Do I need to fill both RAM slots

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by James D Andrews, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...

    Do I need to use both RAM slots?

    I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right
    type of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if
    filling both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1
    chip was okay.

    My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not
    wording my question right.

    Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.

    Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring
    the extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.

    --
    -There are some who call me...
    Jim


    It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road,
    and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be
    swept off to.
    -Samwise Gamgee quoting Bilbo Baggins, edited
     
    James D Andrews, Aug 4, 2011
    #1
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  2. James D Andrews

    Paul Guest

    James D Andrews wrote:
    > Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >
    > Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >
    > I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right
    > type of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if
    > filling both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1
    > chip was okay.
    >
    > My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not
    > wording my question right.
    >
    > Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    > It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >
    > Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    > matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring
    > the extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >


    Generally speaking, you can do anything you want now :)

    The difference between single and dual channel, is a bit of memory
    bandwidth. But on at least some systems today, the resulting
    performance difference isn't that great.

    So if you want to run with one DIMM for now, you can. The
    computer will still work.

    The memory controller is on the processor itself, so the
    characteristics are a function of the processor, and not
    the chipset. (Not that this helps, because getting *good*
    info on AMD processors, isn't easy.)

    The second DIMM you purchase, isn't likely to be "exactly matching".
    That DIMM may no longer be offered for sale, or even the part
    shipped for that SKU, could be made by a different maker (so
    the SPD isn't exactly the same format). The BIOS probably
    doesn't care, and if you had one 4GB 5-5-5 DIMM and a second
    4GB 6-6-6 DIMM, it'll run dual channel at 6-6-6 speed (the
    speed of the slowest DIMM). If one DIMM was DDR3-1066 and
    the other DIMM was DDR3-1333, then the BIOS would run the
    pair at DDR3-1066, and so on. The BIOS picks the slowest
    setting, so both products can work.

    All you'd really need to match, is the density, so each
    channel has the same amount of RAM.

    My own personal preference, in your situation, would be
    to buy a 2x2GB kit. If one stick fails, I can run with the
    remaining working 2GB stick.

    If you know absolutely and for sure, that you'll need 8GB
    in the future, then your plan makes sense. But equally
    well, the machine might stay at 4GB for its entire life,
    in which case the 2x2GB works just as well. And has a slight
    advantage in the event that a stick fails.

    What 4GB allows me to do on my current machine, is run
    three virtual machines at the same time. No other
    applications on the machine, really need that much memory.
    Since I run a 32 bit OS, Photoshop can't use any more than
    about 1800MB or so (the only Photoshop I have, is older).
    If I had 8GB, then I could run more virtual machines,
    which might happen, once in a blue moon.

    If you knew you were:

    Using a 64 bit OS
    Had a modern copy of Photoshop
    Were working on poster sized images

    then an 8GB machine might make sense. For many other applications,
    a 4GB machine should be plenty. And certainly, there are programs
    I don't use, that can benefit from more memory (perhaps MS flight
    sim ?).

    Some people, fill their machines with RAM (16GB). Presumably,
    because the price is low enough, that they can. That doesn't
    say they will always come up with a use for it. You can use
    excess RAM to form a RAMDisk, which is nice. But you don't
    absolutely need that. That would be in the "I justified my
    purchase of 16GB" kind of program :)

    Paul
     
    Paul, Aug 4, 2011
    #2
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  3. "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    news:j1evcg$i64$...
    > Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >
    > Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >
    > I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right
    > type of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if
    > filling both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1 chip
    > was okay.
    >
    > My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not
    > wording my question right.
    >
    > Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    > It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >
    > Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    > matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring the
    > extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >


    You do not need to fill both slots, or all four of them if there are that
    many. The important thing is that all slots be filled with the same speed
    and architecture of RAM, but not necessarily the same size. There was once a
    rule that said the smallest had to be in slot 0, or something like that. But
    current designs do not have that rule anymore to my knowledge.

    1.4G RAM? Really? That's a size that I'm not aware of. I thought RAM was
    always whole numbers, 1G, 2G, 4G. Yes, I'm aware of 256M and 512M, but these
    are so 1990s...

