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What is the better RAM configuration...

Posted on 2013-01-30
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We are considering buying some new computers.  Probably about 30.  The price difference at HP for a system with 8GB of RAM, or 16GB, is $300.  Kind of ridiculous since I could walk to Staples and get 32GB for $150.  So, I am considering buying the computers with 8GB, and do a bit of switching.


Waste Not, Want Not:

IF we get new HP computers with 8GB of RAM as the cheaper option, they will almost assuredly come as 2x 4GB DIMMs.  IF the motherboards support 4 Slots, which most do, we could:
Remove the memory from one-half of the new HP computers.
Install that Memory into the other half of the HP computers.  This would double their memory from 8GB to 16GB, utilizing 4slots of 4GB chips each.
Those first half of computers that we removed their memory from, we could then install the 2x 8GB DIMMs, that we would buy from Staples or Amazon etc.

In the end, all the computers would have 16GB of RAM, costing us an additional.....  get ready for this Math:  $1125.   The cost of upgrading the 30 computers with HP would be:  $9000.


Finally The Question:
What is the Difference between setting up a computer that is utilizing 4x 4GB DIMMs, and a computer that is utilizing 2x 8GB DIMMs?  Both systems may have 16GB in total, but are there any performance differences between the two, speed differences etc?

Thank You.
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Question by:FourthDownMage
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profgeek earned 600 total points
ID: 38835569
I don't think you'll find any difference in performance.  The problem is that most manufacturers like to fill up the slots.  So if you order 8 gb, for example, they'll put 4 twos in instead of 2 fours with 2 empty slots.  That would not end up being what you want, so make sure that these will be delivered with the RAM configuration that you want.  Remember that they would like you to buy the RAM from them (at their inflated prices), so they're not going to make it easy for you to do your own upgrade.  I think, though, if you specify what you want, they'll need to deliver it that way.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 450 total points
ID: 38835661
First you should check your mainboard whether it actually supports the amount of RAM you want to use with it.

Whether it makes sense to put that much RAM into the PC or not depends on what you will be using it for. With more RAM you can generally run more programs simultaneously, or with virtualization run multiple OS's at the same time.It may also be useful when editing Videos, or doing lots of Graphical work, but for normal office work it won't be of any advantage.

If your looking for speed improvements you should rather be looking at SSD's.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 450 total points
ID: 38838765
are you sure the board has 4 ram slots?  many have only 2 or 3 now
difference between 2 and 4 sticks :
the 4 sticks will load the ram bus heavily (to the max), 4 x 8 chip loads - resulting in distorted and lower signal amplitudes, thus increasing probable ram problems.
if possible, go with 2x 8 GB sticks
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