once as part of my buying process.

EDIT: Correcting mistake.
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  1. Best answer
    1.) I would suggest getting the 2x4 set which will leave you room to upgrade. If you don't think you ever will upgrade then just get whichever is cheaper. As far as performance goes I doubt you will notice any difference either way. RAM uses so little power than heat is a non-issue.

    2.) Brand loyalty/aestethics. Get whichever brand has a reliable set that fits your needs.

    3.) There is a large difference between types of RAM (DDR2 and DDR3 for example). You asking about DDR2 makes me want to know what your specs are. I know of no motherboard that will accept DDR2 or DDR3. You will typically want DDR3 1600 MHz 9-9-9-24 1.5 V because it seems to be the best value. A good way to compare performance between speeds/latencies is to divide them. For example a 2133 MHz set with a latency of 11 gives you 2133/11 = 193.9 while a 1600 MHz set with latency of 9 is 1600/9=177.8. In essence the 2133 set is only 9% faster than the 1600 MHz set. This type of comparison is only valid between sets of the same type (DDR3). Any DDR3 set is faster than any DDR2 set.


    I hope this answers your questions.
  2. That was awesome dude, answered all my questions perfectly. I didn't know about dividing the speed by latency, that will be of great help in the future. Thank you very much.
  3. 1. if you get 2x4 it leaves more room for expansion later
    2. brand loyalty. but its brand loyalty with good reason usually. corsair, kingston, and gskill are good at what they do.
    3. id have to do more research but it sound fishy. ddr3 isnt expensive so why not. its newer tech.

    note: these are all opinions
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