What is the difference between ram slots 1 3 vs 2 4? Though there are no major differences between installing rams in these slot sequences, the difference lies in channel optimization and XMP(frequency of the RAM).
Different types of motherboards have different ram slot recommendations. The 2 and 4 slots are usually dual channels, and on the contrary, 1 and 3 slots are for single-channel slot functioning.
We give an apparent concept on the dual-channel and single slots below.
|Comparison Points||Slot 1-3||Slot 2-4|
|Bus Width||64bit||64 x 2 = 128bit|
|Ram speed||Dedicated speed by motherboard||Optimum speed dedicated by RAM|
|Performance||A bit slower when using more than one stick||Faster speed boost up is noticeable|
Now, we will be more descriptive about the RAM slots’ channels, performance, and bus speed.
Rams are volatile storage, and ROM is non-volatile storage. Every computing devices need to store their data somewhere. Sometimes some storage information is temporary, and some storage information is permanent. Temporary storage systems are volatile systems, and they store data for a short period. On the contrary, ROM is permanent storage that store data permanently.
Let’s talk about the slots and what the numbers mean on them. A modern gaming or classic motherboard has 4 slots—two dedicated for single-channel and two dedicated for dual-channel.
More specifically, 1 and 3 ram slots on the motherboard are used for single-channel, and 2 and 4 ram slots are used for dual-channel support. RAM sends data to the processor through memory controllers.
Think of a pathway from a water reservoir to a water supply tank. If you connect two pipes, more water will flow with more speed. In the same way, dual-channel ram slots work. They have two route systems with memory controllers by which they can easily send their data more efficiently and faster.
There is a huge performance difference between dual channel and single channel motherboard ram slots, .i.e, slot 1-3 and 2-4. To describe RAM performance, we need to discuss it through bandwidth.
Generally, we know that bandwidth is the transfer rate of any sort of computing system through channels. As ram transfers data through channels, there has to be bandwidth. The bandwidth of RAMs is measured in MBs per second or GBs per second. RAM has DDR technology which means a Double data rate. This means a DDR ram can transfer two bits of data on a single clock cycle.
On the other hand, dual-channel is a newer and better technology. Sometimes bandwidth also depends on the bus width of the RAM. Let us assume that your device is a 64 bit based device. So, a single channel with DDR3 ram will use that 64 bit up to full bandwidth. There is a formula to calculate the bandwidth of the channel. So, let’s do some math.
The formula is
Bandwidth = DDR clock rate x data bus width / 8
Let’s assume your single-channel speed is 2400mhz data bus width is 64bit.
So, your DDR3 2400 MHz ram bandwidth is 19.3 GBs per second.
Now, dual-channel motherboard memory slots have greater bus width. It increases the width by increasing the wires within the channel system. We told you that a single bus system has 64-bit width. So, dual-channel will have 128 bits. Now let us go to our formula again.
Bandwidth = DDR clock rate x data bus width / 8
Another way of comparing the power of 1 3 and 2 4 slots is by comparing them with benchmarks.
You will see that the benchmarks will be more than that of 1 3 slots if you use 2 4 slots. On the contrary, if you talk about gaming performance, you can run tier 1 games at an average speed of 60- 100 frames per second depending on other factors like GPU and CPU.
So, the optimum frequency of RAM slots is acquired through 2 and 4 slots. Default by the motherboard manufacturers set them. But, if you have less speed requirement, you can put your ram sticks in 1 and 3 slots.
When you use a single stick of RAM, it will run on a single channel. But, if you run with a dual-stick, it will run on a dual channel. The channel difference entirely depends on the motherboard. Some motherboards support quad-channel but, some don’t.
As we discussed before, the greater the number of channels, the greater the bus width is and the more the performance is. So, what if a RAM is quad-channel?
Remember, if you install a single RAM, then it is a single channel, and then if you install 2 RAMs it is dual-channel. There are no three-channel slots. Quad-channel slots may or may not be present in your motherboard
The basic rule of thumb for RAM placement is to put the sticks on to 2nd and 4th slots first. So, they will assign a dual channel. If your motherboard supports a quad-channel, you will have four RAMs.
Firstly, install your RAMs in 2 and 4 slots, then on 1 and 3 slots. Then, your RAMs will work as quad-channel if the motherboard supports them.
However, if you have 2 sticks but your motherboard supports quad-channel, you have to put it in 2 and 4 slots. In other words, the rule of thumb is always the same for all multi-channels. Because the channel completely depends on the number of sticks.
Firstly let’s talk about how you will place your RAM sticks. Take the first stick and put it in the 2nd slot, and then take your second slot and place it in the 4th slot. After that, you will have to put your 3rd stick on the 1st or 3rd slot, a single channel. You have to do this because otherwise, you won’t get the optimum performance on a single channel.
Generally, If you have a single stick, you will get a single-channel this sequence that goes up to a quad-channel. But there is no third channel sequence.
So, you are wondering how you can put 3 sticks to get optimum performance. There are slots labels with colors and codes for better understanding.
Mostly, the RAMS slots are labeled as A1, A2, B1, B2, respectively. Again, some motherboards have different color labels, but the basic ones are black and grey.
Suppose A1 and B1 are black, and A2 and B2 are grey. The grey slots indicate the dual channels, which are 2 and 4 number slots. If you have 3 sticks, put the first two sticks in grey A2 and B2 and then put the other stick in black A1 or the B1 for optimum performance.
Remember, there are no third-channel slots on a motherboard. So, you will have to put in on the single-channel slot ultimately. If your motherboard supports dual channels, you can put your third stick on a dual-channel slot after filling the quad-channel slots.
According to experts, you will need to fill it in the 2nd and 4th slots first. For the sake of the greater discussion of ram slots 1 3 vs 2 + 4 you already know that 2 and 4 slots give better performance.
The main reason is increased bus wires and more excellent data transfer rates. So, which RAM slot to use for a single stick? You know now, put it in the dual-channel.
Make sure that your ram slots are of the same manufacturer. Otherwise, there may be some optimization issues that may affect the performance.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Do I put RAM in slots 1 and 3 or 2 and 4?
To get optimum performance, you will have to put your RAM in slots 2 and 4, which are Dual channel slots.
Is it better to use 2 or 4 RAM slots?
It is best to use 2 and 4 ram slots as they have greater bus width and better speed than single-channel.
Can I use RAM slots 3 and 4?
Slot 3 is single channeled, and slot 4 is dual channeled. So, you are putting a stick in a single channel and a stick in a dual channel. It is better to put the sticks in both the dual channel.
Which ram slots to fill first
According to experts, you can fill either the 2nd and 4th slot with the RAM sticks. Both of them are dual-channel slots.
Now, let us end the great comparison of ram slots 1 3 vs 2 4. We can say that the 2nd and 4th slots will give the best performance as they are dual channels to get it all in one bag. Dual-channel RAMs are new gen memory systems. And also, these are best for DDR4 versions of RAM.
Firstly take your RAM sticks bought from the same company and frequency and put them in the 2nd and 4th slot, respectively, And then you are all ready to go.
We have missed something during the discussion. You can let us know in the forum, and we will have a look at it. Until then, thanks for staying with us.
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