Does more memory trump matching memory?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by devburke, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    Let's say I wanted to upgrade the memory on an old iMac G5. I know that matching memory modules provide the best performance, but if a mismatched pair would provide more memory, would the advantage of having more memory overcome the advantage to having matched memory?

    tl;dr Which is better, having 2x512 memory that matches, or having 512+1gb memory that doesn't match but provides more memory?
  2. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2008
    A few months ago I was in the same spot you are. I went ahead and added a 1 GB stick because I figured the extra 512 MB would help a lot more than the slight bonus from matched pairs.
  3. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    you'll need more memory

    1GB is barely enough these days
  4. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    Um,I've never mismatched ram,so I wouldn't know,though I've heard never to do it.but that's with my job building pc's.But on a mac?it might handle it,it might not,I don't know.
  5. devburke thread starter Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    This isn’t for me, it’s for my dad’s friend who’s just upgrading her G5 to Leopard. She really doesn’t have heavy needs, so 1.5 GB should be plenty.
  6. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    More memory (major speedup) is usually better than matching sticks for dual-channel (minor speedup).
  7. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    More memory trumps matching memory just about every single time, especially if you wouldn't have enough memory otherwise.

    Unmatched memory may run a bit slower though you'd probably not notice it. But if you don't have enough memory and end up swapping to/from disk, that's thousands of times slower! Not even close.

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