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Mixing different brands of memory

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April 23, 2006 7:50:26 PM

On my ancient K7S5A motherboard, it supports up to 1GB of memory (2x512MB).

As I sit in analysis paralysis about upgrading (should I just go for a gaming upgrade, or try to add media center features? Wait for 65mm AMD? Go for the Raptor 150GB or the cheaper, perhaps quieter 'almost as fast' competitors such as the WD Caviar 250GB? Etc., I'm thinking of upgrading from the current 512MB to 1GB.

If I get one 512MB PC3200 (DDR400) chip from one manufacturer, and the second 512MB PC3200 from a different manufacturer, is that a problem?

Why would I do that? Well, local retailers have some chips on sale for half the price - but limit one chip. I could buy one of each of two brands.

(1x512MB on sale for $20).

It's not really the money, but I got curious if this is any problem with stability, and why not make it an ultra cheap upgrade if it works?

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April 24, 2006 3:18:32 AM

You can always take a friend in to buy the 2nd 512 stick.....but ultimately it doesn't matter much. I have a notebook running 2 different brands of memory and 2 different sizes of memory. I also updated an in-laws Dell computer by adding a 512 stick. The stock memory was even a different speed than what I put in, as well as a different size. The computer could care less. You will have no issues, especially if they are the same size/speed.

On if you should upgrade or not. I just decided to buy rather than wait for the AMD 65nm AM2 chips. Why? Because the initial chips will be more expensive and will run at about the same speeds that are currently out in s939. They'v delayed launch and it looks like 65nm CPUs won't be around in any decent numbers until mid 2007.....that means they will be pricey. I decided that 18 months of use is well worth it.

While that new stuff will be faster by then, the price won't change much from what I just paid, so it seemed worth while to get 18 months of performance now, rather than limp by on my Athlon XP 2200+ and 9700Pro. Then if I can make my new rig last another 18 months after that, I'll be primed to gobble up a nice, cheap AM2 after all the mobo bugs have been worked out, DDR2 will mean something by then, etc...

So I grabbed an x2-4400 and a 7900GT, Corsair XMS Twinx2048-3200c2pt, Asus AN832-SLI Deluxe, and 2 WD 250GB SATA-II drives with 16MB/cache. I dropped in 2 DVD-ROMs and a DVD-RW w/lightscribe and I'm rocking. I spent about 2000 for all of that plus a Coolermaster STC-T01 STacker case, plus a ton of other fun items to slap into the case.

Very glad I decided to not wait....I would have put my head through a window about August if I had to run that 2200+ any longer :) 
April 24, 2006 1:57:20 PM

You can mix them but one problem is if you put two different sticks to work in dual channel there are 50/50% that they will work.

You can do that but in bios disengage dual channel option.
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