what does adding ram in pairs actually mean...

Hi., I have always herard that you should add ram in pairs..but does this mean that the number of ram sticks should be even...: I have 4 units of I gig ram in my server I want to set up..I have another two sticks with 512 each..this is 2 pairs of 2 sticks 1 gig each..= 4gigs ..by adding the pair of 512 that gives me 5gigs...is this ok.. that is an odd number or by adding in pairs means I should get two sticks of two gigs to have a total even number of  6 sticks and 6gis..does this matter at all...: as tagged..its all going into a freebsd8 64bits system with two 64bit xeons...
solunatecAsked:
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expert02232010Commented:
It generally means to install matched pairs into the paired slots of the MB.  check the MB manual to see if slots 0/1 and 2/3 are paired of it is alternates 0/2 and 1/3.  you can do 1 pair 1GB, and 1 pair 512, that is ok.  best to make sure all is the same speed though, as it will usually downgrade all to the slowest you have.
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expert02232010Commented:
Though for many new MB, paired doesn't matter as much anymore as the memory slots are are already basically double the capacity of the older systems.  Though there can still be some benefit to matched pairs.  Depends on the MB.
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dbruntonCommented:
The reason for matched pairs of memory is RAM speed.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-channel_architecture
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
It means that you can't add a single stick to a system ... it must have a second, with the slots populated according to the motherboard's rules.  As expert stated, depending on the motherboard, they may have different patterns, but must be populated in identical pairs.
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solunatecAuthor Commented:
this covers it. thanks all
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