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#1
Old 12-29-2013, 02:12 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 2,358
Can you mix ddr3 ram sizes?

Hello,

I've recently posted a thread about advice on a new computer and I'm close to making my purchase. However there is one subject I'm a bit confused on, even more so after trying to google the answer as there is conflicting statements everywhere. My question is, when upgrading ram of the ddr3 variety can you do so independent of size? Meaning if I have a single stick of say a 6GB ddr3 can I upgrade by installing a 4GB stick into the open slot or does the memory have to be paired in size? Can I only upgrade with another 6GB memory stick or do I have the flexibility to install a 2GB, 4GB or more? Thanks
#2
Old 12-29-2013, 07:16 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,691
You can plug in any combination of sizes motherboard supports. However, a lot of computers have dual-channel memory interfaces, which gives you a small performance increase from using "matched sticks". The difference is pretty modest for most ordinary users. Some memory bandwidth limited tasks may run 5-10% faster, but for most purposes the difference is trivial or nonexistent.

Also, AFAIK there aren't any 6 GB sticks. Only 2, 4, 8, etc sizes.
#3
Old 12-29-2013, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 45
You can mix up different sizes, but it's not recommended. For example, a dual channel 2x2gb 1600mhz pair of sticks will be faster than 5gb 1600mhz of 2+2+1 sticks.
#4
Old 12-29-2013, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 27,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
I've recently posted a thread about advice on a new computer and I'm close to making my purchase. However there is one subject I'm a bit confused on, even more so after trying to google the answer as there is conflicting statements everywhere. My question is, when upgrading ram of the ddr3 variety can you do so independent of size?
In theory you can; in practice, PCs can behave very oddly if you do. You should try to have matching banks of memory (e.g. 2x 4GB and 2x 8 GB). If you have different DIMMs - and that includes being of the same capacity but of different speeds - ensure they are in different banks, even if it means leaving an empty slot.
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