3GB DDR at standard settigns vs 2GB of High Performance Memory.

Windows XP Pro 2.2 Ghz Dual Core, heavy multi-tasker. I no longer overclock. I sometimes run virtual machines for test purposes.

I currently have 4x512 MB of performance DDR (Corsair XMS and Crucial Ballistix).

I just got a great deal on 2xGB of basic Corsair memory. But to use it I will have to lower the memory setting to their standard values.

So what do you recommend?

CORRECTION I meant to type 2x1GB of basic Corsair memory. So either way pairs of matched modules capable of dual channel.
9 answers Last reply
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  1. timings? speed?

    if i were you id get the 3 gig and get the memory timings down as close as i could to the 2gb
  2. I'd look at my MOBO manual and see if there is a preferred channel for ram. Then put the 2 1 gb dimm's in the preferred channel. Then use your other left overs in the other channel.

    This would allow most of the data in ram to remain in one channel and give you added ram for when you need it.
  3. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2328804,00.asp

    Read the tests in the above link. They test memory speed, size, and type. It shows that more RAM gives a MUCH bigger increase in performance than speed. Great report to look at. Go for more RAM.
  4. One problem with 3gb is that you can no longer run dual channel mode because the channels are not symmetric.
    If you can get a great deal on a single 2gb stick, try and get a second stick. With 4gb, you will see about 3.4gb, which is still a bit better than 3.0gb. Sell the 512 sticks to make up the difference.
    And Yes, the timings make little diffference compared to more gb.
  5. Sorry about the typo 2x1 GB modules.
    I skimmed the extreme tech article as well as your comments and I am going with 3 GB.

    I have two other computers that will each being going from 512 MB DDR to 1.75 GB and 1 GB.

    So at the end I will have just one extra 256 MB DDR module left over.
  6. OK ran into a problem.

    My old NF4 Ultra motherboard only supports DDR400 with 4 modules if all the modules are single sided (one rank each).

    The 2x1GB modules I added are double sided (well its all on one side but it has 2 ranks whish is what they really mean by double sided).

    So now my options are ....

    I already tried ignoring the motherboard manual an just running 3GB at 400 mhz and it failed memtest 86.

    2 GB running at 400-450 mhz
    3 GB running at 333 mhz
  7. Take the 3gb option @ 333 mhz for now.

    Better yet, go to the web site of a good ram vendor, and access their configurator. Kingston, Corsair, OCZ, Patriot, and some others have them. Enter your motherboard, and get a list of their compatible parts. Their list is more current than the motherboard QVL lists, which aren't changed after launch.

    Look for a low cost 4gb kit. As a heavy multitasker you will notice the difference.
  8. I won't be buying anymore DDR memory. I just only got this because it was $23 after rebate.

    If I can find a 4GB kit really cheap i will get it, otherwise I will just wait I upgrade the CPU/motherboard and memory.

    I am going to test the 3GB option now.
  9. I played arround with which pair goes in what slot and found a combination that let me run 3GB stable (memtest 86+ 1.7 9 passes) at DDR400 3-3-3-8 2.6v.

    :)
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