I am thinking of adding a pair of 2 gigs of ram with a different brand and timing to what I currently have, will this be a problem and will it affect dual channel?
Problems? Possibly as memory doesn't always play well that way.
as long as they similar your fine
you might have to give it a bit more voltage
I was curious about the OP's question, too.
I think I might have insufficient RAM for what I do but not sure. I often have several tabs open in Firefox and I notice Firefox uses up 30+ %.
Overall RAM usage often goes to 3.6 out of the 4GB available. It's DDR2, PC2-6400 @ 1.8V.
I figured out that the timing (according to an old newegg page, it's 5-4-4-12) in the BIOS is set for:
The full numbers shown are: 5-5-5-15-3-52-6-3
I have no idea what the rest of the numbers are but it seems 5-5-5-15 is pretty common for DDR2 RAM.
My question is, if I wanted to max out my board at 8GB of RAM, how should I do it? I could add 4GB but I can't find this same RAM anymore unless I was lucky enough to find it, used. I could add memory that uses a similar timing although I couldn't find any that use the neat heat spreaders. The name brands that do are 5-5-5-18 so they might not be as compatible?
If I get RAM with 5-5-5-15 default timings, that might be my best bet? I'm not sure whether 5-5-5-18 would work since I'd have to change the timings, right?
Yes, I'd like to retire this computer or give it to my Mom (or something) and get a brand spankin' new ivy bridge system with DDR3 RAM but financial constraints mean I'm looking at minor upgrades to optimize this ancient thing. Otherwise, I'd probably save up for a laptop. I need a new one of those, too. :-/
I hope the OP doesn't mind me posting a follow-up message. :) I thought these questions might be interesting (based on answers!).
Anyway, I thought I'd test the current memory with Memtest86+. 'See what comes up.
It's hard to tell... I sometime use completly different RAM (timing, volt, frequency) and it works well, thought they are scaled down to the lowest one. Other times I used 2 sets of exactly the same RAM and it wouldn't works. I also tried same brand/timing/frequency/volt but different density, and got 2/3 working, for 6gb on 8gb.
From what i saw on many forums, it seems to depends a lot on the mobo (right?), and there's no way to know in advance if it will works.
I may be wrong, as it's based on my experimentation and forum threads, and if so, I'd also like to learn a bit more about all this RAM combination thing o.O
If you look in the BIOS, there's so much there about the memory settings, too.
Voltage and timings and it looks complicated. I know that to maintain stability, the mobo (BIOS) will modify *something* (maybe speed and timings) and match to the lowest memory (sticks).
The memory I was looking at is 1.85V and another is 1.8 - 1.9V. I assume I can under volt if I need to?
My current memory sticks are 1.8V and for some reason, it's not set at optimal timing (5-4-4-12) but instead, 5-5-5-15. But, that's not a big deal. If I add a different brand/spec'ed RAM, I can find one (pair) that has that timing at default.
The only other idea I had is somewhat ridiculous but would make this uncertainty quite moot. I could buy 8GB of RAM now and sell the 4GB I have now, either on here or ebay. DDR2 still has some value and then I'd have all 4 sticks of the same. I'd rather not spend that much on old RAM, though, so that option was way down on the hierarchy of ranked choices. :)
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