Memory - Speed, Performance, etc.

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:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80557E6300

EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

EVGA 01G-P3-N988-TR GeForce 9800 GT HDMI 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP

Patriot Extreme Performance 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

Patriot Extreme Performance 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model PEP21G6400LL

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!
1 answer Last reply
More about memory speed performance
  1. Increasing RAM will most probably improve performance, even going up to 3GB with the extra 1GB.

    The 1GB stick will allow you to run in dual channel mode properly giving you the full benefit, probably better than the 2GB.

    I would advise getting instead 2x2GB sticks and having 4GB of RAM (Or 5 if you keep the 2x512mb and get a 64bit version of Windows), but that is up to whether you want to spend any more money.

    I strongly advise looking towards Win7 64bit, unless you have specific application problems (though Vista 64bit isn't too bad)
Ask a new question

Read More

Memory Dual Channel