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Confusion over DDR31600 4gb vs 8gb

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Last response: in Memory
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August 6, 2010 8:06:40 AM

So, I'm confused over this.

I may of read something about if you have 4gb you can have the full 1600mhz (if it's available for you to use), but if you go above 4gb you cannot have the full 1600(unless you OC like hell maybe?)

Say I have 6 gb of ddr3-1600

I install 4gb, I can get up to 1600, then I add the other 2gb stick, and I can't get that high?

Can someone/people clarify this please, thanks.

Also, can you let me know if 8gb is superior to 4gb compared to extreme gaming?

Edit: if I upgrade to 8 gb's, CAN I run all 8 at the same timings I would run the 4gb at? Since i'm on AMD, the timings may become 8-8-8-24.... can I run 8-8-8-24 on 8gbs of ram?
a b } Memory
August 6, 2010 8:24:29 AM

The timings would depend on the ram itself afaik, and what your Mobo/chip supports ofc
I'm not too sure about the 'restrictions' you mention other than losing dual channel benefits by plugging the other 2Gb stick in to make 6,
But for gaming you'll be fine on four Gb, 8 would be nice, but unnecessary imo
and all 8 should run at the same timings yes
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August 6, 2010 8:48:29 AM

Well I mean, if I can run 4gb at 1600 (the stock speed on the ram), would the 8gb run at 1600 also or would it downgrade to 1333 or what?

Mobo is a 890FX.
Stock ram timings are 7-8-7-24, but since my system is AMD, it might be 8-8-8-24.

Basically, can I run 8gb of ddr31600 ram at 8-8-8-24 timings with it still being ddr3-1600 stable 24/7?
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a b } Memory
August 6, 2010 9:07:02 AM

as far as I know 8Gb should run at the same speed assuming its the same speed rating, ie all sticks are 1600, if you mixed speeds, then all the sticks would only run at the lower speed,
ie 4Gb at 1600 and 4 Gb at 1333, all your ram would run at 1333,
must sleep now, nightshifts suck :p 
Moto
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August 6, 2010 7:20:03 PM

Thanks for the reply.

So, if I have 8 gbs (4 x 2gb sticks) of the same exact type of ram, and I'm on a 64 bit windows OS (vista), with an AMD cpu and 890FX chipset, I'm able to run ALL 8gb at 8-8-8-24 with 1600 timings and speed?

Anyone positively confirm this? If so, I may pick up 4 more gb.
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August 7, 2010 3:31:49 AM

bump
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a b } Memory
August 7, 2010 8:23:05 AM

Yup, as long as your chip/Mobo supports the ram used,
you should run 8Gb at 1600 no probs,
You are running Win7 64bit I assume?
Moto
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August 7, 2010 9:09:31 AM

Vista Ultimate 64 bit. May jump to Win 7 sometime this year or next.

Do you think if I do the upgrade, not a clean a install, if I can keep program installs?

For example, I have over 450gbs worth of games on a separate hard drive from my Windows drive, but if I upgrade, I don't want to re-download and re-install all the games, that might take a good chunk of time to do, haha.
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August 7, 2010 10:11:27 AM

Another thing, I looked in the manual and came across this...

this is from the pdf manual for the mobo.

http://i36.tinypic.com/hu5cg0.jpg

So what does the dual-channel operation thing mean? Is that just a type of ram, or does it mean it takes advantage of the full ram even when all 4 slots are used or what? Thanks!
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August 7, 2010 10:23:59 AM

dual channel is 2 channels of memory.
triple channel memory is 3 channels.
From what I understand you don't want to get triple channel memory and put it in a dual channel mobo and vice versa.
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August 7, 2010 10:57:58 AM

Shirosaki said:
dual channel is 2 channels of memory.
triple channel memory is 3 channels.
From what I understand you don't want to get triple channel memory and put it in a dual channel mobo and vice versa.


I understand that. My motherboard might only support dual channel ram.

Hmm. I may of read somewhere about if its 4gbs in the mobo it uses both dimms or something, but if you use more, it only supports 1 dimm or 1 side or something.

Can someone clarify?
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August 7, 2010 10:59:59 AM

Ultimately what I want to know is...


Will I receive better performance with 8gbs ram VS 4gbs (all 2gb sticks), or will the performance degrade if I increase from 4 to 8 or what?
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August 7, 2010 1:07:53 PM

8gb is better than 4gb. However, there isn't really much of anything out there that would take advantage of 8gb.

I'm guessing you're just a casual PC user or use your PC for gaming. You won't need 8gb of memory for that. You should get 4gb and use the $100 bucks you save on not going with 8gb and upgrade to Win7 if you plan on doing it in the future anyways.

Also to answer your question about if you had 8gb, you will be able to run all 8gb at the same timings as 4gb as long as they are the same memory.

Just make sure when you install the memory that you put one stick in each channel so you're running it in dual channel mode and not running it in single channel mode. There is about a 5 percent increase in performance from doing this.
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August 7, 2010 1:17:58 PM

Shirosaki said:
8gb is better than 4gb. However, there isn't really much of anything out there that would take advantage of 8gb.

I'm guessing you're just a casual PC user or use your PC for gaming. You won't need 8gb of memory for that. You should get 4gb and use the $100 bucks you save on not going with 8gb and upgrade to Win7 if you plan on doing it in the future anyways.

Also to answer your question about if you had 8gb, you will be able to run all 8gb at the same timings as 4gb as long as they are the same memory.

Just make sure when you install the memory that you put one stick in each channel so you're running it in dual channel mode and not running it in single channel mode. There is about a 5 percent increase in performance from doing this.


Thanks for the reply!

Yes, I'm a PC gamer; however, I also have a browser open basically constantly.
Steam, MSI Afterburner, 2 Virus scanners, etc.

Games such as Crysis, Counter-Strike: Source, Bad Company 2, etc.

And by making sure I put a stick in each channel, do you mean if I have 2 x 2g sticks to have them spaced out?

If I have 4 x 2gb sticks, I have no other choice but to fill up all 4 ram slots. So I guess that is "each channel", haha.

A1 B1 A2 B2 or something like that, correct?

Edit: Also, how much of an upgrade is Win 7 compared to Vista? Is it worth it at this point in time?
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a b } Memory
August 7, 2010 2:23:18 PM

Vista/Win7? I'd say if you have vista how you like it and no issues,stick with it for now
and yes, if you only had 2 sticks, to run dual channel you'd be putting them in two slots (Usually same coloured) of the same channel a1+b1, or a2+b2 is my mobo's choice, i guess its pretty standardised though but if you have four sticks then yes, all slots full would give you dual channel benefit.
Moto
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August 8, 2010 12:56:54 AM

yeah you need to check your mobo instructions and make sure you stick the memory in the proper part of the channel. Either A1 or A2. Then stick it in the same number for Channel B.

The Channels are separated by letters. So A is 1 channel with 2 slots for memory (A1, A2) and B is the second channel with 2 slots for memory (B1, B2). So even if you fill them up you're running in dual channel mode.

I'm not sure about the upgrade from Vista to Win7. It's $99.99 on Newegg. There might be a cheaper way to upgrade from Vista to Win7. I don't know. I have WinXp 32bit still and want to upgrade to Win7 64 bit so I'm going to probably have to purchase the OS disc. I hear it's a better OS and uses less resources than Vista but I don't know how much better it is or if it's worth it at this time. I doubt the price is going to drop anytime soon though, but that's because I always see the Windows OS selling for $100 everywhere even if it has been out for a couple years.
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