Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • womble12345
    • By womble12345 8th Jan 18, 9:52 AM
    • 427Posts
    • 158Thanks
    womble12345
    Laptop RAM in pairs?
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:52 AM
    Laptop RAM in pairs? 8th Jan 18 at 9:52 AM
    The RAM in my Dell latitude E6320 is broken, I get lots of errors when using MemTest86. It originally had 2 x 2GB SODIMM chips. I bought 1 x 4GB chip as a replacement which works fine. It occured to me that maybe only one of the original chips may be at fault so can I stick the working chip in and then get an extra 2GB RAM in the laptop?
    I have read that it is preferable to install them in pairs, am I likely to benefit from having a 4GB and a 2GB in there or am I best just using the 4GB chip on its own?

    Thanks,
    Womble
Page 1
    • d0nkeyk0ng
    • By d0nkeyk0ng 8th Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    • 564 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    d0nkeyk0ng
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    Not strictly necessary - IIRC it's mainly a performance thing. Theoretically, the motherboard can access both RAM sticks at the same time. The actual improvement is more like 10% than the expected 100%.

    EDIT: I would take this opportunity to install more RAM. Your max supported looks to be 8GB, so I would prefer 2x4GB for best performance. You could always install one 4GB stick now, and then another later if you choose to.
    Last edited by d0nkeyk0ng; 08-01-2018 at 11:00 AM.
    • womble12345
    • By womble12345 8th Jan 18, 11:12 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    womble12345
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:12 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:12 AM
    I dont really use it enough to consider spending any more money on more RAM, given that am I best keeping it at 4GB or adding the extra working 2GB as well? I dont want to add the extra 2GB if it makes performance worse because it isnt paired.

    Thanks
    • emptybox
    • By emptybox 8th Jan 18, 12:53 PM
    • 391 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    emptybox
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:53 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:53 PM
    I would think you would be more likely to be better off with 6 GB of working RAM rather than 4 GB running slightly faster. But it would depend on your usage.
    If you are never reaching the limits of 4 GB then there's no advantage in having more.

    You could leave the 4 GB in for now and keep an eye on RAM usage, either by having Task Manager open while you are doing other things, or installing a widget utility such as Rainmeter.
    Web browsers use a lot of RAM, and if you find you are ever getting up to 70 or 80% usage, then you would certainly benefit from more RAM.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 8th Jan 18, 12:54 PM
    • 4,388 Posts
    • 4,416 Thanks
    DoaM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:54 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:54 PM
    4GB on it's own is probably better than 4GB paired with 2GB, but I have no empirical data to support that thought.

    But I echo the advice above ... given the general price of RAM chips I'd go for a matched 2x 4GB pair. (Quite a while back I upgraded my own laptop that had 2x 2GB matched pair with 2x 4GB matched pair and noticed the improvement that the additional RAM afforded).
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • womble12345
    • By womble12345 8th Jan 18, 1:08 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    womble12345
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 1:08 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 1:08 PM
    Thanks for the suggestions, even if they do conflict a bit!! The laptop is generally used for video editing basic family videos using MS Moviemaker and web browsing. I understand that video editing will benefit from more RAM...

    Anyway I think I will stick with the 4GB and monitor RAM usage and stick the extra 2GB in only if necessary.

    Thanks for the help!
    • toshi
    • By toshi 8th Jan 18, 1:31 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    toshi
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 1:31 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 1:31 PM
    In your case, I will use 6GB, (4+2GB) simply because you already have a spare 2GB.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-channel_memory_architecture

    Theoretically, dual-channel configurations double the memory bandwidth when compared to single-channel configurations. This should not be confused with double data rate (DDR) memory, which doubles the usage of DRAM bus by transferring data both on the rising and falling edges of the memory bus clock signals.
    Tom's Hardware found little significant difference between single-channel and dual-channel configurations in synthetic and gaming benchmarks (using a "modern (2007)" system setup). In its tests, dual channel gave at best a 5% speed increase in memory-intensive tasks.[7] Another comparison by Laptop logic resulted in a similar conclusion for integrated graphics.[8] The test results published by Tom's Hardware had a discrete graphics comparison.

    At the moment, my desktop have 7GB lol, originally 4GB x 1, then I have found 1GB x 4, but my desktop has only 4 slot, use the max amount of memory. (4 + 1 +1+ 1) .

    I personally don't think less demanding client computing has any serious advantage with "dual-channel configurations", but additional memory help to run Virtual Machine smoothly in my case. If you don't have any performance issues with 4GB, you can leave it as it is.

    In 2018, let's talk about flash memory (SSD) instead of RAM memory lol Have you got an SSD? As you have got a decent business notebook, get an SSD to use another 3-5 years very comfortably.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVtIIXJfFg8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmQLDT2y-R0

    Happy computing!
    Last edited by toshi; 08-01-2018 at 1:48 PM. Reason: clarification
    • womble12345
    • By womble12345 8th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    womble12345
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    Thanks toshi, very interesting.
    • jeradon
    • By jeradon 9th Jan 18, 7:05 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    jeradon
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 7:05 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 7:05 AM
    Adding the 2gb memory should be fine as long as the memory speed is the same with your 4gb.
    • psychic teabag
    • By psychic teabag 9th Jan 18, 11:29 AM
    • 2,679 Posts
    • 1,572 Thanks
    psychic teabag
    4GB on it's own is probably better than 4GB paired with 2GB, but I have no empirical data to support that thought.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    The benefit of matched memory is that the motherboard can access both in parallel. But why should adding a 2Gb unit cause the motherboard to *slow down* access to the existing 4Gb unit ? It could only access it on its own before, and it can still access it on its own.

