What’s a computer without the RAM? Nothing, really!
The RAM (commonly just referred to as memory) is a crucial component without which computers will not work properly. In simple words, without this temporary memory, you won’t be able to play games or run any software programs.
A brief about the RAM
Random Access Memory is quite complicated and detailed. But in this article, we shall focus on the basics. Broadly divided, there are 2 types of RAM – single channel and dual channel. The difference between them lies in the name itself.
A single channel RAM will communicate with the CPU through one channel while a dual channel RAM will use 2 channels. There are multi-channel RAMs as well but they are ideal for professional gamers and graphic designers. Dual channel RAM is good enough for regular work and browsing.
So, how do you know if you have a single channel RAM or a dual channel RAM? Check the number of sticks on your motherboard or in your system. If there are 2, you have a dual channel RAM. Just one indicates single channel. If you are not keen on checking the motherboard, you can choose alternative methods such as downloading a third-party app to get the information you need.
How to enable dual channel RAM
First and foremost, please note that most computers today already have dual channel RAM. So, there’s no need to enable it. Automatically, both the channels will be active without you having to do anything. If you are freshly installing a RAM, just ensure you install one with 2 slots. That’s all from your end.
Having said that, for seamless dual channel operation, you need to ensure that a few settings are in place. This is especially if you are using 2 modules. Some of them are:
- The DIMM arrangement should be in pairs in all modes.
- Module capacity should be the same.
- DRAM bus width should also be the same along with similar DRAM technology.
- Both the modules you are using should be dual-sided or single-sided. One can’t be single and the other can’t be dual.
- The assembly of the slots should be mirror inverted.
Now, let’s take a look at the answers to a few popular FAQs:
Do all motherboards support dual channel RAM?
All modern or latest motherboards have dual channel RAM support. So, yes, all modern motherboards support dual channel RAM.
Which type of RAM can be used in a dual channel configuration?
DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 – they all support dual channel configuration.
Does dual channel RAM increase FPS?
Dual channel RAM definitely increases the FPS but you may not notice it, to be honest. That’s why, if you are using your computer for gaming, you should go with a multi-channel RAM.
Is single channel RAM bad?
Not at all. It is just that dual and multi-channel RAMs work better, performance-wise.
Can RAM slots go bad?
Yes, if your RAM is not performing well, there are chances that the RAM is okay but the slot has gone bad. A bad slot can ultimately damage the RAM itself. So, it is best to check and change the slot if required.
Also, please note that repairing a slot can be quite complicated. So, speak to a professional if you do not have experience.
Now that you know all there is to know about the dual channel memory, go ahead and make an upgrade! If you have any doubts, feel free to reach out.