Question Is there much of a difference between, 1x16GB of RAM and 2x8GB RAM

Dec 7, 2020
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I'm looking to upgrade my ram as when playing games and trying to use my second monitor for simple tasks like watching youtube and generally using Google or streaming I can get some major delay. I checked my task manager and when doing so found that my RAM was running at around 97% while my CPU and GPU are running at 50-65%. It could also be due to my poor SSD but from my research it seems to be something with my RAM. I do have 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000MHz and was wondering if its worth getting two more of the same or just getting one stick of 16GB as it is dramatically cheaper but if I also want to upgrade my PC down the line it means I don't have to throw away RAM to get a better stick as I will have one if that makes sense. My CPU also has 2 memory channels.

Not the best with computer parts so any information will be greatly apprenticed :)
 
What is the make/model of the rest of your parts?
Motherboard, cpu psu,cooler...?

Dual channel ram makes a big difference if you are using integrated graphics.
Otherwise not much on intel, but more so on ryzen processors.

Normally, 16gb is plenty.
You might look into why you are using so much.
Google chrome is a notorious over-user of ram.

Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
A motherboard must manage all the ram using the same specs of voltage, cas and speed.
The internal workings are designed for the capacity of the kit.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards, can be very sensitive to this.
This is more difficult when more sticks are involved.

If you do buy more disparate sticks, they should be the same speed, voltage and cas numbers.
Even then your chances of working are less than 100%
I might guess 90% success for intel and less for amd.

What is your plan "B" if the new stick/s do not work?

If you want 32gb, I see three options if your motherboard allows.
  1. You can buy a single 16gb stick.
  2. You can buy a 2 x 8gb kit.
  3. Buy a 2 x 16gb kit.
My suggestion if you have an intel motherboard is to buy a 2 x 16gb kit that matches your current specs.
Then, try adding in your old 2 x 8gb. ram.
If it works, good; you now have 48gb.
If not, sell the old ram or keep it as a spare.

If you have a ryzen processor, ram compatibility is much trickier.
 
Dec 7, 2020
9
0
10
0
What is the make/model of the rest of your parts?
Motherboard, cpu psu,cooler...?

Dual channel ram makes a big difference if you are using integrated graphics.
Otherwise not much on intel, but more so on ryzen processors.

Normally, 16gb is plenty.
You might look into why you are using so much.
Google chrome is a notorious over-user of ram.

Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
A motherboard must manage all the ram using the same specs of voltage, cas and speed.
The internal workings are designed for the capacity of the kit.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards, can be very sensitive to this.
This is more difficult when more sticks are involved.

If you do buy more disparate sticks, they should be the same speed, voltage and cas numbers.
Even then your chances of working are less than 100%
I might guess 90% success for intel and less for amd.

What is your plan "B" if the new stick/s do not work?

If you want 32gb, I see three options if your motherboard allows.
  1. You can buy a single 16gb stick.
  2. You can buy a 2 x 8gb kit.
  3. Buy a 2 x 16gb kit.
My suggestion if you have an intel motherboard is to buy a 2 x 16gb kit that matches your current specs.
Then, try adding in your old 2 x 8gb. ram.
If it works, good; you now have 48gb.
If not, sell the old ram or keep it as a spare.

If you have a ryzen processor, ram compatibility is much trickier.
So basically my CPU is a I5-9600kf so it doesn't have integrated graphics. My graphics card is a 2060 Super MSI. I honestly thought that 16GB would be enough when playing games but it seems like games are changing and becoming very heavy on RAM again as when I'm playing Tarkov it uses from around 10GB - 12GB of RAM. Haven't done my research if I can limit the amount of RAM used and not get any side affects of it.

Plan B was to upgrade my processor as some games can also be very heavy on the CPU and not graphics heavy. Motherboard is a ASUS PRIME Z390-P.

Thank you for your input and information though its always good to learn something new.
 
Games will always have some limitation.
It will vary by game.
Be it cpu, graphics, ram, thread count.

Your suspicion on ram might well be correct.
Google chrome is a notorious user of ram and may well be the culprit, no matter how much ram you have.
Look in task manager/memory tab and open up resource manager.
You may find interesting things.
In particular look at the hard fault page rate.
Anything more that zero indicates a ram shortage.

Here are a few tests to try to identify other limitations.

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
Conversely what a 30% improvement in core speed might do.

c) You can also experiment with removing one or more cores/threads. You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to one less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.
 
Dec 7, 2020
9
0
10
0
Games will always have some limitation.
It will vary by game.
Be it cpu, graphics, ram, thread count.

Your suspicion on ram might well be correct.
Google chrome is a notorious user of ram and may well be the culprit, no matter how much ram you have.
Look in task manager/memory tab and open up resource manager.
You may find interesting things.
In particular look at the hard fault page rate.
Anything more that zero indicates a ram shortage.

Here are a few tests to try to identify other limitations.

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
Conversely what a 30% improvement in core speed might do.

c) You can also experiment with removing one or more cores/threads. You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to one less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.
Thanks man I will be sure to try it out
 

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