How to Calculate Memory Transfer Rate

by Bill Richards

The speed of the memory transfer rate in a computer determines how fast it will run various programs. A fast memory transfer rate is especially important when you are running multiple software applications at one time. The memory transfer rate is determined by three factors; the memory bus clock rate, the type of transfer process and the number of bits transferred. By using all these factors together, you can accurately compare different types of memory so that you get the fastest memory available within your budget.

Determine the bus clock rate. This information should be labeled on the memory's packaging. The bus clock rate is measured in MHz. For example, the memory might operate at 300 MHz.

Multiply the bus clock rate by 1, 2 or 3 depending on how many streams of information are flowing at once. DDR2 RAM, for example, has a multiplication factor of 2, and DDR3 RAM has a factor of 3.

Multiply the result from the previous step by 64, which is the number of bits transferred.

Divide the result from the previous step by 8 to get the transfer rate in bytes instead of bits, as there are 8 bits in a byte. You now know the memory transfer rate in both bits and bytes.

About the Author

Bill Richards has been a writer since 2008 and is currently working part-time at a Boston star-tup company. He was previously an editor chief of a small newspaper and has expertise in the fields of psychology, electronics, video and image production, and business.