    I guess it could happen if the 2Gb unit has longer access time, and the motherboard decices to access all ram at that slower rate. But if both are fast enough for the fastest access the motherboard can make, should be no change.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 9th Jan 18, 12:53 PM
    • 4,388 Posts
    • 4,416 Thanks
    DoaM
    Like I said ... I have no empirical data to support my opinion. But usually the system will access RAM at the speed of the slowest RAM stick ... if the 2GB stick is slower than the 4GB one then inserting the 2GB stick may well impact overall performance to negate the benefit of the additional RAM.

    But it's a suck it and see situation.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • womble12345
    • By womble12345 10th Jan 18, 2:03 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    womble12345
    I have now tested all the RAM sticks and only one of the 2GB sticks is faulty.

    According to Memtest I have the following working sticks

    4096 MB DDR3-1333 - Micron 16KTF51264HZ-1G4M1
    2048 MB DDR3-1066 - Nanya NT2GC64B8HC0NS-BE

    With both sticks installed it tells me that the RAM is 532 MHz (DDR3-1064).

    With only the 4GB stick installed it says 665 Mhz (DDR3-1330).

    Do the 1333 and 1066 numbers denote speed? If so am I better just not bothering with the 2GB stick?

    Thanks,
    • emptybox
    • By emptybox 10th Jan 18, 6:05 PM
    • 391 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    emptybox
    I have now tested all the RAM sticks and only one of the 2GB sticks is faulty.

    According to Memtest I have the following working sticks

    4096 MB DDR3-1333 - Micron 16KTF51264HZ-1G4M1
    2048 MB DDR3-1066 - Nanya NT2GC64B8HC0NS-BE

    With both sticks installed it tells me that the RAM is 532 MHz (DDR3-1064).

    With only the 4GB stick installed it says 665 Mhz (DDR3-1330).

    Do the 1333 and 1066 numbers denote speed? If so am I better just not bothering with the 2GB stick?

    Thanks,
    Originally posted by womble12345
    Yes, those are the speed indicators, and RAM always runs at the speed of the slowest unit, so the 4 GB unit on it's own should be faster then the 4+2 GB in this instance.

    Shouldn't be any slower than when you were running 2+2 GB DDR3-1066 though.

    So in your case you'd be better sticking to just the 4 GB stick, unless you find excess RAM usage slowing the PC down while web browsing or video encoding etc.

    The PC I'm on just now has 4 GB RAM, and with just 5 tabs open on Google Chrome and playing some music on a media player app I'm up to over 70% RAM usage, and can feel things slowing down a little. So I'm kinda wishing for a bit more RAM myself.
    Last edited by emptybox; 10-01-2018 at 6:15 PM.
    • toshi
    • By toshi 10th Jan 18, 8:55 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    toshi
    I would be amazed if you actually feel the difference of memory speed in general computing. Unless you run the benchmark test, you don't see the difference ? that's why you ask a question here ?

    But I would notice the advantage of extra 2GB, especially you use a hard disk; Extra memory will be used for application caching, and also will let you run more application without slowing down your computer.

    Reference: (Actually the benchmark show no difference! see the below)

    High Speed RAM - Is it Worth it? DDR3 1333MHz vs 2400MHz Test

    Happy computing
    • ptrichardson
    • By ptrichardson 18th Jan 18, 9:44 PM
    • 213 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    ptrichardson
    I have now tested all the RAM sticks and only one of the 2GB sticks is faulty.

    According to Memtest I have the following working sticks

    4096 MB DDR3-1333 - Micron 16KTF51264HZ-1G4M1
    2048 MB DDR3-1066 - Nanya NT2GC64B8HC0NS-BE

    With both sticks installed it tells me that the RAM is 532 MHz (DDR3-1064).

    With only the 4GB stick installed it says 665 Mhz (DDR3-1330).

    Do the 1333 and 1066 numbers denote speed? If so am I better just not bothering with the 2GB stick?

    Thanks,
    Originally posted by womble12345
    Running both sticks will make ALL of the RAM run at the lower speed.
    If you use just one stick, it runs in single channel mode anyway, so that's not really a consideration, unless you can buy a second hand matching (PERFECTLY) 4Gb stick to complement the one you have (£20 on ebay by the looks of it)

    The question is really:
    6Gb RAM at 1066
    or
    4Gb of RAM at 1333

    Gut feeling is that more RAM will win this battle in most situations. Some processing where only 4Gb is needed, and is being accessed a large amount may cause a performance hit - but unless you're doing some kind of rendering, or compiling of small files, I don't imagine it will hurt you.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,209Posts Today

7,246Users online

Martin's Twitter