Cooler and less power RAM: 2x2GB or 4GB?

By Row1 · 6 replies
Feb 17, 2010
  1. Hi, everyone - I am about to pull the trigger and buy everything for my next build. I plan to build a comp into a drawer of my nightstand. I will probably make a post about it, with pics of my progress.

    I don't game, so I don't have great power requirements, and can be satisfied with onboard video, saving space and heat. We browse the internet, do a lot with family photos, I write for work, run some stats and spreadsheets, and run vpn into work computer.

    One goal is to have a current, normal desktop-style computer, versus building one around an atom cpu or something like that.

    Because it wil be in a wooden drawer in a piece of furniture, I need to stay small, and cool, and low-power.

    Is one 4GB stick of RAM less power, and/or heat, than 2 x 2GB sticks? It seems that if I have electricity running through just one stick instead of 2, I won't have yet another component radiating heat.

    I am thinking about a 4GB stick of high-performance Crucial, and basically running it somewhat below capacity: like getting DDR3 1600 and running it at 1066.
  2. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 887   +19

    one stick of ram will give you less heat theoretically but with only using one stick you lose the bandwidth of dual channel memory . ram doesn't put out alot of heat so i don't think you could even tell the difference
  3. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +13

    dual band: that much improvement?

    hi dustin and everyone-
    --i have sought out info on the interwebs, and have looked at a couple of evaluations: the evidence seems to say that dual-channel barely gives any advantage, and that advantage is negligible.

    So, I kicked that idea out of my plan, and moved to the issue of one-stick-or-two.

    Please: if anyone has a link to any evals of the actual benefit of dual channel, all other things being equal, such as 1 stick of 2GB versus 2 sticks of 1GB in dual-channel, please post the link! I will revise my plan if the evidence is there.
  4. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +13

    examples: dual channel gives negligible benefit
    "The ambiguity in most of the benchmark results we saw today sends a very clear message: on today’s systems, the advantages of Dual Channel memory setups are negligible for average users.

    While some memory specific benchmarks, those designed to saturate bus bandwidth, demonstrated the Dual Channel system’s superiority, very few real-life applications took advantage of it, and some games even managed to perform better on the Single Channel setup.",1705-15.html
    "the performance difference between single channel and dual channel DDR2-800 memory using an up-to-date Core 2 Duo system Compare Prices on Core 2 Duo Processors is little to nil, depending on the benchmark - most tests show differences, but they are really small."
    "The differences in all the testing is not very significant as far as losing a lot of frames per second with really any of them. The total amount of frames lost from the highest frame rates of any of the tests is only 4 and 5 fps for Quake 4 and 8 fps for FEAR."
  5. myrmidonks

    myrmidonks TS Rookie Posts: 48

    I have 2 old identical Dell latitudes that i don't use anymore. One of them has one 2gb ddr2 ram and the other has 2 x 1gb ddr2 ram. The performance is not much different from I can tell. They both have similar amounts of hard drive space used and both run xp professional. Simple browsing and document editing was not noticeably slower or faster on either machine, as the above reports from row1 seem to indicate. Hope this helps.
  6. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +13

    i went cheap and got 2 x 2gb

    i went cheap and got 2 x 2gb.
    i don't think heat will be much of a problem, and the system is relatively low power anyway.

    but the money was good, plus the old classic computer build problem: is my ram bad? well just stick the other stick in and see if that one works!
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    If you didn't need the performance to start with, why worry that single channel will cause your comp to slow down? :D

    FYI, I built a low power system about a year ago, and just plugged one stick of RAM in.... performance was acceptable, although I soon needed the second one because 1gb just wasn't cutting it :D
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