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Does the number of RAM modules in games matter?

Author : dumpspanda020
Publish Date : 2021-05-23 08:07:58
Does the number of RAM modules in games matter?

Let's, using theory and practice, figure out what kind of organization of the computer's memory will be optimal. Let's recall the different modes of memory operation, the topology of motherboards and look at the RAM tests on popular YouTube channels. And at the same time we will select the optimal RAM modules in terms of speed and volume for upgrading your PC.

The amount of computer memory, its speed and mode of operation are of greater concern to users today than a couple of years ago. There is an explanation for this - multi-core processors with six or more cores, often used in gaming PCs, have become more sensitive to RAM speed, an increase in which gives an increase not only in synthetic tests, but also in games.

After all, it is one thing to load four processor cores with data from RAM, which we have had enough for almost a decade, and quite another thing to load six or eight cores, which increased performance per clock cycle and became faster.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 made 6 cores available to many in 2017

The games are also making their contribution, rapidly increasing in volume, mainly due to the huge high-resolution textures. For example, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare can occupy more than 200 GB (!) On the drive, and your PC loads these gigabytes of data from the SSD into RAM, and then sends it to the processor and video card for processing.

Another factor drawing attention to the amount and organization of RAM is the fact that most current gaming PCs have 16GB of RAM. Usually they put two 8 GB sticks. This volume is still enough even for the most demanding games, but if you add a browser running in the background, instant messengers and other software that no PC can do without, then 16 GB of RAM is easily filled to 100%.

When there is a need to upgrade RAM, many questions arise: add two more similar strips to two 8 GB strips? Selling your RAM in the secondary market and immediately buying two 16GB sticks?

And if your work tasks are already end-to-end with 32 GB, then does it make sense to buy one 32 GB bar for the first time, and later add another one and get 64 GB in dual-channel mode?

It is not surprising that the recently published news in the DNS club about the comparison of different memory modes caused a heated discussion in the comments. Let me remind you that the author of the video from the YouTube channel Testing Games compared the operating modes of the RAM 1x32 GB, 2x16 GB and 4x8 GB and in almost all games received a two-three percent increase in the frame rate when using four memory modules.






Well, the single-channel mode of operation of 1X32 GB RAM, in which the memory bandwidth is two times less, showed depressingly low results, making RAM a weak point of the entire system.

More detailed and thorough testing of different modes of RAM appeared a couple of months ago on the YouTube channel i2HARD , where the authors tested the modes of RAM 2x8 GB, 4x8 GB and 2x16 GB on current Intel and AMD platforms. The test results also showed a slight increase in speed in the operation of four RAM modules compared to two, as well as an increase when using two-rank RAM modules.

Let's take a closer look at where this performance gain comes from with the same amount of RAM.

Dual-channel mode of operation of RAM and its rank

Even novice users know how important dual-channel RAM mode is for a productive PC and that it is advisable to purchase the same RAM modules in pairs. This task is facilitated by the fact that many manufacturers produce some of the RAM modules in sets of two. 

Additionally, a small increase in performance can be obtained by installing two dual-rank RAM modules into the system. A memory rank is a 64-bit wide data area that can be accessed by the processor's memory controller. One memory channel is also 64 bits wide, and dual-rank modules allow the controller to interleave requests to the RAM module, slightly improving performance. You can read more about the rank of RAM modules in this blog.

Crucial Ballistix U4 series modules popular among overclockers, which were previously only dual-rank with 8 Gbit chips, can now be caught in a peer-to-peer version with 16 Gbit chips, which users write about on the forums, but this is not indicated in the RAM characteristics.

If everything is clear with the increase from the use of dual-rank RAM modules, let's figure out where the increase in four peer RAM modules comes from and why, despite this, some overclocking boards have only two DIMM slots.

Motherboard topology and work with four RAM modules

Motherboards with four RAM slots can accommodate four memory modules. This will allow the processor's memory controller to send written data to one rank while it waits to read data previously fetched from a different rank. That is, we get a small performance boost, as is the case with two dual-rank RAM modules.

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