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Question Ram Upgrading and mixing question

Michaelsws

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May 2, 2016
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Q: Can i mix my old ram with new ones in 4 slots even if my mobo and cpu says memory channels 2?
My knowledge on this is pretty low and i am wondering if i could get some help.

I am currently running this old budget setup

i5 6500 ( https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/88184/intel-core-i5-6500-processor-6m-cache-up-to-3-60-ghz.html)
Msi Armor x2 Gtx 950 oc
Msi b150m bazooka ( https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/B150M-BAZOOKA/Specification)
HyperX Fury ddr4 4gb*2 2133

I plan to upgrade my ram first as most of the things i do seem to make me run out of ram.
I am upgrading to G.Skill Trident Z Neo RGB 3600Mhz 8GB x2 as a shop in my country is having a sale.

Yes my setup wont support higher speeds but i plan to buy better hardware once i get more money.

My mobo and cpu both says 2 channel
If i do mix the 2 different ram kits together in 4 slots, will it just be 24Gb 2133 or will there be more complications with channels?

More detailed questions:
Does the max channels matter and if so how?
I understand the ram speed with take the lowest, but will it also take the lowest capacity?
Would it be better of just using the 8gb*2 kit rather than both?


tldr: Can/Should i mix and match a 8gb2 and a 4gb2 with different speeds on a setup that only has max 2 channels?


EDIT: i hv also heard that the G.Skill Trident Z Neo RGB 3600Mhz 8GB x2 wont work on my Intel cpu setup.
Is this true ?
Would it be better to get the non NEO version and spend a bit more for it?
or will it have no effect and its just stated better for AMD cpus
It is also a 4 slot mobo
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
No, you are NOT going to do that. LOL.

Those Neo memory modules are intended for use with AMD Ryzen platforms. They will not work properly with an Intel platform, at least not without a great deal of fiddling around with at least the primary and probably the secondary and tertiary timings as well.

It would be wise to simply get memory that was not specifically designed for the AMD platform, which is pretty much everything out there except for the Flare X and Neo memory kits.



The odd man out, or, unmatched memory

While memory modules that did not come together in a matched set that was tested by the manufacturer to be compatible, certainly CAN still work together, often it does not. Right up front I'll tell you that if you are trying to get sticks to work in the same machine together that were purchased separately, even if they are otherwise identical according to the kit or model number or if they would seem to have identical timings and voltage requirements, there is a very good chance that you simply will not be able to do that. There is also a pretty fair chance that you might be able to if you are willing to take your time, listen to and understand what you are being told and follow the steps necessary to determining if they will "play nice" or not.

The exception in most cases will be that if the memory from both sets are the same speed and timings and both kits are within the JEDEC specifications for the default speed on that platform, so for example, 2666mhz on the latest Intel Z390 platform, 2133mhz on Ryzen first and second Gen platforms, then they stand a much better chance of working together but if they are higher speed kits the chances begin to diminish from what they might be at the low speed and loose timings end of the scale.

A word of advice. If you just purchased this memory, and for whatever reason you bought two separate sticks of the same memory instead of buying them together in a matched set, see if you can return them for a refund or credit towards buying a similar or same set of matched sticks that come together in a kit. It is ALWAYS better to have matched modules because from brand to brand, or even within the same brand, in fact, even when the part numbers are IDENTICAL, there can be anything from simply slightly different memory chips that were sourced from different bins at the end or beginning of a production run to entirely different configurations altogether even though the model numbers seem to be the same. Some manufacturers even reuse model numbers when they discontinue a product. Point being, memory is only the same for sure when all sticks came out of the same blister pack or packaging and were sold as a tested kit.

In order to determine if differences in the memory, or a need for increased voltage when using more than one stick (Especially if you are running three or more sticks) are responsible for the problems you are having you will always want to begin your troubleshooting process by attempting to boot the machine with only a single stick of memory installed. Also, for practically every consumer motherboard that's been sold since at least as far back as about 2014, the A2 memory slot which is the second slot over from the CPU socket, is THE slot that is most commonly designated for the installation of a single memory module. Slots A2 and B2 are almost always the slots specified in the motherboard memory population rules for use with two modules. If you need to install a third module I have no opinion on which of the remaining slots to use for that, but typically since the A1 slot is right next to the CPU socket and often interferes with the CPU cooler or fan, I'd say the B1 slot was probably just as good.

