Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So I currently have 4x 4GB Dimms of 1600Mhz memory (DDR3) in my computer, however one dimm has went bad.

Now, my understanding is that they are dual-channel, which means they are ment to run in pairs.

Is it better to drop to 2x 4GB Dimms for a total of 8GB of memory (preserving dual-channel)

or; go 3x 4GB Dimms for 12GB of memory, however i loose the dual-channel advantage, right?

Thanks SuperUser.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

It depends on what you're running. If the software you use gobbles up a lot of RAM, you'll be better off with the three good DIMMs. But if you never use the extra 4 GB, you might technically be better off removing the third DIMM; but chances are, you would be hard-pressed to notice the difference between single-channel and dual-channel mode in most games and consumer software.

That said, most RAM comes with a lifetime warranty these days. I'd just RMA the bad DIMM. Or, if it isn't under warranty for some reason, I'd either live with 12 GB or pony up the 20 bucks to buy a replacement.

share|improve this answer
The difference between dual and single channel isn't noticable under a lot of workloads - so you may be okay. – Shinrai Apr 25 '12 at 23:06
Thanks; Thats essentially what I plan to do; just wondered if 8GB Dualchannel or 12GB is better in the meantime. Thanks again – GruffTech Apr 25 '12 at 23:34
No that case, I'd definitely just leave it with 12 GB until you get the replacement. – rob Apr 26 '12 at 2:20

all three good DIMMS will register and work albeit one pair will function in dual channel mode while the third dIMM will run under single channel under Intel FastMemory.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .