[SOLVED] Mixing similar but not identical RAM

Setzera

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Dec 5, 2011
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Hey everyone, I have done a fair bit of Googling and the overall consensus seems to be to get a kit, but I would like to pose my question anyways as the mix is extremely close here.

I have a GA-AB350M-DS3H motherboard and along with other components I had bought a 2 x 8 kit of Hyper X HX424C15FB2K2/16 RAM last year when I built this PC. The past month I've been having random blue screens and ran some tests. MemTest86+ is showing one of the sticks is getting hundreds of errors, while the other stick seems to be fine solo, I tested the slots too so I know it's the stick itself. I'm currently using the working 1 x 8GB stick right now.

Unfortunately Amazon does not have any of the same sticks and no idea when there will be more. The other unfortunate part is that while I haven't called them, Hyper X's website says RMA's of kits must include both sticks to be RMA'd, not just one. So I'd likely be RAM-less during that time, or would end up purchasing RAM anyways to be able to keep using my system since I'd have to send this working stick back too. I'm also in Canada and I'm unsure how long it would take to get replacements.

I have a few options but suffice to say I'm wondering what you all think of me buying this other very similar stick and using it, AND whether or not I should attempt Dual Channel slots or use Single Channel, if I buy it.

Current RAM: https://www.kingston.com/dataSheets/HX424C15FB2K2_16.pdf 1 x 8 remaining out of 2 x 8 kit.
Purchasable RAM: https://www.kingston.com/dataSheets/HX424C15FB3_8.pdf 1 x 8 GB.

Spec wise they are almost identical, hence why I needed to ask. I'm going to sleep on this but I look forward to feedback in the morning, thanks!



EDIT: updated my signature to current machine, had been a while since I had posted.
 
Last edited:

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Similar doesn't really exist outside of the primary timings and the paint job on the heatsink. All ram is different, sometimes violently so.

Figure there's only a handful of OEMs that actually make ram. Each of them uses silicon sheets that come from different sources to make up the IC chips on the ram pcb. Each of those sheets contains different levels and types of impurities, which also differ in composition depending on placement, heavier impurities gravitate towards the edges of the sheet during the spinning process when the sheet is manufactured.

You see the 5 primary timings, the 16-19-19-39 2T etc. What you almost never see is the 40+ secondary and tertiary timings. Those timings are representative of the affect that voltages and resistances have on the silicon, so when mixing ram all of them must be in harmony or forced harmony by timing/voltage adjustments, or the ram sticks won't play well together at all.

Doesn't matter if it's the same brand, same model, bought at the same time, from the same shelf, having the exact same speeds etc. They are different. The factory tests every stick in a kit for compatability, and guarantees they'll play nice, in harmony. 2 kits are not tested, not guaranteed.

I've had 2 sticks, perfectly identical, 9 manufacture serial numbers apart and they were totally bunk together. I've mixed 2 sticks from different brands, voltages, timings, speeds, the works that were happy as clams together.

The Only guarantee applicable when mixing any sticks from different kits is there are No Guarantees. They may work, they may work after adjustment, they may not work at all. Totally pot-luck blind chance.

For those reasons it's always recommended to buy what you want, in one kit. Or instead of relying on the vendor to guarantee compatibility, you become the tester and could try 1000 kits and no joy.
 

Third-Eye

Distinguished
Hey everyone, I have done a fair bit of Googling and the overall consensus seems to be to get a kit, but I would like to pose my question anyways as the mix is extremely close here.

I have a GA-AB350M-DS3H motherboard and along with other components I had bought a 2 x 8 kit of Hyper X HX424C15FB2K2/16 RAM last year when I built this PC. The past month I've been having random blue screens and ran some tests. MemTest86+ is showing one of the sticks is getting hundreds of errors, while the other stick seems to be fine solo, I tested the slots too so I know it's the stick itself. I'm currently using the working 1 x 8GB stick right now.

Unfortunately Amazon does not have any of the same sticks and no idea when there will be more. The other unfortunate part is that while I haven't called them, Hyper X's website says RMA's of kits must include both sticks to be RMA'd, not just one. So I'd likely be RAM-less during that time, or would end up purchasing RAM anyways to be able to keep using my system since I'd have to send this working stick back too. I'm also in Canada and I'm unsure how long it would take to get replacements.

