Unbuffered refers to a type of memory driven by its own memory controller module. Unlike registered memory, it does not make use of a store-and-forward system. Unbuffered memory can also be called unregistered memory. Unbuffered memory does not have control between the memory chips and the chipset. This means that data can be provided to the chips at any given time.
The use of unbuffered memory varies from one system to another. Most desktop and laptop computers support unbuffered modules. Certain systems require memory which is unbuffered, while other systems do not use the said type of memory. There are also systems that let the user choose between registered and unbuffered memory.
Gaming systems normally utilize unbuffered memory as it enables work stations to properly interact with one another. In addition, unbuffered memory is capable of supporting advanced and heavy graphical interfaces which are common in gaming systems. On the other hand, there are systems such as server class systems that normally prefer other memory types.
Unbuffered memory modules can be determined by examining the hardware. The user needs to look at the leads that are beside the first notch. The module is unbuffered if the leads have an uneven spacing between them. Also, a module that is unbuffered has a larger Printed Circuit Board (PCB) next to each lead.
An important thing to remember when using unbuffered memory is that it should never be interchanged with buffered or registered memory. Installing the wrong type of memory on the system will offset the memory module’s notch. This will make the module unusable.