What is Better Dual or Single Channel Memory?

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  1. jaxxxx's Avatar
    Posts : 83
    Win 10 Pro Version 1607 (Build 14393.187)
       #1

    What is Better Dual or Single Channel Memory?


    Is 2 slots of memory in performance better than 1 slot using the same amount of RAM, e.g., 1 x 16 GBs of DDR3 Laptop Memory or 2 x 8 GB of DDR3? I think I know the obvious, 1 x 16 GB in 1 slot, correct?

    Also, I have seen some lower ended laptops - say with just a skylake i5 (6200U) perform better with DDR3 than overkill of DRR4 - DDR4 seemed to have latency issues, like bottle necked traffic. I have seen where there is this 10 second lag before a program responds when opening a new application using DDR4, where an i5 6th gen seems to utilize DDR3 laptop memory much smoother, instant gratification while opening up a new application. BUT, overall, while the application is up and running, DDR4 has the advantage to perform better being its at a higher frequency - 2133 HZs as opposed to DDR3 at 1600 HZs, so is there sometimes a trade off using DDR4 over DDR3 in lower ended laptops, say those who do not have a dedicated graphics card?

    One more unrelated question, if I can? While swapping out a mechanical drive is as easy as they say, correct, I am not concerned about my programs I have on the mechanical drive, I just want to swap that mechanical drive out for an SSD. I do the swap, use a USB boot to Windows 10 downloaded on that USB media created tool, boot using the USB option, correct, or just boot normally, and your BIOS will automatically detect the USB Media created tool? Just a bit confused on just how easy all of that is while doing a swap, like I say, not worried about saving previous programs and files, they all exist on an external drive anyway...

    Hope that isn't asking too much??? Hope my usual windows 10 forum responders reply.
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  2. Posts : 2,735
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #2

    Hi,

    In theory a set of matched 2*8GB modules should be faster. In practice however I'd doubt anyone would notice a difference.

    I have a machine equipped with DDR3 (I7 4770) and another running DDR4 (I5 6500). Not a fair comparison but I haven't noticed the impact of the type of RAM used. The amount of it, yes. Of course the I7 CPU is much more powerful than the I5 too.
    Swapping a HDD out for a decent SDD makes the most difference overall.

    Cheers,
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  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 8,082
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint, Win7 Pro
       #3

    I've never seen a motherboard run a choice of DDR2, DDR3 or DDR4, usually just one type. The RAM modules I've used and salvaged won't interchange on the same board, are built slightly different and won't fit in the same slots. You can see that by lining up the modules to see the contacts and the all-important notch for fitting in the slots on the motherboard.
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  4. Posts : 506
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
       #4

    jaxxxx said:
    Is 2 slots of memory in performance better than 1 slot using the same amount of RAM, e.g., 1 x 16 GBs of DDR3 Laptop Memory or 2 x 8 GB of DDR3? I think I know the obvious, 1 x 16 GB in 1 slot, correct?
    Dual channel is faster. 2 x 8GB.
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  5. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 2,892
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #5

    Dual channel is always better then single.

    RAM Performance Benchmark: Single-Channel vs. Dual-Channel - Does It Matter? | Gamers Nexus - Gaming PC Builds Hardware Benchmarks

    Dual-channel vs. Single-channel, does it matter? - The NUC Blog

    What's your memory assessment speed? - Windows 7 Help Forums

    As others have said, it`s all in your head, the only way to prove it is to run winsat mem with 1 stick in single channel then 2 sticks in dual channel.

    As far as booting from a usb stick, you have to choose it in the one time boot menu (not the bios) unless you go into the bios and list usb as the first boot option (you do not want to do that)

    My settings

    1) DVD drive
    2) Boot drive
    3) Disable
    4) Disable

    etc
    etc
    etc

    Any time you want to deviate just use the boot menu, as mentioned :)


    For example, If you want to boot into a Linux distro on a flash drive, just follow the above rule.
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  6. Dude's Avatar
    Posts : 14,168
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #6

    ^ This, Dual channel is better
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  7. Posts : 2,735
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #7

    Hi,

    Berton said:
    I've never seen a motherboard run a choice of DDR2, DDR3 or DDR4, usually just one type. The RAM modules I've used and salvaged won't interchange on the same board, are built slightly different and won't fit in the same slots. You can see that by lining up the modules to see the contacts and the all-important notch for fitting in the slots on the motherboard.
    Neither have I but Skylake CPUs support both DDR3 and DDR4 type of RAM at 1.2 to1.35 V.

    Cheers,
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  8. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 8,082
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint, Win7 Pro
       #8

    fdegrove said:
    Hi,
    Neither have I but Skylake CPUs support both DDR3 and DDR4 type of RAM at 1.2 to1.35 V.

    Cheers,
    So it's up to the makers of motherboards to include the proper slots for the modules to fit in and supply the proper voltage.
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  9. Posts : 2,735
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #9

    Hi,

    Berton said:
    So it's up to the makers of motherboards to include the proper slots for the modules to fit in and supply the proper voltage.
    Absolutely.
    I think Intel opted to include DDR3 support as they were uncertain when exactly DDR4 would hit the market.
    That said I don't know of any socket 1151 MB that accepts DDR3 modules but these may exist.

    Cheers,
      My Computers

  10. jaxxxx's Avatar
    Posts : 83
    Win 10 Pro Version 1607 (Build 14393.187)
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Berton said:
    I've never seen a motherboard run a choice of DDR2, DDR3 or DDR4, usually just one type. The RAM modules I've used and salvaged won't interchange on the same board, are built slightly different and won't fit in the same slots. You can see that by lining up the modules to see the contacts and the all-important notch for fitting in the slots on the motherboard.
    I didn't mean having a mobo and putting in 3 different "Types" of RAM on the same mobo,

    I was mentioning on some lower ended i5 mobos (100 Series), they have over compensated or they thought, by putting in crazy amounts of DDR4 RAM, when in fact, without a good GPU and just an average CPU, it serves no purpose. I have seen, in particular, a friend bought a cheap Acer E15, and that mobo supported 32 GBs of DDR4, and so he bought it, put in 32 GBs of DDR4 thinking it would be fast, without a GPU, just an HD 520 and we both were scratching our heads, the machine was a real lager, even just opening up Internet Explorer, it lagged about 10-15 seconds before it could open any application, but once the app was running, it was extremely fast. Something wasn't quite right with that setup.

    We tweaked everything to the same using another lower ended laptop, a Lenovo Ideapad, which had an i5 (same one - 6200U), and that machine ran very smooth, very responsive, also no GPU either, same as the Acer, just an HD 520. Both machines were sub $500. The Lenovo worked much better with just 8 GBs of DDR3 than the Acer with 32 GBs of DDR4. That is what I meant.

    By the way, Intel still uses DDR3 in its skylake family, actually the skylake family both support DDR4 and DDR3, but not combined.

    Thanks for all the feedback, I guess for some dual channel users, 2 x 8 GBs of any RAM is better than 1 x 16 GBs, or vice versa. I wish there was proof, just for the sake of it. Also, never use 1 stick of 4 GB and the other slot with a higher or lower amount, keep them equal, correct?

    Thanks again for the advice fdegrove, addram and dude.
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