If you are going to configure a computer with 16 gigabytes of RAM, then I recommend that you buy two identical 8 gigabytes of RAM instead of one 16 gigabyte RAM module. Why? Let me explain to you in detail the principle of dual-channel RAM
What is a dual-channel mode?
The CPU interacts with data with the hard disk through the main memory. It Doubles the Dual-channel RAM slot width, double the Performance Boost, and improves memory performance. It is therefore said to be a technique that increases the transfer rate between the CPU and the main memory.
Kindly note that not all memory works with each other in dual channel mode. The data in the hard drive interacts with the CPU through the main memory.
What support is required to trigger a dual channel?
Two factors are the main requirements that are the motherboard and the CPU.
The motherboard will be marked when you buy it, whether or not your motherboard supports dual channels. From this point, you will know how to handle the PC. It will also determine the machine’s performance and the responding delay. For instance, we can use Gigabyte B450M as an example; the business will be marked directly.
The CPU, on the other hand, looks at the memory controller. You need to look at the maximum number of memory channels your CPU can support.
For example, Intel's i9-9900K is compatible with dual-channel technology with a maximum memory of 128GB and uses the DDR-4 RAM type.
You can check the memory support of your CPU on both CPU manufacturers' websites, Intel.
And AMD. You can do this by searching for System Information on your PC. You are to select the Processor option under the System Summary tab. You will get the required information that will help you browse the processor and find the type of RAM compatible with it.
You could also check out the number of RAM slots available on your motherboard. Your motherboard could have 4 slots or two slots in total.
Memory bandwidth calculation
- Bandwidth = RAM frequency * Memory bus width * Multiplier factor
- The frequency is the number marked on the memory stick
- The memory bus is the number of channels through which data is exchanged. The importance of this component is connecting the electric parts and transferring addresses from the RAM to the CPU. With every clock cycle, data transfer occurs within the memory bus to and from the on-card RAM.
- The multiplier depends on the memory version. The main memory versions are:
1. DDR2 – this type of RAM can provide data transfer on the falling and the rising edge of the CPU’s clock cycles. It offers a maximum speed of 3200 MB per second. The clock rate for this RAM version is 100 to 266 MHz. The full meaning of DDR is Dual Data Rate.
2. DDR3 – this is a type of SDRAM that is mainly useful in system memory. It uses less power compared to DDR2 and transfers data faster since it has a high bandwidth. The clock rate for this memory is 400 to 1066 MHz.
3. DDR4 – this type of memory works at high speed since the power consumption is reduced. The cooling requirements are also reduced, thus making it energy efficient. The clock rate is 800 to 1600 MHz.
How do I enable Dual-Channel Mode on my computer?
If you have only two slots on your motherboard, plug in two memory sticks to form a Dual-Channel Architecture.
Here to my motherboard manual to explain. There are 4 slots on the motherboard. A1 and B1 are the first channels, and A2 and B2 are the second channels.
Consisting of dual channels, which generally require interlaced installations, such as at the A1 and B1 memory slots, or the A2 and B2 slots can trigger dual channels. However, to ensure the system's stability, it is recommended to use A2 and B2 slots since they are far away from the CPU. This is to avoid having data transmission affected.
I highly insist you use the same memory chip of the same manufacturer and model. In this way, the frequency and capacity of RAM are consistent with maximizing performance.
The performance difference in games
Note that the dual-channel mode has various effects on video games. For example, the FPS in Far Cry 5 is about 20 FPS higher than usual. This clearly shows that having a dual-channel mode improves your graphics card at no fee. Games that have high CPU consumption also improve performance due to faster memory.
Asymmetric double channel
Can memory chips of different sizes form two channels? And the answer is yes, it's an asymmetric double channel.
The 4G and the front half of 8G are grouped into two channels, while the back half of 8G is divided into one channel.
As in the image above, the entire 4-gigabyte memory chip and the front half of the 8-gigabyte memory chip are grouped into two channels, and the back part of the 8-gigabyte memory chip is a single channel.
One of the problems with asymmetric dual channels is that the system doesn't necessarily use the dual-channel part first. Windows don’t use the dual-channel part first just because you have 4G. It stores data randomly. Then the software is run, and the response time is fast and slow.
FAQ regarding dual-channel RAM
Three common questions about dual channels and answers
Q. How do I know if my RAM is a dual channel?
When you are not sure of the kind of RAM you are using, you should use the following steps to find out:
Step 1: use the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Del to access the task manager
Step 2: On the Task Manager windows displayed, click on the Performance tab, which will lead to an overview of all the components. This will also display how the components are functioning.
Note that you can know if your RAM is a dual-channel by reading the user’s manual on the keyboard.
Q. What is the essence of having a dual-channel memory?
If your motherboard supports multi-channel memory, you will have the added advantage of fast performance. This is because more communication channels are added, thus enhancing the data transfer process. Having a dual channel on your machine also improves your gaming experience. This is because the FPS increases and the fast data transfer improves performance.
Q. Can I add more channels of communication?
Yes, you can add more communication channels on your motherboard. This will lead to multi-channel memory architecture. The main advantage of this technology is that the data transfer speed between the DRAM and memory controller is increased highly.
When purchasing a new PC, you can check out if the motherboard supports dual channel mode. This will help you know the maximum data transfer rate it can accommodate. If you are a gamer, getting a machine that can support dual-channel RAM will save you the cost of upgrading your graphics card now and then.
The performance is also guaranteed to be top-notch. When performing complex and heavy tasks regularly, getting a dual-channel memory may ease your work and save you time. You can check out the number of channels by using the CPU-Z in the Memory column.