    If you have Fry's Electronics nearby, or shop on the 'net, you might find
    that you can get a significant amount of RAM for a tiny pile of coins. I
    bought a netbook computer last weekend and bought a 2G RAM stick for it for
    $25. We got the DDR3 machine -- they offer the same machine in a DDR2 and
    DDR2 format. The point is, the machine came with 1G, and a single slot. It
    can work with 2G, so I bought a 2G RAM stick for $25, and have the 1G stick
    for backup.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Aug 4, 2011
    #3
  4. Jeff Strickland snuck on to your hard drive to scribble:
    > "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    > news:j1evcg$i64$...
    >> Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >>
    >> Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >>
    >> I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right type
    >> of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if filling
    >> both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1 chip was okay.
    >>
    >> My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not wording
    >> my question right.
    >>
    >> Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    >> It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >>
    >> Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    >> matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring the
    >> extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >>

    >
    > You do not need to fill both slots, or all four of them if there are that
    > many. The important thing is that all slots be filled with the same speed and
    > architecture of RAM, but not necessarily the same size. There was once a rule
    > that said the smallest had to be in slot 0, or something like that. But
    > current designs do not have that rule anymore to my knowledge.
    >
    > 1.4G RAM? Really? That's a size that I'm not aware of. I thought RAM was
    > always whole numbers, 1G, 2G, 4G. Yes, I'm aware of 256M and 512M, but these
    > are so 1990s...
    >
    > If you have Fry's Electronics nearby, or shop on the 'net, you might find
    > that you can get a significant amount of RAM for a tiny pile of coins. I
    > bought a netbook computer last weekend and bought a 2G RAM stick for it for
    > $25. We got the DDR3 machine -- they offer the same machine in a DDR2 and
    > DDR2 format. The point is, the machine came with 1G, and a single slot. It
    > can work with 2G, so I bought a 2G RAM stick for $25, and have the 1G stick
    > for backup.


    Thanks Jeff

    I probably should have written it as 1x 4Gb RAM since the dotted i's
    below it make it look like a period.

    I'm looking at 4Gb for starters, then adding a stick later when the
    money is available if the user desires. Considering the user is
    working with 512K on her present computer if I remember correctly -
    either that or only 256 - then the 4Gb should be lightning speed for
    her. But then again, she's the impatient type that wants the computer
    to react before she even tells it what to do. :)

    Fry's is on the north side of Dallas and I'm south of Ft. Worth, so
    going there is pretty much a couple of hours on the interstate if I'm
    lucky enough not to have traffic snarls. I can't deal with the traffic
    - but I won't get into that.

    There's nothing closer except an Office Depot, and all their stuff is
    overpriced. I don't buy comp parts from Wally World except maybe a
    Lite-On CD/DVD drive or something like that if I'm in a hurry.

    And that's why I do my shopping on-line.

    Where I'm going with this is that 1x 4Gb chip is just a little more
    than half the price of 2x 2Gb chips. So I figured I'd save money to
    begin with by getting 1x 4Gb now, and adding another chip later.

    Paul points out a problem with that logic, though, in that when I do
    choose to add the second chip down the road, the same chip might no
    longer be available.

    Thanks for your help.

    --
    -There are some who call me...
    Jim


    "You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because
    you might not get there."
    - Yogi Berra
     
    James D Andrews, Aug 5, 2011
    #4
  5. Paul snuck on to your hard drive to scribble:
    > James D Andrews wrote:
    >> Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >>
    >> Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >>
    >> I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right type
    >> of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if filling
    >> both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1 chip was okay.
    >>
    >> My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not wording
    >> my question right.
    >>
    >> Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    >> It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >>
    >> Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    >> matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring the
    >> extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >>

    >


    >
    > The second DIMM you purchase, isn't likely to be "exactly matching".
    > That DIMM may no longer be offered for sale, or even the part
    > shipped for that SKU, could be made by a different maker (so
    > the SPD isn't exactly the same format).


    I didn't even think of that - and I should have since another part on
    the parts list was discontinued recently.


    > My own personal preference, in your situation, would be
    > to buy a 2x2GB kit. If one stick fails, I can run with the
    > remaining working 2GB stick.


    I was thinking by putting in the 4Gb to start, all I would have to add
    later was another 4Gb chip rather than a full pair to replace 2x2Gb.
    But, another factor you point out that I overlooked was the possibility
    of the chip failing, which would then leave it SOL entirely rather than
    having something to limp on.


