Dual channel memory question

so i have a dual channel kit of crucial ballistix ram and also a single 4 gig stick of patriot ram, would it be better toi have 12 gigs of ram but single channel or only 8 gigs in dual channel? it was a budget build so all the sticks are 1333, 


also a 8350 fx on an asus m5a97 r2.0 motherboard

Well, most things can be done easily with 8GB, so I'd say 8GB of dual-channel memory.

However, as long as you have two sticks or more, you should be able to have dual-channel memory anyway, albeit in a non-optimal configuration. Should still be faster than single-channel.

ahh, i thought putting in 3 total sticks would cause it to run in single channel only so ive only used the 2 matching sticks of what i have, im looking at upgrading to something faster soon, so it wont be this way for long 

It shouldn't be an issue to run tripple channel, you should check to see if the timing on the 2 different kind of sticks is the same.

The timing was the same, so i guess ill go put that other stick in lol

Put in 3 sticks and if you see a decrease in performance, remove it! Simple as that.