Saturday, August 3, 2013

DDR3 Dual-Channel vs Single-Channel Performance

It was suggested to me that with modern CPUs/motherboards, running with dual-channel memory was unnecessary because there's no difference. My understanding was there is a modest performance increase in using dual-channel. I decided to do a quick test to see.

For the test I used Handbrake (0.9.9) to transcode a 187MB 1080p video. This isn't a true benchmark because the conditions are maybe too uncontrolled (hence it's a "quick test"), but I thought using a real-world application like transcoding would give an idea of the performance difference if any.

I swapped between a single 4GB RAM stick and 2x2GB sticks. It was in my low-powered HTPC, so it took a while. These are the results:

RAM typeRun #Time taken
1x4GB14m 55s
1x4GB24m 48s
1x4GB34m 49s
2x2GB14m 36s
2x2GB24m 37s
2x2GB34m 35s

It works out to about a 5% performance improvement using dual-channel, which is consistent with other things I've read. How that translates from a processor intensive task like transcoding to everyday use I'm not sure, I suspect it would be unnoticeable though.

Rest of the system specs, for reference:

  • OS: Xubuntu 12.04.1 (64-bit)
  • CPU: G2020
  • Mobo: Asus P8B75-M LX
  • RAM: G-Skill NT 1x4GB or G-Skill NT 2x2GB
  • SSD: Kingston V300 60GB
  • HDD: Toshiba 1TB 7200RPM
  • GPU: Gigabyte GT610
  • PSU: Antec EarthWatts 380

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that test. It was exactly what I was looking for.