DDR Ram - single or double module?

  VNAM75 17:16 14 Mar 2005

I've just ordered a single 1GB module of Crucial Ballistix memory for a brand new PC system that has no RAM. The website says there is better performance when using "matched pairs" Does this mean 2 sets of 512MB ram modules is better than a single 1GB module or do they mean when upgrading it is better to "add" an identical module?

  pc moron 17:25 14 Mar 2005

It depends on the motherboard.

Some will only work with two sticks of RAM, others with one stick.

If the motherboard is quite new, the "matched pairs" probably refers to the same speed memory ie: putting in PC2100 RAM with a higher speed RAM will cause the system to run at the speed of the slower RAM module.

Which motherboard/system?

  VNAM75 19:22 14 Mar 2005

It's the MSI K8N SLI motherboard. I'm building a new system myself but am unsure which is better, a single 1GB Ballistix module or 2 x 512mb Ballistix modules. A single 1GB is considerably more expensive, which is what I've ordered thinking it is better performance.

  pc moron 19:55 14 Mar 2005

Is this what you have? click here

If it is then, to complicate things, it depends on what speed CPU/memory you have in the board.

Unless you intend to use Dual-Channel memory, and you'll need a high spec CPU to support it, then your 1GB stick should be fine.

  [email protected] 20:05 14 Mar 2005

u would be better off useing the 2x512mb ddr(as mentioned above about duel channel) i had 2x512mb pc4000 ballistix, put them in duel channel and it shut my pc down! im now waiting for a replacement motherboard! duel channel mode doubles the bandwith of the ram i belive its up to 6gbs or something! fast!

  VNAM75 20:17 14 Mar 2005

Yes, that is the motherboard. I went on the Crucial site, put in the model name and it then gave me a list of compatible Ballistix modules, giving me a choice of 256mb, 512mb and 1GB. I'll be getting an AMD 64 3800+ CPU.

  pc moron 20:38 14 Mar 2005

If you download the manual for the motherboard you'll see that, for Dual Channel mode, and the CPU you mention will certainly support it, you can't have just one stick of RAM- you must populate both a green and a purple slot.

Having said that, you can just use your 1GB stick by itself, but you won't get the max out of the CPU you've specified- no Dual Channel mode.

If I were you I'd fork out for another 1GB stick and have Dual Channel.

  [email protected] 20:39 14 Mar 2005

2gb of ram is overkill.

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:44 14 Mar 2005

"2gb of ram is overkill."

That depends on what you want to you do with your pc. If you are into video editing, the more the better.

  VNAM75 21:10 14 Mar 2005

Thanks everyone. I only want 1GB of ram. What I need to know is since I have ordered a single 1GB stick for use on a new system (ie. it has no ram) should I have bought 2 x 512mb:

1)For the purposes of dual channel capability, which is now confirmed by pc moron

2)It is cheaper to buy (about £30) 2 x 512mb sticks than a single 1GB.

Therefore, I conclude that for dual channel purposes, optimal performance and value, the 1GB stick should only be bought in pairs. So, in my case I only want 1GB of RAM in my system but I have ordered a single 1GB module where I should have ordered 2 x 512mb (for dual channel as well as being cheaper). Am I right? D** I need to phone Crucial early tomorrow to change my order! Thanks.

  pc moron 23:16 14 Mar 2005

Yes, if you only want 1GB of RAM and you want Dual Channel, then you want two 512MB sticks rather than one 1GB stick- that's my understanding of your motherboard.

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