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4 gigs (2x 2gb) or 4 gigs (4x 1gig)

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August 11, 2008 6:41:50 AM

Hello i'm running Vista ultimate 64-bit with dual channel memory. I have 2 gigs of dual channel PC2 6400 800 mhz memory (OCZ 2 1 gig sticks) and i want four gigs. I have 2 questions. The first is i'm going to buy ocz ram again but i hear that ram has to be the same voltage and there are some concerns regarding whether two different dual channel ram sets can work together. What should i worry about? also keep in mind i don't know the voltage on my set for there's different rev and i threw away the box and newegg no longer has it. I do know that the slower ram slows down all the ram but that's all. My second question is would it be better for me to get 4 gigs with 2 2gb sticks or 4 gigs with 4 1gig sticks. Is either one superior in terms of speed?

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August 11, 2008 7:04:25 AM

2 x 2gb is better but i have 4 x 1gb because i wanted to fill out the slot
August 11, 2008 7:11:33 AM

check on the sticks themselves if they list the voltage they are rated at. ive got some OCZ ram that does. also, DDR2 is so cheap right now, you could just buy 4gigs (2x2gb) and sell/keep your old RAM.
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August 11, 2008 7:24:41 AM

scippy4848 said:
Hello i'm running Vista ultimate 64-bit with dual channel memory. I have 2 gigs of dual channel PC2 6400 800 mhz memory (OCZ 2 1 gig sticks) and i want four gigs. I have 2 questions. The first is i'm going to buy ocz ram again but i hear that ram has to be the same voltage and there are some concerns regarding whether two different dual channel ram sets can work together. What should i worry about? also keep in mind i don't know the voltage on my set for there's different rev and i threw away the box and newegg no longer has it. I do know that the slower ram slows down all the ram but that's all. My second question is would it be better for me to get 4 gigs with 2 2gb sticks or 4 gigs with 4 1gig sticks. Is either one superior in terms of speed?


Well, I wish I knew if you had a dual or Quad Core CPU. Best practice is to have a stick per core. So if you have a quad, 4x1GB definitely. If it was a dual core, I would probably keep the 1GB and throw the 2x2GB in anyway. You can check the voltage and delays on most decent MoBo's in the tweaking section. I found if I'm close, I rarely have an issue. Also, make sure the matching sticks are staggered, ie first pair occupy DIMM slot 1 and 3 and the second pair are 2 and 4. In thay case they would almost always crap out after a 10 minutes or so if the have different specs. I believe the stagger allows the double rate as they are thus one separate channels (simplified).

With all that, unless you are really taxing your hardware, my guess is the bottlenecks will be elsewhere on the board. Either way, I have been able to run XenServer 4.1 with 2 Windows 2008 Servers as Domain Controllers, another as an Exchange (for 5 people) a Apache web server on Fedora and Windows Home Server. Occassionally I came close to 70% memory, but I am averaging less than 50% CPU even during intentional heavy test loads.

In case your wondering, Core 2 6400 with custom OEM'd PC2-5300 4x1GB (Only registers as 3.25 - thanks Intel) on an MSI Power Edition. Some overcloxking, but nothing TH style.

So after that, either option would probably be fine!
August 11, 2008 7:31:22 AM

Duh, forgot one thing, smaller dimmms are typically faster than the same speed larger memory stick. otherwise we would see GB L3 and L2 cache on the chips. The more space to search the slower.. Again, in our world, we don't notice, but when you have a SQL DB crunching millions per day, you want the smallest DIMM that meets you total memory need for the server. eg. 4 socket server with 4 Quad Core Xeons have 16 slots (1/core), you would want to populate all of the slots evenly based on your est.RAM reqs.


Sorry for the double post.
August 11, 2008 7:36:33 AM

I have a dual core cpu. But i have another question i have vista and it has random freezes after it first starts up or first runs a gaming app for a little bit or if there's a heavy load of work. ocz sells vista ram. Is there much of a difference, will it work better than non vista ram. if there's a big difference i'd get rid of my old ram but if there's not a big difference i'll just go with non vista ram.
August 11, 2008 7:37:14 AM

also ty i'll check the sticks for voltage. does the voltage have to be exact or is there a range it can be in like .1 off?
!