So I'm not sure how to word this but I've been reading and researching during most of my free time this week and I've found this to be the case:
More RAM is better than Dual Channel, as long as there isn't data flow spilling into a page file on the hard drive.
Dual Channel is better for you if, say, you can't afford more RAM and you can get Dual Channel setup.
My situation is, on a slowly approaching old nvidia EVGA 680i board (the re-released, less problematic one) I have a Patriot 1GB Dual Channel kit (2x512MB) DDR2 800 @ 5-5-5-16-21, and then a Patriot 1GB stick, DDR2 800 installed as well. So:
| | | | these are the four slots
512|1GB|512|empty is the setup
CPU-Z reports the memory running in Dual Channel when only the 512 sticks are plugged in, and performance is about 20% lower than when I plug in the 1GB stick for a total of 2GB. Makes perfect sense. 1GB to 2GB is a massive difference when running Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit.
My question is, is it worth it to get a 2GB stick (I would like to stick with Patriot, I've been using them for a good part of my computing life, though I am aware of G.Skill and Crucial being considered top of the line) to upgrade to 4GB, or get the exact same part number 1GB stick from Patriot that I have already?
I know a ton of people make these types of threads, but each situation is unique. I just can't seem to find a single thread/question&answer that gives a clear answer to what I'm looking for.
I game, pretty hardcore. Crysis runs alright at medium settings on my computer, Dragon Age runs well, but I'd like to be able to play Dragon Age 2 and Crysis 2 at some point without buying a new computer. Here are my specs:
Thermaltake W0106RU 700W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version SLI Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular
My hard drive situation is going to change, I don't know if that will impact my RAM performance if I increase the amount of RAM..but this is what I'll have in a few days:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular Recording)
For storage and page file: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Haven't figured out which drives I'm going to use for what yet. Seems like I'm going to install Windows XP 32-bit, possibly Vista 32 (for personal reasons) to the 160, and Windows 7 32 and 64 bit dual boot to the 250.
Anyway, thank you in advance, I'm sorry if this is a redundant post, but I just can't seem to find anything clear and concise that FULLY answers my question. If an post somewhere does exist of that nature, please point me in that direction. Thank you!