5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2008 1:56 PM by PeterFDuke

    memory questions

      my pc had 1gig of memory and it wouldn't run the program sufficently. So, I went and bought another stick of 2 gig ram (pc2 ddr)so now I have 3 gigs.. someone just told me I should have even numbers of Ram as in 2 or 4 or 6 gig's.. instead of an od number like 3 gigs which i now have.. any truth to that?
        • 1. Re: memory questions
          PeterFDuke Level 1
          It depends on your motherboard. Consult the manual. Some motherboards are able to speed up memory access by say 5-10% if the sticks are in matched pairs. The memory slots will be colour coded to indicate the pairing. Some purists also argue that memory sticks should have identical characteristics too, and so memory can be bought in matched pairs. In your case, having bought your memory, just forget about it for now if it seems to work OK.
          • 2. Re: memory questions
            Ed.Macke Level 3
            Most of the time, memory is installed in pairs (for example, if you wanted 1 GB, you wouldn't install a single 1 GB chip, you would install (2) 512 MB chips). Also, most of the time, they are identical (same manufacturer, speed, error-checking, etc.).

            When paired together, common sizes of 1 GB and 2 GB chips give you natural even multiples: (2) 1 GB chips = 2 GB; (2) 2 GB chips = 4 GB. So the advantage of "even RAM numbers" was probably referring to the advantage of installing in pairs.

            Just out of curiosity, what was your before and after memory configuration? You said you had 1 GB of memory; typically, that would be (2) 512 MB chips. But then you said you bought a single 2 GB chip.

            So, do you have
            SLOT1 = 512 MB
            SLOT2 = 512 MB
            SLOT3 = 2 GB

            or
            SLOT1 = 1 GB
            SLOT2 = 2 GB

            Either way, seems like an odd configuration.

            Does your computer report that it has 3 GB of RAM (My Computer > Properties > General tab, under WinXP)?
            • 3. Re: memory questions
              Level 1
              Before I had 1 gig, 2 slots on the left, 2 slots on the right... one 512 on the far left and one open one right next to it.. another 512 on the right , open slot next to it .. I then added the 2gig next to one of those 512'... so now it looks like 512, 2gig, 512 then open... Should I return thiis for 2 1gig's and fill up all slots? I hope you understand this discription.. thanks
              • 4. Re: memory questions
                Ed.Macke Level 3
                Is your system a Dell, by chance? I know they use a scheme where the physical slots don't correspond to the memory bank slot. Others might as well. So...

                Physical Slot 1 = DIMM1
                Physical Slot 2 = DIMM3
                Physical Slot 3 = DIMM2
                Physical Slot 4 = DIMM4

                Pairs are installed in slots 1/3 (DIMM 1/2) and slots 2/4 (DIMM 3/4).

                Given your config, if you wanted to upgrade from 1 to 3 GB, optimally you would have done
                Physical Slot 1 = 512 MB (original)
                Physical Slot 2 = 1 GB
                Physical Slot 3 = 512 MB (original)
                Physical Slot 4 = 1 GB

                But, as long as your computer is reporting that it has 3 GB, that's the important thing. The memory access might be a tad slower than the matched-pair configuration, as Peter said, but I doubt you'd notice a huge difference.

                So, bottom line: if your PC is reporting 3 GB, you're fine. If you're really worried about eeking every last microsecond out of your box, then do the paired memory. Personally, I wouldn't sweat it.

                ETA: Here's link to Dell's web site that might help (even if your system isn't a Dell): http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8300/sm/memory.htm
                • 5. Re: memory questions
                  PeterFDuke Level 1
                  >Should I return thiis for 2 1gig's and fill up all slots? I hope you understand this discription.. thanks

                  Does your motherboard have colour coded slots? (see my post above). If they are all the same colour then most likely there will be no advantage. If you have say two red and two yellow, there would likely be a slight advantage. (see my post above)