Upgrading RAM - Options

I have a 1st batch Framework prebuilt with an i7-1165G7 and 16GB of RAM (two sticks). I’ve been playing around with local LLMs using the CPU optimized models and would like to upgrade my RAM for a better overall experience, as running the models gets me pretty close to maxing out RAM, even with nothing else running.

I know little about RAM performance, but have done some reading and understand that matched sticks is generally the preferred way to go. But, I’m thinking I’d like to start out with only buying 32GB now, and upgrade in maybe a year or so to 64GB. Trying to understand best options here, particularly for local LLM performance.

  1. Get 2 sticks of matched 16GB now - for a total of 32GB - Assume that will give me the best performance now, but the downside is that when I want to go to 64GB I’ll have to buy two sticks of 32GB and get rid of the 16GB sticks I just bought.

  2. Buy a 32GB single stick and use it by itself. Assume this is worse performance than the dual sticks, but I don’t have any idea of how much worse it will feel in daily use? Upside is, I can just buy another 32GB stick in a year when I’m ready to go for the whole 64GB.

  3. I can use the 32GB along with one of my existing 8GB sticks. Would performance likely be worse than just using a single 32GB stick? Or better in some areas and worse in others?

Anything would be better than option 2. Option 2 is operating in single-channel mode, effectively cutting your RAM speed in half.

1 Like

It depends of the software and is not half the speed. You might see up to 10% performance loss in real world scenarios, that’s it.

1 Like

Thanks for the input! So, how about option 1 vs. option 3? Assuming that the 32GB RAM I’d buy from Framework would match the 8GB of DDR-3200 8GB stick I already have. I’m guessing this is still likely worse than option 1, but better than option 2? And, I guess I should add an option zero here, which is to do nothing. Is the right ranking of best to worst something like:

Option 1
Option 3
Option 2
Option 0 (or would option 2, 32GB single channel be worse than 16GB dual channel?)

Do I have that right?

I’d say 3>2>1, 2 is really more of plan b if 3 doesn’t work out because your existing stick is weird and can’t play along with the new 32 gig one (unlikely).

With an 8+32gb config you still get dual channel for the first 16gb so the igpu still gets the benefits and once you go over those first 16 it just gets a bit slower but you have 8 more gigs.

32gb ddr4 sticks will keep their value for a lot longer because it’s the biggest non buffered ones they make and the cost per gb difference compared to dual 16gb currently isn’t huge. And you won’t have to replace both stick if you wanted to upgrade the second one later.

1 Like

That’s really helpful. One more question. I was planning on buying memory direct from Framework, I figured there would be a bit of a premium, but I didn’t mind in order to support the company and ensure compatibility with what I already have. But, I checked Crucial and it looks like a compatible model is half the price of the option on Framework. Anything I’m missing?

Looks fine to me. Hell at that price you may as well just get 2 XD.

As long as you stay within jdec specs mixing ram really isn’t an issue anymore these days. It gets a bit sketchy when you mix the really high performance stuff on desktop but this generic laptop memory tends to mix well.

Edit: lol I just realized I own this exact stick of memory, has worked in everything I tried it in (t480s in dual channel with the soldered on memory, in a latitude 7470 in dual channel with a kingston 8gb stick and in a x270 in single channel) without issues.

1 Like

Thanks. That’s just what I needed to hear. And yeah, might just go ahead and buy the 64GB kit.

Sorry to bring this one back from the dead, trying to figure out if anyone knows whether or not these Crucial P/Ns are generally equivalent to the ones on the QVL:


I found the latter mentioned in a thread previously, but I no longer see it on the list (presumably because it is EOL?).

Appreciate any help.