    > If you know absolutely and for sure, that you'll need 8GB
    > in the future, then your plan makes sense. But equally
    > well, the machine might stay at 4GB for its entire life,
    > in which case the 2x2GB works just as well. And has a slight
    > advantage in the event that a stick fails.


    Yeah. The user wanted to be covered for a few years since it seems
    every year everything new requires more juice.

    > And certainly, there are programs
    > I don't use, that can benefit from more memory (perhaps MS flight
    > sim ?).


    > Paul


    I recall when you could run MS Fligh Sim off 2x 5.25 floppies. :)

    Thanks much, Paul.

    --
    -There are some who call me...
    Jim


    "Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes."
    - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
     
    James D Andrews, Aug 5, 2011
    #5
  6. "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    news:j1f94h$n04$...
    > Jeff Strickland snuck on to your hard drive to scribble:
    >> "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    >> news:j1evcg$i64$...
    >>> Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >>>
    >>> Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >>>
    >>> I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right
    >>> type of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if
    >>> filling both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1
    >>> chip was okay.
    >>>
    >>> My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not
    >>> wording my question right.
    >>>
    >>> Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    >>> It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >>>
    >>> Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    >>> matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring
    >>> the extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >>>

    >>
    >> You do not need to fill both slots, or all four of them if there are that
    >> many. The important thing is that all slots be filled with the same speed
    >> and architecture of RAM, but not necessarily the same size. There was
    >> once a rule that said the smallest had to be in slot 0, or something like
    >> that. But current designs do not have that rule anymore to my knowledge.
    >>
    >> 1.4G RAM? Really? That's a size that I'm not aware of. I thought RAM was
    >> always whole numbers, 1G, 2G, 4G. Yes, I'm aware of 256M and 512M, but
    >> these are so 1990s...
    >>
    >> If you have Fry's Electronics nearby, or shop on the 'net, you might find
    >> that you can get a significant amount of RAM for a tiny pile of coins. I
    >> bought a netbook computer last weekend and bought a 2G RAM stick for it
    >> for $25. We got the DDR3 machine -- they offer the same machine in a DDR2
    >> and DDR2 format. The point is, the machine came with 1G, and a single
    >> slot. It can work with 2G, so I bought a 2G RAM stick for $25, and have
    >> the 1G stick for backup.

    >
    > Thanks Jeff
    >
    > I probably should have written it as 1x 4Gb RAM since the dotted i's below
    > it make it look like a period.
    >
    > I'm looking at 4Gb for starters, then adding a stick later when the money
    > is available if the user desires. Considering the user is working with
    > 512K on her present computer if I remember correctly - either that or only
    > 256 - then the 4Gb should be lightning speed for her. But then again,
    > she's the impatient type that wants the computer to react before she even
    > tells it what to do. :)
    >
    > Fry's is on the north side of Dallas and I'm south of Ft. Worth, so going
    > there is pretty much a couple of hours on the interstate if I'm lucky
    > enough not to have traffic snarls. I can't deal with the traffic - but I
    > won't get into that.
    >
    > There's nothing closer except an Office Depot, and all their stuff is
    > overpriced. I don't buy comp parts from Wally World except maybe a
    > Lite-On CD/DVD drive or something like that if I'm in a hurry.
    >
    > And that's why I do my shopping on-line.
    >
    > Where I'm going with this is that 1x 4Gb chip is just a little more than
    > half the price of 2x 2Gb chips. So I figured I'd save money to begin with
    > by getting 1x 4Gb now, and adding another chip later.
    >
    > Paul points out a problem with that logic, though, in that when I do
    > choose to add the second chip down the road, the same chip might no longer
    > be available.
    >
    > Thanks for your help.
    >
    > --



    If you are building a new machine, or have a new machine, then you can add
    another 4G stick later. Fry's has an online presence, so you can order and
    they will ship.

    I missed the 1x4G when you expressed it as 1.4G. So, you have 4G now, and
    can bump to 8G. I'd encourage you to bite the bullet and get your full
    compliment of RAM now. You'll be glad you did. Or, abandon the plan to bump
    the RAM later. I built my machine a few years ago and stuffed it with the
    full 4G that the MB can hold, and I have not regretted it for one moment.

