Dual Channel RAM (Non-Apple)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by brop52, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    I'm upgrading the RAM on my aunt's old Gateway 560GE with an Intel 915G chipset and support for dual channel and I have more of an "academic" question than one of great need about dual channel. Namely, it involves the speed of having 3GB dual channel vs. 3.3GB single channel. Their computer isn't that old and their needs aren't that extensive, but I might as well get them the best improvement for the price to help the computer last a bit longer.

    First of all, I have no indication on how much RAM the thing can take. Gateway specifically says 2GB for the 560GE and then goes on to say that 8GB can be installed due to the motherboard with 4GB of addressable space. Crucial and many other places say it can take 4GB The two purchasing options I'm thinking about involve 3GB or 3.3GB so I'm going to assume here that it can in fact take the 4GB (with an assumption that 3.3GB are addressable due to 32 bit).

    I have a couple options to buy RAM. Unfortunately the computer now has an odd setup of 1X1GB and 1X256MB and is therefore not taking advantage of its capability of dual channel. It has four total slots. So:

    Purchasing a 2X1GB set for $60.99 would put it to 3.3GB with 3X1GB and 1X256MB and unfortunately not dual channel. It would be $60.99.

    I'm leaning toward purchasing a 1X1GB chip for $30.99 and 2X512 chips for $36.99 that would put it up to 3GB when removing the original 256MB chip. The benefit would be gaining dual channel with 2X1GB and 2X512MB for $67.98.

    Another good option for dual channel is of course purchasing a 1X1GB chip for $30.99 and a 1X256MB chip for $13.48 that would put it up to 2.5GB for $44.47.

    Any recommendations? I do want to avoid single channel and I know that single applications are limited to 2GB in 32bit XP. Single 3.3GB, dual 3GB, or dual 2.5GB?
     
  2. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    A clear, concise introduction and explanation. Kudos for that.

    You've got an interesting question. As I was reading, I as unsure about something: who's using this computer, and for what?

    To me, the issue of amount of RAM is still one of what is needed. While the temptation to go to +3GB RAM at those prices might be hard to resist, I'd only go that route if the system will be running tasks that address that RAM. Otherwise, 2.5 should be plenty for running typical user tasks.
     
  3. brop52 thread starter macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    This is my aunt's family. They don't do anything intensive, but her husband does use frostwire for some things and he says that everything slows to a crawl after that if trying to browse or do something else. The daughter is in her teens and plays a lot of web games (not that RAM intensive but still). I understand that with XP programs can use up to 2GB but no more than that. The remaining RAM is available to other programs but only up to the "3GB" of addressable system RAM of which about 1GB would be remaining. The other wrench in the system is that this thing does use integrated graphics but only up to 64MB. Web browsing on there does seem a bit slow even with nothing else running.

    I think that the 2.5GB is a good option, but a 256MB chip just seems so miniscule and unfortunately about $14 (with shipping) for that small chip. The computer is not that old (2006 I think) and they should be able to get a good amount of time left out of it. My concern was to make sure that the RAM was not the limiting factor down the road.

    Either way, I think I will probably go to 2.5GB. Thanks for the input.
     

Share This Page