Question Adding an identical fourth DDR3 stick except for part number: potential issue?

Salve1

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Sep 2, 2015
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Hi everyone. I'm taking care of my uncle's PC, an old prebuilt Lenovo (should be IdeaCentre K430). I'm thinking of a couple of cheap upgrades, one of which would be adding a fourth stick of DDR3 RAM in order to switch to 16GB (4x4GB) full dual channel from 12GB (3X4GB) hybrid mode. Of course RAM looks like crap (brand is Sharetronic, Micron die if I’m not mistaken). I’ve found on the Internet a module with the exact same specs regarding speed (1600MHz), size (4GB), case latency (11) and voltage needed (1.5V), but the part number is slightly different, only for one digit, from the sticks I have, being SM311NQ08IAF vs SM312NQ08IAF. Could this difference potentially cause issues or can I safely assume that this fourth stick would be compatible with the others? Thanks in advance.
 
Not guaranteed to work without issues. I had 2 kits of Corsair 2x4gb DDR3 1600 of exact same model number. Any attempt to mix the 2 kits had issues. I did manage to get the 2 kits working together by running 1333, loosening the timings and adding more voltage.
You might have had fakes then. I've not had an issue EVER of ddr3 working together in pre-built systems, especially if the modules were matching on spec.
 
You might have had fakes then. I've not had an issue EVER of ddr3 working together in pre-built systems, especially if the modules were matching on spec.
Definitely not fakes. I’m not saying it always happens, I’ve mixed other DDR3 successfully however there is a % risk of issues. There have also been plenty of threads on here where people have had issues. This thread covers it https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/troubleshooting-problems-with-pc-memory-ram-and-xmp-profile-configurations.3398926/
 
Definitely not fakes. I’m not saying it always happens, I’ve mixed other DDR3 successfully however there is a % risk of issues. There have also been plenty of threads on here where people have had issues. This thread covers it https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/troubleshooting-problems-with-pc-memory-ram-and-xmp-profile-configurations.3398926/
How do you know? Unless you bought them from the manufacturer, there's a good chance they're fakes--tons are sold on the 'marketplace' sites and ebay. Most people only find out when they try for warranty service. Have you tried to warranty yours?

XMP is more of a ddr4 thing and most stock ddr3 speeds do not exceed 1866 (if even that high), so at 1600 almost anything will work ime. For ddr4, all bets are off as that stuff is super picky.
 

Salve1

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Sep 2, 2015
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Thanks for the replies. I guess then I can’t be 100% sure that they will work together but there are good chances they will, after all. Maybe I’ll give it a try since the cost is so negligible.
 
Is there really a need for more than 12gb?

Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
A motherboard must manage all the ram using the same specs of voltage, cas and speed.
The internal workings are designed for the capacity of the kit.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards, can be very sensitive to this.
This is more difficult when more sticks are involved.

If you do buy more disparate sticks, they should be the same speed, voltage and cas numbers.
Even then your chances of working are less than 100%
I might guess 90% success.
What is your plan "B" if the new stick/s do not work?

If you want 16gb, my suggestion is to buy a 2 x 8gb kit

Perhaps the best upgrade to an old pc is to change the windows drive to a ssd.

Uncle will love the performance upgrade.
 
How do you know? Unless you bought them from the manufacturer, there's a good chance they're fakes--tons are sold on the 'marketplace' sites and ebay. Most people only find out when they try for warranty service. Have you tried to warranty yours?

XMP is more of a ddr4 thing and most stock ddr3 speeds do not exceed 1866 (if even that high), so at 1600 almost anything will work ime. For ddr4, all bets are off as that stuff is super picky.
I know they were not fakes as they were bought from a reputable retailer in the UK. When I had my issue I started searching the forums and this is not an isolated incident. I even came across evidence that some brands can change DRAM chips used without changing model numbers of their RAM. As I said I know it can work but their is definitely a risk issue can be had. I have no idea if it 1/10, 1/100, 1/1000 or something else but some people do have problems.
 
Is there really a need for more than 12gb?

Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
A motherboard must manage all the ram using the same specs of voltage, cas and speed.
The internal workings are designed for the capacity of the kit.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards, can be very sensitive to this.
This is more difficult when more sticks are involved.

If you do buy more disparate sticks, they should be the same speed, voltage and cas numbers.
Even then your chances of working are less than 100%
I might guess 90% success.
What is your plan "B" if the new stick/s do not work?

If you want 16gb, my suggestion is to buy a 2 x 8gb kit

Perhaps the best upgrade to an old pc is to change the windows drive to a ssd.

Uncle will love the performance upgrade.
None of this applies to ddr3. I've seen even mismatched modules work together. ddr4 is where all this is critical.

Yes, you need 16gb today, 32gb is even better. Hell, I have 256GB in one of my systems.
 
I know they were not fakes as they were bought from a reputable retailer in the UK. When I had my issue I started searching the forums and this is not an isolated incident. I even came across evidence that some brands can change DRAM chips used without changing model numbers of their RAM. As I said I know it can work but their is definitely a risk issue can be had. I have no idea if it 1/10, 1/100, 1/1000 or something else but some people do have problems.
Fair enough that it definitely can happen, but only if you're pushing it like doing something crazy like an off brand ddr3-1066 with a gaming ddr3-2133 module. I would think it's definitely more on the 1/1000 since I know I've got nearly 100 systems where this hasn't been an issue.
 

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