Laptop with single channel RAM?

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Lamp0    543

I got a Dell laptop there recently and whilst putting in an SSD I noticed only one RAM slot is filled. Am I right in thinking that ideally both slots should be filled? Or does really make much difference?

 

Performance wise the one stick of 8GB DDR4 is seems fine for what I need for now, but for future reference would it be OK to just buy one stick of compatible 8gb RAM from say Crucial, or should I be matching the both sticks down to manufacturer?

 

Thanks!

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+DevTech    1,060
35 minutes ago, Lamp0 said:

I got a Dell laptop there recently and whilst putting in an SSD I noticed only one RAM slot is filled. Am I right in thinking that ideally both slots should be filled? Or does really make much difference?

 

Performance wise the one stick of 8GB DDR4 is seems fine for what I need for now, but for future reference would it be OK to just buy one stick of compatible 8gb RAM from say Crucial, or should I be matching the both sticks down to manufacturer?

 

Thanks!

More RAM beats fast RAM any day.  When the time comes, add a 16 gig DDR4 module of any decent brand such as G. Skill

 

The laptop BIOS will set the RAM speed to the slower of the two modules so it doesn't matter what you buy as long as it isn't junk.

 

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Lamp0    543

Good to know, Thanks!!

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+DevTech    1,060
19 minutes ago, Lamp0 said:

Good to know, Thanks!!

well, that being said, the practical psychological issue is that an empty RAM slot would eat away at me like fingernails on a blackboard!

 

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eddman    246
11 hours ago, DevTech said:

When the time comes, add a 16 gig DDR4 module of any decent brand such as G. Skill

 

Surely you meant to say "add an 8 GB module", right? An 8 + 16 setup would be asymmetrical.

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+DevTech    1,060
2 hours ago, eddman said:

Surely you meant to say "add an 8 GB module", right? An 8 + 16 setup would be asymmetrical.

To quote myself: "More RAM beats fast RAM any day"

 

It's a laptop, only one empty slot so next time he opens it up might as well maxx the socket.

 

CPU's operate so very much faster than RAM so everything works because of large CPU-speed Cache on the chip. Once you are off the CPU silicon, might as well max out the RAM however you can to let the O/S figure out how to give whatever performance it can. That will yield far more noticeable real world speed and less stuttering compared to Benchmarks On A Web Page showing matched identical RAM gives you 1% extra or whatever is RAM Marketing Flavor Of The Month.

 

- More RAM beats faster RAM

- Faster CPU beats faster RAM

 

You would have to tweak and optimize many aspects of a computer and once everything possible is upgraded (CPU - GPU - Amount of RAM - Samsung 960 Pro - etc) and you have money you don't want to better spend on the latest Star Wars movie, then and only then does a matched pair of premium RAM make any technological sense. But some of them can sure look pretty with RGB lights and stuff.

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Lamp0    543

I think the total memory supported on this machine is 16GB.

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eddman    246
56 minutes ago, DevTech said:

To quote myself: "More RAM beats fast RAM any day"

 

It's a laptop, only one empty slot so next time he opens it up might as well maxx the socket.

 

CPU's operate so very much faster than RAM so everything works because of large CPU-speed Cache on the chip. Once you are off the CPU silicon, might as well max out the RAM however you can to let the O/S figure out how to give whatever performance it can. That will yield far more noticeable real world speed and less stuttering compared to Benchmarks On A Web Page showing matched identical RAM gives you 1% extra or whatever is RAM Marketing Flavor Of The Month.

 

- More RAM beats faster RAM

- Faster CPU beats faster RAM

 

You would have to tweak and optimize many aspects of a computer and once everything possible is upgraded (CPU - GPU - Amount of RAM - Samsung 960 Pro - etc) and you have money you don't want to better spend on the latest Star Wars movie, then and only then does a matched pair of premium RAM make any technological sense. But some of them can sure look pretty with RGB lights and stuff.

There are workloads that benefit from more RAM bandwidth. Also depends on the budget and 16 GB is quite enough. If 16 GB is not enough and there is no budget for 32 GB, then yes, 24 GB would be the logical choice and is fast enough for regular use cases. Don't see what a movie and those useless lights have to do with all this though.