I have a few options but suffice to say I'm wondering what you all think of me buying this other very similar stick and using it, AND whether or not I should attempt Dual Channel slots or use Single Channel, if I buy it.

Current RAM: https://www.kingston.com/dataSheets/HX424C15FB2K2_16.pdf 1 x 8 remaining out of 2 x 8 kit.
Purchasable RAM: https://www.kingston.com/dataSheets/HX424C15FB3_8.pdf 1 x 8 GB.

Spec wise they are almost identical, hence why I needed to ask. I'm going to sleep on this but I look forward to feedback in the morning, thanks!



EDIT: Please ignore the rig in the signature, it's been a long time since my last post and I didn't know it was in there. lol
I would return the ram to Kingston or Amazon and request a refund and then buy a new 2x8GB kit if it meant not having a computer for 1-2 weeks.
 
Contact Kingston and explain the situation.
Possibly, they will send you a proper 2 x 8gb rma replacement so you can continue to use your 8gb.
You may have to pay for the 2 x 8gb kit which they will refund when they get your bad parts.
In the past, I did this with Corsair.

Disparate ram is a questionable thing, particularly with ryzen which is tightly tied into ram.
Ram must be matched.

As an alternative, buy a 2 x 8gb ram kit and plan on selling the rma'ed ram when you get it back.
 

Setzera

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Dec 5, 2011
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Thank you for the feedback. I have been considering buying another set and then having these ones RMA'd and then either keeping the replacements for future use or selling them, right now that is what I'm leaning towards doing.

I still need to contact them to ask about an RMA on 1 stick but based on the website saying a kit must have 2, I'm not expecting.

As a bonus question, if I buy 2 8GB sticks of the same RAM, rather than a kit with 2 sticks, would that be fine too?
 
As a bonus question, if I buy 2 8GB sticks of the same RAM, rather than a kit with 2 sticks, would that be fine too?

No; not fine.
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.
The ram must be matched to insure advertised performance.
That is one reason why a kit might cost more than a pair of similar sticks.

Odds of working are good. But, what is your plan B if it does not??
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Similar doesn't really exist outside of the primary timings and the paint job on the heatsink. All ram is different, sometimes violently so.

Figure there's only a handful of OEMs that actually make ram. Each of them uses silicon sheets that come from different sources to make up the IC chips on the ram pcb. Each of those sheets contains different levels and types of impurities, which also differ in composition depending on placement, heavier impurities gravitate towards the edges of the sheet during the spinning process when the sheet is manufactured.

You see the 5 primary timings, the 16-19-19-39 2T etc. What you almost never see is the 40+ secondary and tertiary timings. Those timings are representative of the affect that voltages and resistances have on the silicon, so when mixing ram all of them must be in harmony or forced harmony by timing/voltage adjustments, or the ram sticks won't play well together at all.

Doesn't matter if it's the same brand, same model, bought at the same time, from the same shelf, having the exact same speeds etc. They are different. The factory tests every stick in a kit for compatability, and guarantees they'll play nice, in harmony. 2 kits are not tested, not guaranteed.

I've had 2 sticks, perfectly identical, 9 manufacture serial numbers apart and they were totally bunk together. I've mixed 2 sticks from different brands, voltages, timings, speeds, the works that were happy as clams together.

The Only guarantee applicable when mixing any sticks from different kits is there are No Guarantees. They may work, they may work after adjustment, they may not work at all. Totally pot-luck blind chance.

For those reasons it's always recommended to buy what you want, in one kit. Or instead of relying on the vendor to guarantee compatibility, you become the tester and could try 1000 kits and no joy.
 

Setzera

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Dec 5, 2011
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Thanks for the detailed replies!

I ended up taking the risk, bought 2 of those 8GB sticks (not in a kit), currently running them dual channel and have done MemTest, everything is running really good after nearly a week.

I'm going to RMA that 16GB kit some time soon, I'll either save them for another build down the road or sell em off. I think in the future I'm not going to bother buying kits. I never adjust timings or voltages for my setups anyways so that probably helped in this situation. I did not used to buy kits back in the DDR2/3 days and while times have changed, I guess I just don't like the idea of having to RMA a kit and basically wasting one of the sticks lol.

The serial numbers seemed quite close on the labels so I imagine that I got them roughly from the same batch.

Again thanks for all the feedback.
 

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