    Since you are stating the current RAM that the user has as 512M, then 4G
    will be an improvement, except that Win7 has siginficant demands on RAM that
    can make the improvement a moot point. If she wants the computer to finish
    her sentences and click OK before she gets there, then she's not getting
    that now with 512M.

    One can never be too rich, too good looking, or have too much RAM. They used
    to say that one cannot be too thin, but Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have
    proven that one wrong.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Aug 5, 2011
    #6
  7. Jeff Strickland banged his head on his keyboard to write :
    > "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    > news:j1f94h$n04$...
    >> Jeff Strickland snuck on to your hard drive to scribble:
    >>> "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:j1evcg$i64$...
    >>>> Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >>>>
    >>>> Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >>>>
    >>>> I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right
    >>>> type of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if
    >>>> filling both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1 chip
    >>>> was okay.
    >>>>
    >>>> My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not
    >>>> wording my question right.
    >>>>
    >>>> Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    >>>> It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >>>>
    >>>> Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    >>>> matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring the
    >>>> extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> You do not need to fill both slots, or all four of them if there are that
    >>> many. The important thing is that all slots be filled with the same speed
    >>> and architecture of RAM, but not necessarily the same size. There was once
    >>> a rule that said the smallest had to be in slot 0, or something like that.
    >>> But current designs do not have that rule anymore to my knowledge.
    >>>
    >>> 1.4G RAM? Really? That's a size that I'm not aware of. I thought RAM was
    >>> always whole numbers, 1G, 2G, 4G. Yes, I'm aware of 256M and 512M, but
    >>> these are so 1990s...
    >>>
    >>> If you have Fry's Electronics nearby, or shop on the 'net, you might find
    >>> that you can get a significant amount of RAM for a tiny pile of coins. I
    >>> bought a netbook computer last weekend and bought a 2G RAM stick for it
    >>> for $25. We got the DDR3 machine -- they offer the same machine in a DDR2
    >>> and DDR2 format. The point is, the machine came with 1G, and a single
    >>> slot. It can work with 2G, so I bought a 2G RAM stick for $25, and have
    >>> the 1G stick for backup.

    >>
    >> Thanks Jeff
    >>
    >> I probably should have written it as 1x 4Gb RAM since the dotted i's below
    >> it make it look like a period.
    >>
    >> I'm looking at 4Gb for starters, then adding a stick later when the money
    >> is available if the user desires. Considering the user is working with
    >> 512K on her present computer if I remember correctly - either that or only
    >> 256 - then the 4Gb should be lightning speed for her. But then again,
    >> she's the impatient type that wants the computer to react before she even
    >> tells it what to do. :)
    >>
    >> Fry's is on the north side of Dallas and I'm south of Ft. Worth, so going
    >> there is pretty much a couple of hours on the interstate if I'm lucky
    >> enough not to have traffic snarls. I can't deal with the traffic - but I
    >> won't get into that.
    >>
    >> There's nothing closer except an Office Depot, and all their stuff is
    >> overpriced. I don't buy comp parts from Wally World except maybe a Lite-On
    >> CD/DVD drive or something like that if I'm in a hurry.
    >>
    >> And that's why I do my shopping on-line.
    >>
    >> Where I'm going with this is that 1x 4Gb chip is just a little more than
    >> half the price of 2x 2Gb chips. So I figured I'd save money to begin with
    >> by getting 1x 4Gb now, and adding another chip later.
    >>
    >> Paul points out a problem with that logic, though, in that when I do choose
    >> to add the second chip down the road, the same chip might no longer be
    >> available.
    >>
    >> Thanks for your help.
    >>
    >> --

    >
    >
    > If you are building a new machine, or have a new machine, then you can add
    > another 4G stick later. Fry's has an online presence, so you can order and
    > they will ship.
    >
    > I missed the 1x4G when you expressed it as 1.4G. So, you have 4G now, and can
    > bump to 8G. I'd encourage you to bite the bullet and get your full compliment
    > of RAM now. You'll be glad you did. Or, abandon the plan to bump the RAM
    > later. I built my machine a few years ago and stuffed it with the full 4G
    > that the MB can hold, and I have not regretted it for one moment.
    >
    > Since you are stating the current RAM that the user has as 512M, then 4G will
    > be an improvement, except that Win7 has siginficant demands on RAM that can
    > make the improvement a moot point. If she wants the computer to finish her
    > sentences and click OK before she gets there, then she's not getting that now
    > with 512M.
    >
    > One can never be too rich, too good looking, or have too much RAM. They used
    > to say that one cannot be too thin, but Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have
    > proven that one wrong.


