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What Am I Better Off With? (memory Question)


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#1 mikeinsc81

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:35 PM

Hey guys,

I recently purchased some memory for myself, and gave my old memory for my mom's computer. What I had before was 2 x 512MB DDR memory modules, but they were slightly different, therefore the dual channel feature couldn't work. This time around I got 2 x 512 DDR memory modules that DO offer Dual Channel. I installed them, the boot-up screen said that they are on Dual Channel (as opposed to Single Channel).

But, I also have this 256MB module from my mom's computer that I also want in there, bringing my total memory to ~1256 MBs of memory. But, doing that, I would lose the Dual Channel feature.

My question is: Am I better off (in terms of performance) if I only keep the Dual Channel 2 x 512MB modules for Dual Channel capability, or have Single Channel but at ~1256 MBs of memory?

I'm sorry if I'm sounding overly complicated... I will answer any questions if need be. Thanx much in advance!

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#2 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:36 AM

I think the short answer is: It depends if you need the extra RAM or not. If you have a particular chore for your computer, and your computer won't do it effeciently now because of lack of RAM, then put in the new RAM because your computer will then do what you want it to do.

If, on the other hand, you want to add more RAM just for sake of having more RAM, well, that is up to you and your ego.

The best thing to do is to put the new RAM in and see for yourself. My guess is you won't tell the difference. But I could be wrong, because like I said it depends upon what you are asking your computer to do.

As a general rule, if your computer is lacking in the amount of RAM, then adding more RAM is the first thing to do to improve performance. The second most important thing to do is to get a fast speed of RAM. Third is go to Dual Channel.

Where your computer fits on that scale only you can answer, really.

Edited by Albert Frankenstein, 31 August 2006 - 06:36 AM.

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#3 Mr Alpha

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:57 AM

If your computer is running out of RAM, it will start using swap file, which slow you down a lot. If that is the case then adding RAM will significantly improve performance.

The other possibility is that your computer has enough RAM for your needs. Then adding RAM and scarifying dual channel mode would slow you down a lot.

Without knowing your memory usage, I cannot tell for certain which is the better choice. That said, I doubt adding the 256MB module is a good idea. Sacrifying dual-channel mode for a paltry 256MB is most likely a bad idea.
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