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Dual Channel vs Single Channel, 3gb vs 2gb

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  • Memory
  • Chip
  • Dual Channel
  • Single Channel
Last response: in Memory
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May 8, 2011 10:48:43 AM

I had 4 1gb PC3200 chips in my computer, paired, running at 128bit dual channel. One chip went bad, so I had to pull it. Now I have 3gb running at 64bit single channel.

Would I be better off if I:

1. Pulled the single 1gb chip and ran the system with 2gb at 128bit dual channel?
2. Left the 1gb chip in and ran the system with 3gb at 64bit single channel?

I'm running Windows 7, and my memory usage rarely goes above 25%

More about : dual channel single channel 3gb 2gb

May 8, 2011 12:23:52 PM

Depends more on how you use your available memory rather than how much memory you use. If you run a lot of load-time dependent intensive programs such as games, image editors, video editors, etc, you'll be better served by dual channel memory helping feed your processor plenty of data. If all you do is web browse, play Facebook games, and run it as a media PC single channel may be fine.
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May 8, 2011 12:30:47 PM

The computer is used 95%-99% of the time for the SETI@Home project, so just doing number crunching. I haven't played any games since upgrading to Windows 7 because of some video driver problems I have yet to resolve, and am unlikely to return to intensive gaming as my tastes have changed. I use Photoshop now and then, and burn mpg's to DVDs now and then, but no video editing and image editing at a minimum (cropping, scaling, adding text).

Can one even buy matched pairs of PC3200 memory nowadays?
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May 9, 2011 11:53:45 AM

I did some testing with DDR2-800 ram, same 3GB vs 2GB scenario.

Seems that 2GB dual channel offers marginally higher bandwidth than 3GB.

Used SiSoftware Sandra Lite. Results were (very briefly):

Benchmark Results (2x1GB)
Aggregate Memory Performance : 5.75GB/s
Integer B/F iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 5.77GB/s
Float B/F iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 5.74GB/s
Results Interpretation : Higher scores are better.

Benchmark Results (3x1GB)
Aggregate Memory Performance : 5.66GB/s
Integer B/F iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 5.65GB/s
Float B/F iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 5.67GB/s
Results Interpretation : Higher scores are better.


I could post the entire thing if you'd like...
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a b } Memory
May 9, 2011 3:00:13 PM

Despite the higher bandwidth of the 2GB config, Windows itself and most programs would much prefer the 3GB capacity. You will notice that it operates more smoothly with the extra GB of RAM installed.
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May 10, 2011 7:58:26 AM

true...i've kept the 3GB config...
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May 10, 2011 8:07:04 AM

though i would suppose that SETI@home would benefit from a higher bandwidth?

If you're playing games then 3GB may be better, because the difference in bandwidth seems pretty small...new games need as many resources as they get, really...
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May 16, 2011 11:42:55 AM

Best answer selected by sadena.
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