So I recently came across some disposable income (AKA Merry Xmas to me) and thought to myself, hmmmmmm, new computer chair? New GPU? Orrrrrrr how about we fill up my RAM slots!!!
I went to Bing, popped in Kingston HyperX 1600 DDR3 and went surfing. Came across an AWESOME deal in the amazon where they were selling what appeared to be my RAM for $75.99. It had a few extra letters and numbers though so I paused for a moment and then took a wave over to Kingston's site where I became enlightened. KHX1600C9D3K2/2GETR while similar, was not in fact the part number on my current sticks KHX1600C9D3/2G (checked w/CPU-Z and then manually to confirm). After a quick call to Kingston to figure out what the heck ETR meant(becuase they failed to list that on their site HA!) I determined that the 2x2GB sticks I had were single channel while the K2 designates the amazonian RAM as dual channel and that the ETR is negligible as it just denotes that it is an online sold RAM versus one you could purchase from a physical store.
Now I happened to find my exact RAM reasonably priced directly from Kingston at $42 a 2GB stick. The next day however, the amazonian RAM offered a deal where there is now a $20 mail in rebate on their RAM, which means for ~$90 I could get 2x2GB of the exact RAM I have or for ~$55 I could get 2x2GB of the dual channel.
Now, I know how to properly seat RAM. I know that matching the RAM in pairs exactly
is the best way to confirm stability, and that the RAM voltage and such can be adjusted in the bios settings if and when needed. That's where my knowledge stops however. I have never had to adjust the bios settings, I've used 2 1GB sticks and 2 512MB sticks together before and had no issues, and while I have breezed over a few articles and wiki pages I wouldn't even consider myself a novice when it comes to RAM. So I thought I would turn to the wonderful seven forums for some helpful tips, tricks, and guidance before I went any further.
1)Are there known issues with using Dual Channel RAM pairs and Single Channel RAM pairs in combination (e.g. 2x2GB Dual w/ 2x2GB Single)?
2)Would it be worth it in your eyes
to ditch the Single Channel RAM completely and go for 4x2GB of the Dual Channel for $150 (with $40 in MIR so really $110) as I've been reading it only adds about ~4% extra performance? I could then sell the 2x2GB RAM (it's had like 4 months of non-O/C use on it) and that would help offset the extra cost as I'm looking at spending ~$90 right now to get the Single RAM from Kingston.
3)A dear friend of mine who uses an i7 mentioned that I would need to up the voltage and probably play with the timing a bit if I added a second pairing of RAM. Is this recommended or even true? I thought AMD CPUs controlled the timings for me, thus saving me the hassle
PC specs should be below my signature and I can post more info if needed!