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(RAM) 4gb in dual channel vs 6gb in single channel (or flex mode if supported)

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  #1  
Old 07-07-2012, 08:00 AM
hypark Offline
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(RAM) 4gb in dual channel vs 6gb in single channel (or flex mode if supported)

Operating System: Windows 7 32-bit (I will be upgrading to 64-bit windows 7 immediately after upgrading ram to 4gb or 6gb)
Processor: Intel i5 M 480 @ 2.67GHz
Motherboard: Intel Moblie HM55

Current RAM cards:
DDR3 PC3-10600 2GB
http://www.ebay.com/itm/M471B5773CHS...-/230605579204

DDR3 PC3-8500 1GB
http://www.ebay.com/itm/M471B2873FHS...ht_6500wt_1037

I'm planning to replace the 1GB card with either a 2GB PC3-10600 or a 4GB PC3-10600.

Getting the 2GB card, I will be able to utilize 4gb of ram working in dual channel. On the other hand, getting the 4GB card will give me 6GB of ram but this will work in single channel. (Flex mode if it is compatible with my mother board)

I've heard that most of the mobo's today support flex memory mode. Basically, flex mode allows 4gb/6gb (2gb ram card + 2gb/4gb of 4gb ram card) of ram to run in dual channel and the remaining ram 2gb will run in single channel. Flex mode will not optimize ram bandwidth unlike dual channel, but it is better than single channel. I am not too familiar with flex mode (but yes, it does exist) and not many specialists in computer stores knew of it as well.

I run various application from graphics heavy games to ram intense media editing software. Multitasking-not frequently done, but good to be able to do. I'm not thinking about getting 8gb of ram anytime soon though.

So, should i get the 4GB ram card or the 2BG one?
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2012, 08:52 AM
Digerati Offline
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Quote:
Motherboard: Intel Moblie HM55
HM55 is not your motherboard model - that's the chipset. What is the model number?

If your goal is to save money, just buy the single stick. But if your goal is to get the most performance for your money, you should run your RAM in matched pairs.

And for the record, with dual-channel boards, 8Gb (2 x 4Gb) is the "sweetspot". That is, less than 8Gb and performance will suffer. More than 8Gb and performance gains will be marginal, at best.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:41 PM
hypark Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digerati
HM55 is not your motherboard model - that's the chipset. What is the model number?

I'm so sorry... -___-

Manufacturer: Samsung Electronics co., LTD.
Model: RV411

Using CPU-Z http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
I found out that my computer memory is running in dual channel strangely enough...

CPU-Z screenshot: http://www.freeimagehosting.net/j6mig
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2012, 01:30 PM
Digerati Offline
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Quote:
I found out that my computer memory is running in dual channel strangely enough...
Well, CPUz is a great program but not always accurate. Since you are running with one 2Gb stick and one 1Gb stick, then 2Gb of your total RAM may be utilized in dual channel, but not the 3rd. It all depends on how the particular memory controller on your board handles it.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:23 AM
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Barbara366 Offline
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More RAM is always better than faster RAM. Dual-channel wouldn't make much benefit even when compared to same amount of RAM just not in DC mode. In your case though 6GB will definitely run better than 4GB even if you don't need apps that need that much RAM. Windows itself will make use of it.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2012, 09:40 AM
Digerati Offline
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Quote:
More RAM is always better than faster RAM.
Totally agree here.

Quote:
Dual-channel wouldn't make much benefit even when compared to same amount of RAM just not in DC mode.
Disagree here. Since dual channel essentially doubles the bandwidth on the bus, the CPU can utilize the RAM at nearly twice the rate. While much of this is happening in the background where you will not notice any improvement, depending on how you use your computer, and the horsepower of the other major components, the difference can certainly be noticeable.

Quote:
In your case though 6GB will definitely run better than 4GB...
6Gb of RAM requires a 64-bit OS, however. And for dual channel motherboards, I recommend 8Gb. 6Gb for triple channel boards. This, however, may mean shelving some perfectly good smaller sticks.
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Last edited by Digerati : 07-10-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2012, 07:24 AM
hypark Offline
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Thank you for your replies Barbara366 and Digerati.

I think I'd go for the 4GB stick to replace my current 1GB stick. It should come in handy if ever I'd decide to upgrade to 8GB. (But I highly doubt I'll need it in the next 1-2 years)

More inputs are welcomed
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2012, 07:57 AM
Digerati Offline
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More RAM is often not really a matter of need - but want. When you get tired of waiting for Windows to catch up to you, when you get tired of your hard drive getting banged on all the time, then you upgrade.
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