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Is it better to have 4x2GB or 2x4GB of RAM?

I recently upgraded my iMac (2010) to a 2x4GB RAM configuration and that went well, but I've considering putting the old 2x2GB in as well to get to 12GB. I didn't initially as I've read more modules is usually slower, but the comparison is usually between equal total amounts of RAM (see Is it better to have 4x2GB or 2x4GB of RAM?).

What would the performance gains losses look like when comparing 2x4GB and 2x4GB plus 2x2GB in a 2010 iMac? Would the extra 4GB be worth any speed hit?

My usage is generally heavy dev, potentially 2 VMs running inside OS X with Eclipse, XCode, and TextMate open. And TONS of browser tabs (I often reach over 2GB in browser RAM).

(All RAM is same clock speed and timing.)

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marked as duplicate by Sathya Jul 19 '11 at 4:22

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Considering how fast memory is, I'd vote for more of it running a bit slower. Go for the 12GB man. – Doc Jul 19 '11 at 3:35
up vote 0 down vote accepted

That extra 4Gb will definitely give you a performance hit... if it's sitting in a drawer somewhere.

Put it in, it won't hurt your performance. If it were lower clock speed, then maybe it might be an issue, but even then it would depend on what you were doing.

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