Should I have 2 x 8 Gigabyte Sticks of Computer Memory or 1 x 16 Gigabytes?
Choosing 2 x 8 Gigabytes
By choosing to install two sticks of 8 Gb RAM, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve gone for the cheap option that will provide an inferior performance. This isn’t the case, as you’ll more than likely experience smoother and faster CPU performance due to the fact that it can access the entire 16 Gigabytes easily. This is because it has double the amount of access points by virtue of being spread across two RAM slots, meaning your CPU has unfettered access to all the available memory.
Choosing 1 x 16 Gigabytes
If you opt for the 1 x 16 Gigabyte route, it means that you can upgrade in the future without having to discard any RAM, as you’ll have a free memory slot (if you have 2 of course). However, laptops and desktop PCs will usually run better when its RAM is spread across two slots, as it effectively doubles the amount of channels available waiting to receive and transmit data. A good analogy would be to compare trying to push a shopping trolley full of data through a small door, rather than one that’s twice as wide. It’s just more difficult and this will result in your one 16 Gigabyte RAM performing far below the level you’re expecting.
So, if this sounds like you and you’re upgrading more than one aspect of your computer, we would recommend putting that extra RAM money towards a Solid State Drive (SSD), which will allow your CPU, your existing memory and in turn, every application and process on your computer to work faster.
SSD drives use flash memory rather than the spinning magnetic disks a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) uses. Not only can stored data be accessed faster by your CPU, but an SSD will use less power and is much less prone to malfunctioning due to being moved or warm temperatures.
As something of a side note, if you want to protect yourself in the future against insufficient RAM, then you should avoid purchasing one of the growing number of laptops and desktops on the market that only have RAM slot, which forever limits that computer to one channel memory performance. As we mentioned earlier, a two channel setup will always work more smoothly and be more flexible in terms of future upgrades.