What’s the difference between having one 8GB RAM DIMM and two 4GB RAM DIMMs?

Divit Dsouza May 20, 2012

Other than using more slots, how would it impact performance? Which configuration would be better?
Also could you recommend a good RAM configuration (brand also) for my Intel DH67BL Mother Board (yes, I’m on a budget)?

  1. Mike
    May 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Using a single module the memory will run in single-channel wherein with two modules it will be dual-channel.
    * given the CPU supports it, the motherboard does

    Performance tests are inconclusive but show a difference of 5% maximum when running dual-channel.

    That leaves us with the price comparison:
    You can almost get two 2x4GB kits for the price of a single 8GB DDR3 module. If you are thinking about a future upgrade [to 16GB memory] using 2x4GB kit will definitely be cheaper.

    As for the brand you are pretty much free to chose, ADATA, Corsair, G.Skill, GeIL, Kingston, OCZ ~ they are all good choices.
    At best get a kit or module with a heat-spreader on it and Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) ~ this profile will be selectable within the BIOS/EFI and represents the optimum settings tested by the manufacturer.

    • Oron
      May 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      I agree with every opint you make Mike, and would add Crucial as an excellent supplier.

  2. Bruce Epper
    May 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Your board requires memory to be installed in pairs. You cannot use just a single DIMM.

    Optimal configuration depends on how you intend to use the system. For a high-performance machine, go with Kingston HyperX, Corsair, or Patriot looking at their high performance lines. For any other type of work, the lower-end lines from these manufacturers are good as are those from Crucial.

    If you will be using a 64-bit operating system (and you should with this board), I would say at least 8GB of RAM. If you will be running virtual machines on this system boost that to 16GB as your minimum.

  3. Matt Smith
    May 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Two will theoretically perform better because you have two data channels to send information through instead of one. In the real world, you probably would never know the difference.

    But two 4GB sticks should be cheaper than one 8GB stick, so go for that.