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XDD

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Jun 16, 2020
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Hello!

My laptop has two RAM slots and is currently occupied by two 4 GB RAM cards (total 8 GB RAM)

Is it better to replace two RAM cards by two 8 GB RAM cards making the total 16 GB RAM or replace one of the 4 GB RAM cards with a 16 GB RAM making the total 20 GB RAM?

I understand that two 8 GB RAM cards in better than a single 16 GB RAM card due to dual channel.
 

ThumperTM

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There is not much improvement in effective RAM speed for most CPU’s in recent years (meaning the last 10 years, maybe even more) because of the CPU’s cache memory.

Thus, assuming you only have 2 slots (most typically in laptops), if you ever intend to increase the memory to 32GB, save the extra slot and I’d recommend you go with the single 16GB RAM. If you will not be adding extra memory, then go with the 8GB memories, which probably are cheaper than the single 16GB.

In my opinion, 8 to 12 GB of memory is the current best, minimum size for memory for Windows 10 and most typical applications and games. There are few applications that need more than 16gb. A few, extreme games might do better with greater than 16 GB. However, for Video editing, you want 16 GB to 32 GB at least. For Photoshop, depending upon image size and what you are doing, as much as possible.

TL;DR
Single vs Dual Channel Operation

With typical CPU and memory controllers, the best a dual channel system will improve memory speed is about 15%. That’s basically for specialized benchmarks for memory. In real life, almost all real usage never have that much difference. Except for some very specific, memory intensive cases (and also if you are using the integrated graphic controller as opposed to the CPU), you seldom will see any noticeable differences.
 

XDD

Member
Jun 16, 2020
12
2
OS
Windows 10
BR
Chrome 83.0.4103.116
There is not much improvement in effective RAM speed for most CPU’s in recent years (meaning the last 10 years, maybe even more) because of the CPU’s cache memory.

Thus, assuming you only have 2 slots (most typically in laptops), if you ever intend to increase the memory to 32GB, save the extra slot and I’d recommend you go with the single 16GB RAM. If you will not be adding extra memory, then go with the 8GB memories, which probably are cheaper than the single 16GB.

In my opinion, 8 to 12 GB of memory is the current best, minimum size for memory for Windows 10 and most typical applications and games. There are few applications that need more than 16gb. A few, extreme games might do better with greater than 16 GB. However, for Video editing, you want 16 GB to 32 GB at least. For Photoshop, depending upon image size and what you are doing, as much as possible.

TL;DR
Single vs Dual Channel Operation

With typical CPU and memory controllers, the best a dual channel system will improve memory speed is about 15%. That’s basically for specialized benchmarks for memory. In real life, almost all real usage never have that much difference. Except for some very specific, memory intensive cases (and also if you are using the integrated graphic controller as opposed to the CPU), you seldom will see any noticeable differences.

Thank you, that helps a lot.
 

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