Question Is RAM labeled “4GB(2x2GB)” actually 4GB?

May 5, 2019
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I’ve seen this conversation all over the place, but I’ve never read a definitive answer. I’ve checked out the instructions for ASUS Sabertooth x58 motherboard and tried different physical RAM placements. (A1, B1, C1)(A1, A2; with only two cards)(A1 with only one card) and (A1, B1, C1) in a completely different computer. Each time the RAM total is as if each card only has 2GB each. Why then would Corsair put a “4GB” on the label? Why would Newegg and other places advertise them as 4GB cards if they aren’t?

I have 3 cards; each labeled -
“CMD4GX3M2A1600C9” and below that it is labeled ”4GB(2x2GB)2048MB 1600MHz 9-9-9-24”.

The mobo supports single, dual and tri-channel RAM. It supports 4GB in each of the 6 slots. The OS is running Win7Pro. The CPU has always shown 6GB RAM since it arrived. (ie, 3 cards labeled “4GB”. And one would assume that the BIOS and other operations to be up-to-date and running properly before shipping). Memory checks show no problems.

I noticed my shortage-of-RAM issue when I decided to max out my RAM for this mobo and buy 24GB. I opened the case and discovered that I could have been (or, should have been) operating with 12GB for the last 7 years instead of 6GB. I don’t want to take the chance in buying RAM labeled “4GB(2x2GB)” if I’ll only end up with 12GB. (6 slots with 2GB each).

If anyone can figure this one out I will be eternally grateful.
 
May 5, 2019
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I should’ve included that my Win7 Pro is 64-bit. The BIOS and Windows info indicates that 6GB of physical RAM is installed.

When a RAM “kit” is labeled 4GB (2x2GB) and there are 2 sticks in the package it makes perfect sense that the total could be 4GB. However, when there is no kit, meaning that the sticks are already installed and each individual stick is labeled 4GB, I would think each stick is 4GB. Similar to the olden days when disks were single sided and double sided. A single sided 3.5” floppy had 700KB. A dual-sided disk had 1.4MB. Twice the storage. Is a 2x2GB RAM stick made in a somewhat similar fashion? (ie, two sides of memory or maybe even two memory parts consisting of 2GB each that make up one physical stick). In that case it should just be labeled a 4GB stick; not a 2x2GB. If it’s not a 4GB stick, don’t label it a 2x2.

I don’t have a carton with 1x12 eggs. I have a carton with 12 eggs. Similarly, if you gave me a carton “2x6 eggs” I would assume you’re giving me 12 eggs, not 6, which would be 1x6.
 

AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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Well, I have seen "kits" (pairs or quads) of RAM labelled with the total capacity of the aggregate memory, but that's on the sale unit package, not on the individual module. If I've handled modules that are labelled as you have described, I have never noticed that, and would consider it anomalous.

You made me get my box-o-DIMMS out of the closet, and check. I have nothing in there having that style of labeling on them, and most are DIMMS that have been bought in pairs or quads.....none of it is Corsair, though, so maybe that's one of their own idiosyncrasies for multiple DIMM packages.
 

Pythonbites

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Feb 19, 2017
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It means 2 sticks 2 of 2 GB. It's much faster to do this with dual channel and doubles your bandwidth. If you have 4 or morememory slots and/or don't plan on upgrading any time too soon, get that instead of 1x4gb
 
May 5, 2019
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Thanks for you’re input. If it appears that I’m on a rant, it’s not with you or anyone here.

If links are allowed here, check this out. These sticks have similar labeling methods. (The link is for informational purposes only. I’m not endorsing or selling anything).
https://m.newegg.com/product/9SIAH9B8Y50358?m_ver=1

Put both of these sticks side by side and you might assume that you’ll have 4GB once installed. Take one of the stick away and it gets confusing. There still remains a “4GB” on the label, but it’s unclear what you’re actually getting. In my specific case there are three unpackaged sticks, each labeled 4GB(2x2GB).

I might just steer clear of Corsair and other brands that label sticks in this way.
 

AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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I figure that a pilot point Sharpie marker will take care of that. Nonetheless, having had this called to attention, I would just assume that, given that sort of notation, I'm dealing with kit components--one DIMM is a 2GB DIMM that belongs to a 4GB matched pair. Might as well just roll with it.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Thanks for you’re input. If it appears that I’m on a rant, it’s not with you or anyone here.

If links are allowed here, check this out. These sticks have similar labeling methods. (The link is for informational purposes only. I’m not endorsing or selling anything).
https://m.newegg.com/product/9SIAH9B8Y50358?m_ver=1

Put both of these sticks side by side and you might assume that you’ll have 4GB once installed. Take one of the stick away and it gets confusing. There still remains a “4GB” on the label, but it’s unclear what you’re actually getting. In my specific case there are three unpackaged sticks, each labeled 4GB(2x2GB).

I might just steer clear of Corsair and other brands that label sticks in this way.
Yes you are correct, the label can cause issues if you are not aware that they are part of a kit. Many RAM kits are actually listed that way, the HyperX kits I usually use have a /16 in the part name even though the sticks are 8 gb each.
 

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