RAM Upgrade - 'Matched Pairs' ?

ReviloRevilo Registered User regular
I wana upgrade my laptop's 3gig of ram.
Will the performance be better if I take out the 1gig card and put in a 2gig? (So i would have two 2gig cards) Or would a 2gig and two 1gigs work just as well?

My laptops a sony viao VGN-FW21L by the way.

Revilo on


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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm far from an expert on these things so I'm sure there will be more detailed posts from more knowledgeable people after mine that you should listen to instead. However, it's a bit more complex than this I think.

    First of all, what operating system are you running? If it's 64-bit, all good. If it's 32-bit, you won't be able to take full advantage of more than 3 gigs of RAM.

    Secondly, besides the issue of having "matched pairs," the speed of the different sticks of RAM themselves matters. I believe that if they're different, the whole kit and kaboodle will run at the speed of the slowest stick. That may not matter for what you're doing with the computer if you have more RAM overall, but it is something to keep in mind.

    Gaslight on
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    Mr. ButtonsMr. Buttons Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Basically what Gaslight said.... any increase in total ram is going to be limited by having vista 32.... if you swap that 1gig stick for a 2gig stick, you're only going to be able to use 3/4 of it and it's going to cost you around $30... if you decide to swap out both sticks to put in a pair of matching dual channel (2x2gig) you'll get a somewhat noticeable speed increase with the ram, but again you'll be limited with the computer not being able to use the entire amount of ram... and you'll end up having spent around $70 (prices I saw ranged between $60 and $85ish)

    on a 32-bit MS system, you should be pretty good with the 3 gigs. Your performance will be improved with the increase in ram (with either adjustment you were thinking about), but I don't think that you'll see a worthwhile "bang for the buck"

    Mr. Buttons on
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    EasilyAmusedEasilyAmused Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I couldn't find detailed specifications on that particular model, but given the specs I saw of it, I would be very surprised to find that it had more than 2 ram slots anyway, meaning that a two gig stick and 2 one gig sticks is not a viable option. And unless you are running 64 bit OS, then I don't think you will see a whole lot of an increase in performance, and even then performance gain is going to minimal. I think you may see a larger performance increase upgrading to a faster hard drive, ssd if you don't need a lot of space of a hybrid drive, of course assuming that the old drive is 5400 rpm or slower. For me that made a larger difference in responsiveness than a small memory upgrade did.

    EasilyAmused on
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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    According to Crucial, you have two non-matched banks. So you could have two 2GB sticks or one 1GB and one 2GB.

    So I wouldn't bother as you would only get another "500MB" of memory for $40 at best.

    MichaelLC on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Also most mobos want to do dual channel mode for faster memory performance. It lets the comp use 2 sticks as one pair for better throughput. That's what most companies "matched pair" sets are tested for.

    if you try to do this with two sticks that aren't matched you may get errors or massive slowdown. I've even had trouble matching different sets of the same exactly make and model sticks before.

    nexuscrawler on
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