Memory: 1x1GB module vs. 2x512MB modules

Posted on 2005-03-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have a Dell Dimension 3000, and I got the lowest memory available (256MB PC3200 DDR non-ECC), knowing that I could get more memory cheaper than from Dell. I know that I can install a 1GB module in one slot or 2 512MB modules. The Dell site says that the best performance comes from adding the 2 512MB modules, but I know that I'm going to want to go up to 2GB later, and I don't want to waste the money on the 2 512s when I know I'm going to end up with 2GB later.

My question is this: How much of a performance hit will I take by doing this? Does anyone have first-hand knowledge of this?
Question by:ftaco96
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Accepted Solution

stockhes earned 1600 total points
ID: 13632522
Hi ftaco96

Theoretically you loose half the bandwith to the RAM. If we are talking PC3200 in single mode the bandwith is 3200MBytes /sec. In dual channel you have 2*3200 = 6400 Mbytes /sec.

In practice the memory bandwith is only increased by 1,67, when dual channel.

check this link

I would advise to run dual channel
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

mwnnj earned 320 total points
ID: 13634949
also, install sisoft sandra:
 and if you don't know what motherboard type you have,then see the tech specs after installing and running the program:
use the Mainboard Information module to check what is the maximum installable memory for your motherboard and other tech specs regarding your ram configuration,,,

LVL 13

Assisted Solution

Watzman earned 80 total points
ID: 13639911

With one module, you will be running single channel, with 2 modules dual channer.  The difference in memory bandwidth is substantial, in theory 2:1 although it practice it may be somewhat less.  However, the overally system response, although slower, MAY be almost unnoticeable.  It all depends on what you are doing.

Author Comment

ID: 13645988
Thanks, everybody. I went ahead and got the dual channel 512s. Since I'm not going to be doing heavy gaming or video editing, I figure the 512s may be enough for the life of the machine. Plus, by the time I'd want to upgrade, the price of 2x1GB modules will be about the price I'm paying for the 512s now. At any rate, the new memory should make the machine blazingly fast compared to the way it's set up now with the 256MB.

Featured Post


Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Basic computer tune-up with little or no hardware upgrades. Giving an old computer a tune-up usually results in a minimal performance gain, but a gain nonetheless. Several times a week, I’m faced with users at work who ask to make their computers…
I use more than 1 computer in my office for various reasons. Multiple keyboards and mice take up more than just extra space, they make working a little more complicated. Using one mouse and keyboard for all of my computers makes life easier. This co…
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decade…
In this video we outline the Physical Segments view of NetCrunch network monitor. By following this brief how-to video, you will be able to learn how NetCrunch visualizes your network, how granular is the information collected, as well as where to f…
Suggested Courses

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question