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Memory Upgrade: Can I mix brands, speed, latency, and voltage?

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December 5, 2013 5:34:10 PM

I am currently using 2x4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 240-pin modules in a dual-channel setup with
Speed: 1600MHz
Timing: 8-8-8-24
Voltage: 1.5

(Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

I am hoping to buy a couple more modules soon. I could buy the same modules, but it would be nice to make use of all the sales and buy the best I can get. The problem is, the ones on sale are often a different BRANDS, SPEED, TIMING, or VOLTAGE.

So, questions are:

1. Can I mix BRANDS as long as they're making up separate dual-channel pairs?
2. Can I mix Speed, as long as I pick something faster than what I have?
3. Can I mix different TIMINGS. Will the lower timing becoming the default?
4. Can I mix different VOLTAGES? My understanding is that's probably asking for trouble?
a b } Memory
December 5, 2013 5:39:29 PM

No you don't want to mix any RAM, you want to get a kit of RAM that is made to work together, you may want to just look at a 16GB kit(2x4GB) and just sell your current RAM
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December 5, 2013 5:46:20 PM

Even though its better to have them all equal like patrick said, I only wanna clarify some of your questions:

1. Yes you can mix brands there's no problem with that.

2. You can mix speeds, though the faster one will work at the same speed of the slowest you have.

3. They should rise to the higher timings, but that will reduce performance (more noticeable on rendering videos, database servers, any memory sensitive application)

4. That's asking for troubles :p , you will end up forcing one or more modules to work at a higher voltage frequency that could easily lead to instability issues.
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December 5, 2013 5:47:03 PM

It is possible to mix brands of RAM, especially if using dual channel pairs.
You can also mix RAM speeds as long as your motherboard supports all the speeds. When you do this your motherboard will clock the ram to the lowest speed of all the sticks you have installed.
I'm not sure whether or not you can mix timings.
I'm also not sure about voltage, however I would think that your motherboard would reduce the voltage to make all the chips run the same.
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December 5, 2013 5:56:14 PM

Guys, thank you for your responses. I want to make one thing clear, if I didn't before: I will run the old pair and the new pair of sticks as their own dual channel pair (i.e, sticks 1 and 3 will be identical, and sticks 2 and 4 will be identical, but possibly different from 1 and 3). So my takeaway so far:

1. Brands don't matter.

2. Can mix speeds as long as the MOBO supports the speeds, but it'll default to the slowest. So should buy the same speed or higher.

3. Important to match CAS Latency or my performance will drop.

4. DEFINITELY don't mix voltage on the same board!

Did I get it right?
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