I just purchased a new PowerSpec desktop from Micro Center. It came with two sticks of 8 Gb ram for a total of 16 Gb and has two more open RAM slots. I want to upgrade the RAM so I have a total of 32 GB. - Question: Is it better to replace the current pair of 8 Gb sticks with two 16 Gb sticks, or is it better to add another pair of 8 Gb sticks in the unoccupied slots, giving me a total of four 8 gb sticks, and a total of 32 gb of RAM? And never mind the difference in cost. I'm more concerned with functionality.
The most important part is that all your sticks have the same specs (optimally they should be the same brand/series). The difference between the performance is near negligible for either 2x16GB or 4x8GB in most cases.
However it also depends on your hardware supporting dual-channel single channel memory. Do you know what motherboard and CPU you have?
I have an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 3.7GHz Processor and my board is a ASRock B550M-C.
Get a second pair that match the speed of the first pair and you are all set.
Ok. Thanks for your advice.
Based on your specs, it appears to be a PowerSpec G511. So yes you'd want to match 2 additional sticks of 8GB.
Makes no difference as long as you don't overclock it. if you overclock it the 4 stick would start to trigger instability
I went to my local Micro Center to buy the extra RAM I wanted. The PC comes with a pair of 8Gb DDR4 running at 2666 Mhz. The sales guy told me that I could save money buying RAM that was on sale, but the RAM was 3000 Mhz. He said it would clock itself back to run at the lower 2666 Mhz capacity. I thought.. yeah probably. But I don't like the idea of mismatching things. So I passed on the savings and bought the matching 2666 Mhz RAM.
Good call. It's unlikely 3000Mhz RAM would have a 2666 JEDEC profile. Most likely it would of clocked all the RAM back to 2133. It does depend on the RAM. If it's got an XMP they're usually only going to program 2133 as a JEDEC for the initial POST. If it's 3000Mhz JEDEC then it probably has 2666, and 2933 profiles. Just something to be aware of.
Hey @WhistleWolf I bought the PowerSpec G511 and upgraded my ram from (2x-8GB)16GB-48GB(AEGIS, DDR4-2666, 2x-16GB) haven't had any issues had it for almost 2 months. I use it for gaming & video editing.
It's always been my experience that matching sets of RAM via product code is a good way to guarantee the best results. If you (or the service department, make sure doing the work yourself won't void any PowerSpec warranties) take out a stick of memory and look for the long product code that's usually printed on the side label and pop that number into Google, it will probably pull up the exact kit you need. If it came from a PowerSpec, there's probably a good chance you can find it in-store, check out the website and see if you can find a matching pair!
To answer the original question of whether or not you should replace the current sticks or add to the set, it depends on what you value more - Future expandability or immediate cost-savings. In nearly any modern consumer-level application, the dual-channel vs. quad-channel argument is likely to matter.
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