okay, so my new motherboard has 4 slots. I have both 2GB and 1GB chips, 3 2GB and 1GB to use up. Will it matter which slots they go in?

Actually, I believe I'm looking at dual channel, two slots. Given that, Can I leave one channel empty and have that cause less problems than one channel be 1GB and the other 2GB

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The best thing to do would be to consult the manual for your mobo.

any personal experience with this sort of situation? i'm leaning, unless i read otherwise with taking the two 1gbs and leaving a 2gb in the other machine. thanks alot for the help by the way. one last question? should the thermal gel be easy to see, or just know its there?

It is dependent on what mobo you have as they are all different. If it is an ASUS for example then mixing different brands of ram is a bad idea let alone different sizes. The main thing is, if you want to use dual channel then they have to be all the same size and density. Density refers to them being either single sided or double sided.
I have known machines not boot with 512meg single sided and 512meg double sided of the same brand. Yet others with 4 different speeds, sizes, brands, and densities have worked perfectly well.

for this little project i've got three 2gb kingston 800mhz ddr2. there are two 1gb chips, they are taller than the 2gb chips, and i don't know why, but it could tell me something about them i suppose

If you tell me what mobo you have......

commented: he was a big help to me on this, and i think cause he knew it meant a lot +1

oh jeez, i'm sorry, i'm a little slow at this. first time building one up. got a smoking bundle deal at compusa:
Intel DG45ID Motherboard - Intel G45 Express, Socket 775, DDR2 800/667 MHz, 7.1 Audio, PCI Express 2.0 x16, HDMI, DVI, S/PDIF, SATA RAID, eSATA, USB 2.0, Firewire, Gigabit LAN, manuf part num: BOXDG45ID, it'll be run by this bundled CPU: Intel Pentium D 965 Extreme Edition Processor HH80553PH1094M - 3.73 Ghz, Socket 775, 1066MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache, Dual-Core, Presler, OEM. If you notice anything right away that i didn't let me know, like conflicts or limitations. thanks so much bud

is there a notable different in the heat dissipation gel?

i gave you as much good karma as they'd let me. thanks again. closed

No problem, I am happy to help! :)

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