Question Increased load on memory controller with 4 modules vs. 2 modules (DDR3)?


Golden Member
Mar 15, 2003
I just upgraded to 16 GB of RAM on an old Ivy Bridge system (from 8 GB); the old 2x4GB sticks I took out are basically identical in speed and timings to the new sticks (same manufacturer, product line, etc.), so I'm thinking of maybe adding them back for 24 GB total.

The thing is, I don't really need 24 GB (16 GB is very much enough for this system and what I do with it, as I usually hover around 10 GB of memory use, at most), so I'm wondering if things would slow down if I go the 24 GB route (even slightly), given 4 sticks would increase the load on the memory controller (versus 2 sticks), based on what I've read.


Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
Adding more ranks is never wasted, even if you're not directly using the additional RAM. It may occasionally come with a sligt penalty in frequency though, but Ivys memory controller is pretty robust. So unless you've gone way overboard, there shouldn't be any issues there.

Memory controllers are designed to handle two double rank DIMMs per 64bit channel, so it's not like you're increasing "load" on it. But more DIMMs use more power obviously, and the memory controller may require a bit more juice too since it has to drive the additional DIMMs. But we're talking 1-2W here, so it's not worth worrying about.
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