Ok.. I'm looking to put together a new system, primarily for gaming, and I'm curious about the difference between using 4gb and 6gb..
I plan on building an i5-750 system with some decent ddr3 memory on Windows 7 64bit. I believe triple channel ram is out of the question, so wouldn't I be well off with 4gb (2x2gb)?
How would I benefit from adding 2gb more? I suppose it would have to be 2x1gb sticks for dual channel purposes? Ugh.. what exactly would be the difference of running a 3rd stick of 2gb ram vs 2x1gb for 6gb total (already going with 2x2gb)?
If I'm not mistaken, you want to run dual channel ram in matching pairs correct?
For gaming, 4gb is plenty. Games are written to be able to run on 32 bit systems. They can use at most 2gb of user address space normally, and 3gb maximum.
If you are multitasking while gaming, then it will pay to have extra ram so that those additional tasks will not interfere.
Here is a Corsair paper on the benefit of 6gb vs. 3gb in gaming. http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN811_Gaming_Performan...
If you have an odd number of sticks, you will see single channel mode. The performance hit is niniscule, and overshadowed by the benefit of added ram.
If you are considering extra ram, go ahead and get the full 8gb. Windows-7 will try to make use of all the ram it finds.