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7 GB of RAM vs 6 GB of RAM

by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 6:32 AM PDT

I own an Acer desktop running Windows 7 home, it came with 3 GB of RAM, a single 1 GB stick along with a single 2 GB stick. The MoBo has a total of 4 slots though, so a few months ago I ordered 2 more 2 GB sticks to boost the total RAM up to 7.

I remember seeing on another thread though that ram can be used in "dual channel mode" or "triple channel mode", if the RAM is dividable by 3 or just by 2. And this got me to wondering... 7 is a prime number, not dividable by anything. Would my computer run faster/smoother/better if I remove the 1 GB stick?

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For MOST systems, you need RAM in matching pairs
by VAPCMD / September 17, 2011 8:45 AM PDT

to maximize system performance. Running 3 DIMMs or 4 that are not matched by capacity forces the system to 64-bit (single channel) vice 128-bit (dual channel) operation. Most mfgs recommend RAM from same brand/mfg, same capacity ...1GB/2GB/4G and same speed.

At this point ...you can try it and see how it runs. Depending on the programs you run...it may be fine as is.

VAPCMD

PS...If your system has 4 DIMM slots ....it's DUAL CHANNEL, not triple channel architecture.

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It's been running OK.
by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 11:14 AM PDT

The only time that it lags is when I play my video games, and I think that's a GPU issue. The odd pair (the first 1GB + 2GB) came with the computer, so I'm not too worried about compatibility issues there. And the second pair I got off of Crucial's website after it scanned my computer, and told me exactly the kind of RAM that would be optimal for it. So, again, I don't think compatibility is too bad on that end.

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I like 8GBs but then I'm using it on big spreadsheets.
by VAPCMD / September 17, 2011 12:38 PM PDT
In reply to: It's been running OK.

In your case....depending on your budget, what games you play and what GPU you have now, I'd look at the GPU...the $$ is better spent there for GAMING. If money for the RAM doesn't interfere with getting a better GPU...then by all means...get the RAM. Just don't expect a big difference going from 4GB DUAL CHANNEL or 7GB SINGLE CHANNEL to 8GB DUAL CHANNEL.

Keep in mind the GPU power requirements....the higher powered, faster cards draw more power, run hot and often require folks to upgrade their PSUs to support them. Not good to skimp on a good PSU.

VAPCMD

One thing you might try...first test the current configuration (Win 7 ?) to see what the speed tests show. Then run the system with the two matched DIMMs in the right slots so you get DUAL CHANNEL operation vice SINGLE CHANNEL OPERATION and see what speed tests show (Win 7 ?) . Maybe that will show the system performance difference running DUAL CHANNEL vice SINGLE CHANNEL and whether the extra RAM might be worthwhile.

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Yes I have Windows 7 Home (64 bit)
by PhilippeLemay / September 17, 2011 1:14 PM PDT

I'm not sure what you mean. I know there are 4 slots (or DIMMs as you call them), 2 blacks and 2 blues. I kept the originals in the blacks, and the new Crucial ones are in the blues. You're saying I should switch them about somehow? Put one Crucial in a black DIMM and the other Crucial in the blue DIMM?

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Personally, I'd put the matched DIMMs in the primary
by VAPCMD / September 18, 2011 12:28 AM PDT

DIMM slots based on the system mfg's recommendation. If DIMM slots 1 and 3 are supposed to be filled first then, I'd put the matched pair there.

But before making the change, I'd run the Windows memory test and see what you get.

Then remove all the RAM and reinstall only the two Crucial DIMMs in the PRIMARY slots as recommended by the mfg. The rerun the Win 7 ram/memory test ...if 4GBs tests faster than the &GB, then you know how the system uses the RAM most efficiently. Then you can decide whether you want to stick with 4GB running DUAL CHANNEL, 7GBs SINGLE CHANNEL or you add another kit from Crucial taking you to 8GB DUAL CHANNEL.

Seems strange the original system came with 3GB in 2 DIMMs 1 @ 2GB and 1 @ 1GB and Win 7 64bit. It actually could have worked DUAL CHANNEL if thy installed 2@1GB and 2@512 if they still makes those.

VAPCMD

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lol, yeah, 3 GBs is odd
by PhilippeLemay / September 19, 2011 12:32 PM PDT

It's a Canadian build though... we're not good with computers. lol

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Windows memory test
by Bob__B / September 20, 2011 8:51 AM PDT

W7 comes with a built in bench mark tool called...windows experience index..."wei".
Start>control panel>performance information and tools.

You can run and rerun the entire suite from there.

If you want to run just the ram test........ run "winsat" through google.
It's a cmd line thing.

Blues+blacks/matched slots...... for this you get out the manual
This has to do with the dual channel feature.
Ideally you want a pair of matched dimms in the matched slots.

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Agree with Bob B.....re the the simple RAM test in Win 7
by VAPCMD / September 20, 2011 10:04 AM PDT

The RAM placement should be specified in the system or or motherboard manual.

Any questions...post'em here.

VAPCMD

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