Originally Posted by b1gapl
If you get 3gb of ram, then you won't be able to run the ram in dual channel. 2x1gb will give you dual channel, and will be faster than 3 sticks of 1gb ram.
No, no, no! It is
possible to run 3GB on dual channel. People, dual channel is a very simple thing: instead of having one communication channel between the RAM and the CPU, you have two
. It just doubles the bandwidth of the communication bus. There's no mystical power associated with it.
In theory, as long as you have memory modules on both channels, they will "work in dual channel". In practice, because of the way this dual channel bus is implemented, some motherboards will have compatibility issues when using different types of RAM modules. That's why it's recommended to use matched pairs. Mixing modules with different speeds will of course force all modules to run at the speed of the slowest one.
Also, by NO MEANS whatsoever will 3GB be worse than 2GB, dual-channel or not. It's been proven that dual-channel offers at best a 5% increase in performance. Even if the full 3GB are never used, having a lot of physical memory lowers the amount of virtual memory used by Windows, and that improves performance. Dual channel is almost a marketing trick. So stop mystifying it.
Originally Posted by TheCase
Thanks for the reply. I have 1GB currently made up of x2 512mb using 2 of my slots, leaving me with 2 spare. Which is the best solution to go to? Thanks
At the present time, 2GB of RAM is more than enough. But having 3GB doesn't hurt either. So what I'd do is get the 2x1GB kit, and try to install it with the already existing memory. I'd go with 1x512MB + 1x1GB in each channel. Be sure the RAM you're getting runs at the same speed as the RAM you already have; otherwise, you'll be wasting money.
Now, there's a chance it won't work, due to motherboard compatibility issues. You should check your manual; some manufacturers include a table describing how the memory banks can be filled. If it won't work, then take out the 2x512MB and try to sell them.