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4GB: 4x1gb or 2x2gb

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September 26, 2007 7:08:18 PM

I am starting to build out a new quad core 6600 based system (on windows xp x64).

My current system is an amd x64 based.

With my current system, I had started out with 4x512 (2 gig total) and had nothing but problems in addition to the 2T issues. When I switched to 2x1gb all my memory problems went away.

My question, that I didn't see anything enlightening anywhere, is for core 2/p35 based systems which is more preferable:

  • 4 sticks of (faster) 1 gig ram (will this run at 1T?)
  • 2 sticks of (slower) 2 gig ram (will this run at 1T?)

    The timings don't seem to be that much slower for 2 gig sticks, my main concerns is 1T vs 2T timing and other memory related issues from having four sticks vs two sticks.

    I don't want to get stuck with the same problems I had for my current system regarding 4 sticks vs 2 sticks.

    Does anyone have some clarity on this?

    Thanks for any insight.
  • More about : 4gb 4x1gb 2x2gb

    a b } Memory
    September 26, 2007 7:15:54 PM

    definitely 4 sticks of faster RAM
    September 26, 2007 7:55:10 PM

    Fewer sticks generally = fewer headaches. Especially when OCing and trying to tighten up your timings.

    Personally I went with 2x2GB sticks of 5-5-5-15 memroy instead of cheaper 4x1GB sticks of 4-4-4-12. One, for future 8GB upgrading, and because its easier to work with timings on two sticks.
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    a b } Memory
    September 26, 2007 8:08:49 PM

    Tough choice. The faster RAM is good, but with the 2 GB sticks you have the option to add more and have as much as 8 GB, at least with most good P35 motherboards. Your x64 OS can use 8 GB already.

    I think I'd go with the 2 GB sticks, just because I expect software to become more and more bloated in the future. (And I'm not only thinking about Microsoft. For example my X-Fi drivers take 800 MB. I remember my first soundblaster came with drivers on a floppy disk, 1.44 MB)

    Edit: deuce271 beat me to it, I hadn't seen this reply when I was typing mine. :) 

    Maziar, how important is the speed difference?
    September 26, 2007 8:20:39 PM

    I've been thinking the fewer sticks = less headache + more room for expansion later myself, although there is a bit more cost and a bit less timing it seems to be my preference at this point.

    I wish one of the big sites would do a comparison breakdown of the various ram configurations to high light any potential stability/performance/cost issues.

    Another potential factor is I'd like to hold out for the x38 boards to reach market and see how the 2x2 and 4x1 ddr2 vs ddr3 compare as well.
    September 26, 2007 8:38:01 PM

    I may have misunderstood your last post, but if you mean you are looking at going for a board that is compatible with both DDR2 and DDR3 ram, I would pass.

    I originally thought it'd be a great future proof idea to buy one of these boards, but most of them will support 8GB of DDR2 memory and only 4GB of DDR3 memory. I'm thinking by the time DDR3 memory becomes affordable, you may already be looking at getting 8GB for the reasons aevm posted above. This is a big reason why I went with the GA P35-DS3R over the GA P35C-DS3R mobo. Essentially I saved $30, and got, from what I've heard, a more stable and better OCing mobo.
    September 26, 2007 8:50:49 PM

    Nah I don't think I want a combo board, I simply meant I would like to see a comprehensive comparison between:

  • ddr2 4x1 gb
  • ddr2 2x2 gb
  • ddr3 4x1 gb
  • ddr3 2x2 gb

    (ideally using quad core + x38, but even p35 would useful)

    So that we can make an up to date and accurate decision regarding cost/stability/performance when building a new system.
    September 26, 2007 8:52:43 PM

    Really a toss-up in my mind.

    The 4x1 will save you a little money.
    The 2x2 will give you room for expansion later.

    I don't think timings over OCability are a big deal.
    The timing tweaks are not going to have a major impact on the C2D.
    Also, even without an OC, this will take the Q6600 to 3.6 which is really nice.
    November 27, 2007 4:35:42 AM

    I have a quick question. What if the speeds are exactly the same for the 1G and 2G sticks of ram. Will using 4 sticks of 1G be any slower than using 2 2G sticks? Or nowadays with modern motherboards does this even matter?
    !