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Single-channel vs dual-channel RAM: which memory cài đặt is better for gaming và high-performance PCs? But, before we look into that, what’s the difference between a single-channel & dual-channel memory config. & how much performance vày you gain on switching to lớn a dual-channel memory setup?

Games like Assassins’ Creed và Fallout 4 benefit immensely from dual-channel memory configurations & it’s impossible to lớn get a smooth experience if you’re running a single-channel memory setup, regardless of how expensive the rest of your rig may be. In other games, the performance difference between single-channel và dual-channel RAM can vary from subtle to lớn unnoticeable.

Impact of Memory speed on Gaming Performance

RAM speed, in terms of frequency, can also have an impact on your gaming experience. The higher the frequency, the greater the memory bandwidth. With DDR4, 3200 MHz is the ideal target. A small lifehack: pick up low-clocked RAM from big-name manufacturers lượt thích Samsung. There’s a very high chance that you’ll be able to crank the clock speeds up on the modules.

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I used to have 4 RAM modules–a pair of ADATAs at 2400 MHz stock và a Samsung module at 2100 MHz. All four ran happily at 2933 MHz. (Tramadol) High-frequency RAM is especially important if you have integrated graphics: your i
GPU shares memory with the CPU and you’ll need as much memory bandwidth as you can get.

Single-Channel vs Dual-Channel Memory

But there’s a third concern that is often overlooked. & it has a far larger impact on memory bandwidth than overclocking your RAM modules. We’re talking about going dual-channel. What is a dual-channel memory config và what’s the difference between dual and single-channel configurations?

RAM communicates with the CPU through the memory controller on the CPU. Most modern motherboards have two 64-bit (total 128-bit) channels between the CPU and memory. In a single-channel configuration, only one of them is functional. This limits memory throughput khổng lồ the rated tốc độ of the slowest single RAM module installed.

In dual-channel memory configurations, the memory controller uses both channels to lớn communicate with the CPU, essentially doubling the bandwidth. But what about multi-channel configurations? Technically, quad-channel systems exist, but they’re mainly found on server-centric & exotic boards. For most people, multi-channel means dual-channel memory.

Dual-Channel Doubles Memory Throughput

Single-channel 2133 MHz DDR4 delivers 17 GB/s of memory bandwidth. If you have a pair of 2133 MHz DDR4 modules in dual-channel, your memory bandwidth doubles khổng lồ 34 GB/s. The only way khổng lồ hit that level of performance in single-channel mode is to lớn use memory modules running at 4000 MHz or higher.

Courtesy: Gamers

We have to bức xúc an important point here: you need RAM modules in multiples of two in order khổng lồ utilize dual-channel. Most budget to lớn midrange boards will either have two or four memory slots. I had a Gigabyte B450 DS3H with 4 memory slots and dual-channel support. If you have two slots and your motherboard supports dual-channel, setting it up is often as easy as just inserting a second memory module & booting up.

Courtesy: Gamers

If you have 4 slots, however, things are a bit more complicated. Your motherboard manual will tell you which slots lớn insert your RAM modules if you want to enable dual-channel. Or, you could just get 4 RAM modules & have it run by default. This can be confusing because there’s usually no “on switch” for dual-channel memory. As the Hardware Times motto goes, “it just works.” Well, at least when it does work.


If you’re not sure about whether or not dual-channel is enabled, tải về CPU-Z, then click on the memory tab. It’ll mention whether you’re running your memory in a dual or single-channel configuration.

Single-Channel vs Dual-Channel RAM: Gaming Performance with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

What’s the performance difference between single-channel và dual-channel memory? It varies from game to game, but several titles show a significant increase in your minimum & average framerates with a dual-channel configuration. The Assassin’s Creed series và Fallout 4 are notable examples. As already mentioned, Assassin’s Creed Origins và Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are nearly unplayable on PC without a dual-channel memory config.

Single-Channel RAM

At first sight, the difference may not look like much. After all, the average frame rates aren’t affected by much, but the lows và frame pacing take a big hit. The CPU latency in single-channel increases by a whopping 50%. This is because there is only one 64-bit channel between the CPU and memory (in dual-channel, there are two)

Dual-Channel RAM

Other games like The Division 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider have an ever lesser impact on average frame rates but the lows & consistency are affected drastically.

Single-Channel RAM

In single-channel mode, the frame rate drops below 60 quite often in Division 2 but in dual-channel, it stays over 60 throughout the duration of the benchmark. The FPS drops are fewer and the 1% lows are particularly higher. This directly translates into smoother chơi game and fewer bouts of anger.

Dual-Channel RAM

Impact of Dual-Channel Memory on Gaming Performance: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

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Areej Follow on Twitter October 29, 2021


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, và almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to lớn computer hardware and its applications.

One common question that first-time builders & gamers have when they are choosing their memory is whether or not they should get a single stick of RAM or two sticks of RAM that equal the same capacity as the single stick.

Most people will say that it is better khổng lồ get two sticks of RAM so that you can utilize the “advantages” of dual channel memory. But is that true? What about in gaming? And, how big is the performance difference? What aboutquad channel configurations?

We’ve benchmarked a handful of games in dual and single memory configurations and in this article, we’re going lớn answer those questions so that you have a better idea on whether or not you configure your RAM in single or dual channel memory.

What Does Quad, Dual, và Single Channel Even Mean?

Essentially, if you run one stick of RAM in your computer, it will be running in a single channel configuration. If you runtwo sticks of RAM, they will be running in dual channel configuration. And, if you run four sticks of memory, they couldbe running in quad channel configuration, depending on whether or not you have a CPU/motherboard combination that supports quad channel memory.

Youcan run three sticks of memory, but there aren’t a lot of motherboards that use triple channel configurations. So, in most cases, installing three sticks of RAM would be utilizing two of the sticks in dual channel mode & one of the sticks in single channel mode.

The advantages of running two or four lower capacity memory sticks in dual or quad channel configuration (again, not all CPU/motherboards support quad channel memory) is that they will provide the same capacity as a larger single stick of memory, while at the same time doubling và quadrupling the amount of memory bandwidth that is available.

When you add the second (and fourth)stick of RAM, you are adding a parallel channel that can be accessed simultaneously with the first stick of RAM. The common conception is that by doubling or quadrupling the available memory bandwidth, dual and quad channel configurations will make your system perform better.

Is that true, though?

Single Channel vs Dual Channel Memory: Not That Big of a Difference for Gamers?

We took two kits of DDR4 3200MHz RAM và tested them in pretty much every common memory configuration available. One of the kits was a 4x4GB kit và the other was a 4x8GB kit.

That allowed us to demo the following channel configurations:

8GB Single Channel & 8GB Dual Channel 16GB Dual Channel (w/two sticks) & 16GB Dual Channel (with four sticks)

We benchmarked these different configurations in five different games: Dirt 4, PUBG, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, GTA V, và Battlefront II. Our demo system used an i7-8700K, a GTX 1070, & a 1920×1200 monitor.

Our results are below.

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*NOTE: In our test, we originally made the error of thinking that we were running our 4x8GB configuration in quad-channel configuration. However, as pointed out by Xenotester in the phản hồi section, the Intel chip core i7-8700K does not support quad-channel memory, but, rather, is limited to dual channel configurations. Because of this, the results below vì not portray an accurate view of the difference between quad-channel & dual-channel memory performance in gaming. So, when looking at these benchmarks, the only real takeaway comes from A) the single channel vs. Dual channel performance, & B) the difference between running four sticks of RAM in dual channel & running two sticks of RAM that equal the same capacity in dual channel.






Test Results và What They Mean

Across all five games, there was no significant difference between how single & dual channel memory performed. Again, we errored in our belief that running four sticks of RAM on a Z370 motherboard would be utilizing a quad channel configuration. So, the 16GB quad vs 16GB dual results shouldn’t mean anything other than that running four sticks of 4GB of RAM in dual channel configuration didn’t really offer any performance boost over running two sticks of 8GB of RAM in dual channel configuration and vice versa.

The only metric that really varied that isn’t shown in this graph, is that on the single channel memory configuration, the CPU usage was anywhere from 10-25% higher than on the dual channel configurations. So, I think what happens is that in dual và quad channel configurations, the extra available memory bus takes a bit of the workload off of the CPU. I could be wrong about that, but at first glance, thatseems lớn be what is happening.

So, you could theorize that with a budget-friendly processor, there is the potential for a noticeable performance drop in single channel versus dual or quad channel configurations, but even then, my guess would be that it would also be minimal.

While I’ll admit that my thử nghiệm methodology wasn’t the strictest & perhaps it would make more sense lớn run the same tests with a more budget-oriented gaming PC, I think in the grand scheme of things this points khổng lồ the fact that dual channel configurations don’t offerthat significant of a difference over single channel configurations—at least in gaming performance.

So, Should I Just Stick lớn Single Channel Memory Then?

The tests above show that, for gaming, there isn’t any kind of noticeable difference between running your memory in single & dual channel memory configurations.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that dual channel configurations shouldn’t be considered. There are cases where it will make sense khổng lồ utilize dual channel configurations:

1. You Might Find Dual Kits to Be Less Expensive

In some cases, especially during sales, you may be able khổng lồ find a dual kit of RAM at a lower cost than a single stick of RAM. Typically, single sticks of RAM are less expensive than dual kits. However, in the world of PC hardware, there are hundreds of sales every day on the various components from the multitudes of brands & manufacturers.

So, if you can grab a dual kit of RAM for less money than a single stick of RAM (all other factors equal), then vày it.

Another point to consider, though, is how many slots your motherboard has và how much RAM you can afford right now. If you canonly afford 8GB of RAM right now and a motherboard withonly two DIMM slots, it might make more sense to go with a single 8GB stick of RAM rather than dual 4GB sticks of RAM.

The reason is that, if you ever wanted khổng lồ upgrade to 16GB of RAM, all you’d have to vì is purchase another 8GB stick of RAM. If you would have chosen dual 4GB sticks of RAM, you’d have khổng lồ get rid of both of those sticks và buy an entirely new 16GB kit.

2. Dual Channels for Aesthetic Purposes

The other reason lớn choose a dual or quad kit over a single stick of RAM is for aesthetic purposes. A single stick of RAM on a motherboard with four DIMM slots won’t look as clean as if you were to lớn use two sticks of RAM—or, better yet, four sticks of RAM.

So, if the price difference between a single stick of RAM và a dual kit (or quad kit) of the same capacity is minimal and you are taking the aesthetics of your build into consideration, then you might want to try và fill up your DIMM slots.

3. Dual Channel Beats Single Channel in Professional Applications?

This is a demo for another day, but of the benchmarks I’ve seen where single channel memory is stacked up against dual channel memory configurations in professional applications (editing, design, CPU-laden tasks, etc.), there is a bit more of a difference in performance between the channel configurations.

So, if you will be using your computer for any of those kinds of tasks, going with a multi-channel memory configuration might give you a boost in performance.

For Gaming, Single and Dual Channel Aren’tThat Different

Overall, if your main concern is gaming performance, the reality is that there isn’t that big of a difference between single & dual channel memory configurations.

There are other reasons khổng lồ choose dual or quad kits of RAM, though, as outlined above. But, for pure gaming performance, the dual & quad channel configurations seem lớn offer no significant advantage over single channel configurations.

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