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  4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel? 
 
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~Vel Nov 16, 2010, 08:51pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I'm considering doing a RAM upgrade to my laptop, mostly because I've been doing some photo editing in Aperture and it's eating up all my memory. I've got a Core 2 Duo with a FSB of 1066MHz and the RAM is and will be running at the same rate. I'm debating between getting 2x2GB or 1x4GB. If I were to choose the latter, I'd just swap it out with one of my 1GB chips, giving me 5GB of RAM in single channel versus 4GB in dual channel. What would you guys advise?


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PIRATE Nov 16, 2010, 08:56pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
I'd say 4gb in Dual Channel. Double the bandwith is a no brainer, in my opinion that is.

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Intel Core 2 6400 2.1ghz / ASUS SLI Deluxe / 4gb DDR2 800 G.Skill / ATi Radeon HD 3870 512mb OC / 7 years old Seagate Barracuda 160gb 7200
Nov 16, 2010, 09:02pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Nov 16, 2010, 09:04pm EST

 
>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
Are you running full up on memory? If that's the case, I would think you'd want to go for the 5GB. Reading from single-channel memory is still a fuxload faster than reading from a page/swap file on disk.

This is for the MacBook? That little guy can handle 8GB, can't it?

Le Egg has 2x4GB of G.SKILL DDR3-1066 for $120.

~Vel Nov 16, 2010, 09:13pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Nov 16, 2010, 09:14pm EST

 
>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
McFly said:
Are you running full up on memory? If that's the case, I would think you'd want to go for the 5GB. Reading from single-channel memory is still a fuxload faster than reading from a page/swap file on disk.

This is for the MacBook? That little guy can handle 8GB, can't it?


Yep, that'd be the case. The main thing is that I don't know how big of a deal dual channel actually is. & yeah, it can handle 8GB but I'm working on slowly saving up for something big down the road & I was really only thinking of spending ~$75.

john albrich Nov 16, 2010, 09:56pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?

First I'd verify the notebook in fact supports dual-channel.

I don't know how MacBooks handle memory/HDD swapfile(s), but...if it's done with a single file then I'd see if I could determine the maximum size the OS ever setup for me while using Aperture. If it's under 3 or 4GB, then I'd go for the dual-channel config you're looking at. If it's consistently larger, I'd go for the 5GB RAM config. I can't see dual-channel v. single-channel memory advantage exceeding the advantage of significantly reducing memory/HDD swapfile activity.

If you can't directly correlate swapfile size, then I'd use a program to get some metrics on HDD activity related to Aperture and its support processes.

PIRATE Nov 16, 2010, 11:37pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
Mr. Albrich, sir, you are a genius. Would you marry me and bear my children?

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Intel Core 2 6400 2.1ghz / ASUS SLI Deluxe / 4gb DDR2 800 G.Skill / ATi Radeon HD 3870 512mb OC / 7 years old Seagate Barracuda 160gb 7200
~Vel Nov 17, 2010, 01:05am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
john albrich said:

First I'd verify the notebook in fact supports dual-channel.

I don't know how MacBooks handle memory/HDD swapfile(s), but...if it's done with a single file then I'd see if I could determine the maximum size the OS ever setup for me while using Aperture. If it's under 3 or 4GB, then I'd go for the dual-channel config you're looking at. If it's consistently larger, I'd go for the 5GB RAM config. I can't see dual-channel v. single-channel memory advantage exceeding the advantage of significantly reducing memory/HDD swapfile activity.

If you can't directly correlate swapfile size, then I'd use a program to get some metrics on HDD activity related to Aperture and its support processes.


Good thinking on the amount of swap being used... I'll be monitoring that; thanks john.

Nov 17, 2010, 11:15am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 11:15am EST

 
>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
john albrich (70933) said on Nov 16, 2010 at 06:56pm PST:
I can't see dual-channel v. single-channel memory advantage exceeding the advantage of significantly reducing memory/HDD swapfile activity.

