Solved Mixing DDR3 RAM sticks

September 7, 2014 at 01:59:46
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Intel Core i3 @ 3.10GHz | 8GB DDR3 1333MHz
At the moment, I have two 4GB sticks of ADATA DDR3 RAM installed in my machine. My motherboard has four DIMM slots, with two being taken up by my current RAM. I'm getting to the point where I'm considering replacing my current RAM, but I'm not going to do it all at once.

So, my question is- is it possible for me to go buy a different brand of RAM, for example, a 4GB stick of G.SKILL Ripjaws or Corsair Vengeance and install it in one of the empty slots until I replace the other sticks as well?

The only experience I've had with this was swapping around old DDR1 sticks in a few old systems. Sometimes, mixing brands seemed to work, and other times it failed to POST with a series of error beeps. I don't know if any of this applies to DDR3, though.

My system specifications are in my signature for reference. Feel free to let me know if you need anything else.

Thank you in advance for your help!

MSI B75MA-P45 Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
SAPPHIRE AMD Radeon HD 5770 Vapor-X
Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD (Windows 7 Ultimate)
Toshiba 2TB HDD


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#1
September 7, 2014 at 06:04:43
✔ Best Answer
In theory any combination of compatible RAM modules should work together. But things don't always work that way in the real world. DDR3 doesn't change this. Mixing RAM modules of differing size, specs or manufacturer is not recommended. The only way to know if it will work is to try it.

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#2
September 7, 2014 at 08:50:20
@LMiller7

Thank you for your help. That makes sense. Worst case scenario is that I get a stick or two of Vengeance and it doesn't work with my ADATA RAM, making me have to replace it all at once.

MSI B75MA-P45 Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
SAPPHIRE AMD Radeon HD 5770 Vapor-X
Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD (Windows 7 Ultimate)
Toshiba 2TB HDD


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#3
September 7, 2014 at 18:45:57
I'm curious what it is you do with your system that would require more than 8GB RAM? Or why you would want to replace RAM that has no problems?

If you're going to mix brands, make sure the specs are the same. That means same speed, same voltage, same CAS.

message edited by riider


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#4
September 7, 2014 at 19:40:36
@riider

I was mostly just curious, as a co-worker of mine has a spare stick of Vengeance RAM I could pick up on the cheap. As my PC was originally a budget-build based on a bundle of parts I found on TigerDirect, I've been meaning to update to some higher-quality hardware for some time.

Yet, as I think about it more, I may just hold off until I can purchase an LGA1150 or 2011 motherboard and processor with support for DDR4 RAM when it becomes somewhat affordable.

MSI B75MA-P45 Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
SAPPHIRE AMD Radeon HD 5770 Vapor-X
Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD (Windows 7 Ultimate)
Toshiba 2TB HDD

message edited by Comguy


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#5
September 8, 2014 at 09:43:16
Installing only one additional stick instead of a matched pair, means you will probably no longer run the RAM in dual channel mode. Depending on what you use the PC for, this may or may not impact performance.

I agree with riider about the need for additional RAM.


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