I've seen lots of controversy on this topic so I want to ask it for myself.

I have 4 RAM slots on my Q43 (antelope) motherboard. Apparently It can take a max of 8GB of RAM. I already have 2 4GB sticks of RAM and loads of 2GB sticks. If they both run at the same speed Which would be faster for me? I've heard people say that 4x2 is faster because there are more lanes, and people say that 2x4 is faster because it doesn't have to switch between them? Who's right? And why?

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, phuclv, fixer1234, DavidPostill, Dave Mar 3 '17 at 8:34

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  • The speed difference if it exist cannot be detected by a human, outside of a bechmark which doesn't indicate actual real performance often, there is no difference. – Ramhound Mar 1 '17 at 15:25
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    @user702859 4x2 kit of 8GB costs less but compared to 2x4 kit of 8GB you would be better off getting 2x4 and later add more if neccesary. It will be a less expensive upgrade then buying completely new kit of 4. – RamonRobben Mar 1 '17 at 15:36
  • Are you totally sure about your premise that the motherboard can only take 8GB in total? The fact 4GB sticks work seems a bit strange in that regard.... I had a quick check of the spec here, and I wonder whether it isn't up to 4x8GB, non-ECC RAM, rather than the motherboard only being able to address 8GB of RAM. – iwaseatenbyagrue Mar 1 '17 at 15:53

From the best answer on this Tom's Hardware post, it seems to depend on your setup.

All in all, it boils down to:

1) Does your CPU support quad channel?
2) Does your CPU support dual channel?

But realistically, as a human, you are very unlikely to notice such differences.

  • I don't know, it's an Intel 2 Duo e8400 – user702859 Mar 1 '17 at 15:29
  • Also it can come down to the physics of wire distance as well... The closer you can get your cpu to the memory the quicker (by minute differences between slots though). This is why the memory slots are generally physically close to the CPU. On this thought, less sticks, closer would be better than a few that are further away. Again this is something you will never actually notice though – Eric F Mar 1 '17 at 15:54
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    @user702859 - Unless you can install 8 DDR2 modules on your motherboard, your CPU, does not support quad channel – Ramhound Mar 1 '17 at 16:07
  • Core2 Duo doesn't have memory controller in CPU like core i series, and Core2 Duo mainboards are probably too old to support quad channel – phuclv Mar 1 '17 at 16:54

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