Yup yup yup.

~Vel (69519) said on Nov 16, 2010 at 06:13pm PST:
I'm working on slowly saving up for something big down the road & I was really only thinking of spending ~$75.

Another MacBook?

~Vel Nov 17, 2010, 01:35pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
McFly said:
john albrich (70933) said on Nov 16, 2010 at 06:56pm PST:
I can't see dual-channel v. single-channel memory advantage exceeding the advantage of significantly reducing memory/HDD swapfile activity.

Yup yup yup.

~Vel (69519) said on Nov 16, 2010 at 06:13pm PST:
I'm working on slowly saving up for something big down the road & I was really only thinking of spending ~$75.

Another MacBook?

Depends, I've still got a year and a half of my warranty left and I'm not really being held back by the hardware with the exception of RAM and HD space/speed (holding out for cheaper SSDs, naturally). My biggest priority right now actually is getting a car of my own.

Nov 17, 2010, 06:36pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
~Vel (69519) said on Nov 17, 2010 at 10:35am PST:
My biggest priority right now actually is getting a car of my own.

Problem solved:
http://imgur.com/sGlcX.jpg

~Vel Nov 17, 2010, 07:07pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 07:08pm EST

 
>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
Hah! I'd love to have an Audi if they were reliable and affordable; sans all the Apples**t in it.

Meats_Of_Evil Nov 17, 2010, 11:31pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
PIRATE (91128) said on Nov 17, 2010 at 00:37 AST:
Mr. Albrich, sir, you are a genius. Would you marry me and bear my children?



Lol you crazy man, you crazy.

McFly (52972) said on Nov 17, 2010 at 19:36 AST:
Problem solved:
http://imgur.com/sGlcX.jpg


I want an Audi too :(

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Everything I write is Sarcasm.
john albrich Nov 18, 2010, 03:56am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
PIRATE said:
Mr. Albrich, sir, you are a genius. Would you marry me and bear my children?


Whoa! I missed that one until MOE brought it up!

It's a very sweet offer, Pirate, and I'm sure we'd be happy...but I think you couldn't provide the dowry of 100,000 shares of MSFT. Of course if you can...well....Anna somehow worked things out with J. Howard Marshall after all.

~Vel Nov 22, 2010, 04:19pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
Went with a 4GB module that was on special on Newegg for $56 with free 3 day shipping. Can't wait! And to think I was going to buy 2x2GB for $110 back in August...

Nov 22, 2010, 04:26pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
~Vel (69519) said on Nov 22, 2010 at 01:19pm PST:
Went with a 4GB module that was on special on Newegg for $56 with free 3 day shipping. Can't wait! And to think I was going to buy 2x2GB for $110 back in August...

Did you have to get "Mac-certified" memory? When I was shopping around for laptop memory, every time I read a review there people saying "OMG this doesn't work in my MacBook."

~Vel Nov 22, 2010, 04:34pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Nov 22, 2010, 04:46pm EST

 
>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
Not by this company (AllComponents/Avant North America), I was originally going to with Kingston because the price difference was negligible and the companies that offer both say, "You should've gotten our Apple modules." I'm thinking it's something about Apple's EFI being picky with latency and voltage settings.

Anyways, I was weary because of that, so I searched the reviews for 'macbook' and one of them said they did the same thing I plan on doing (1GB + 4GB) and it worked fine for them, along with other reviewers who were successful with multiple other combinations. Warranty is also limited lifetime so I'm content with that. :_)

tl;dr: No. :P

~Vel Nov 29, 2010, 02:15pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Nov 29, 2010, 02:18pm EST

 
>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
It's here! And it works! :)

Relevant Xbench results:

2x1GB

Memory Test 179.50
>System 206.24
>>Allocate 238.65 876.41 Kalloc/sec
>>Fill 177.10 8611.21 MB/sec
>>Copy 212.33 4385.49 MB/sec
>Stream 158.90
>>Copy 153.15 3163.27 MB/sec
>>Scale 149.83 3095.36 MB/sec
>>Add 167.38 3565.57 MB/sec
>>Triad 166.80 3568.23 MB/sec

