Why would my computer run smoother with 2GB rather than 4GB of ram. Recently I purchased a new set of 2X 2gb Gskill ram from Newegg. I was running Windows XP 32bit so I didn't even put all 4gb in there, I did test it for a while but it was running like crap, so I figured it was just because of the 32bit not being able to map all 4gb of ram.

Now I am running Windows 7 64bit and it can map all 4gb of ram, but it runs not too well. It's not smooth, programs take longer to load, video is choppy and it's just all around worse. The moment I take out 2GB stick out of my Intel motherboard it runs great again.

How can I fix this problem? I have ran the Windows Mem Test, it rebooted and scanned 2 of 2 and came up with no problems.

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo 2x 2gb gSkill ram Nvidia 9800 GT

  • 1
    Assuming you had completely different memory before the upgrade, it sounds like a fault or a hardware incompatibility with the new memory. Get it returned/RMA'd. – sblair Nov 7 '09 at 2:50
  • It is the same ram from before when I was using Windows XP. The only difference is I added the second 2GB stick into the computer. – AskaGamer Nov 7 '09 at 2:55
  • What motherboard is it? – MartW Nov 7 '09 at 10:07
  • Intel DQ965MT Motherboard – AskaGamer Nov 12 '09 at 3:36
  • I just tried different RAM, this time I used OCZ 2x2gb and same problem. So it is finally not the RAM it must be my motherboard. I guess it's time to upgrade to the i7 or QuadCore – AskaGamer Nov 17 '09 at 7:47

Nobody seems to be considering the motherboard as the culprit, although it very well could be. The more memory modules you use, the more strain there is on the northbridge. There could be underlying issues with that motherboard and multiple RAM modules. Maybe there is something wrong with the northbridge. Do you have another motherboard to test them out on?

  • 1
    unfortunately I don't. – AskaGamer Nov 7 '09 at 3:41
  • 2
    do you notice any performance difference using 1 module by itself in each of the slots? Try running a benchmark with 1 module, using it in each slot. – John T Nov 7 '09 at 3:45
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    no difference in ram sticks, they both run the same when their in by themselves. – AskaGamer Nov 10 '09 at 4:01

There's absolutely no reason for Windows 7 to run slower on 4Gb when compared to 2Gb. Although it also should be said there's no reason for it to run faster. As long as the RAM isn't exhausted and paging doesn't occur, 2GB, 4GB, or 20Gb will perform just about the same.

However, you have there one of 3 possible situations:

  1. Faulty RAM module. Wouldn't hurt to try each 2Gb module individually and see if you note a difference in performance. After that, if both modules seem normal,
  2. Some BIOS issue. Once the 4Gb are installed, on first boot enter BIOS and choose the Default Setting options. If it still keeps happening,
  3. A Windows 7 problem. You can try to repair the Windows installation after installing the memory.

If the problem persists, it's got to be an issue with your motherboard chipset or some problem with the second memory bay. in which case it's best if you sent your computer for repair. Most computer repair shops (assuming it's not under warranty anymore) have just the right software to test all your motherboard parts and the RAM modules to try and detect the origin of the problem.

Oh, wait! I can see from the comment you just now posted to your question, you only bought a 2GB stick. It's very possible your two memory modules aren't compatible and that is the root of your problem. You should always buy compatible RAM (RAM having similar specifications). Preferably from the same maker. Please let us know the brand and specs of both sticks.

  • They are identical came in the same package, it was a 2x 2GB ram DDR2 from gSkill. I only used 2gb of it before because I thought it wouldn't work right due to 32bit. But now I am using Windows 7 64bit so I added the other 2GB ram that came in the same package. – AskaGamer Nov 7 '09 at 3:30
  • Ah, ok. Gotcha. editing that bit off my post then – A Dwarf Nov 7 '09 at 3:32

Does this speed decrease occur even when the new memory is the only memory in the system? It's possible that there is an Bios issue with 4 Gb of memory... Are there any Bios updates for your system?

Is your new memory the same speed as the old memory? It could be that the motherboard is set for interleaving, and there is an issue between the two ram sticks...

Just because your running 64 bit, does not guarantee a significant speed increase...

  • I think you are misunderstanding. I have only 2x 2gb gskill ram. I used them with XP and had this same problem, so I took 2gb of the ram out and it works fine. They are identical ram that came packaged together. I figured it was because of XP 32bit, but it still is very slow even now when I use Windows 7 64bit. I am guessing it must be the BIOS or setting on mobo that causes fault when using 4gb ram. I mean the computer works, I just can see a noticeable slowness and choppy video. – AskaGamer Nov 7 '09 at 3:28

It happened the very same thing to me over a year ago. I have memory modules Transcend 4 x 1GB, 800 MHz, 5-5-5-18. My mobo is Intel DG33BU, chipset G33, southbridge ICH9.

I tested 4 GBs RAM in XP, Vista and 7. All x64 obviously. And it actually happened that 4 GBs would reduce my PC's performance. It was mostly visible while playing video and flash animations.

What did I do? Actually I tortured my PC. I even remember becoming so frustrated I just pulled the modules off the mobo while Windows operative.

I worked some time (around four months) with 3 GBs even when this was not suggested by Intel (they do recommend to keep memory modules symmetric along the channels), and it worked pretty well. Then I installed Win7 64 Beta, and I returned the missing module. And it started working pretty good. I actually screwed up my mobo so much, it finally decided to cooperate.

So far, it's not the memory for I have tested every single module on Windows XP and they all worked the same. Never flashed or updated my BIOS although I expect to do this and retrieve data concerning possible performance improvements. I thought 4 modules with latency 5 over 4 sticks would hurt the data exchange rate with processor (Core 2 Duo), but nobody ever answered this to me in an explanatory way.

This is my experience. Not so great, but in the end it worked. I screwed up the built-in audio card, though.

  • This doesn't seem to be an answer – Mooing Duck Apr 20 '15 at 19:00

What are the speeds of the RAM? Maybe you had some fast memory to begin with (the 1GB sticks) and then the new RAM you got was a slower clock speed, or slower timings. A lot of people overlook this when they buy RAM, and just say oh, it fits, it must work!

  • They came in a package as a 2x 2GB set. Both are DDR2 PC6400. I am not a noob. – AskaGamer Nov 8 '09 at 0:32

That really sounds like a hardware problem; there is no reason that should be happening. Have you checks for a BIOS update for your motherboard?

If not that then if you could find some other RAM to swap in to see if the RAM is the problem. Or but the RAM in another computer, etc.

  • I've tried to locate a bios update but cannot find any. And unfortunately I do not have extra money to buy more ram to see if different ram work. – AskaGamer Nov 10 '09 at 4:03

Have you tried the Memory stick that works good in the Memory slot that you think is bad? Or a second Idea would be to update the Bios. Or check the mother board makers web site for software updates. Or simple you may have a bad Mobo. Or the memory may be bad.

You have plenty of good info to filter thru on here. Best of luck to you on this issue.

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