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First build ram question

post #1 of 6
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This is my first build and I'll be using a P5K and E4300 and would like to try overclocking. Since ram is so cheap I'd like to get 4gbs. Should I use 2x2gb or 4x1gb? Any difference or problems with ocing either way? I also plan on getting a quad core and Vista 64bit when prices drop. Is 6400 good enough or should I go higher. Will be used mostly for gaming and video encoding. Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 6
4x1GB would be twice as fast as 2x2GB, because you have four channels of RAM to go through at once if you need to. There shouldn't really be a difference in overclocking. It might take a little more juice to run four DIMMs than two...
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post #3 of 6
It can depend, sometimes it's cheaper to get (example) 2x512 than a giga stick.If one day you want more than 4 gigs the 2x2Gb will be better. I know that (Another example) if you wanted to put in 1Gb, it would be better to use dual channel (2x512) than just one stick performance wise.
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavieinjuste View Post
4x1GB would be twice as fast as 2x2GB, because you have four channels of RAM to go through at once if you need to. There shouldn't really be a difference in overclocking. It might take a little more juice to run four DIMMs than two...
you're probably joking... right? May I ask how can a 4x1GB setup be twice as fast as a 2x2GB configuration? I'm not even go into details here, but this is the thing I've heard in a while.
Just to clarify: there are dual channel memory controllers. They can handle 1x1GB of ram well. 2x1GB would be faster, sometimes even 2x faster (under ideal conditions). However, 4x1GB will also work in dual channel, 2 by 2 in pairs - there is absolutely no difference speed-wise versus the 2x1GB or 2x2GB or 2x512MB setup.

At the moment I know only a Geil and a G-Skill kit that have 2x2GB. They have the following timings: 5-5-5-20 at DDR800, which is much slower than the 3-3-3-5 of the best 2x1GB kits. Tight (read small) timings does not correspond in 100% of the cases to high OCing potential, but in 99% it does. 2x1GB kits do have low timings - thus high OCing potential, while the 2x2GB kits do not. If you want 4GB, chances are you'll OC better with a 4x1GB setup due to the tight timings supported. When OCing, you take the (let's say) 3-3-3-5 timings, set them to 5-5-5-15 and start OCing. If they are at 5-5-5-15 at stock what are you gonna loose to OC?

However I agree with the last remark: if you have 4 dimms in stead of two (4x1GB in stead of 2x1GB) you're likely to need move Vram to OC. Still, for a 2x2GB kit you need more Vram even to run at default frequency with loose timings.

IMO, as I've said other times, 4GB go hand in hand with VISTA x64. 4GB is too much for XP (it can see at most 3.5GB, the rest is waisted), and at this point it isn't necessary even for Vista. If you have to choose 4GB, 4x1GB will give you better memory overclocks, but I prefer 2x2GB as at one point you may want to upgrade, and selling 2x2GB kits will be easier than two 2x1GB kits.

D.

Here's a nice high end ram review - Tom's. 2x2GB kit tested
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
you're probably joking... right? May I ask how can a 4x1GB setup be twice as fast as a 2x2GB configuration?
not really twice as fast, but since its using twice as many channels, the bandwidth theoretically doubles.

personally id do 4x1, by the time 8Gb (4x2) is needed, you'll have at least 1 new PC anyway.
i currently have 2x1 myself, and plan on doubling that next year (not really needed now, and DDR2 will probably become much cheaper when DDR3 becomes mainstream)
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
IMO, as I've said other times, 4GB go hand in hand with VISTA x64. 4GB is too much for XP (it can see at most 3.5GB, the rest is waisted)
XP x64 can see it too, just like any other 64 bit OS.
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