Two x-GB RAM cards ##\neq## one 2x-GB card?

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In summary, the mechanic states that using two 4GB RAM cards is not equivalent to using one 8GB card, as the CPU may not fully utilize the second card. However, determining the best option for your computer depends on factors such as the type of CPU, motherboard, and operating system. For example, with a 32-bit OS and an Intel i3 processor, using 2x4GB or 1x8GB of RAM will only allow the OS to see 4GB of memory. Switching to a 64-bit OS and using two 8GB cards would provide better performance due to dual channel support. Ultimately, the best option would be to use two 8GB cards with a 64-bit OS
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Wrichik Basu
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Say you have a computer (desktop or laptop), and you have, say, 8GB total of RAM. There are two options to get a total of 8GB:

1. Use two 4GB cards.
2. Use one 8GB card.

The mechanic who services our desktop says that using two RAM cards is not equivalent to using one single card. He says, "How much of the other 4GB will be actually used by the CPU is questionable."

Is this correct? How does the CPU share memory between two (or more) RAM cards?
 
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This question cannot be answered correctly without knowing the type of CPU and possibly the motherboard and the OS.

Some OS has (had) memory limitations and some motherboards/CPUs can do tricks like multi channel RAM access which will be faster in case two (three) sticks are used instead of one.
 
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  • #3
Rive said:
This question cannot be answered correctly without knowing the type of CPU and possibly the motherboard and the OS.
Take my PC with Windows 7 32-bit, Intel i3 processor, and motherboard Asus P7H55M-LX.

By the way, how will you determine with the information you requested?
 
  • #4
Wrichik Basu said:
Take my PC with Windows 7 32-bit, Intel i3 processor, and motherboard Asus P7H55M-LX.
The OS has a memory limit of 4GB, but you have to deduct the memory of the graphic card from that. 2X4GB or 1X8GB - what the OS will see is only 4GB anyway.
The CPU and the MoBo can support dual channel, so it'll be a bit faster if you try it with 2X4GB (if the type/frequency of the memory sticks are the same).

IF you get rid of the 32 bit OS and switch to 64bit one then having 8GB memory will be better than the benefits of dual channel. But as things are now the best would be a second 8GB stick (of the same kind) and a 64 bit OS...
 
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Related to Two x-GB RAM cards ##\neq## one 2x-GB card?

What is the difference between using two x-GB RAM cards and one 2x-GB card?

The main difference between using two x-GB RAM cards and one 2x-GB card is the way they are physically installed in a computer. Two x-GB RAM cards are two separate cards that are inserted into different slots on the motherboard, while one 2x-GB card is a single card that occupies only one slot.

Which option is more cost-effective?

Generally, using two x-GB RAM cards is more cost-effective because you can often find deals or promotions for buying two smaller cards instead of one larger card. Additionally, if one of the cards were to fail, you would still have the other card as a backup. However, prices can vary depending on the specific cards and deals available at the time of purchase.

Do both options provide the same performance?

In terms of performance, using two x-GB RAM cards and one 2x-GB card should be relatively similar. Both options provide the same amount of total memory, but the one 2x-GB card may have a slight advantage in terms of speed and efficiency since it only has to communicate with the computer's memory controller through one slot instead of two.

Can I mix and match different GB sizes of RAM cards?

In most cases, it is not recommended to mix and match different GB sizes of RAM cards. This can cause compatibility issues and may result in slower overall performance. It is best to use two identical x-GB RAM cards or one 2x-GB card for optimal performance.

Which option is better for upgrading in the future?

If you plan on upgrading your RAM in the future, using two x-GB RAM cards may be a better option. It allows for more flexibility in terms of adding or replacing individual cards. However, if you have limited slots available on your motherboard, using one 2x-GB card may be the better option for future upgrades.

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