• Find an incredible deal for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Share those epic bargains with the community by posting them in this forum thread!

Question Pairing memory on an older 1150 motherboard

box o rocks

Distinguished
Apr 9, 2012
510
1
18,985
0
With a motherboard that has 4 x DDR3 memory slots, if I have a matched pair of 8GB sticks in one color slots... can I add 2 x 4GB matched sticks of the same timings in the other color memory slots without loss of performance? Or do they all have to be the same GB size? The motherboard is an Asus B85M-E/CSM.
 

PC Tailor

Distinguished
Herald
They don't HAVE to be the same size, but there is no guarantee they will work...

Some risks to consider:
  • Mixing modules is not guaranteed compatibility, even if you bought the exact same model RAM but from 2 different packs, so it's perfectly possible for mixed modules to not work together - the only way to know is to test on your system.
  • If you are running a Dual Channel board, then running 4 RAM modules can actually in some cases hinder performance, as you are running 4 modules in 2 channels, technically Quad Channel is more appropriate for this.
  • If your normal application/usage on the PC is not currently using up the current RAM you have, then the additional RAM will simply sit idle in most cases and not have any performance benefit.
 

box o rocks

Distinguished
Apr 9, 2012
510
1
18,985
0
They don't HAVE to be the same size, but there is no guarantee they will work...

Some risks to consider:
  • Mixing modules is not guaranteed compatibility, even if you bought the exact same model RAM but from 2 different packs, so it's perfectly possible for mixed modules to not work together - the only way to know is to test on your system.
  • If you are running a Dual Channel board, then running 4 RAM modules can actually in some cases hinder performance, as you are running 4 modules in 2 channels, technically Quad Channel is more appropriate for this.
  • If your normal application/usage on the PC is not currently using up the current RAM you have, then the additional RAM will simply sit idle in most cases and not have any performance benefit.
Thank you for your reply. So then, if I understand you correctly...
(1) If all were the same GB size and they were all from the same 4-stick matched set, they would be guaranteed to work. Yes?
(2) If I populate all 4 slots, there may be a slight performance loss over just populating 2 slots, yes?
Btw, I already have the RAM in the slots and suffered no problems so far. I was just wondering about the performance loss.
 

PC Tailor

Distinguished
Herald
(1) If all were the same GB size and they were all from the same 4-stick matched set, they would be guaranteed to work. Yes?
Not necessarily guaranteed to work in your system, as your system as a whole has to work with them, but those 4 modules from exactly the same pack will be guaranteed to be compatible and work with one another, assuming the rest of your system is also compatible.

(2) If I populate all 4 slots, there may be a slight performance loss over just populating 2 slots, yes?
Potentially yes.

Btw, I already have the RAM in the slots and suffered no problems so far. I was just wondering about the performance loss.
That is probably fine then, not saying it never works, but it's a gamble. And in your case appears to work fine! So that's good.
It's still possible for issues to arise later (but less likely if they are working together normally at the moment, but still possible).

Performance loss will be hard to identify. If your system wasn't using the full capability of the original set of RAM, then adding new RAM will make no difference, it's just more cupboard space not being used. But can have a performance impact if it is running in dual channel across 4 modules.
 

PC Tailor

Distinguished
Herald
So, would you recommend removing the extra 2 x 4GB sticks if I don't need more than 16GB RAM?
Well, they're likely not adding anything if your PC wasn't being held back by the original 16GB.
But equally, they might not be doing any harm, but might be slightly limiting performance.

Sorry to be ambigious but ultimately, I don't know what applications you use, or what limitations you are seeing :)
If you are running lots of apps together, doing some heavier multitasking etc. then more than 16GB can be useful, if your playing games like Star Citizen, then more than 16GB can be useful, if it's general gaming outside of that and some beta games, then 16GB is more than sufficient.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts