Single Channel RAM vs Dual Channel RAM: Which is best?

Random access memory, or RAM, is a crucial component to consider when evaluating the performance of your system. Your system will perform more smoothly if you have additional RAM installed. RAM is a computer’s short-term memory. Including any operating system-specific services, web browsers, graphic editors, and games you are now playing are all kept in this mode. Every PC needs a bigger quantity of RAM since it prohibits it from accessing slow storage media. However, how do you know which RAM to buy? It’s clear that a RAM module is beneficial for your system because of a number of recognised facts. The following considerations must be made when acquiring RAM: RAM speed, memory capacity, channel type, timing & latency. In the end, we decided to buy the computer that the PC expert at the store recommended rather than wasting time and money on all of them. However, if you want to learn more about RAM, things grow more complex. Regardless, we’re moving forward with it.

RAM Speed

RAM speed, also known as frequency, is measured in Megahertz, abbreviated as MHz. There are a plethora of alternatives available on the market, ranging from 2133MHz to the massive 5000MHz. It was just a few years ago that RAM speed did not matter nearly as much as it does today. For top performance, if you were using an Intel build, your CPU required a DDR4 RAM speed of 2133MHz to achieve it. However, for optimal performance, your system will need a frequency range of 3200mhz to 3600mhz. This is exactly what occurred with AMD, except in this instance, the transformation is far more dramatic. If you have an AMD processor, the faster the processor, the better.

Memory Size

Memory size is less complex to calculate than the other variables. The greater the number, the better. Nonetheless, you will eventually have to ask yourself, “How much is too much?” If you are utilising a gaming system, 16 gigabytes is plenty, 32 gigabytes is considered overkill, and anything more than that is thought to be just showboating. It is possible to have up to 4TB of RAM, which is not suitable for everyday usage, depending on the task you undertake.

Channel Type

A single channel, a dual channel, and a quad channel are the three different kinds of channels. In accordance with its name, single channel RAM transmits data in a single channel, whereas dual channel transfers data in two channels and quad channel sends data in four channels. Somehow, quad channel memory are not very popular among motherboard and CPU makers at the moment for some reason. The debate over which of the two channels a person should use (single channel or dual channel) is still going on. And we will make every effort to go to great lengths on this subject in order to assist you in making your decision.

Single Channel vs Dual Channel Memory

Installing a RAM module on a single channel is a straightforward process. For example, in the case of dual channel memories, there are certain motherboards that support two channel memory but only have four DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) slots, which might be perplexing if you are putting up your own home computer from scratch. However, it is a straightforward procedure: you just insert one stick into the slot that is the farthest away from the processor, then skip a slot and insert the second stick. Dual channel RAM was developed with the goal of adding a parallel channel that could be accessible at the same time as the first stick of RAM was installed. For example, single-channel DDR4 RAM operating at 2133 MHz provides memory bandwidth of 17 GB/s. However, if you use a pair of DDR4 RAM modules running at 2133 MHz in a dual-channel configuration, your memory bandwidth doubles to 34 GB/s. Only memory modules operating at 4000 MHz or greater may achieve that level of performance when used in single-channel mode. Other options are not available. However, for the time being, the most optimum speed for any CPU is 3200Mhz, which is a significant benefit for dual-channel customers.

Single Channel vs Dual Channel in Gaming

On paper, there shouldn’t be much of a difference in performance while playing video games. However, the quality of the performance varies from game to game. The Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey games, for example, are almost unplayable on PCs that do not have dual-channel memory systems. According to the results of a benchmark test done by hardwaretimes.com, we discovered that the difference between single channel and dual channel may not seem to be significant at first glance since typical frame rates are not significantly impacted. However, the lows and frame pacing suffer significantly when using single channel, and the CPU latency rises by a stunning 50% while using single channel. This is due to the fact that there is only one 64-bit channel connecting the CPU to the memory. Games such as The Division 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider have a smaller influence on average frame rates, but their lows and consistency are significantly reduced. This frame rate dip may not seem like a major concern if you are just playing a single player game, but if the frame rate drop occurs during a multiplayer game, the experience will most certainly be less than smooth. However, if you don’t obsess over the details, you won’t notice that there is much of a difference between them.

Single Channel vs Dual Channel for Professionals

Now, if you are putting up a machine for professional work, RAM comes in third place, after a strong CPU and a high-quality graphics card. All of the benchmarks revealed one consistent finding: single channel memory consumes more CPU power, despite the fact that they provide the same frame rate as dual channel memory. Dual channel memory consumes 10-15 percent less CPU power. It is certain that the 10-15 percent will come in handy for such difficult situations. Furthermore, in every benchmark test in which single channel memory configurations are compared to dual channel memory configurations in professional applications, there is a marginally greater difference in terms of performance between the channel configurations than there is between the channel configurations. Consequently, if you are required to utilise a computer for any of those types of jobs, choosing a multi-channel RAM setup may provide you with a speed gain.

So, Which is Better? Single Channel or Dual Channel?

Numerous people assume that single channel and dual channel memory aren’t all that dissimilar from one another.. The truth of this phrase holds true if you are the kind of person that does not want any problems while putting up your own system. However, if you are concerned with every part of your build and you want to have a minor or significant edge over others, two channel RAM should be your first choice.

Timing and Latency

Timings are another method of determining the speed of RAM. In contrast to the term “latency,” which refers to the delay between operations on a RAM chip, timings quantify the latency between several typical processes. It is sometimes referred to as “waiting time.” Because the minimum timings are determined by standard, you may consult a table that lists the fastest RAM timings that are achievable for each DDR specification. There are four different RAM timings: CL, TRCD, TRP, and TRAS. The ability to correctly tune these values allows you to overclock your RAM with relative ease. Overclocking will increase the speed of your RAM, and faster RAM reduces the processing time for RAM-bound applications, resulting in quicker rendering and more responsive virtual machine performance.

Future of RAM

When compared to other computer components, RAM updates are not as frequent.. In 2014, the DDr4 memory technology was released. And then, six years later, in 2020, DDR5 RAM was released. At first glance, it seemed to have good specifications, and it was expected to outperform DDR4 in practically every category. DDR5 was meant to be superior than DDR4 in every regard, including higher speeds, more bandwidth, and improved power efficiency. However, despite the fact that DDR5 has been accessible for over a year, it is still not widely available everywhere; we may partially blame the pandemic for this situation. However, if the specifications are correct, we will finally have a new generation of speedier PCs and other gaming consoles on our hands.

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Bryan V. Root
Bryan V. Root
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