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Only Install 2 sticks from 4GBx4 kit?

This is a discussion on Only Install 2 sticks from 4GBx4 kit? within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello If I have only 2 sticks from a 4GBx4 kit, can I install only the two (total 8GB) and

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Old 04-18-2020, 03:24 PM   #1
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If I have only 2 sticks from a 4GBx4 kit, can I install only the two (total 8GB) and everything will work ok?
I attached a picture to see the two sticks from the 16GB Kit.

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Old 04-18-2020, 04:58 PM   #2
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Yes, you can install only 2 sticks.
Some computers have "banks". You can usually tell if yours is one of them if the RAM slots are of different colors. If the slots are all the same color, you can put the RAM sticks in any 2 slots. If the slots are of different colors, say black and red, put the sticks in either the black slots or the red slots. Don't put them in different colored slots.
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Old 04-19-2020, 08:53 AM   #3
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I think you are confused by the word "kit". I don't blame you. That is a misuse of the word, created, no doubt, by marketing weenies. :(

All "kit" means in this case is the 4 individual, but identical sticks were packaged together and sold as 1 unit. But the key thing is, they are "individual" sticks.

I think the confusion has roots going back many years. Most people don't realize that "dual-channel" memory architecture goes back several decades! But in the olden days, the raw materials to make the memory modules were not as pure and refined as they are today. Also, the manufacturing techniques were not as precise or consistent.

This lack of refinement and consistency meant each stick coming off the assembly line was a little different than the next - when it comes to conforming to the design specifications. So each stick had to be tested at the factory, then essentially manually paired with another stick to ensure they were as identical as technically possible. Then those pairs were certified as identical then packaged and sold as "dual channel" "kits". That manual testing and pairing was expensive and time consuming.

Today, its a different story. The raw materials much more pure and manufacturing techniques are extremely precise. This means each stick coming off the assembly line is easily within allowed tolerances to the design specs. So manufacturers no longer spend the time and money manually test and pair sticks. They just bundle them in pairs, trips or in your case quads.

Note today's precision is why it is actually difficult to find RAM that does not have a lifetime warranty.

Another factor is the memory controllers on motherboards and CPUs have become much more capable too - such that they can easily make separate sticks of RAM that have slight differences in specs play well together - compared to memory controllers of yesteryear.

What this means for you and me is that we can even buy two sticks from two different makers and as long as they have the same "published" specs, the odds are, they will work fine together.

But, because Man cannot make perfection 100% of the time, it is still generally recommended we buy identical sticks from the same maker. And RAM makers make it easy buy bundling pairs in the same package.

Anyway - to your point - those are "individual" and "identical" sticks. You can use them in your computer as 1 stick, 1 pair, 3 sticks, or 2 pair - assuming your motherboard supports those configurations. Either way, the individual sticks don't care if used with their twin, a different stick, or no stick at all.
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