Question How much better will my laptop perform with a second stick of RAM?

suryalord

Commendable
Dec 20, 2017
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Hi all
I have recently read on the internet about "dual channeling" RAM. It appears that if you use two sticks of RAM, it would make your PC work significantly better than using a single stick of RAM adding up to the same amount.
After reading this I am considering buying another stick of RAM, however I want to ask does the second stick of RAM need to be exactly the same as the first stick of RAM, can they be different sizes or different clock speeds etc and have dual channeling work?

I currently am using a single stick of sodimm ddr4 8gb in my laptop.

Thanks
suryalord
 

alceryes

Distinguished
Unless you purchase a 2 stick kit, memory is never guaranteed to work together with other sticks in dual channel mode.
Is the first stick user replaceable or is it soldered onto the motherboard? If the second stick is replaceable then your best bet is to purchase a 16GB kit (2x8GB) that is compatible with your laptop. May as well get the fastest that your CPU/motherboard cal support too.
Different sizes won't work in dual channel. With different brands you probably have less than a 50% chance of them working in dual channel mode and, even if they do, they may only run at slower speeds and very loose timings.
If you try to match the current stick your chances go up but even with the exact same model of memory it's not a guarantee.
 
There are two good reasons to upgrade ram.
1. ryzen processors depend on fast ram for performance.
Dual channel ram is effectively much faster.
2. Windows performs better with plenty of ram.

Yes, you could simply add another 8gb stick with the same voltage, speed and dimings.
But,
Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
A motherboard must manage all the ram using the same specs of voltage, cas and speed.
The internal workings are designed for the capacity of the kit.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards, can be very sensitive to this.
This is more difficult when more sticks are involved.

You take your chances. I might guess your odds of success are in the 80-95% range.
Check out the ram and
Run memtest86.
It boots from a usb stick and does not use windows.
You can download the free edition here:
https://www.memtest86.com/download.htm

If you can run a full pass with NO errors, your ram should be ok.


What is your plan B if the ram does not work properly?

Considering the relatively low cost of ram today, go ahead and buy a 2 x 8gb kit.
 

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