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Little Rusty

Last response: in Memory
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November 9, 2012 12:12:31 AM

It's been a while since I've been near a computer in a technical way. Need a little tuneup on something as I'm a little rusty. My question is regarding Dual Channel and also how memory works in dual channel.

My first question is, when a system is running in dual channel, does it split the load of memory amongst both sticks, or does it first load up all the data onto the first stick, then when loaded, sends the remaining data to the second stick?

Example: 1.5GB of data needs processing, does it send the first GB through the first stick and the remaining 500mb through the second, or does it split the load @ 750mb per stick?

My second question will be...

If the system does not support dual channel, and you had two sticks, by using the example above, how will the data be processed?

Thanks!

More about : rusty

November 9, 2012 2:16:03 AM

Dual channel is used to increase the bandwidth of the memory.
For example 1 stick of memory in one slot will allow 64 bits of data to be read or written to on 1 cpu request.
Two sticks of memory will allow a data block of 128 bits wide to be read or written per 1 cpu request.
The memory is seen combined, and will be written to any free block of memory.

Single channel is memory stick 1 64 bits memory 2 64 bits.
November 9, 2012 10:19:46 AM

weaselman said:
Dual channel is used to increase the bandwidth of the memory.
For example 1 stick of memory in one slot will allow 64 bits of data to be read or written to on 1 cpu request.
Two sticks of memory will allow a data block of 128 bits wide to be read or written per 1 cpu request.
The memory is seen combined, and will be written to any free block of memory.

Single channel is memory stick 1 64 bits memory 2 64 bits.


So it randomly allocates the information to any stick? It does not control how much or how it gets allocated per stick?

I'm asking because I need to upgrade an old system, and am thinking on getting either 2x1GB or 2x2GB. If I go down the 2x1GB route, I was assuming that it would perform "faster" then the 2x2GB kit because it has less information to process per stick, as long as it runs dual channel then it should be a problem either way?

Related resources
a b } Memory
November 9, 2012 12:36:20 PM

What processor/mobo does this old system have? It may not support dual channel mode, in which case it will run in single channel mode.
November 9, 2012 3:51:00 PM

wanderer11 said:
What processor/mobo does this old system have? It may not support dual channel mode, in which case it will run in single channel mode.


It does support dual channel. :) 
a b } Memory
November 9, 2012 4:25:34 PM

Generally, lower quantities of RAM are faster than higher capacity, but it is a very insignificant difference, hardly one you would notice in normal operation. However, the difference between having 2gb and 4gb is quite significant depending on the uses for your PC. If you are thinking of going for less RAM because it will be a speck faster, just go for more RAM.
November 10, 2012 12:00:56 PM

Why it its called Ram is Random access memory by the way, meaning you can read and write to any part of the block of memory of the overall size of it.
So its not a case of filling one stick or the other.It depends on the said program running and the memory address it is requesting to read information two or from, mostly windows takes care of this when running, so there is no conflict in memory usage.
and yes 4Gb would be a safe bet for most systems.
!