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I am planning to buy a new PC. The mainboard has 4 memory slots, The PC has Windows 7 64-bit installed.

Which approach is better regarding the performance buying:

  1. Two memory sticks of 2GB?
  2. One memory stick of 4GB?

I am also interested in dual channel memory architecture.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by random Apr 26 '14 at 2:46

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Wikipedia is a good place to read about Dual Channel. –  Tom Wijsman Nov 2 '11 at 12:42
4 sticks of 8GB. :-) –  David Murdoch Jan 12 '12 at 15:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 25 down vote accepted

2 sticks in general because you get dual channeling. But more memory will always beat out dual channel for general workloads.

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+1 For the same amount of memory, going for Dual Channel results in more performance. Please note although that when you need to upgrade your memory you will need to replace both sticks by 4 GB, so if you are low on budget or plan to do an upgrade in the near future you might want to consider a single stick 4 GB instead. –  Tom Wijsman Nov 2 '11 at 12:41
Dual for performance, ie Gaming, Video Editing etc Single for future proofing/future upgrade capacity and usually cost :) –  HaydnWVN Nov 2 '11 at 13:24
I'd go for 4gb, and buy another 4gb when I have money again... My PC is on 16gb now, thanks to that I bought 4gb sticks. –  sinni800 Nov 2 '11 at 13:37

Buy the single stick of 4GB and upgrade later for even more performance to a second stick so you can get the dual channel feature.

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Good point with "add another later" - especially on notebooks: with 2 sticks, you're usually at physical slot capacity. This may be a lesser concern on a desktop. (IMHO getting 2GB sticks won't last you for too long) –  Piskvor Nov 2 '11 at 10:09

How 'bout 2 4GB sticks? It's not like it's expensive (<$50 right now on newegg).

Two sticks are nearly always better, as you'll be able to get dual channel mode.

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