Dual Channel VS Single Channel Memory

Dual Channel VS Single Channel Memory
  • Jan 12th, 2024
  • Abhishek Chauhan
  • Laptop
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Which memory configuration is preferable for high-performance gaming computers? But first, let's clarify the distinction between a single-channel and dual-channel RAM configuration. And what additional performance do you get when you convert to a dual-channel RAM configuration?

Dual-channel memory setups are highly beneficial for games like Assassin's Creed and Fallout 4, and no matter how pricey the rest of your system is, you won't be able to play them smoothly if you only have one channel of memory installed. The performance disparity between single-channel and dual-channel RAM in other games might range from hardly perceptible to nonexistent.

Memory speed's effect on gaming performance

The frequency of your RAM may also impact your gaming experience. The bandwidth of the memory increases with frequency. 3200 MHz is the ideal goal speed for DDR4. Obtain low-clocked RAM from reputable companies like Samsung as a simple life hack. There is an outstanding possibility that you can increase the modules' clock speeds.

I used to have 4 RAM modules—2 ADATAs running at a stock speed of 2400 MHz and 1 Samsung module running at 2100 MHz. All four were successful at 2933 MHz. If you have integrated graphics, high-frequency RAM is crucial because your GPU shares memory with the CPU, and you'll need all the bandwidth you can get.

Dual-Channel Memory vs. Single-Channel Memory

However, there is a third issue that is frequently disregarded. And it affects memory bandwidth far more than overclocking your RAM modules does. We're discussing switching to dual channels. What is a dual-channel memory configuration, and what makes a dual-channel arrangement different from a single-channel setup?

RAM communicates with the CPU through the memory controller on the CPU. Most current motherboards between the CPU and RAM contain two 64-bit (128-bit) channels. Only one of them is operational in a single-channel setup. This restricts memory throughput to the fastest installed single RAM module's rated speed.

In dual-channel memory setups, the memory controller communicates with the CPU via both channels, doubling the bandwidth. What about multi-channel formats, though? Quad-channel systems are technically possible but typically seen on unusual and server-centric boards. Multi-channel typically refers to dual-channel memory.

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Doubled Memory Throughput with Dual-Channel

DDR4 running at 2133 MHz in a single channel provides a memory bandwidth of 17 GB/s. Your memory bandwidth doubles to 34 GB/s when two DDR4 modules running at 2133 MHz are used in a dual-channel configuration. The only memory modules that can achieve that kind of performance in single-channel mode are those that run at 4000 MHz or above.

Dual-channel RAM modules must be purchased in multiples of two, a crucial issue that needs to be emphasized. Most inexpensive midrange boards include two or four memory slots. My computer was a Gigabyte B450 DS3H with dual-channel capability and four RAM slots. If your motherboard supports dual-channel and you have two places, setting it up is frequently as simple as plugging in a second memory module and starting your computer.

But when you have four spaces, things get a little trickier. Suppose you want to enable dual-channel; your motherboard's manual will tell you which RAM modules to put in which slots. Or you could purchase 4 RAM modules and set it to run automatically. This may be perplexing.

Using the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, compare the gaming performance of single- and dual-channel RAM.

How do single-channel and dual-channel memory perform differently?

While it varies from game to game, a dual-channel setup significantly raises your minimum and average framerates in several games. Examples include Fallout 4 and the Assassin's Creed series. Assassin's Creed Origins and Assassin's Creed Odyssey are practically unplayable on a PC without a dual-channel RAM configuration.

Single channel RAM

The difference might not appear to be significant at first glance. After all, while the lows and frame pacing suffer greatly, the average frame rates aren't significantly harmed. In single-channel, the CPU latency jumps by a startling 50%. This is because there is just one 64-bit channel between the CPU and memory (in dual-channel, there are two)

RAM dual-channel

Even while the average frame rate is less changed by other games like The Division 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the lows and consistency are significantly altered.

RAM with one channel.

Division 2's frame rate frequently falls below 60 in single-channel mode, but in dual-channel mode, it remains above 60 for the entire benchmark duration. There are FPS decreases.

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I won't say much as the blog has informed you all about dual channel vs single channel memory. It is an easy process, and you can use it for various purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

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By employing two separate memory modules together, dual channel memory enables a twofold increase in data transfer bandwidth. This will raise the frame rate if memory speed has an impact on game performance. Faster memory may be more advantageous for games with heavy CPU usage because it allows the GPU to be fed frames more quickly.

If all else is equal, the dual channel will offer a speed boost of up to 15% for applications that utilize a lot of system memory. This primarily applies to programs like graphics and CAD.

The memory sub-system will become reliable as a result of these modifications under heavier loads. Ultimately, using four 2GB RAM sticks is always preferable to using two 4GB RAM sticks or a single 8GB RAM module. The addition of more sticks will speed up the mechanism in addition to making it more dependable.

Your motherboard is dual-channel if it has two slots filled with RAM. It is a single-channel device if it only takes up one slot, and a quad-channel device if it takes up four slots. Enter "msinfo32" after opening RUN. You may now do so.

Depending on how you use your computer, dual-channel is typically preferable. The single-channel 16GB may be superior for tasks that demand a lot of RAM (such as video editing or software development), but 2x4GB would be preferable for the majority of other uses.

Dual-channel mode allows your computer to work and run programs much more quickly by allowing two RAM sticks to communicate simultaneously on different channels. Therefore, regardless of the actual capacity of your RAM, running in dual-channel memory will significantly improve the performance of your PC.
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