Question 4x8gb or 2x16gb memory, which option is best?

Erik Poerksen

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Sep 9, 2014
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My current RAM is:

Ballistix Sport LT Gray 16GB DDR4-2666 UDIMM

in the form of 2x8gb sticks. I just recently upgraded most of my PC components and am now thinking it might be smart to also upgrade my RAM. I am not sure if I should just buy another set of 2x8GB sticks to match my current or if I should buy a new set of 2x16GB sticks. Buying another set of 2x8GB would obviously be cheaper, and from the searching I did there does not seem to be a performance difference between 2x16 sticks or 4x8 sticks. However, I am not so concerned about saving money as the price difference is not that bad IMO, so I am wondering if it would be smarter to buy a completely new set of sticks with a higher clock speed as I assume a second set of sitcks would have to match my current ones' clock speeds? My current motherboard is:

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-F GAMING

Any recommendations on which ram to buy or general advice on what to look for would also be appreciated.
 
Don't go the mixing RAM route. It could work fine. It could not work.

4 sticks put more stress on the memory controller an sometime you can't achieve the advertised speed.

2x16GB 3200MHz would be good.

Make sure the RAM is on the motherboard QVL list or the XMP might not work.
 

Erik Poerksen

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Sep 9, 2014
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Don't go the mixing RAM route. It could work fine. It could not work.

4 sticks put more stress on the memory controller an sometime you can't achieve the advertised speed.

2x16GB 3200MHz would be good.

Make sure the RAM is on the motherboard QVL list or the XMP might not work.
Would something like this make sense? https://pcpartpicker.com/list/TPHy3Z

They didnt have a 3200 one where I typically buy my parts, only the 3600
 
Do you actually need more than 16gb for whatever you are doing?

Intel is not particularly sensitive to ram speeds, so do not expect to see any real performance improvement going from 2666 to even 3600.

OTOH, if your apps can make use of more ram like photoshop, or if you keep many google chrome tabs open, then more ram is good.

Intel is dual channel so there is no difference in performance between 2 x 16gb and 4 x 8gb kits.

3600 would, I think, be an appropriate speed.
Just to be certain, go to the corsair ram selection app and enter your motherboard.
You can safely buy any kit that shows up as supported.
 
No, more RAM is not always better. If you are running a system that only used 6GB of RAM for typical tasks having 8, 16, 32, or 128 GB of RAM would all offer the same performance.
Its all about use.
So that's why we never went beyond 640k, right? :LOL:

I remember when 4MB was 'all you would ever need'. And then it became 16MB, next thing you know it was 1GB, then 4GB, then 8GB, and today it's 16GB. Never think that you'll not be able to use extra memory if your OS is already capable of using it. Software bloat is a real thing and grows exponentially, so you'll always need more ram, especially with the caching that's done on modern OSes with spare memory to utilize it.
 

Gam3r01

Titan
Moderator
So that's why we never went beyond 640k, right? :LOL:

I remember when 4MB was 'all you would ever need'. And then it became 16MB, next thing you know it was 1GB, then 4GB, then 8GB, and today it's 16GB. Never think that you'll not be able to use extra memory if your OS is already capable of using it. Software bloat is a real thing and grows exponentially, so you'll always need more ram, especially with the caching that's done on modern OSes with spare memory to utilize it.
RAM consumption is certainly going to increase as time goes on, but there is nothing worse than seeing people dump extra money into capacity they dont need now to just have to replace it when the next generation of RAM comes around.
I just hit the point where I needed more than 16GB of RAM for lightroom, does that mean I should have bought 32 gigs of DDR3 1333MHz RAM back when I first built my previous rig? Of course not.
 
RAM consumption is certainly going to increase as time goes on, but there is nothing worse than seeing people dump extra money into capacity they dont need now to just have to replace it when the next generation of RAM comes around.
I just hit the point where I needed more than 16GB of RAM for lightroom, does that mean I should have bought 32 gigs of DDR3 1333MHz RAM back when I first built my previous rig? Of course not.
I'm not saying that either--don't blow money unnecessarily. But if you're having to ask if you have enough ram, you probably don't have enough ram.

And when the next generation of anything comes out, it will not just be ram, but a whole new motherboard and more. The 'new' is also a lot more expensive like how ddr4 was well over 2x the price of ddr3 initially. In fact, it is only recently that ddr4 is the same price as ddr3 finally.

There is a value point in memory, like any other component. But ram is also the only component that is directly connected to the cpu and the primary storage medium in computer architecture (all others are secondary and wouldn't even exist if ram was cheap enough or simply enough storage--see embedded systems for examples of that), and to skimp on ram or not invest in it as a way to prevent 'slow' in the first place is just foolish. No ssd, gpu, or any other magic will ever boost system performance like sufficient and even extra ram since caching uses all that extra ram.
 
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