Will different sized sticks affect dual channel mode?

My Gigabyte mobo has a 16gb 4 channel ram capacity. I have two sticks of 2gb DDR3 1600 *(1.6V) on channels 1 & 3. Can I put two sticks of 4bg DDR3 1600 *(1.5V) on channels 2 & 4 and not affect dual channel mode? Or, do they all have to be the same size and voltage? If adding larger sticks on Channels 2 & 4 is going to compromise dual channel mode... how big a deal is that? Thanks!
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  1. you are better off throwing away or not using your old ram I think.

    Unless you have a specific purpose why you need to go from 8->12GBs.

    Big deal is all dependent on what you are doing.
    I will ask the same question, why is it a big deal to need the extra 4gb? Is that important?

    If it is important to have more ram, then you might as well get more fast matched ram.
  2. well... I don't seem to be sacrificing too much in performance running it now on the 4gb that are in there. But, the performance monitor shows a pretty consistent 60% usage just surfing the net with multiple tabs open and a couple of other pgms open in background. The "hard commit charge" spikes to 100%... so, just going by the meters I thought it might be a good idea to up the ram since ram is not super expensive. Adding two new 4gb sticks would take the system to 12 vs 4 gb for like $45! Just seemed like a novel idea in case I wanted to do something more intensive besides what I'm currently doing. I tend to run multiple programs simultaneously.
  3. system only has 4gb installed - not 8gb!
  4. Put two sticks of 4bg DDR3 1600 *(1.5V) and remove the 2 x 2gb. 8gb is more than you will ever use even if you have virtualPC or other types of Virtual drives., or even a dual or triple boot system.

    Keep the 2x 2gb, you might need them if your 4gb become faulty.
  5. TenPC, thanks! I'm sure you're prob right about the 8gb being adequate. Still doesn't answer my original question about whether dual channel mode is affected or not by having different size sticks in each channel (4 sockets - two channels)! If I'm at 60% RAM usage with 4gb... then, doubling it would theoretically drop me to 30%... if it works that way? I do have a triple boot BTW... but over 90% of the time just use Win7. It also has a 1st gen core i7 processor... and, though I only have been using it for streaming and multitasking between various pgms... I intend at some point to use the system for audio/video editing. I use Photoshop quite a bit and tend to sometimes have 20 or more tabs open in Firefox... just a bad habit I guess... but, that's what works best for me. (Hate closing things and having to find them again... cause, I don't always necessarily want to bookmark EVERYTHING). Will 8gb RAM truly be enough if I start doing more intensive A/V editing? What would happen if I left the two 2gb sticks in there and added the two more 4gb sticks for the total of 12gb? Would that be a stupid thing to do?
  6. I'm currently using a laptop with 4GB of memory with a 32-bit windows 7. I have a C++ IDE, a Notepad, three Wordpads, two Windows explorer folders, and a total of 87 tabs in FireFox (though many of them aren't loaded) open. I'm serious: my computer is running fine.

    Now, in video editing, your amount of RAM effects how much of the video at a time you can preview at live speed in the editor. Let's say with 8GB you can store one minute of video. With 12GB you could store a minute and a half. Unless you're going to be doing this all day as a profession, you likely won't even notice the difference. As far as I know (which isn't very far), lack of ram won't hold your computer back, it'll just make it slower.

    Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to your original question. But I'm interested in the answer too, so I'll see if I have any luck with google.
  7. Here is intel's explanation of how it works. From what it shows with 4 dimms is that matching the slots across the channels allows it to stay as dual channel. For example you have 4 dimms(2-4gb sticks, and 2-8gb sticks). By placing the 4gb sticks in channel 1 slot 0 and channel 2 slot 0 while placing the 8gb sticks in channel 1 slot 1 and channel 2 slot 1 you will keep a dual channel configuration.
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