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4 Sticks vs. 2 Sticks in Dual Channel

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August 24, 2006 1:46:48 AM

I hope someone can give me an answer based on experience, firsthand or no: What kind of performance hit would it represent to use 2 pairs of 512 MB as opposed to 1 pair of 1 GB, given that in both cases the memory would be Corsair PC2-6400CL5? I'm running an X2 4200+ in an MSI K9N Neo-F. Thank you!
August 24, 2006 4:06:20 AM

In some cases, 1T command rate is not possible w/ 4 sticks. For sure, it's almost impossible on older S939 boards.

Other than the command rate issue, there's no difference in performance.

But if you have a choice, get 2 sticks of 1GB
August 24, 2006 4:50:19 AM

I got like, 200-300 higher score in 3dmark 05 with two 512, than four 512 sticks.
1T vs 2T, all else being equal.

Not a whole lot, but since 2x1gb is considerably cheaper there's really no reason to buy 4x512 new.
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August 24, 2006 8:21:07 AM

yea I would say if at all possible go for the (2x1024) because 1T is (imo) pretty crucial for your memory (especially for AMD based systems) and there are few motherboards that allow that with 4 sticks and I dont believe and boards for AMD do, but I could be wrong!

Best,

3Ball
August 24, 2006 4:58:24 PM

Thank you all really. The thing was that I'm on a really tight budget and I think I'd rather spend the difference on going from a 7600GT to a 7900GT. What would you say? Thanks again!
August 24, 2006 5:14:45 PM

Um, 2x1gb is cheaper, or should be cheaper, than 4x512.

You'll get more out of the 7900 with 2x1gb..
Aim high and be happier with your build :p 
August 24, 2006 6:40:57 PM

You'll notice MUCH more of a difference in gaming by upgrading to the 7900GT...no question.

I don't think you'll notice any performance "loss" by going with 4x512 vs 2x1gb however as all other posters have stated...2x1gb is the ideal choice if you can go for it. If you already have 2x512mb and are just adding 2x512 then you should definitely use the extra money to upgrade the 7600gt to a 7900gt instead of going for 2x1gb.
August 25, 2006 12:15:04 AM

OK, thank you all, I thought so too but I wanted to be sure and this made the difference, thanks!
August 25, 2006 1:02:23 AM

yes i agree i have 4 512 corsair xms in 2t timing
much faster than with 2

the only diff i can see is for overclocking
cant go as high as with just 2 sticks

but overall sys performance is much faster with 4

this is on an amd 939 sys.
August 25, 2006 1:08:32 AM

i would go for the extra memory over a 76gt to a79gt
if he already has 2 512s then go for 2 more
the 76gt is a good card and the 79gt is better
but the dx 10 cards will be out around 6 months or so
and actuall usage of dx10 games will probably be longer
he will see more improvement with more mem
over a video card in overall use of his computer

or maybe i said pretty much the same as you said
August 25, 2006 2:32:04 PM

I don't think DX10 will make a difference for at least a year. Most all the games in development right now are DX9 and probably will continue to be for a while. By the time it's actually necessary to get a DX10 card there will be something much faster and more powerful out there.

If the choice is either:

1: 2x512mb -> 4x512mb and 7600gt -> 7900gt

OR

2: 2x512mb -> 2x1gb

Then there's just no competition. It's option one. Absolutely.

However, if I'm misunderstanding and it's either:

1: 2x512mb -> 4x512mb

OR

2: 7600gt -> 7900gt

Then I'd still go with upgrading the video card. Since you even want to upgrade I assume you're not entirely happy with the performance on your comp, and you'll notice MUCH more of a difference for gaming by going from a 7600gt to a 7900gt than you would by going from 1gb to 2gb of memory.

So the ideal situation is 2x1gb and 7900gt obviously, but the next best thing (and very very close in performance anyway) is 4x512mb and 7900gt.

Sorry if I repeated myself like 5 times there :D 
August 25, 2006 8:18:01 PM

Quote:
I don't think DX10 will make a difference for at least a year. Most all the games in development right now are DX9 and probably will continue to be for a while. By the time it's actually necessary to get a DX10 card there will be something much faster and more powerful out there.

If the choice is either:

1: 2x512mb -> 4x512mb and 7600gt -> 7900gt

OR

2: 2x512mb -> 2x1gb

Then there's just no competition. It's option one. Absolutely.


That's kind of the one. What I will do is get 1 GB for now, and use that money towards the 7900GT and then in a while get the another GB or RAM. I don't really care much for DirectX 10 because I usually upgrade for the present and leave room for the future. Thank you all!
August 25, 2006 10:11:08 PM

if you play bf2 then you will want the extra ram
it is a ram hog
August 25, 2006 10:42:57 PM

Just like to say that Dual-Channel has very little, if ANY, performance gains with AM2...

~Ibrahim~
August 25, 2006 11:20:09 PM

I say this with all due respect, but do you have any links handy to support that because I've been looking for exactly that info and haven't seen any benchmarks. Thank you!
August 25, 2006 11:24:15 PM

To put it more simply perhaps;

More than 1gb ram will remove all tiny "stutter" when windows needs to swap or read a file that wont fit in ram when gaming.

Better card will give higer fps, assuming all files are already loaded, but obviously won't remove the stutter you'll have in many games, Especially if your harddrive isn't raided, the stutters may be lenghty, like a second or so in large texture games..
August 25, 2006 11:24:43 PM

LINKAGE

I know it isn't the best site, but I think it has to do with the increased bandwidth.

~Ibrahim~
August 25, 2006 11:29:06 PM

How many adresses do those guys have anyway?
I've seen at least three leading to this Inquirer.

And from what pretty much everyone says about them, they're full of poo.
August 25, 2006 11:32:14 PM

Quote:
LINKAGE

I know it isn't the best site, but I think it has to do with the increased bandwidth.

~Ibrahim~


Would it have anything to do with the fiddling Turion X2's do with the memory clocks? They mentioned that in Tom's review of that CPU :?:
August 25, 2006 11:39:23 PM

In older systems, having 4 sticks was a bad idea, but now they've cleared up most of the problems associated with them. Actually if you had a 939 system, there is a ram manufacturer that has possibly the best ram ever made that's ddr. It's called Centon Electronics, and their ram is ultra powerful. The bad thing is that they only have 512 sticks, but if your motherboard can handle it, then these are the thing for you. I have a few friends who have their ram and they have them at over ddr 500 speeds with 2-2-2-0 timings on them. They have been known to go over ddr 650 speeds, especially the super screened ones which are screened at ddr 550.
August 25, 2006 11:39:58 PM

On this rare occasion, I want to side with the Inq. The increased bandwidth belittles the need of dual-channel, right?

~Ibrahim~

P.S. Not sure what you mean, xiii....
August 27, 2006 3:52:44 PM

To be honest, I'd go with one 1GB DIMM for now in single channel mode and add a second one asap, rather than 2x512 now.
August 28, 2006 2:33:09 PM

Oh good idea! Strange, that never occurred to me...but it's a definite possibility and if you know that you will be upgrading when you can afford it then 1x1gb wouldn't be a bad choice. I think 2x512 would perform a little better, but I don't have anything to back that up.
!