    Somebody needs to force feed them a few Twinkies.

    Thanks Jeff.

    I have some tough economic decisions to face here. It's supposed to be
    a one part per month kind of build (average $50 a month)and the target
    date is Christmas. Fell behind because of car problems. Still got a
    long way to go to finish it - CPU, RAM, PSU, HDD, DVD, Windows - AND a
    USB mouse (no PS/2 mouse slot on the mobo). Since the number of pieces
    still needed are much more than the number of months remaining, I'm
    going to have to double up somewhere and go with cheaper parts.

    In my convoluted mind, I figure the easiest to cut corners on for
    temporary fix to meet the target date and stay within budget would be
    CPU and RAM. I can pick up cheap RAM and put in a Sempron, then
    upgrade after Christmas.

    Realistically, I could save $$$ on the PSU, but that's one item I
    really don't want to cut corners on.

    I'm hoping that Win7 will go back on sale again when the money's
    available to jump on it. I hated passing up $74 for Windows.

    As always, thanks for all your help.

    --
    -There are some who call me...
    Jim


    "Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
    - Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back')
     
    James D Andrews, Aug 6, 2011
    #7
  8. "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    news:j1igbb$h21$...
    > Jeff Strickland banged his head on his keyboard to write :
    >> "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    >> news:j1f94h$n04$...
    >>> Jeff Strickland snuck on to your hard drive to scribble:
    >>>> "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    >>>> news:j1evcg$i64$...
    >>>>> Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right
    >>>>> type of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if
    >>>>> filling both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1
    >>>>> chip was okay.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not
    >>>>> wording my question right.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    >>>>> It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    >>>>> matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring
    >>>>> the extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >>>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> You do not need to fill both slots, or all four of them if there are
    >>>> that many. The important thing is that all slots be filled with the
    >>>> same speed and architecture of RAM, but not necessarily the same size.
    >>>> There was once a rule that said the smallest had to be in slot 0, or
    >>>> something like that. But current designs do not have that rule anymore
    >>>> to my knowledge.
    >>>>
    >>>> 1.4G RAM? Really? That's a size that I'm not aware of. I thought RAM
    >>>> was always whole numbers, 1G, 2G, 4G. Yes, I'm aware of 256M and 512M,
    >>>> but these are so 1990s...
    >>>>
    >>>> If you have Fry's Electronics nearby, or shop on the 'net, you might
    >>>> find that you can get a significant amount of RAM for a tiny pile of
    >>>> coins. I bought a netbook computer last weekend and bought a 2G RAM
    >>>> stick for it for $25. We got the DDR3 machine -- they offer the same
    >>>> machine in a DDR2 and DDR2 format. The point is, the machine came with
    >>>> 1G, and a single slot. It can work with 2G, so I bought a 2G RAM stick
    >>>> for $25, and have the 1G stick for backup.
    >>>
    >>> Thanks Jeff
    >>>
    >>> I probably should have written it as 1x 4Gb RAM since the dotted i's
    >>> below it make it look like a period.
    >>>
    >>> I'm looking at 4Gb for starters, then adding a stick later when the
    >>> money is available if the user desires. Considering the user is working
    >>> with 512K on her present computer if I remember correctly - either that
    >>> or only 256 - then the 4Gb should be lightning speed for her. But then
    >>> again, she's the impatient type that wants the computer to react before
    >>> she even tells it what to do. :)
    >>>
    >>> Fry's is on the north side of Dallas and I'm south of Ft. Worth, so
    >>> going there is pretty much a couple of hours on the interstate if I'm
    >>> lucky enough not to have traffic snarls. I can't deal with the
    >>> traffic - but I won't get into that.
    >>>
    >>> There's nothing closer except an Office Depot, and all their stuff is
    >>> overpriced. I don't buy comp parts from Wally World except maybe a
    >>> Lite-On CD/DVD drive or something like that if I'm in a hurry.
    >>>
    >>> And that's why I do my shopping on-line.
    >>>
    >>> Where I'm going with this is that 1x 4Gb chip is just a little more than
    >>> half the price of 2x 2Gb chips. So I figured I'd save money to begin
    >>> with by getting 1x 4Gb now, and adding another chip later.
    >>>
    >>> Paul points out a problem with that logic, though, in that when I do
    >>> choose to add the second chip down the road, the same chip might no
    >>> longer be available.
    >>>
    >>> Thanks for your help.
    >>>
    >>> --

