Only issue is I have an ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 motherboard. It is a "dual channel" motherboard. If I only buy 1 stick of memory for my dual channel mobo, will it work properly? Are there any benefits of simply buying 2 sticks of 8GB memory, at 1600 (opposed to 1866)?
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A single stick will work fine in single channel. You get two identical sticks then you can run dual channel which is slightly faster.