Honestly, I don't ever recommend that you HAVE three modules installed anyhow. Using memory in pairs is always a better option so that normal dual channel operation will occur. And that's another thing. When it comes to memory there are no "single channel" or "dual channel" memory modules. There are ONLY memory modules and the motherboard and CPU architecture will determine whether or not dual, triple or quad channel operation is possible based on the architecture and how many modules are in use. Occasionally though there are situations where it might make sense to run three modules and some boards CAN use three modules in a FLEX type mode where two of the modules will operate in dual channel while the third oddball module will run in single channel. I'd avoid oddball configurations though if possible because many motherboards will simply run ALL modules in single channel mode when an odd number of modules are installed.

If you think you will ever need 16GB of memory, then buy 16GB of memory from the start so you can get it all in a matched set that has been tested, and eliminate a lot of problems right from the start.


 

Michaelsws

Reputable
May 2, 2016
15
0
4,510
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No, you are NOT going to do that. LOL.

Those Neo memory modules are intended for use with AMD Ryzen platforms. They will not work properly with an Intel platform, at least not without a great deal of fiddling around with at least the primary and probably the secondary and tertiary timings as well.

It would be wise to simply get memory that was not specifically designed for the AMD platform, which is pretty much everything out there except for the Flare X and Neo memory kits.



The odd man out, or, unmatched memory

While memory modules that did not come together in a matched set that was tested by the manufacturer to be compatible, certainly CAN still work together, often it does not. Right up front I'll tell you that if you are trying to get sticks to work in the same machine together that were purchased separately, even if they are otherwise identical according to the kit or model number or if they would seem to have identical timings and voltage requirements, there is a very good chance that you simply will not be able to do that. There is also a pretty fair chance that you might be able to if you are willing to take your time, listen to and understand what you are being told and follow the steps necessary to determining if they will "play nice" or not.

The exception in most cases will be that if the memory from both sets are the same speed and timings and both kits are within the JEDEC specifications for the default speed on that platform, so for example, 2666mhz on the latest Intel Z390 platform, 2133mhz on Ryzen first and second Gen platforms, then they stand a much better chance of working together but if they are higher speed kits the chances begin to diminish from what they might be at the low speed and loose timings end of the scale.

A word of advice. If you just purchased this memory, and for whatever reason you bought two separate sticks of the same memory instead of buying them together in a matched set, see if you can return them for a refund or credit towards buying a similar or same set of matched sticks that come together in a kit. It is ALWAYS better to have matched modules because from brand to brand, or even within the same brand, in fact, even when the part numbers are IDENTICAL, there can be anything from simply slightly different memory chips that were sourced from different bins at the end or beginning of a production run to entirely different configurations altogether even though the model numbers seem to be the same. Some manufacturers even reuse model numbers when they discontinue a product. Point being, memory is only the same for sure when all sticks came out of the same blister pack or packaging and were sold as a tested kit.

In order to determine if differences in the memory, or a need for increased voltage when using more than one stick (Especially if you are running three or more sticks) are responsible for the problems you are having you will always want to begin your troubleshooting process by attempting to boot the machine with only a single stick of memory installed. Also, for practically every consumer motherboard that's been sold since at least as far back as about 2014, the A2 memory slot which is the second slot over from the CPU socket, is THE slot that is most commonly designated for the installation of a single memory module. Slots A2 and B2 are almost always the slots specified in the motherboard memory population rules for use with two modules. If you need to install a third module I have no opinion on which of the remaining slots to use for that, but typically since the A1 slot is right next to the CPU socket and often interferes with the CPU cooler or fan, I'd say the B1 slot was probably just as good.

Honestly, I don't ever recommend that you HAVE three modules installed anyhow. Using memory in pairs is always a better option so that normal dual channel operation will occur. And that's another thing. When it comes to memory there are no "single channel" or "dual channel" memory modules. There are ONLY memory modules and the motherboard and CPU architecture will determine whether or not dual, triple or quad channel operation is possible based on the architecture and how many modules are in use. Occasionally though there are situations where it might make sense to run three modules and some boards CAN use three modules in a FLEX type mode where two of the modules will operate in dual channel while the third oddball module will run in single channel. I'd avoid oddball configurations though if possible because many motherboards will simply run ALL modules in single channel mode when an odd number of modules are installed.

If you think you will ever need 16GB of memory, then buy 16GB of memory from the start so you can get it all in a matched set that has been tested, and eliminate a lot of problems right from the start.


So from what i can understand, you mentioned about the "designed for AMD". Does this mean i should pass off the 20usd~ sale and go for the normal trident z non NEO? or will it be just fine. This is since i have not bought it yet.

