If you are building a PC and are wondering about quad-channel memory, you are not alone. Since you need a CPU and a motherboard that support quad-channel memory, so what processors support quad channel memory?.
In short, pretty much all enthusiast-grade CPUs like the AMD Threadripper or Intel Xeon support quad-channel memory. There are also server CPUs like the AMD Epyc lineup as well as some high-end “extreme” CPUs by Intel like the Intel Core i7-9800X that support quad-channel memory. You also need a motherboard that supports quad-channel memory as well as the appropriate memory stick kit.
But do you actually need quad-channel memory in the first place? Are there any benefits? Can you check if your CPU supports quad-channel memory? What processors support quad channel memory? All these questions are answered in more detail below and you can read about them.
What Processors Support Quad Channel Memory?
Quad-channel memory is a type of multi-channel memory that promises to increase data transfer rates between the memory sticks and the memory controllers by adding more channels of communication between the two. This is great in both theory and practice as dual-channel memory can significantly impact performance in some interesting ways.
For example, if you only have a single RAM stick installed inside your computer, you may experience occasional stutters and lag in games, especially during intense moments. This is where having dual-channel memory makes a huge difference. But what about quad-channel memory?
Quad-channel memory allows four identical sticks of RAM to communicate as efficiently as possible. In theory, this should result in a performance increase. However, in practice, the differences between dual-channel and quad-channel are negligible. Unless you are running some very specific tasks that are heavy on the RAM, you should not worry about quad-channel memory.
So, what is the point of it then? What processors support quad channel memory? You can see support for quad-channel DDR4 on all AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs as well as the server-focused AMD Epyc CPUs across all generations. On Intel, the situation is a bit more complicated.
Not even all Intel Xeon CPUs support quad-channel memory, so you will have to look up the model you have or are interested in to see the maximum number of supported memory channels. Thankfully, a quick search online will tell you if quad-channel memory is supported by the CPU.
The same is true for Intel Core CPUs. Only a handful of Intel Core CPUs support quad-channel memory and you will also have to find a motherboard that supports it. You can get support for quad-channel memory on the Intel Core i7-9800X, Core i9-7900X, Core i7-7820X, and some other CPUs that are outdated nowadays.
If you have a CPU or plan to buy one and want to know if it supports quad-channel memory, you can check it yourself. This is perhaps the easiest method because all you have to do is go to the CPU manufacturer’s website, type in your CPU model, and check the specifications of the CPU.
You will find how many memory channels the CPU supports as well as the maximum memory frequency. And you can do the same with your motherboard because both the CPU and motherboard have to support the technology. Moreover, you will need four identical RAM sticks. That means that they have to be the same exact model or very close to it.
But the real question is if you even need quad-channel memory support. Unless you use a very specific program that can benefit greatly from quad-channel memory, it is not something you should worry too much about. Your computer will work just fine with multiple sticks running in a dual-channel configuration. As a side note, you can have four sticks running in dual-channel to achieve similar performance.
You can expect quad-channel memory support only on very expensive CPUs and motherboards that are built for professionals. AMD has better support for quad-channel memory since both Threadripper and Epyc CPUs support it. The support for quad-channel memory on Intel is very limited and you can only find it on a few specific CPUs like the Intel Core i7-9800X or some Intel Xeon CPUs.