Memory, or RAM, is important when you’re configuring computers for high-performance computing (HPC). Computer performance is affected not only by the amount of RAM but also by the amount of bandwidth, or transfer speed, between the processor and the memory. The bandwidth is affected by the speed of the memory stick, but the way memory sticks are configured on the motherboard is even more important.
CPUs can access information on multiple memory sticks in parallel through use of memory channels. Modern CPUs can access between 1 and 8 memory channels simultaneously (model specific). Not only does this capability affect the machines performance, but we have found that many computers are not configured to make use of all their memory channels, which hampers performance.