Hi gerbils. I was playing around with my PC for the past few days trying to troubleshoot choppy gameplay. While I was at it I've realized that my PC was running slower when only 2 of the 4 DIMM slots were populated. This was also chronicled in my recent post about this problem (General Hardware > PC Becoming Slow). Since I believe this deserves a separate thread under RAM, here I am with this new thread.
My specs are as follows: AMD Phenom II X3 720 (unlocked to X4, no OC), MSI 785GM-E65, 4GB or 8GB of Apacer DDR3-1333, AMD HD4670 512MB, 1TB Hitachi HDD, 2 x LG ODDs, ACBel 600+W PSU.
I'm using Passmark (Memory Mark) to test the RAM's performance. When only 2 DIMMs are filled, I get a score of around 800 (Dual Channel mode, as reported by CPU-Z and also following the manual's recommendation for Dual Channel operation). With all 4 DIMM slots filled, the score jumps to about 1,200. I'd hate to think that memory performance is actually lower with fewer DIMMs installed.
I also tested 2 x 4GB DDR3-1333 (instead of 2 x 2GB DDR3-1333) from another PC and I still got low scores of ~800 in Passmark.
I just realized that my AMD FX-8350 is more powerful than all of my former desktop CPUs combined, from my last Phenom II X4 925 all the way to my ancient NEC V20. And the NEC V20 was probably more expensive if you count inflation. I'm utterly speechless.