RAM, is ane of the virtually well-known and deceptively simple parts of a computer.
You lot merely buy the highest speed y’all tin can afford that’s also compatible with your motherboard, slot it into your motherboard, and you’re off to the races, right?
Not exactly. If y’all’re non conscientious with that last bespeak peculiarly, you could be leaving a lot of operation on the tabular array.
So let’s take a look at how exactly RAM
cistron into the equation and whether y’all might need to open up upwards your PC to rearrange your RAM.
Does RAM Slots Matter?
Does RAM placement matter? It depends.
Exercise you only accept i stick of RAM? So it doesn’t actually matter where you put it.
Merely if you lot have more than 1 stick of RAM, it absolutely matters where and what order you put them in.
This is because of something chosen “multi-aqueduct memory architecture“, which is basically a fancy way of saying that if you take ii or more sticks of memory, they can exist used together to work in tandem (dual-channel, triple-channel, quad-aqueduct, etc.) faster than they would be able to work lone.
Information technology finer doubles (or triples, or quadruples, or— you get the point) the datarate at which your CPU can admission the memory stored in your RAM.
This doesn’t mean double the performance for everyday applications, however. You’ll definitely see performance improvements based on how retention intensive the awarding is, merely it’south sadly non a complete doubling.
But, in order for this procedure to work, you need to make sure that the RAM is slotted into the designated location—you tin’t just use whatever ol’ RAM slot.
So, if you use mismatching RAM slots on a dual-aqueduct (or more than) motherboard, yous’ll finish upwardly running in single-aqueduct mode instead and leave a lot of functioning on the table.
Which RAM Slots Should You Employ?
The safest and most constructive way to determine which RAM slots y’all should utilise is past checking your motherboard manual every bit information technology tin can be dissimilar for every motherboard.
Only, in full general, the rule is as follows:
If you lot have
RAM stick, you lot should use the
slot furthest abroad from the CPU socket
regardless of the number of RAM slots that your motherboard has.
This volition give you the maximum corporeality of clearance for your CPU cooler setup.
If you accept
RAM sticks, y’all should use the slot
furthest abroad from the CPU socket
and the slot one slot away from the CPU.
If you have three RAM sticks, you should use the three slots furthest abroad from the CPU socket.
If you have four RAM sticks and a four-slot motherboard, so you lot can but populate all four slots with all iv RAM sticks.
If you have more than iv slots on your motherboard, then you lot either have a server motherboard or a very fancy loftier-terminate desktop / workstation motherboard.
If you take a high-end motherboard, then you about likely take 8 RAM slots on your motherboard, double what’s commonly available on near motherboards.
These boards might as well support triple-aqueduct (rare) or quad-channel retentiveness support.
Regardless, what I’ve said previously applies here as well. Bank check the manual first – You’ll find a table such as the following in any transmission:
It’ll almost probable accept a tabular array like this showing how and where to install your RAM, and following it is your all-time bet to having a smooth experience.
But, in general:
- If you lot for some reason only accept one RAM stick available, it tin become anywhere.
- If you accept two RAM sticks, they have four potential spots they can go in now compared to the 2 earlier.
You lot should put the sticks in the slots furthest away from the CPU for maximum clearance. But make certain that both sticks are only one slot apart and everything should be alright.
- If you have iii RAM sticks, just put them in the furthest slots right next to each other.
- If y’all take four RAM sticks, y’all tin put them all next to each other or space them out for symmetry. If you have a motherboard that supports quad-channel retentivity, so it might be required for you to take the RAM sticks in a certain pattern.
You have to consult your manual for this one.
- If you lot accept 5 RAM sticks, it’southward the same as iv, simply stick that actress stick somewhere in-between.
- If you have half dozen RAM sticks, put three on each side for symmetry.
- If you lot have seven RAM sticks, it’s the same every bit five, just stick that actress stick in at that place somewhere.
- If you lot take eight RAM sticks, and then just populate all slots.
All of that said, I actually don’t recommend y’all use uneven RAM stick configurations (3, five, vii).
Yous’ll most probable exist mixing and matching RAM for configurations like that, so the chance of running into issues increases because of it. You’ll likewise spiral upwardly the multi-aqueduct configuration with an uneven number of RAM modules.
