Question Is it ok to use different brands of ram in a pc?

mikehende

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Mar 20, 2013
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Hey guys, my HP 8200, Elite has 2 slots and I had purchased one "Samsung" 8gb stick and now would like to get another 8gb stick. Can I use from any other brand with the same specs please?
 

dorsai

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Hey guys, my HP 8200, Elite has 2 slots and I had purchased one "Samsung" 8gb stick and now would like to get another 8gb stick. Can I use from any other brand with the same specs please?
I would not suggest mixing brands of memory.

Either buy a second piece of exactly the same exact brand, size, and timings you have now or even better just buy a proper matched kit.
 

PC Tailor

Judicious
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It's a gamble.

Mixed modules (even the exact same make and model) are not guaranteed compatibility. It's not to say they never work, they often do, but it is technically a gamble. RAM is sold in packs for a reason.

it is usually fine, but it's not unheard of to have some instability.

I've had some where mixed RAM modules have simply gone wild when they've tried to overclock for example. But generally if they boot, you're theoretically fine.

You can actually buy 2 of the EXACT SAME MODEL RAM, but from 2 different packs, and they can (and have) not be compatible due to the nature of the manufacturing process of all the components that go into it.

So does it not work all of the time? No, there are plenty of times where it does work.
But is it a gamble? Absolutely yes.
 
Hey guys, my HP 8200, Elite has 2 slots and I had purchased one "Samsung" 8gb stick and now would like to get another 8gb stick. Can I use from any other brand with the same specs please?
Sounds like you have the ultra-tiny desktop version of this which is different than the desktop versions of this model. Yours is using sodimms like a laptop. And while ddr3 is quite forgiving on mixing memory, sodimms are a little more particular. If you can find the exact same module or one with the exact same specs you should be fine, but if they're different enough they may have some issues or not work well together at all.
 
May 12, 2021
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It's a gamble.

Mixed modules (even the exact same make and model) are not guaranteed compatibility. It's not to say they never work, they often do, but it is technically a gamble. RAM is sold in packs for a reason.

it is usually fine, but it's not unheard of to have some instability.

I've had some where mixed RAM modules have simply gone wild when they've tried to overclock for example. But generally if they boot, you're theoretically fine.

You can actually buy 2 of the EXACT SAME MODEL RAM, but from 2 different packs, and they can (and have) not be compatible due to the nature of the manufacturing process of all the components that go into it.

So does it not work all of the time? No, there are plenty of times where it does work.
But is it a gamble? Absolutely yes.
Is there a way to tell if there's an issue with the mixed RAM, aside from not getting the perceived benefits from adding the additional RAM?

Full disclosure: I just added Kingston KCP3L16SD8/8 to the extra slot in my laptop and chugging through large operations in GIS or Excel seems to be slower, not faster. The original RAM is Samsung M471B1G73DB0-YK0 . Didn't realize this might be an issue.
 

dorsai

Distinguished
Is there a way to tell if there's an issue with the mixed RAM, aside from not getting the perceived benefits from adding the additional RAM?

Full disclosure: I just added Kingston KCP3L16SD8/8 to the extra slot in my laptop and chugging through large operations in GIS or Excel seems to be slower, not faster. The original RAM is Samsung M471B1G73DB0-YK0 . Didn't realize this might be an issue.
Not a good idea to mix ram brands...or even different types of memory from the same vendor. If one piece is slower than the other then both will run at the slow speed so yes adding more ram can actually make your system slower.
 
Is there a way to tell if there's an issue with the mixed RAM, aside from not getting the perceived benefits from adding the additional RAM?

Full disclosure: I just added Kingston KCP3L16SD8/8 to the extra slot in my laptop and chugging through large operations in GIS or Excel seems to be slower, not faster. The original RAM is Samsung M471B1G73DB0-YK0 . Didn't realize this might be an issue.
These are both spec'd the same so you really shouldn't be having an issue. I would run memtest on the set and see if the full amount of memory is recognized and there are no errors. If there are errors that are being corrected somewhere along the way, that would cause slowness.
 

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