Buy a RAM kit or two individual RAM sticks?


Nov 25, 2007
I have an HP pavilion computer with a ASUS A8AE-LE motherboard. It has 4 memory slots and capable of dual channel. DIMM1 and DIMM2 are blue and each have a 512MB stick. DIMM3 and DIMM4 are black and are empty.

I recently bought 2 512MB Kingston(KVR-400/512) Value Memory sticks and installed them in DIMM3 and 4. I could not get back into Windows even after removing the memory. I reset the CMOS and every other trick I knew. Kingston support said I needed to buy 2 memory sticks that were "born" at the same time to insure that they were exactly the same. He indicated that I probably had one stick that was made on one day and another from another day and they were slightly different in speed, therefore corrupting my Windows.

I reinstalled Windows and am back running. Kingston has indicated I have to use their Memory Configurer to determine the correct RAM to purchase. I used it and it provides me with a 256MB, 512MB and a 1GB choices from their "Brand Specific Memory". The choices are all for one stick, none of them are a kit of two. Do I need to purchase a kit(I think this is what Kingston meant when they said "born at the same time)? Or can I buy two of the recommended sticks?

My next question is everything I read says that to run dual channel you install matching pairs in DIMM1 and DIMM3. And then if you have a second matching pair you put them in DIMM2 and DIMM4. As I said above, current memory is in DIMM1 and DIMM2. Is this why I corrupted Windows, because when I installed my new memory into DIMM3 and DIMM4 I did not have the required matching pairs with DIMM1 and DIMM2???

Thanks for your help and sorry for the long read, just wanted to provide enough info.


It sounds like an ISP customer talking to a low-level outsourced tech support staffer who can only repeat scripted questions & answers. :)

No. Doesn't matter. 1, 2, 3, 4 different makes & models. As long as they're not faulty & the same tech: DDR. I have a feeling one of your sticks may be faulty. 1st thing is test the memory with memtest.

That your board? Follow the manual/pdf (get it from hp) to install the ram.

Dual channel ram is marketing crap. It doesn't exist. The motherboard runs memory in dual channel if it supports the ram configs. The other way of saying it is if you buy a DC kit & put them in the WRONG slots, it won't be dual channel.

The reason there's dual channel ram is that the manufacturers make the customer's life easier when they're shopping for ram, instead of them looking all over places for a pair of identical ram.

Like I said, refer to the manaul. Every board is different. Better yet, list your entire specs.