Calvin Cutts said:
I have an i7 4770K overclocked to 4.4ghz. Would 4x4gb be better then 2x8? And all I'll be doing is loading up the XMP preset in the RAM.
If you don't want to study a lot more about memory management, and research your hardware, firmware, and software, then you already have 2 votes for Corsair over GSkill.
As for (a)x(b)GBconfiguration...go with what your hardware and budget allow, and any plans for expansion or using the memory in future platforms you may have. However, regardless of any technical merits in your specific implementation one way or the other, I suspect for whatever reasons you'll always be subjectively "what if" wary of the 4x4GB configuration and will end up being happier just "going with" 2x8GB.
I had hoped that if you were that committed to overclocking optimization, that my original post would be sufficient to get you to do a LOT more self-study about overclocking and memory management for your specific implementation. It can be rewarding in a faster and reliable machine and simply the accomplishment of doing so. Simple internet searches can identify tutorials and fora in which these are discussed in much more detail than I could possibly discuss here.
A lot of other people already have done a lot of work to help people in this area and you need to take advantage of that existing knowledge and expertise.
Memory overclocking can be very challenging. I'm sorry to say it's not simple, and it's not instantly learned. It'a a very complex subject and depends a lot on exactly what hardware you have up to and including memory module base voltage, whether the memory modules are tested as a "kit", whether the motherboard manufacturer specifically supports them, and much more. (note: while normally buying multiple modules as a "kit" is not
absolutely required to work at the specified base frequency and voltage, it may
make a difference on some
motherboards and/or when overclocking, especially if manufacturer rates the tested "kit" at the desired overclock speeds and voltages).
For example, I indicated it can depend on the motherboard as well. Some motherboards (e.g. Intel x79 series) allow "quad" channel memory mode, which may
performance gain using 4x4GB modules over using just 2x8GB modules. However, other factors are involved besides just hardware and firmware factors, including whether the programs you plan to use can even make use of quad-channel memory management benefits.
In some cases, the performance gain is so minimal it may make more sense reliability-wise simply to go with 2 modules. That may
produce less stress on the memory subsystem than 4 modules. But again, even that decision strictly speaking depends on things like the modules, voltages, etc. Reliability considerations are also affected when just
simple number of modules is considered: 4 modules generally
less reliable than 2 identical modules. Fewer parts generally means lower probability of failure. Yet an arbitrary 1x8GB memory module's memory chips may
have higher density memory cell process and thus may
be less reliable than arbitrary 2x4GB modules as higher density process means less room for error in the manufacturing process. On the other hand, lower density memory chips generally create less waste heat than higher density chips, so cooling becomes more imporant. Then again, the 4GB memory module's memory chips may
use the same density manufacturing process and there may be no difference in reliability on the process basis alone. Notice how many times I used the word may