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Compatibility with additional memory RAM

This is a discussion on Compatibility with additional memory RAM within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello! I currently have 8GB of memory installed (G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600 PC3 12800 8GB 2x4GB CL7) on my


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Old 09-09-2016, 02:48 AM   #1
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Question

Hello!

I currently have 8GB of memory installed (G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600 PC3 12800 8GB 2x4GB CL7) on my MSI Z97 Gaming 5 and I wanted to add extra memory RAM since I have 2 slots unoccupied. My question is, the extra memory can it be a different brand? Different size and speed?

Appreciate any help!
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:29 AM   #2
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Best answer - Probably. In most instances, you may install memory from different manufacturers and with different spec/timings and they will function correctly. There are instances, however, where mixed memory will simply not play nice with each other.

That said, we always recommend that if you cannot find identical DIMMs, that you use memory from the same manufacturer and with similar specifications.

In your case, GSkill memory is widely available. You should have no trouble matching something up, even if you are considering adding a 2 x 8GB kit.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:29 AM   #3
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I've also had good luck with using two different brands of memory and the computer still functions properly. However, for best results and performance, the same brand/same specs of memory are recommended. GSkill is a great brand.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:44 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your replies!

I think I'll buy this one TridentX - 16GB (8GBx2) 1.5v Dual Channel DDR3 Memory kit (F3-1600C7D-16GTX) - G.SKILL Memory
Same brand, speed and latency. I should be okay!
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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As mentioned, same brand and specs is best But if different is only choice, I've had better luck installing them so the different brands are on separate channels.
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
I think I'll buy this one TridentX - 16GB (8GBx2) 1.5v Dual Channel DDR3 Memory kit (F3-1600C7D-16GTX) - G.SKILL Memory
Same brand, speed and latency. I should be okay!
Yep. You'll have no trouble.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:53 AM   #7
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I agree with the above but much depends on how old the computer is. The newer the computer, the more capable it will be to make dissimilar RAM play well together.

I have actually had great luck mixing brands. This is because today's manufacturing techniques are extremely advanced and precise compared to that used several years ago. This ensures the RAM coming off the assembly lines meets the published specifications within very tight tolerances. This helps ensure Brand A and Brand B, as long as they have the same specifications, will match "electrical" characteristics and thus be compatible.

This is actually why today, RAM sold as "Dual Channel" and "Triple Channel" "kits" are just two (or three) sticks of the same RAM stuffed in the same package and sold cheaper than individual sticks. In the old days, to ensure compatibility, the RAM makers had to individually test each stick, then group the pairs or triplets together. The good news for us consumers is that individual testing and matching is no longer necessary so buying these kits is cheaper.

Speaking of Dual Channel - generally you do want the same size and speed to ensure Dual (or triple) channel memory is enabled and utilized by your motherboard. While dual channel performance gains are not as significant as the initial "marketing" hype suggested, for many tasks, some performance gains can be realized. That said, if the RAM is not matched, the motherboard will revert to single channel mode. But note that is not necessarily bad because a general rule is more RAM always trumps faster RAM.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:51 PM   #8
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I guess it all depends on your experience. Mine is the exact opposite as Bill's as the newer the motherboard the more difficult I have found it to match different ram in a system.
That said if you look at different ram sticks, and bar in mind there may be 25 brands but there are really only 4 manufacturers making it, you will see what I mean and if you can match them visually i.e. # of chips and rows then watch how the stick is put together and you can identify who really made it. I have more luck visually matching sticks of ram then I do matching make and model simply because you have so many selling ram that the model number from a maker who really manufactures nothing like say Corsair, can have entirely different ram under the same model number because the batch is different from a different time.
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