Why 2 is better than 1

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 28, 2007
Updated • Mar 18, 2011

In case you are wondering; I'm talking about computer RAM. I noticed a few days ago that one of the 512 Megabyte bars of RAM that I had installed on my computer was faulty and decided to order two 1 Gigabyte bars to replace both old bars. I had the hopes that the increase would also speed up some resource intensive applications.

While I did not conduct any tests I have the feeling that everything is running just a bit more fluent, a tad faster with less activity on my hard drives. I had a lot of hard drive activity for instance when Newsbin was loading the headers of a popular newsgroup which seemed to have been reduced quite a bit by the increase in RAM.

It should also have a impact on games for instance. I don't play games at the moment except for CIV IV which is an excellent game but not a resource hungry one. It seems to run a bit faster but I could not see a big change here. It will become more obvious when I start playing games like Hellgate London for instance.

I'm running XP which does not need that much RAM. If I would be running Vista instead I would probably see a big increase in performance though. I sometimes have to work with large videos and a short test has shown that the video editing application uses the additional Gigabyte well.

So, yes it is faster. Yes it reduces load on the hard drives. Yes it is totally worth it. At least for me.


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  1. Eric said on July 29, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Dual channel can have a nice affect on performance – but like you said, that is generally with demanding games. More memory is better – even with Windows XP. Vista is hobbled at 512MB. Hmmmm… I think I might pull out Civ for a couple hours of gaming.

  2. Martin said on July 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Yes it is dual channel. I probably do some tests when I find the time..

  3. vance said on July 28, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    some poeple recommend 4 pcs of 512 mb rams than 2 pcs of 1 gb rams.. but it still depends on the buyer especially if you want to have some more room for memory ugrades.

  4. NomenNescio said on July 28, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Assuming, ofcourse ,that the computer in question even has a dual-channel capable motherboard and CPU.

  5. NomenNescio said on July 28, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    If you do plan to conduct any test, also do them with the working 512MB stick still in there. Sure, you’d lose the extra 50-60% (at best) memory bandwidth but do you actually use any apps that benefit that much from the extra bandwidth, apart from some benchmark programs ?
    Then you’d have the full 2GB all for your apps with 512MB for windows kernel.

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