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  • Question on mixing RAM

    Hey guys. I want to do a new build (mobo, processor, ram, gfx). But I can't do all of that right now, so I'm just doing gfx and I'm going to go ahead and get more RAM, even though it's DDR2 and won't be compatible with the new build whenever I can do it.

    I bought it mostly built, but I've become fairly competent with computer parts since then-- but still not an expert. So, I've got a question about the RAM situation.

    I have 4 slots on my mobo. It currently has 2GB (2 x 1GB) in slots 1 and 3. This is the product (which has been discontinued):

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820211174

    Its specs are DDR2 800 (PC2 6400), Cas Latency 4, Timing 4-4-4-12-2T, Voltage 2.0V - 2.1V

    I know that you're not really supposed to mix voltage, but if I got two sticks of 2GB (making 4GB for that set, plus the other 2GB = 6GB) and the new 2 x 2GB was just 2.0V -- would that be ok with the current memory, which is 2.0V - 2.1V? This is the only thing I can find that meets the 2.0V and the same speed (except that 2T on the end...)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820104019

    This is my motherboard, if it helps:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813127022

    So, my proposed setup would be:

    Slot 1 - 2GB (4-4-4-12 ; 2.0V)
    Slot 2 - 1GB (4-4-4-12-2T ; 2.0V - 2.1V)
    Slot 3 - 2GB (4-4-4-12 ; 2.0V)
    Slot 4 - 1GB (4-4-4-12-2T ; 2.0V - 2.1V)

    Is this possible, safe (voltage), and recommended? Or would I be better off just getting a good set of 2 x 2GB (4GB) and just use it alone?

    Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm going to be installing Win7 x64 and playing BF3 with the setup.

  • #2
    Re: Question on mixing RAM

    With ram, you want to be as identical as possible.

    I would say mixing different ram together into a channel together is a bad idea -- and will make for stability issues.

    The closer you get to identical overall, the better.

    |TG| Eudiphon


    sigpic
    "But in contemplating history as the slaughter-bench at which the happiness of peoples, the wisdom
    of states, and the virtue of individuals have been sacrificed, a question necessarily arises:
    To what principle, to what final purpose, have these monstrous sacrifices been offered?"
    - G.W.F. Hegel Reason in History

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    • #3
      Re: Question on mixing RAM

      Mix and match if you want, the system should auto adjust to the lowest(slower speed/timings, highest voltage) settings for both sets. If it does give you trouble generally the trick is to remove one set adjust settings in the BIOS for the RAM to what they need to be to satisfy both sets and then place the second set in.
      |TG-12th| Namebot

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      • #4
        Re: Question on mixing RAM

        It would [i]probably[/]i] work, but there's definitely no guarantee. Some older chipsets didn't play well with mixed memory sizes and manufacturers. I think it's worth trying because even if it doesn't work out, you can pull out the 2x1GB set and just use the 2x2GB set for 4GB of RAM total.
        "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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        • #5
          Re: Question on mixing RAM

          Honestly, I try to get full sets of ram when I can to ensure the absolutely highest chance of dual channel compatibility. I only buy ram in dual channel sets.

          Mixing the ram may 'work', but you open yourself up to stability issues.

          And yes, it would downclock the ram if it needed to.

          |TG| Eudiphon


          sigpic
          "But in contemplating history as the slaughter-bench at which the happiness of peoples, the wisdom
          of states, and the virtue of individuals have been sacrificed, a question necessarily arises:
          To what principle, to what final purpose, have these monstrous sacrifices been offered?"
          - G.W.F. Hegel Reason in History

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question on mixing RAM

            Ok, well I'm going to give it a try, then. It looks like the 2GB stick that I linked is the exact same as the dual channel kit, which is a couple of dollars cheaper.

            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820104020

            On Newegg, it rated it as 2.0V (for the single), but I looked at the actual datasheet on Kingston and it's actually 1.95V.

            I confirmed in my BIOS that my current RAM is running at 2.0V.

            So if I did this, my BIOS should automatically set it, or otherwise I can go in and change it, right? Should they both be set to 2.0V or to 1.95V (I'm not sure which way, or both, is allowed).

            And should the 1GB sticks at 2.0V go in slots 1 and 3. Or should the 2GB sticks at 1.95V go in slots 1 and 3?

            Thanks, all! Win7 64 bit, a Radeon 6870 with 2GB, and either 4GB or 6GB should make Battlefield 3 happy with me for now. ;)

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            • #7
              Re: Question on mixing RAM

              I did it for years. ALL your RAM will end up running at the speed of your slowest stick. Overclocking will largely be out of the question and you may get random crashes, your severity may vary.

              As others have said; it's not recommended but you can do it. If you're using all high end memory you will have far better results than mixing generic crap memory with something high end.
              Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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              • #8
                Re: Question on mixing RAM

                Originally posted by Apophis View Post
                I did it for years. ALL your RAM will end up running at the speed of your slowest stick. Overclocking will largely be out of the question and you may get random crashes, your severity may vary.

                As others have said; it's not recommended but you can do it. If you're using all high end memory you will have far better results than mixing generic crap memory with something high end.
                I'm still a little confused on which spec equates to speed. Is it the 4-4-4-12? If so, it should all match up.

                Anyway, if it doesn't work, no harm done-- I want to get the new 4GB, and the best available for the price happens to be this one that matches up best with what I have.

                I guess I could try doing the Windows score thing and see if it gets a higher or lower score with the 6GB than just the 4GB.

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                • #9
                  Re: Question on mixing RAM

                  The 444-12 doesn't exactly relate to speed, but kind of does.
                  Gizmodo just posted an article recently I've been meaning to post here all about memory, and it explains Latencies.

                  Link:
                  The Memory Buyer’s Guide: What’s the Best RAM for My System?

                  I would make sure you go to your motherboard maker's website and look at the most recent approved ram list for your motherboard. It is a pretty long list of all the tested ram and assures it works. If you need help finding it, post back and I'm sure we can dig it up real quick.

                  But as Apo said above, you can do it, but be prepared for possible hiccups. I am into computer stuff so deep now probably because of mixing RAM. I bought a Gateway PC back in about 2001, and it only had 256mb. I wanted to play FarCry, so figured I could throw some more RAM in. At the time I didn't have a community like TG to warn me about what might happen. Shortly after getting the new RAM, I started getting blue screens at least once a day. If I took either of the ram out, it was fine. The ram all tested fine. I even RMAed the new ram, which didn't help, then bought a different brand, which didn't help (this is when RAM was like $100+ for a 512mb.)

                  I learned most basic computer stuff I know because I spent 100s of hours researching the blue screen problem so I could play FarCry, and then Ghost Recon.
                  Bottom line, try it, and if it starts causing weird problems, just sell the old stuff and don't try to figure it out. Means more game time, less frustration.

                  LINKS

                  * *


                  Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                  -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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