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Old 03-09-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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Default Difference between single and dual channel memory?

I'm wondering, what's the difference between single channel and dual channel RAM? I'm planning on buying a total of 4 Gigs of RAM, so is there also a difference between two 2Gb sticks or just one?
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Difference between single and dual channel memory?

RAM runs in dual channel mode when you use 2 sticks of RAM.

And single channel mode when you use 1 stick of RAM.

The difference is the width of the 'road from the CPU to RAM', so to speak.

So in single channel mode the data width would be 64 BIT and in dual channel mode the data width would be 128 BIT. And for obvious reasons dual channel would be beneficial.

You can buy dual channel RAM 'pair' that has been matched to worked together in dual channel mode.

So if you need a specific amount of RAM, lets say 2GB, then get 2 X 1GB RAM so they'll run in dual channel mode. Buying 1 X 2GB RAM will give you your 2GB but it'll only run in single channel mode.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Difference between single and dual channel memory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomirlik View Post
I'm wondering, what's the difference between single channel and dual channel RAM?
In a word. . .

Nothing.

Dual channel memory kits are nothing more than matching sticks of memory. You can buy any two matching memory modules and run them in dual channel. For optimum performance, they should be of the same capacity and specifications.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Difference between single and dual channel memory?

so if I had 4 memory slots and wanted 4 gb. Youre saying it would be better to get 2x 2gb sticks than it would to get 1x 4gb stick.
Does the same theory apply if I were to use 4x 1gb sticks to get my 4gb ram.?

also...whats memory "timing"?
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Difference between single and dual channel memory?

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Originally Posted by Atomic Rooster View Post
In a word. . .

Nothing.

Dual channel memory kits are nothing more than matching sticks of memory. You can buy any two matching memory modules and run them in dual channel. For optimum performance, they should be of the same capacity and specifications.
yep..and speed runs a LITTLE bit faster if its a dual channel memory kit rather than you have one ddr2 1066 stick of patriot ram and one ddr2 1066 stick of corsair ram..if you bought the dual kit..best chance it will be tad bit faster.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Difference between single and dual channel memory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pud View Post
so if I had 4 memory slots and wanted 4 gb. Youre saying it would be better to get 2x 2gb sticks than it would to get 1x 4gb stick.
Does the same theory apply if I were to use 4x 1gb sticks to get my 4gb ram.?

also...whats memory "timing"?
Yes, 2x 2GB modules will run a bit quicker than 1x 4GB as the two will run in dual channel mode. The same with 4x 1GB, they will also run in dual channel mode.

Memory Timings Explained

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