Another thing is, yes the rams are kits. Both the new ones and the old ones. (2 sticks each 4gbx2 8gbx2)

From what u seem to imply is i should not use all 4 of them and just use the new ram kit to avoid possible problems.

Thanks for the reply
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
So here's the thing. There is nothing inherently "wrong" with using two 2 stick kits, IF they work together. It's just that anytime you get memory that didn't all come together in one kit, there is no guarantee that is going to happen. Quite often, it does not, especially if they are kits rated for higher than 2666mhz operation, for DDR4.

Plus, if you get fast RAM, and use it with your 2133mhz sticks, it is going to ALL run at 2133mhz. Now, that being said, if you can get a set of 16GB sticks for twenty bucks, then it might be worth trying to make it work with your existing sticks. And they might, especially since they are all going to default to 2133mhz and run at very loose timings in order for all of the sticks to work together, IF they work together. But I'd be prepared for the idea that they might not, and if you can't take them back when they don't then don't buy them. If you can take them back if they don't work together or if you are ok with only using the new kit, which obviously still gives you 8GB more than you had before (And 16GB is plenty for the majority of desktops and pretty much any gaming system, at least currently), then it might be worth it.

No matter what, it is ALWAYS better to buy the full capacity you want to run in a kit that contains only two sticks. So if you NEED 16GB, get 2 x8GB. If you NEED 32GB, then get 2 x16GB.

The other consideration is the fact that your motherboard and CPU ONLY support 2133mhz sticks anyhow, so even if you use those Neo sticks by themselves, and they actually work on that board, they are still ONLY going to run at 2133mhz.
 

Michaelsws

Reputable
May 2, 2016
15
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4,510
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So here's the thing. There is nothing inherently "wrong" with using two 2 stick kits, IF they work together. It's just that anytime you get memory that didn't all come together in one kit, there is no guarantee that is going to happen. Quite often, it does not, especially if they are kits rated for higher than 2666mhz operation, for DDR4.

Plus, if you get fast RAM, and use it with your 2133mhz sticks, it is going to ALL run at 2133mhz. Now, that being said, if you can get a set of 16GB sticks for twenty bucks, then it might be worth trying to make it work with your existing sticks. And they might, especially since they are all going to default to 2133mhz and run at very loose timings in order for all of the sticks to work together, IF they work together. But I'd be prepared for the idea that they might not, and if you can't take them back when they don't then don't buy them. If you can take them back if they don't work together or if you are ok with only using the new kit, which obviously still gives you 8GB more than you had before (And 16GB is plenty for the majority of desktops and pretty much any gaming system, at least currently), then it might be worth it.

No matter what, it is ALWAYS better to buy the full capacity you want to run in a kit that contains only two sticks. So if you NEED 16GB, get 2 x8GB. If you NEED 32GB, then get 2 x16GB.

The other consideration is the fact that your motherboard and CPU ONLY support 2133mhz sticks anyhow, so even if you use those Neo sticks by themselves, and they actually work on that board, they are still ONLY going to run at 2133mhz.
Unfortunately u dont seem to understand what im trying to say but no matter.
Im sorry i did word myself in such a confusing manner.

First The question was CAN I and SHOULD I install my new(havent purchased not 20usd just 20usd cheaper) 8gb x 2sticks kit with my older 4gb x2sticks kit?

Second yes i know it WILL slow down to 2133 since i ALREADY know that my mobo n cpu CANNOT run it higher. In addition my mobo n cpu only supports dual channel(which im not sure if it effects the next point)

So with all the points given SHOULD i combine them both and have 4 ram stick in my mobo (8gb 4gb 8gb 4gb)
or will it cause problems?

And if so what problems could occur?

note: Please do not tell me i dont need more ram. I understand this already. This is because im going to slow my new ram anyways(due to mobo n cpu) might as well have more. (until i upgrade my cpu n mobo)
THIS IS ONLY IF THERE IS NO PROBLEMS

and someone sent me this
View: https://youtu.be/15UWXvKQrNU?t=444
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I already explained what problems might occur. As far as "problems", it will either work, or it won't. Mixing memory is never recommended, but sometimes it's necessary. So all you can EVER do is try. So long as you TRY with the understanding that it MIGHT NOT work, you won't be disappointed.

Personally I think if you are going to buy memory, you should buy the FULL amount you want to run, in a set of two sticks, and ONLY run those two sticks, in the A2 and B2 (Second and fourth) slots and then either sell the old sticks or use them as backups. But that's my opinion and might not be possible for you. IDK.
 

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