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Memory Question (2 x 2GB OR 4 x 1GB)

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  • Corsair
  • Memory
  • Components
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October 17, 2008 8:33:40 PM

I currently have 2 x 1GB Corsair XMS2 pc-6400 installed on my pc and thinking about upgrading my memory to 4GB but I don't know if I should buy it as 2 x 2GB or 4 x 1GB sticks. Will the 4x1 give any better performance-wise and such? and what brand of memory would you all recommend? This will going on a Gigabyte P35-DS3L. All suggestions and comments are welcomed :) . Thanks alot

More about : memory question 2gb 1gb

October 17, 2008 8:42:14 PM

If you already have a decent set of 2x1gb and you think that 4gb is the most your going to use on this computer then I would just buy another 2x1gb sticks of the same stuff but if you feel like you might want to put more than 4gb in total your most cost effective route would be to put in 2x2gb which will then leave you with a couple of slots free to be able to expand the amount of memory later.

I am assuming here that your board has 4 slots for ram not more than that (which most boards do)
October 17, 2008 8:54:36 PM

^+1 Just get another 2x1GB kit unless you want to upgrade to 6 or 8gb later on.
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a b } Memory
October 18, 2008 4:14:04 AM

Flip a coin. a 2nd set of 1 Gig corsair PC6400 - ball park 18 -> 25 after MIR.
2 - 2Gigs sticks (Corsair / mushkins ) around 45 -> 50.

I had 4 x 1 gig corsair (THEY WORKED FINE) but I had to raise my FSB voltage and My (G)MCH votage by +0.1 V to get them stable (DIMM voltage at rated value 2.2V

About a week ago I ordered a set of Mushkins 2 - 2gig. Lowered DIMM voltage to 2.1 (spec) and was able to go back to stock on FSB & gMCH voltage.

Most people probably do not have a problem with 4 x 1 gig sticks, But there have been a number of posts indicating that some do.

Personally, for the cost differential, I would opto for the 2 x 2's
October 18, 2008 5:04:27 AM

Yup, some P35 mobos have problems with 4 sticks. 2x2GB is safer, as far as avoiding potential problems.
October 18, 2008 5:07:31 AM

Well I was considering getting another brand name like G Skill or OCZ or something. So I was wondering if I would get any difference performance-wise if I use 4 x 1GB sticks or 2 x 2GB sticks. Just would like to get you all opinion. All suggestions are welcomed
October 18, 2008 5:17:12 AM

Play it safe and buy 2 x 2GB. Many, many times I've saw people add on RAM to what they already have, and three to six months down the road they wished they had some RAM slots free. I myself have 2 x 2GB modules, with two slots free, waiting for a future upgrade.
October 18, 2008 5:18:30 AM

No, it will either run or it won't. You won't notice any difference, as long as it runs.
October 18, 2008 5:20:48 AM

I'm not aware of any difference performance wise, but compatibility wise I've saw on forums that 2 x 2GB modules work better than four 1GB modules.

For myself, I recommend Kingston, I don't work for them or have any connect to them, but they make solid RAM modules with good compatibility with a lot of motherboards, especially Intel boards. Between hearing of Corsair heat spreaders falling off after opening the package and compatibility problems on Asktheramguy.com, I'm steering clear of Corsair.
October 18, 2008 5:53:36 AM

definitely go with the 2x2 for one simple reason if no other,,will be easier to resell than 4x1,at some point in the future..and less hassles in the here and now....:) 
October 18, 2008 7:00:21 AM

I just put 2x2GB of Gskill 6400 CL5 on a GA-EP35-DS3L and they worked like a champ. They were on a big sale at the time, unfortunately they are $99 now.
October 18, 2008 7:19:38 AM

4x1 and 2x2 should work the same at stock speeds. if you're going to OC, definitely definitely go with the 2x2.

it is harder to achieve higher memory speeds and tighter timings with 4x1. so 2x2 is the way to go
a b } Memory
October 18, 2008 7:37:42 AM

The only reason to go with 4x1 is to get lower, not overclocked, timings. You already have 2x1GB though, so unless it's DDR2 533 RAM save your money and just buy another 2x1GB set, preferably of the same speed and timings.
October 18, 2008 11:24:46 AM

megamanx00 said:
The only reason to go with 4x1 is to get lower, not overclocked, timings. You already have 2x1GB though, so unless it's DDR2 533 RAM save your money and just buy another 2x1GB set, preferably of the same speed and timings.


ah i see. thanks for the info. so 4x1 gives you lower timings eh? just to clarify, i'm sure 2x2 will be better if he was to OC, right?
a b } Memory
October 18, 2008 1:23:15 PM

2x2 is better for timings, I don't know where the above poster is getting his information. It is always easier to get 2 sticks running at faster timings, and a faster FSB than 4 sticks.

But, I would suggest you buy 2x2 and just add them to the 2 sticks you already have. If they work...great now you have 6 gig. If not, then have you have 4 gig, and room to grow. Ram is cheap. No reason to scrimp here.
a b } Memory
October 18, 2008 1:54:56 PM

Whatever you choose, make sure it will run at its advertised timings on the JEDEC default 1.8V. Mushkin and A-Data both make excellent sets.
And, make sure it is DDR2-800, not DDR2-1066. The latter has problems on P35 boards. I personally saw it on two Gigabyte boards (the RAM is now working fine on my wife's 790GX).
October 18, 2008 2:03:14 PM

jitpublisher said:
2x2 is better for timings, I don't know where the above poster is getting his information. It is always easier to get 2 sticks running at faster timings, and a faster FSB than 4 sticks.

But, I would suggest you buy 2x2 and just add them to the 2 sticks you already have. If they work...great now you have 6 gig. If not, then have you have 4 gig, and room to grow. Ram is cheap. No reason to scrimp here.


I believe what the previous poster meant was that 1 gb sticks have tighter timings than 2 gb sticks. Generally, the denser the module, the worse the optimal timings are.
October 18, 2008 4:05:52 PM

That's all fine, but timings don't make any real world difference on the core 2 architecture, excepting Allendale maybe.

Speeds don't really make any real world difference either, unless you need them for 1:1 at your OCed FSB. Get the DDR2 800 @ 1.8V. They are the sweet spot, as jtt283 said.
October 18, 2008 7:14:37 PM

Oh well I was planning on replacing the corsair, not keeping them..most likely sell them to someone and buy a new set.

I know kingston makes solid stuff..I still own a pair of 2 x 512MB DDR400 HyperX sticks..good stuff :D 

I am checking out the G Skill...seeing a decent pair for roughly $65US tho :D 
!