    >>
    >>
    >> If you are building a new machine, or have a new machine, then you can
    >> add another 4G stick later. Fry's has an online presence, so you can
    >> order and they will ship.
    >>
    >> I missed the 1x4G when you expressed it as 1.4G. So, you have 4G now, and
    >> can bump to 8G. I'd encourage you to bite the bullet and get your full
    >> compliment of RAM now. You'll be glad you did. Or, abandon the plan to
    >> bump the RAM later. I built my machine a few years ago and stuffed it
    >> with the full 4G that the MB can hold, and I have not regretted it for
    >> one moment.
    >>
    >> Since you are stating the current RAM that the user has as 512M, then 4G
    >> will be an improvement, except that Win7 has siginficant demands on RAM
    >> that can make the improvement a moot point. If she wants the computer to
    >> finish her sentences and click OK before she gets there, then she's not
    >> getting that now with 512M.
    >>
    >> One can never be too rich, too good looking, or have too much RAM. They
    >> used to say that one cannot be too thin, but Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
    >> have proven that one wrong.

    >
    > Somebody needs to force feed them a few Twinkies.
    >
    > Thanks Jeff.
    >
    > I have some tough economic decisions to face here. It's supposed to be a
    > one part per month kind of build (average $50 a month)and the target date
    > is Christmas. Fell behind because of car problems. Still got a long way
    > to go to finish it - CPU, RAM, PSU, HDD, DVD, Windows - AND a USB mouse
    > (no PS/2 mouse slot on the mobo). Since the number of pieces still needed
    > are much more than the number of months remaining, I'm going to have to
    > double up somewhere and go with cheaper parts.
    >
    > In my convoluted mind, I figure the easiest to cut corners on for
    > temporary fix to meet the target date and stay within budget would be CPU
    > and RAM. I can pick up cheap RAM and put in a Sempron, then upgrade after
    > Christmas.
    >
    > Realistically, I could save $$$ on the PSU, but that's one item I really
    > don't want to cut corners on.
    >
    > I'm hoping that Win7 will go back on sale again when the money's available
    > to jump on it. I hated passing up $74 for Windows.
    >
    > As always, thanks for all your help.
    >
    > --
    > -There are some who call me...
    > Jim
    >


    You have all of the demands that a Fry's shopper would have, lots of options
    and low cost. I'd urge you to check them online. My Friday newspaper carries
    an 8-page insert just for Fry's. I bought my 4Gs of RAM for my machine for
    $25. I just bought a 2G stick for a netbook for $25, and have a 1G RAM stick
    now for the netbook as a spare. Fry's has everything you need, and they have
    everything is multiple specimens so you can pick and choose according to
    your needs. No point in the local computer guy with two or three keyboards
    when you can visit Fry's and find a hundred of them. I have a $170 Logitech
    diNovo Edge that I really like that my kids bought me from Fry's, but at the
    other end of the same aisle they have a $17 keyboard if that's all you want.
    they carry a full line of motherboards, CPUs, HDD, external drives of all
    kinds. Everything and anything you could possibly want.

    I get that you can't load The Mrs. in the car and trek half way across the
    state, but you can order online... Actually, loading The Mrs. into the car
    might not be that bad of a deal for her, Fry's has lots of stuff that would
    attract her attention. It's a toy-store for adults.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Aug 6, 2011
    #8
  9. Jeff Strickland embroidered on the monitor :
    > "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    > news:j1igbb$h21$...
    >> Jeff Strickland banged his head on his keyboard to write :
    >>> "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:j1f94h$n04$...
    >>>> Jeff Strickland snuck on to your hard drive to scribble:
    >>>>> "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    >>>>> news:j1evcg$i64$...
    >>>>>> Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >>>>>>


    Actually, loading The Mrs. into the car
    > might not be that bad of a deal for her, Fry's has lots of stuff that would
    > attract her attention. It's a toy-store for adults.


