Laptop dual channel ram

Destroy1337

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Apr 6, 2017
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Ok guys. So I have a acer i3 6006u laptop which has already 1 stick of ddr4 8gb ram and i have a free ram slot. It currently runs single channel mode. Now , because I understood that having dual channel mode ram will increase performance in games, i want to make my laptop dual channel ram as well. So , question is : if I will put the same type , model of ram that is already installed in my laptop , but instead of 8 I will but 4 gb , will it work in dual channel mode. I mean if I will use 8gb+4gb , will this work in dual channel mode ,keeping in mind that the only difference beetween these 2 ram sticks is just that one is 8 and another is 4gb , everything else is the same ? Thx
 

jaguarskx

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Moderator
Generally speaking, you can install a second RAM stick and the RAM will operate in dual channel mode. I say generally, because it is recommended you purchase "matched pairs" RAM to guarantee the RAM will work in dual channel mode because they have been verified to do so. Having said that, the chances of using unmatched paired of RAM (or mix and match) and still operate in dual mode is pretty good.

My old Lenovo Ideapad Y470 only had a stick of Crucial 4GB RAM. My brother gave me a spare Kingston 2GB RAM stick which I installed it operated fine with no issues. I verified the RAM (a total of 6GB) was operating in dual channel mode by using a program called CPU-Z; in the memory tab the "Channels #" field stated "Dual" which meant the RAM was operating in dual channel mode. Prior to installing the 2GB stick of RAM, it stated "Single".

Typically speaking, you want both RAM sticks to be of the same capacity because that will give you the best performance. Especially if the RAM are matched pairs because they are guaranteed to work in dual channel mode with each other. However, mixing different RAM capacities is not the end of the world. There was an article I read couple of years ago (which is a lot more recent than the linked article above from 2004) which tested RAM used in dual channel mode. Basically, using unmatched pairs of different RAM capacities yielded about 95% the performance compared to using matched paired of RAM where both sticks are the same capacity.

Did I see an increase in gaming performance when I installed the 2GB stick of RAM into my Lenovo Ideapad Y470? No, but that is because it has the nVidia GT 550m GPU with it's own dedicated 2GB of VRAM.
 

pohemi

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Jan 24, 2013
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No, it won't work in dual channel. The ram modules must be the same size and specs, or it will default to whatever the slower module is.
 

thx1138v2

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Jun 18, 2011
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Not only will it default to the slower module, it will also NOT be dual channel. They must be the same size and density. Density refers to the actual RAM chips on the module.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/memory-upgrade/

Whether it will be any benefit or not also depends on the OS you are running. A 32-bit operating system won't ever see over 4GB of RAM.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Generally speaking, you can install a second RAM stick and the RAM will operate in dual channel mode. I say generally, because it is recommended you purchase "matched pairs" RAM to guarantee the RAM will work in dual channel mode because they have been verified to do so. Having said that, the chances of using unmatched paired of RAM (or mix and match) and still operate in dual mode is pretty good.

My old Lenovo Ideapad Y470 only had a stick of Crucial 4GB RAM. My brother gave me a spare Kingston 2GB RAM stick which I installed it operated fine with no issues. I verified the RAM (a total of 6GB) was operating in dual channel mode by using a program called CPU-Z; in the memory tab the "Channels #" field stated "Dual" which meant the RAM was operating in dual channel mode. Prior to installing the 2GB stick of RAM, it stated "Single".

Typically speaking, you want both RAM sticks to be of the same capacity because that will give you the best performance. Especially if the RAM are matched pairs because they are guaranteed to work in dual channel mode with each other. However, mixing different RAM capacities is not the end of the world. There was an article I read couple of years ago (which is a lot more recent than the linked article above from 2004) which tested RAM used in dual channel mode. Basically, using unmatched pairs of different RAM capacities yielded about 95% the performance compared to using matched paired of RAM where both sticks are the same capacity.

Did I see an increase in gaming performance when I installed the 2GB stick of RAM into my Lenovo Ideapad Y470? No, but that is because it has the nVidia GT 550m GPU with it's own dedicated 2GB of VRAM.
 

Destroy1337

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Apr 6, 2017
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This is a good answer which I expected. So you basically want to say that it is possible?

Thank you.
 

jaguarskx

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Moderator
Yep, it is definitely possible.

I also have a Dell Latitude 3540 and Dell Inspiron 7559; both of which I installed different RAM brands and they operate in dual channel mode. The Latitude has 2 sticks of 4GB RAM while the Inspiron has 2 sticks of 8GB RAM. I have used CPU-Z to verify that the RAM do in fact operate in dual channel mode. Both laptops have dedicated GPUs, so I didn't increase RAM to get better game performance.
 
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