4+1GB

Memory Test 185.35
>System 224.50
>>Allocate 329.50 1.21 Malloc/sec
>>Fill 177.93 8651.35 MB/sec
>>Copy 212.39 4386.91 MB/sec
>Stream 157.83
>>Copy 151.65 3132.34 MB/sec
>>Scale 148.75 3073.03 MB/sec
>>Add 166.95 3556.32 MB/sec
>>Triad 165.65 3543.73 MB/sec

Small hit on streaming memory; an average of about 20MB/s less, but that's less than 1% speed traded off for 150% more RAM. I'll take it. :cool:

Dublin_Gunner Nov 29, 2010, 06:05pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
Open up a large file in it, with filters etc, use as much of the program as you can, and check to see how much memory its using.

If its less than 4GiB, you may have been better off going for the 2x2.

The benches would seem to suggest that there's not much difference in those operations (as I'd imagine most are straight CPU rendering tasks)

Your 'allocations per second' (whatever that refers to) seems to have taken a bit of a jump though. I wonder what that effects in real world usage though...

Lancool PC K62
Phenom II x3 @ 3.5Ghz
4GB DDR2-800
ASUS GTX570 DirectCU II
~Vel Nov 29, 2010, 09:56pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
Dublin_Gunner said:
Open up a large file in it, with filters etc, use as much of the program as you can, and check to see how much memory its using.

If its less than 4GiB, you may have been better off going for the 2x2.

The benches would seem to suggest that there's not much difference in those operations (as I'd imagine most are straight CPU rendering tasks)

Your 'allocations per second' (whatever that refers to) seems to have taken a bit of a jump though. I wonder what that effects in real world usage though...


Yeah, I've been working on thrashing it a bit today, I'm thinking I probably could've gone with 2x2 but the 4GB module was actually equal in price to the 2x2GB kits I was finding so I figured I'd just go for it.

The IGP actually takes up 256MB of my RAM so I'd be working with 3.75GB and I'm peaking just over that while processing filters, and that without competing with any other major applications open so I'm thinking it was a good choice.

As far as the speed goes, I don't really notice a difference. If anything I'd be inclined to say that the applications I have set to start at login open slightly faster, but it's probably just a placebo effect.

According to Xbench, the allocation score "measures the system's ability to allocate many varying-sized blocks of data, using standard system calls." Actually, you can ad lib "allocate" in that definition with fill and copy in respect to system scores. The streaming scores "use 64-bit doubles and AltiVec cache prefetching when appropriate," which I don't know enough to completely differentiate between the definitions.

Nov 30, 2010, 01:03am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
~Vel (69519) said on Nov 29, 2010 at 11:15am PST:
Small hit on streaming memory; an average of about 20MB/s less, but that's less than 1% speed traded off for 150% more RAM. I'll take it. :cool:

That sounds pretty good to me. :_)

I'm having the opposite problem -- when I'm not running VMware Workstation, too much of my memory is doing nothing! I've been trying to get the preload daemon (kinda like prefetch/Superfetch in Windows) to be more aggressive in caching programs that I may use in the near future.

~Vel Nov 30, 2010, 01:47am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 4GB dual channel or 5GB single channel?
lol. Tomorrow I'm going to see if there are any real optimizations I can do with caching & the such. There's less than 20 MB in my SWAP memory which I'm pretty sure is just so it exists, so there's nothing for me to do with that. I'm considering downloading Parallels again and getting a Win7 VM going just for the hell of it. I'm starting to think that my next laptop might be my only computer if quad core is mainstream and DDR4 is cheap, that and a reasonably priced SSD that's over 256GB (2-3 years from now? I know, I'm dreaming). But I mean, there's not much point in having two aside from having a backup when one can do all you ask of it.


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