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What ram is compatible with my motherboard?

Last response: in Motherboards
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March 25, 2012 6:22:53 PM

Dear all,

I have windows 7 64 bit on an ASUS M4A87TD EVO motherboard with an AMD Phenum 11 X4 955 cpu and 4 gb ram.

As I am about to work on some large HD video files I'm thinking of upgrading the ram to either 8 or 16 gb.

Thing is I haven't a clue about ram, speeds or anything like this. I think the ram I have is DDR3 at 1066 mhz. The current ram is PNY (2*2gb).

Can I just add another 8gb (making 12) in the two spare slots or do I have to add in pairs (not sure what that means - other than two of em). Or should I add 16gb straight off (removing the current).

Finally any idea what speed this mother board/cpu can support? Have seen some Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B 16GB (4x4GB) 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 on amazon - which I guess is faster but can I use it?

The system is not over-clocked.

Any advice really appreciated.
March 25, 2012 6:40:12 PM

3 things first off, whatever memory you buy will be limited to the speed of the slowest memory in PC, PNY @ 1066Mhz is slower then @1600Mhz....., so if you are going to replace memory, remove what you have or purchase same, I would remove, second go with Kingston HyperX Dual channel 1600OCMhz as it's has more performance then the PNY, third, ensure before replacement that the Bios is updated so it has no issues with the memory. Bonus= Motherboard only supports max 16Gb ram (4*4Gb per slot).
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March 25, 2012 6:48:26 PM

If you want to be SURE it works, there are two ways to go.

1. Look at the QVL for your motherboard. This is a list of all the RAM modules that Asus tested in your motherboard. RAM not on the list doesn't mean that it won't work, just that Asus hasn't tested it in your motherboard.

2. Go to each of the RAM vendors(Corsair, Kingston, G.Skill, etc.) and look up your motherboard. This will provide you with a list of RAM that the manufacturer's have tested in your motherboard.

Also, be sure to buy kits (2x2gb, 2x4gb, etc) in order to enable the dual-channel access of the RAM.

That said, when it comes to RAM,it is never a good idea to mix brands, speeds, capacities, or voltages. you are just asking for trouble. :non: 

Good Luck! :D 
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March 26, 2012 3:24:34 PM

Hi,

Many thanks for the advice. I looked at the QVL and to be honest failed to understand a lot of it.

For example there is a column marked SS/DS some ram is ss some ds - but I haven't a clue what that means or if its important.

There's another column marked timing. Some ram has just one figure there eg 7, yet others has a set such as 7-7-7-20 or even 1333-9-9-9-24 ! again no idea what this is or if I need to worry about it.

I see what is ment by the voltage (some ram is 1.5 others range from 1.65-1.85 for example) I guess that lower voltage is better as it won't get as hot?

No idea what Dual Channel means (sorry I really am confused on this)

Finally the QVL is quite old (last updated in 2010) so is probably out of date now.

In a word ... Ugh.

I can't find anything that is a simple explanation as to, howfast a dim I can use, what voltage is best etc. Hmmm Dim, thats me.
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March 27, 2012 12:47:06 PM

justbaffled said:
Hi,

Many thanks for the advice. I looked at the QVL and to be honest failed to understand a lot of it.

For example there is a column marked SS/DS some ram is ss some ds - but I haven't a clue what that means or if its important.

There's another column marked timing. Some ram has just one figure there eg 7, yet others has a set such as 7-7-7-20 or even 1333-9-9-9-24 ! again no idea what this is or if I need to worry about it.

I see what is ment by the voltage (some ram is 1.5 others range from 1.65-1.85 for example) I guess that lower voltage is better as it won't get as hot?

No idea what Dual Channel means (sorry I really am confused on this)

Finally the QVL is quite old (last updated in 2010) so is probably out of date now.

In a word ... Ugh.

I can't find anything that is a simple explanation as to, howfast a dim I can use, what voltage is best etc. Hmmm Dim, thats me.

SS/DS -- Single sided/Double sided-- the ram module has memory chips on 1 side of the module or on both sides of the module. Important if the QVL says it has a preference.

TIMINGS -- Very important as you don't want to mix Ram with different timings. usually the lower the numbers, the faster the ram.

VOLTAGE -- Again, don't mix ram that requires different voltages, as the motherboard can only be set to 1 voltage. It is not so much a heat problem as one of stability. Some ram requires the higher voltage in order to remain stable.

DUAL CHANNEL -- Just the number of pathways that data can be accessed by your PC. In order to work properly. you have to have 2 matched (exactly the same)modules in the proper DIMM slots, or your PC will degrade to single channel access, and be thereby slower.

QVL -- Sometimes the motherboard Manufacturer will put an updated QVL on their website. Again, not being on the QVL simply means that the MoBo manufacturer hasn't tested the ram in that motherboard, not that it won't work. The RAM manufacturers might have more up-to-date information on their websites.

Hope this helps!
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March 27, 2012 3:25:46 PM

Hi,

Many many thanks for the info - it helps a great deal.

Just one question on the subject of dual channel.

I'm not sure if my motherboard can run dual, but it has two different colours in the 4 dim sockets, black and blue. If I fully populate these to 16gb - as I am thinking - will that mean that it will run single channel, or would it be dual if I get a matched set of dims? Any idea what the speed reduction might be?

Once again thank you for clearing up som much of the jargon.
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March 27, 2012 4:07:54 PM

justbaffled said:
Hi,

Many many thanks for the info - it helps a great deal.

Just one question on the subject of dual channel.

I'm not sure if my motherboard can run dual, but it has two different colours in the 4 dim sockets, black and blue. If I fully populate these to 16gb - as I am thinking - will that mean that it will run single channel, or would it be dual if I get a matched set of dims? Any idea what the speed reduction might be?

Once again thank you for clearing up som much of the jargon.

You would be running in dual channel mode, if the modules in the blue matched, and the modules in the black matched. If you are going to fill all four slots, I would look at getting a quad-channel matched kit. That would be less likely to have problems with stability, and you wouldn't have to worry about matched pairs in the colored slots as they are all already matched.
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