Dual-channel vs. Single-channel memory

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DKTaber

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Oct 26, 2001
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2,871
My current computer, which I bought late 2004, came with 512MB dual-channel RAM. Because of the 70 updates to Win XP that have occurred since then, with their attendant security crap that burdens the system, I decided today to double my RAM to 1GB. I did that by buying a single 512MB PC 3200 DIMM.

However, my PC has 2 pairs of memory slots. The original 512MB were installed as two 256MB DIMMs, one in one slot in each pair of slots so it was accessed as "dual-channel" RAM. My ASUS MoBo book says that if you insert a SINGLE DIMM in any slot, the entire memory will be addressed as single-channel. So my question is, what's the difference in speed between dual- and single-channel memory? Am I cheating my computer out of higher memory speed by installing a single 512MB DIMM vs. using two 256MB DIMMs which would run as dual-channel memory?
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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106,418
Yep, although the actual effect may not be that noticeable. You are cutting the memory bandwidth in half.
 
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