If y’all have a motherboard of this caliber, I would suggest that you become a four or eight RAM stick set instead.
If you have a motherboard with fifty-fifty more RAM slots than what’s shown above, you nearly likely have a professional or server-form motherboard—with one or more than CPU slots.
In this case, I
recommend that you look at your transmission.
What I’ve said in a higher place for motherboards with eight RAM slots
employ here, merely it might just as well atomic number 82 to instability equally well—particularly if you accept odd numbers of RAM like three, 5, seven.
so if you accept a motherboard that supports dual CPUs. In motherboards similar this, each CPU controls half of the bachelor RAM slots.
This means that if you merely populate some of the slots, say, four RAM slots on the first CPU’s side, the second CPU won’t have any RAM of its own and volition have to go through the outset CPU to get any RAM for the tasks that information technology might be performing, which can pb to major slowdowns.
And so it’s e’er best to consult the manual first.
It’southward difficult to give info about motherboards similar this because at that place are so many potentially different configurations.
Can You Run Odd Numbers of RAM sticks?
You lot definitely can, equally long equally all the RAM has matching or close to matching specs.
Simply you might not be able to do good from dual-channel (or more than) memory.
For case, some motherboards support triple-channel memory. It’southward quite rare, but they’re out there.
So if you have three sticks of RAM in a motherboard (and CPU) that supports triple-channel retentiveness, you’ll be just fine.
Still, if you try to apply three sticks of RAM on a motherboard (and CPU) that but supports dual-channel retention, information technology
force all the RAM to run in single-aqueduct style.
I say “might” considering certain CPUs handle this better than others.
There’s a thing chosen “flex fashion” that nearly modern CPUs support where, for case, if y’all take three RAM sticks populating a four-slot motherboard (that doesn’t support triple-channel mode), it’ll simply run 2 of those three RAM sticks in dual-channel mode and the remaining RAM stick in unmarried-channel.
If your CPU was made in the last 10 – xv years, then it nearly likely supports this feature, and then as long as your RAM can play nice with each other, y’all shouldn’t have any bug running odd numbers of RAM.
Which Dual-Channel RAM Configuration Should You Use? ane + 3 or 2 + iv?
Information technology doesn’t thing.
The general consensus is to use two + 4 if you need a petty more clearance for your CPU fan, but 1 + 3 works simply fine if that’s not an issue for you.
Do RAM Slots Affair When Using ECC RAM or ECC Registered RAM?
They thing every bit much equally they do with normal consumer memory.
ECC or ECC registered/buffered memory benefits from existence placed into the proper RAM slots just as much equally normal RAM.
Can Y’all Mix and Lucifer RAM?
If the unlike RAM modules are same-ish specs-wise, and then it’ll
Merely mixing and matching RAM is something I really don’t recommend.
Attempt to get as much RAM as you need
in a kit
from the beginning become, instead of adding more random sticks—even if it’south the aforementioned type of RAM—later on on.
Chances are that information technology’ll piece of work, but y’all might encounter stability bug ’cause of timing shenanigans and whatnot, and they’re a bit—
Random bluescreens when you’re working or gaming is not a fun time.
Can I Use DDR3 and DDR4 RAM Together?
No. RAM generations are not interchangeable.
Yous tin can but use DDR3 with DDR3, DDR4 with DDR4, then on.
Tin can I Use an 8 GB RAM Stick and a four GB RAM Stick Together?
If the other specs are the same as the 8 GB RAM stick or like, it might work.
But you might run into stability issues. Or you might non. It’s a bit of a crapshoot.
The best way to observe out is to test it out yourself.
Over to You
Hopefully, that answers all your questions when it comes to RAM slots. Information technology’s not all that flashy compared to other topics concerning PC building, simply figuring out where exactly your RAM should go is important to get the most out of your system.
Even if information technology’south just only 3 – 12% more performance, why waste it when the fix is then simple?
If you accept whatsoever specific questions regarding RAM, RAM compatibility, RAM slots, and other fun stuff similar that, experience gratuitous to exit a comment below or send us a bulletin in our forums. We’d exist happy to help you out.
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