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Dual or quad channel memory differences


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#1 sigma17

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

I'm confused about dual and quad channel memory architecture. I've heard that sometimes it's better to use 2 or 4 memory slots depending on the motherboard. Is that true, and if so, how do you know which configuration is better?
 
I have a P8Z77-V LX motherboard with 2 memory slots currently in use (4GB x2). The memory is F3-12800CL9S-4GBXL. I'd like to add another two 4GB sticks in the other 2 unused slots to go up to 16GB total. 
 
The motherboard's specifications say it has "Dual Channel Memory Architecture." What does that mean in practice? Would I see a decrease in performance if I used more slots? I notice on the memory manufacturer's specification page it says "Single Channel Kit." Is that referring to the memory architecture or something else?


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 03:01 PM

See comment by Tradesman1, http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2586844/mixing-dual-channel-memories-single-channel-memory.html /

 

I think of it this way...you have to have two modules of similar/same specs...to run dual-channel and these modules must be installed in the slots specified by the motherboard manual for dual-channel effect.

 

Louis



#3 sigma17

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 05:52 PM

any stick of DRAM can run in single, dual, Tri or Quad when paired with other sticks that all play together, whether it runs single, dual, etc depends on the platform it's installed on.

OK, I read this part, and I understand the importance of having compatible memory configurations to avoid interleaved memory. But I'm not entirely clear on what difference the dual, tri, and quad channel motherboards make.

 

I have a dual channel motherboard. Will my system perform differently if I install four identical 4GB sticks versus two identical 8GB sticks (assuming I install them in the correct slots)? Both configurations should perform exactly the same in my case, right?

 

It sounds like, on a dual channel system using 2 slots or 4 slots will give you the same performance. On a quad channel system using 4 slots will give you better performance than using 2 slots. Is that correct?


Edited by sigma17, 09 February 2017 - 05:57 PM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:01 PM

I can't answer that...the comparison that should be made, IMO, is...single-channel versus dual-channel versus quad-channel.  Whichever mode will be governed by the motherboard specs.

 

The O/S may also be a limiting factor, since 32-bit O/Ses can only utilize a max of 4GB RAM.  And, again, a given motherboard will only support a specific max amount of RAM.

 

There's a ton of material on RAM speeds, designations, etc. available via Google...you may want to use that search engine.

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2982965/components/quad-channel-ram-vs-dual-channel-ram-the-shocking-truth-about-their-performance.html

 

IMO:  From what I see...oftentimes there is much ado about nothing when it comes to some hardware comparisons where the differences in performance amount to less than 1% in real life.  When we talk about Component A being "faster" than Component B...for the most part, we are talking about speeds that cannot be measured understood by humans in our thought patterns of seconds, minutes, hours.  Unless you are building drag cars and racing them minimal distances...in the long run, you will probably be happy with any number of combinations/alternatives.  I have no technical/professional training relative to computers and am only a more-than-novice user...so my opinions and approach tend to reflect who/what I am when it comes to computing.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 09 February 2017 - 06:26 PM.


#5 shadow_647

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 11:36 PM

Ya that's single vs dual vs triple vs quad vs even more channels when it comes to memory setups, as well just from personal experience the more memory you use the slower you have to run it to keep the system stable same with memory channels, many times in the past my self i had to slow down my memory timings and or speed in mgz when going mega ram on a motherboard to keep the system happy.

 

On servers motherboards iv seen 6 channel or more if i remember right.

 

In a nut shell with more channels you get a bigger memory bus in bit size so you are able to move more data around faster but at the same time you add in more latency and for some systems like the cpu latency kills performance so if you raise the bar in bandwidth but at the same time do the same with latency you can end up no more ahead performance wise then if you just left things alone on the channel topic, iv seem some reviews of single vs duel in the past were single is faster for whatever the app/game it was that was tested vs duel and sometimes its the other way around.

 

Of late everyone for home use computers just seems to be staying with dual channel, more then that dousen't seem to help things and in some cases slows things down, this is all so the reason i think why cpus are starting to pack so much cash ram.

 

If you look at the link Louis posted in the synthetic benchmark quad channel douse a lot better then dual and blows it out of the water but then in real world apps/games it douse nothing and in one case was slower.

 

That's the latency vs bandwidth topic in action right their, the trick is you hit just the right balance with what it is your trying to do with your computer system, sadly this is all most the same topic with sdr vs ddr1 vs ddr2 vs ddr3 vs ddr4, each new version of memory is trading latency for bandwidth and in the end for something like the cpu performance wise it dousen't work out as well at some would like you to think, example DDR1 266mgz is not 2x faster for most systems then sdr 133mgz more like 25% at best speed wise.

 

Heres a new example say you want to game on the net one connection is 10Mbps with a ping of 50 other one is 10000Mbps with a ping of 50000, what connection do you want to use for gaming and what connection do you think would work best ?

Answer monster ping = unplayable regardless of how fast your internet connection is, memory works the same way.


Edited by shadow_647, 09 February 2017 - 11:39 PM.





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