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Dual channel vs single channel memory

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  • Memory
  • Single Channel
  • Dual Channel
Last response: in Memory
October 25, 2013 10:20:52 AM

Are two sticks of 4GB memory running in dual channels better or worse than running a single 8GB stick in one slot?

More about : dual channel single channel memory

a b } Memory
October 25, 2013 10:27:37 AM

kevinbr said:
Are two sticks of 4GB memory running in dual channels better or worse than running a single 8GB stick in one slot?


2 in dual channel is always better than a single in single channel. it will be much faster
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October 25, 2013 10:36:41 AM

Dual channel is gonna be best. It will be fast and if one of your memory cards stop working, you still have one left ;) 
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October 25, 2013 10:46:29 AM

So, would it stand to reason that if two 4GB sticks are better than one 8GB, then four sticks of 2GB would be even better if I had four slots?
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October 25, 2013 10:51:35 AM

If you had a motherboard/CPU with a quad-channel memory controller, you'd want 4x2 GB RAM instead of 2x4 GB. But if you have dual-channel like most modern-ish PCs, 2x4 GB makes more sense.
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October 25, 2013 11:02:27 AM

So if I had four slots but NOT quad channel and I put four sticks of 2 GB I would essentially have two channels of 4GB memory which would be less effective than the original setup of two 4GB sticks.
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a c 5309 } Memory
October 25, 2013 3:30:42 PM

kevinbr said:
So, would it stand to reason that if two 4GB sticks are better than one 8GB, then four sticks of 2GB would be even better if I had four slots?

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No - 4 sticks just puts additional stress on the MC (memory controller), the additional slots are simply to allow you to expand the max amount of DRAM, the preferred config in dual channel is 2 sticks, unless your DRAM needs exceed what you can install in the 2 slots - i.e. 2x2GB for 4GB, 2x4GB for 8GB, 2x8GB for 16GB
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March 10, 2015 5:58:50 AM

I know this is an old thread, but I just got done explaining this to someone for whom I was building a machine, and he wanted to know (to his credit) - WHY?

I thought I'd add my take on Why Dual Channel is better than One Channel or 4 Channel - hope someone benefits from it.

With a dual channel system, one channel is always available for loading, refreshing, and housekeeping while the other channel is being read. The channels are read alternately, one being read into the buss while the other is being prepared for use, or being written to. What exactly happens is the pervue of the memory controller and it's firmware.

With single channel operation there is always something "waiting in line" while the memory is busy. This limits what operations can be performed, and those generating a "write" instruction have to wait their turn. This makes the buffer (onboard memory) more critical and works it harder.

This is why there isn't a lot of quad channel systems out there, 2 channels offers the time sharing advantage with a minimum of hardware and software to control it. More than 2 channels increase the time and effort put into controlling the process, with little or no improvement in final speed.


I'm sure there is even more to it, but that's how I understand it.
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