    OOOH! Bad idea, in our case. More impulses than can afford to spend.

    Anyway, I used to get the Fry's email newsletter, but it stopped coming
    sometime back and it just never occurred to me (out of sight, out of
    mind) to go back and subscribe again. It probably got filtered as
    "junk" by my mail provider without my say-so - they've done that to me
    before. (Just went and did this while I'm thinking about it)

    When I'm looking at a product, I make a "spec sheet" listing everything
    I want the product to do and the price range I want to keep within, if
    possible.

    Then I usually comparison shop:
    newegg.com
    mwave.com
    frys.com
    geeks.com

    For certain items, I check a couple other suppliers such as
    edgetechcorp or kingwin or Cables to Go (a great place to find those
    elusive cables) or AllHDD depending on what I'm looking for.

    But as we all know, the price you see when you first plan a project
    does not necessarily match the price when it's time to actually buy
    that product, or the product might be discontinued - bummer!

    I've ordered from Fry's before, though, and had no problems so they're
    still on my list of reliables.

    --
    -There are some who call me...
    Jim


    "Facts are the enemy of truth."
    - Don Quixote - "Man of La Mancha"
     
    James D Andrews, Aug 6, 2011
    #9
  10. "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    news:j1evcg$i64$...
    > Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >
    > Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >
    > I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right
    > type of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if
    > filling both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1 chip
    > was okay.
    >
    > My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not
    > wording my question right.
    >
    > Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    > It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >
    > Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    > matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring the
    > extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >
    > --


    We were talking a few days ago about putting in all 8G of RAM into your
    machine. Since we spoke last, Fry's ran an ad for 8G (2x4G) of DDR3 for
    $30-ish. Yesterday, they ran an ad for 16G (4x4G) for $60. I'm getting these
    prices from the ad in the newspaper.

    I'm just saying, you can get what you need for less than you think.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Aug 14, 2011
    #10
  11. Jeff Strickland banged his head on his keyboard to write :
    > "James D Andrews" <> wrote in message
    > news:j1evcg$i64$...
    >> Forgive me for asking what I should know already, but...
    >>
    >> Do I need to use both RAM slots?
    >>
    >> I know that I should use matching pairs, to make sure I have the right type
    >> of RAM, and to put chips in slot order, but I can't remember if filling
    >> both slots is required on newer systems. On older systems 1 chip was okay.
    >>
    >> My searches aren't coming up with anything probably because I'm not wording
    >> my question right.
    >>
    >> Specific Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX
    >> It's 2x240-pin DDR3 with 8Gb max.
    >>
    >> Basically, I want to know if I can buy 1 4Gb RAM chip now and another
    >> matching chip later, or if both slots have to be full, thus requiring the
    >> extra chip purchase sooner rather than later.
    >>
    >> --

    >
    > We were talking a few days ago about putting in all 8G of RAM into your
    > machine. Since we spoke last, Fry's ran an ad for 8G (2x4G) of DDR3 for
    > $30-ish. Yesterday, they ran an ad for 16G (4x4G) for $60. I'm getting these
    > prices from the ad in the newspaper.
    >
    > I'm just saying, you can get what you need for less than you think.


    Thanks, Jeff

    Do you ever get those times when the best deals appear after you've
    already spent the money on something else. Seems to happen a lot to
    me. Oh, well, such is life.

    I live outside of the nearest Fry's newspaper circular area, not to
    mention I don't get the paper, not even the local - which is funny
    since I used to be a newspaper reporter.

    I'm still waiting for Fry's email flyer to show up. These things
    sometimes take a little while to process and get going, though, so I'm
    trying to be patient.

    Thanks much for all your help.

    --
    -There are some who call me...
    Jim


    "Facts are the enemy of truth."
    - Don Quixote - "Man of La Mancha"
     
    James D Andrews, Aug 15, 2011
    #11
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