Edited by eddman
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+DevTech    1,060
13 minutes ago, eddman said:

There are workloads that benefit from more RAM bandwidth. Also depends on the budget and 16 GB is quite enough. If 16 GB is not enough and there is no budget for 32 GB, then yes, 24 GB would be the logical choice. Don't see what a movie and those useless lights have to do with all this though.

Because in almost all cases it makes more sense to go to the movies than spend money on increasing RAM speed.

 

The lights refer to the people that seem to have a fascination with super fast overclocked RAM and if it lights up it must be faster. The lights could save the cost of a Xmas Tree perhaps...

 

 

20 minutes ago, Lamp0 said:

I think the total memory supported on this machine is 16GB.

If it uses DDR4 and it has two slots, then total RAM will be 32 gigs.

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Jim K    9,398
26 minutes ago, Lamp0 said:

I think the total memory supported on this machine is 16GB.

If that is the case (hard to know since you didn't list the model of the notebook) ... slap another 8GB in there.  With regards to single/dual channel ... it really doesn't matter for mainstream users (though building/upgrading a system from scratch...dual is the obvious choice).  You'll see a difference on synthetic benchmarks or CFD/parametric analysis and marginal advantages with video editing/rendering (depending on software).  Gaming, watching YouTube, browsing the web, using Office ... not so much.  As DevTech said ... more RAM is better than faster RAM.

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xendrome    4,671
29 minutes ago, Lamp0 said:

I think the total memory supported on this machine is 16GB.

What model Dell is it?

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PGHammer    318

Also, some portables have only one module that is replaceable - my ASUS X54C is of that sort.

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Tidosho    548
53 minutes ago, PGHammer said:

Also, some portables have only one module that is replaceable - my ASUS X54C is of that sort.

The X54 has soldered in memory as well as one user upgradeable slot instead of the usual no onboard with two removable slots. I hate soldered in RAM! If the soldered RAM goes bad it's either vacuum reflow some new chips, or get a new mainboard :(

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xendrome    4,671
2 hours ago, PGHammer said:

Also, some portables have only one module that is replaceable - my ASUS X54C is of that sort.

This laptop has 2 slots, 1 populated with an 8GB and a second free for another 8GB. Dell says max spec ram is 16GB, some people online saying it'll work with 32GB

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Tidosho    548
10 minutes ago, xendrome said:

This laptop has 2 slots, 1 populated with an 8GB and a second free for another 8GB. Dell says max spec ram is 16GB, some people online saying it'll work with 32GB

It's worth checking if there's a new BIOS for it, these can sometimes fix max memory capacity. Always try to find the newest revisions of user manuals and the service manuals from Dell themselves for the most up to date info.

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branfont    48

I have last year's Alienware 15 R3*, it has DDR4 in dual channel, as it can only take a maximum of 32GB of RAM, there's currently 16GB in it, although I did see something in passing that said 64GB of RAM, but I'll have to wait till someone comes out with a 32GB SODIMM.

 

 

* I bought it used early last month.

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Mindovermaster    988
40 minutes ago, branfont said:

I have last year's Alienware 15 R3*, it has DDR4 in dual channel, as it can only take a maximum of 32GB of RAM, there's currently 16GB in it, although I did see something in passing that said 64GB of RAM, but I'll have to wait till someone comes out with a 32GB SODIMM.

 

 

* I bought it used early last month.

Book them, and they will come... :p

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+DevTech    1,060
6 hours ago, xendrome said:

This laptop has 2 slots, 1 populated with an 8GB and a second free for another 8GB. Dell says max spec ram is 16GB, some people online saying it'll work with 32GB

I have been saying here it will work with 2 x 16 gig if it is DDR4 and there is no other RAM soldered on to the motherboard.

 

The CPU is providing the RAM interface so Dell would have to intentionally disable >16 gig in the BIOS by refusing to boot the device for nothing other than marketing reasons.

 

It is a cheap unit with a crappy GPU and a crappy TN LCD panel so they obviously don't want to damage the positioning of their Alienware line-up. I suspect 32 gigs will work no problem but Dell does not want to actually say that and therefore miss the exact demographic the product line is targeting. i.e. "if you want 32 gig, buy the Alienware" is probably their reply if anyone asks.

 

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