Originally Posted by lavieinjuste
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.
Here's a nice high end ram review - Tom's
. 2x2GB kit tested