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2 vs 4 sticks of RAM?

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June 21, 2011 11:40:35 AM

Hey guys, I'm currently building a PC with an ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z motherboard. It supports dual channel memory. I need a heavy duty PC so I wanted to get 16GB of RAM. However, I could only find compatible 16GB with 4 sticks of RAM. So I wanted to know what you guys thought about it. I'm asking since I heard that 4 sticks actually causes some sort of delay in response or something. Any help would be appreciated :) 

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June 21, 2011 12:06:09 PM

Are you planning on running 30+ intensive applications at once?
if not, 8GB is a more sensible option..
a b V Motherboard
June 21, 2011 12:43:38 PM

4GB DIMMs are easy to find, and not at all expensive. 8GB DIMMs are not; in fact, I'm not sure if that motherboard supports 8GB DIMMs (yet).

What do you mean when you say you "need a heavy duty PC"? To do what? There are few applications today which will need 16GB.

If you really need 16GB, then your only real option today is 4 x 4GB. I'd urge you to get 2 x 4GB, and wait a little while. We might see 8GB DIMMs appear in two months, and a BIOS update to support them. Even if we don't, the extra 2 x 4GB will be cheaper :) 
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June 21, 2011 1:04:54 PM

I think I'll do that. Just fyi, I'll be using the PC for heavy online gaming, photoshop, 3DSMax, video rendering, that's as heavy as it'll get I think. And I wanna be able to do whatever I want to do without having to quit my MMO :) 
a b V Motherboard
June 21, 2011 1:20:01 PM

Gaming will run happily in 8GB.

Photoshop can use a heap of RAM, but it depends how large the images you work on are, and how many layers you use (and how many images you work on simultaneously). I put 12GB in my Photoshop box, but I've heard of people using 32GB (using Macs) or more. If you are working on reasonable sized images, 8GB should get you going. Keep an eye on the scratch drive - if Photoshop starts hitting the scratch disk heavily, it may be time to buy some more RAM.

3DS Max is something I have never used, but I get the feeling it's like Photoshop, with the amount of RAM it wants heavily dependent on the work you are doing.

Video rendering, depending on how/what you are doing, may depend a lot more on the CPU than on the RAM.

Anyway, if you are into constructing gigapixel panoramas, then editing them, then I suspect you really will want 16GB of RAM up front. Just be prepared to rip it out and replace it if/when 8GB DIMMs arrive. Don't worry too much, though; they could take longer to arrive than you'd expect - 4GB DIMMs took far longer than I wanted them to :) 
June 21, 2011 1:26:03 PM

Hahaha yeah I'm guessing it'll be a while before they come out. And I'll be completely fine replacing the 4GB when the 8GB come out :) 
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
June 21, 2011 1:57:30 PM

IMO - Rendering & Photoshop, load it up now 4x4GB 1600 MHz CAS 8/9 - it's best to purchase a full set of 4x4GB than 2x4GB now and another 2x4GB later. Reasons kits get EOL and finding the same kit is a pain if sometimes not impossible later and some kits like F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL won't behave as 4x4GB; I see this all of the time.

Your MOBO 'can' support the 8GB density sticks but their so obscenely expensive and most are only registered ECC.

Good 4x4GB kits:
Side-by-Side -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-145-347^20-145-347-TS%2C20-233-143^20-233-143-TS%2C20-231-442^20-231-442-TS%2C20-231-429^20-231-429-TS

My pick -> CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... the only concern is clearance with your HSF e.g. some Noctua.
June 21, 2011 2:12:36 PM

That's my top pick too :)  Thanks for the advice!
June 21, 2011 2:14:09 PM

lol I don't see ANY difference between the 2 Corsair Vengeance sticks in the comparison :s
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
June 21, 2011 2:22:17 PM

Another solid piece of advice, update the BIOS first thing and prior to installing the OS. There are sooo many issues with early BIOS/EFI pooching the system that there's no reason do do it any other way. Oddly, I'm an advocate of not updating the BIOS unless absolutely needed or if there's a problem.

Good Luck! :) 

edit:
T-Rex said:
lol I don't see ANY difference between the 2 Corsair Vengeance sticks in the comparison :s

Blue and Black that's it - I thought the Black looked better with the Maximus IV Extreme-Z red/black scheme. :p 
!