Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I don't know if it's the right place to ask but can somebody advise me for buying a ram memory for my computer.

I have a Dell Vostro 200 with 1GB of RAM and 667MHz. (2 x 512MB)

I want to buy raise the amount of RAM but I'm confused whether to buy 1 x 2GB or 2 x 1GB

I know it's the same for the available amount of memory but is ther a difference maybe in the clock speed so that 2 x 667MHz will be better than 1 x 667MHz. or maybe accessing one single memory slot will be faster and better than accessing two slots.

Please anyone helps.

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 26 '10 at 0:19

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

1  
It won't make much of a difference, simply because you have a laptop. Your hard drive is the slowest part of the computer. Get the cheapest solution. –  user3463 Nov 26 '10 at 0:25
    
I'm getting some conflicting descriptions from Google, but it looks like that machine is about three years old. You make want to think carefully about whether you really want to spend money upgrading it - if you save that money towards a newer machine, you'll probably be better off. Upgrading old machines often costs a lot for little gain, getting you obsolete components you won't be able to re-use later. Remember - the performance depends on the whole system, not just one component - though memory is important. Basic new systems are cheap and powerful. –  Steve314 Nov 26 '10 at 1:29
    
For comparison, I upgraded my 2006 vintage desktop from 1GB to 3GB earlier this year. I had problems as a result of (lack of care during) the upgrade, which costed me more. I wouldn't say I regret it, but I could still buy a new PC now with 4GB RAM for not much more than twice what I spend adding 2GB of obsolete RAM to my obsolete PC. And it's easy to start sending good money after bad, trying to avoid "wasting" that earlier spending. –  Steve314 Nov 26 '10 at 1:32

1 Answer 1

The speed is how fast any operation on the RAM is clocked - not how much bandwidth is available to be shared amongst each bit of the module - so a 2GB module clocked at 667MHz should (all other things being equal) run at the same speed as a 1GB module clocked at 667.

If your machine's chipset supports dual-channel memory access, and the two memory modules are properly matched and recognised as such by the machine, then 2x1Gb may be marginally faster. While not an entirely accurate analogy, you could think of dual-channel RAM as RAID0 for memory. Most people don't really notice the difference though - the most memory bandwidth hungry things you are likely to ask the machine to do will have significant bottlenecks elsewhere, such as graphics performance or the speed or your CPU (and the CPU's cache).

Check to make sure you know what your machine can take before buying: look in the machine's manual or the databases maintained by memory sellers like Kingston. You might find it can only accept up to 1Gb per slot in which case the decision is made for you. If your machine's official spec is "max 2Gb" and it has two slots then you can pretty much guarantee it won't accept modules larger than 1Gb.

Also, be aware that you have a limited number of slots. If you plan to upgrade further later then getting the larger module now and leaving slots free might be more convenient.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.