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I know when computers have two physical processors, you are supposed to upgrade the RAM in pairs. Is this the case with 2 cored processors as well such as the intel core 2 duo?

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Motherboard manual should specify this. Do you have make_Model? – Dave M Jan 14 '10 at 15:51
It's an HP dc7700 – Kyle Hayes Jan 14 '10 at 15:57
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Kingston has a tool as well and they don't seem to suggest pairs. However, as noted by others, there can be a performance gain.

Kingston DC 7700

HP has more and it seems there is a performance gain:

The system will automatically operate in single channel mode, dual channel mode, or flex mode, depending on how the DIMMs are installed.

● The system will operate in single channel mode if the DIMM sockets are populated in one channel only. ● The system will operate in a higher-performing dual channel mode if the total memory capacity of the DIMMs in Channel A is equal to the total memory capacity of the DIMMs in Channel B. The technology and device width can vary between the channels. For example, if Channel A is populated with two 256MB DIMMs and Channel B is populated with one 512MB DIMM, the system will operate in dual channel mode. ● The system will operate in flex mode if the total memory capacity of the DIMMs in Channel A is not equal to the total memory capacity of the DIMMs in Channel B. In flex mode, the channel populated with the least amount of memory describes the total amount of memory assigned to dual channel and the remainder is assigned to single channel. For optimal speed, the channels should be balanced so that the largest amount of memory is spread between the two channels. For example, if you are populating the sockets with one 1GB DIMM, two 512MB DIMMs, and one 256MB DIMM, one channel should be populated with the 1GB DIMM and one 256MB DIMM and the other channel

See the full doc here: It is about 1.6MB PDF

DC7700 Specs

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+1 for explaining channels. – vpram86 Jan 14 '10 at 16:25

Crucial have a system scanner that will recommend the compatible types and also any limitations:

I've used them previously and they have been fantastic.

Hope that helps

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It's not required to upgrade your RAM in pairs, but it's often recommend since there can be performance gains, but it doesn't mean it won't work without dual channel memory.

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+1 -... before you did your edit, I thought what I wrote was needed... oh well! – William Hilsum Jan 14 '10 at 16:10
Meh I just +1 you right back, since your point describes what I wanted to say – Ivo Flipse Jan 14 '10 at 16:20

As Ivo says, the answer officially should be no because your CPU is not relevant, however, I have not seen a Core 2 Duo system that can not take advantage of Dual or triple channel memory.

This basically splits the memory load over the chips and speeds up processing time.

So, look in your BIOS or find the motherboard specification. I am 99% sure you should be upgrading in pairs (triple channel motherboards are rare), however there is no way of knowing for sure.

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Ah, ok, well all of this helps a lot! I knew there was something that was some kind of recommendation but didn't know what the details were and this helps a lot. I will definitely check into the details of the system that needs the upgrade. Thanks everyone for the help! – Kyle Hayes Jan 14 '10 at 17:08
again, as Ivo said - you do not have to upgrade in pairs, but you really should otherwise you will take a performance hit. – William Hilsum Jan 14 '10 at 17:10

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