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So, I am looking into a new laptop, and I have 2 choices on RAM.

There is a 3GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333 in one system, and there is a 4GB Single Channel DDR3 in another.

So my question is, is it better to have more RAM and single channel, or less RAM and dual channel?

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Those memory options sound... backwards... – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 14 '11 at 15:01
I know...It kind of does, but on that's the choices they… – jcreamer898 May 14 '11 at 15:03
3GB dual channel? That's a first – Sandeep Bansal May 14 '11 at 15:17
I really want to take that machine apart to see how they've pulled off a 3GB dual channel setup. – Lukasa May 14 '11 at 15:19
It's a very strange concept...Not sure if it has something to do with the i3 CPU, or what...Any thoughts on which would provide better performance? – jcreamer898 May 14 '11 at 15:21
up vote 3 down vote accepted

From my point of view, 4GB single channel will be better.

There is a very small number of applications ever capable of reaching the speed limit of a single channel, while more memory will be better for all applications.

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More often than not, the 4gb option will win out.

Even if your primary apps aren't using the 4th gb directly, the OS will use the left over ram as file cache, speeding everything else up more than you'd notice the dual channel difference.

This wouldn't apply for very specific science things designed to use that memory channel efficiently.

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Well, I'd weigh your needs more than anything.

Are you running applications on this that will need to be loaded fast? Or are you just browsing the web, doing a little work, etc.

If your planning to work on applications that will require faster loading, I would take the 3GB Dual channel. However, if your just using it day-to-day, then the single will be fine.

Both have fast speeds, better than all my RAM anyway.

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