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Old May 4, 2010, 06:44 AM
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Default Mixing RAM?

I was wondering about mixing RAM. I might want to increase the amount of RAM in my system to run a virtual machine. Right now, I have 4GB of Mushkin RAM. I bought it a while ago at Canada Computers (at the store). But, I don't think the same RAM is sold anymore. Can I buy another brand or a different brand of Mushkin RAM as long as the timings are the same as the RAM that's in the system now? Is that all I need to match? Or is there other variables involved? What sticks could I use? I need to look at timings and maybe voltage? Of course, the speed should the same: the current 2 sticks are PC2-6400 (DDR2 800).

I have 4GB so far (2x2GB) and thought I could add another 2 sticks of 2GB each. That would fill up the RAM slots. I don't really want to invest in more DDR2 RAM but to upgrade to an entire new system would cost a lot and I'd like to invest any big computer purchase in a laptop. But, the extra RAM might be useful and if I decide to get Windows 7, I won't need my XP 32-bit anymore. I might use it for a relative's computer which is older.

Any advice?
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Old May 4, 2010, 06:58 AM
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Match the speed, timing, and max voltage and then you might get dual channel, not that it's a big deal, only a few percent performance increase. Problem is, you never know till you try it. I've had mixed success, sometimes you won't even get a post when different kits are used. When populating all slots, you'll often need a tad more voltage for stability, if you're running at the boards default vdimm, if you already at the manufacturer's spec, you shouldn't need to go above that.
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Old May 4, 2010, 09:15 AM
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Exclamation Mixing Ram

Like grimx I've had mixed results. I've had similar mem from timings, manufacturer and speeds work for brief periods then give me the bsod. One instance had me trying to put 2 1gig sticks in the 1st 2 slots and 2 2gig sticks in the 2nd because of height issues concerning my cpu fan. I simply wanted to see if this would work. It gave me the same results with the rig actually running very fast for a period of up to a day and then crashing.

There really are some odd results from mixing and matching ram, at least in my experiences.
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Old May 4, 2010, 01:15 PM
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If your still using XP-32 bit you are not using the 4GB you have already to its full capacity. Another 4 wont change anything for you. Theres probably other things you can do to increase speed if thats what your looking for.... Gaming? Maybe a new video card. .... Faster load times? Maybe time for an SSD.
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Old May 4, 2010, 01:22 PM
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Smile Memory Help

Like snoosebum I use a 64 bit system. 32 bit only recognizes 3 gigs. What I did found when adding more ram was a faster start up time. Programs seemed to load a little quicker too. Hope that helps a little.
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Old May 4, 2010, 01:58 PM
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I mixed RAM even though their timings and voltage and everything are different. Ran Memtest overnight to make sure they were fine, they are. Been using them like that for a couple months now.
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Old May 4, 2010, 02:32 PM
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Match the ram. Better performance and better piece of mind.
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Old May 4, 2010, 06:52 PM
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Interesting sidenote on XP 32bit, I ran a whack of benchmarks, hundreds of hours, and had one unexpected result. 2 x 1GB outperforms slightly a 2 x 2GB configuration. This was using things like the Crysis benchmark. I ran those specific configurations many times, using three different motherboards, all with the same result. Unless you're manipulating real large images and video, you don't need a ton of ram.
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