SDRAM Bank Interleaving – What is It?

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Memory Interleaving

If you are familiar with the material you may want to head straight to the FAQ. I am indebted to Dean Kent for his feedback and comments when producing this article.

Memory interleaving is a hot topic, but there is a lot of FUD associated with it. The use of the same name for two different parts of the memory system might have something to do with it. The wide interest in memory bank interleave happened because of the “overclocking friendly” motherboard craze. It seems that in order to qualify as a “real” overclockers motherboard, the BIOS must support SDRAM Bank Interleave.

Abit – a motherboard manufacturer that, arguably, popularized overclocking – may not have been the first to implement this feature, but they have certainly had a lot to do with making memory interleave a “must have” on an overclocker’s checklist.

There is also a lot of confusion about how, when and where you can enable bank interleave. Some say you need two DIMM’s, some say four, and some say two but only if the DIMM’s are double sided. We will clear this up for you as well. In order to do that we will also give you the low-down on single-sided and double-sided DIMM’s.

What this article will do is to give you an idea of what memory interleaving is, when it will benefit you, when it won’t, and how to tell if your SDRAM supports memory interleaving.


Being concerned with bank interleaving, this article really only applies to “common” SDRAM used in PC’s.

This article is a very gross simplification of memory technology. I could also be wrong, but I’ve done my best not to be. At the end of the article are some links to other articles on memory technology that go into much greater depth – but be warned, some of it is fairly heavy going. If you read this article and in fact do see a gross error, you could always email me – but I would like corroborating links to avoid making further errors.

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