Question Upgrading RAM


Sep 4, 2011
I currently have 1 x 8GB stick of RAM in my computer that was purchased 2 years ago. I need to upgrade to 16GB - I’m regularly hitting over 85% usage.

I was told that even if I purchase the exact same brand, there’s a high likelihood that it won’t be the same. I also learned that pretty much all RAM is made by Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron - and it’s really hard to find out which one is which.

Some folks recommended I purchase a good price/reputable brand and go with it. I did but after a new distro install, I’ve had many total OS lockup/freezes requiring a physical power button restart and I cannot be sure it isn’t the RAM. So I took it out today and am returning it.

So, moving forward, would you go ahead and buy two 8GB RAM sticks to ensure no issues? I kind of hate to do that as it feels wasteful to lose a working memory stick. Would you try a different brand? I could get a Samsung branded RAM stick, which I’m told likely won’t change over time. If it fails to be compatible, I suppose I could purchase a second and since it’s Samsung, it should be the same as the first. I also wondered about just getting a 16gb RAM stick, figuring it’s the same price as 2x/8GB and if it works with what I have, I now have 24gb usable RAM. If it doesn’t, I take out the old stick. But, of course, I lose any ability for the RAM to run dual channel for faster speeds doing that. I don’t know how much that really matters on a day to day basis. I’m not gaming on the computer. I use it mostly for a personal media home server.

Any suggestions/advice would really help. I’m quite “gun-shy” after having that first RAM purchase fail. I can’t be sure it’s the problem but I’ve not yet had a lock-up yet since taking it out either. Hard to say what that means. Thanks so much for any help.

System specs:
Intel NUC 8i7BEH
Core i7 8559u 4 core/8 thread processor
8GB RAM (currently), Corsair Vengeance (DDR4 2400mhz, CL17, 260pin SODIMM)
Intel Iris 655 Graphics
M.2 NVMe SSD (recent addition w/ the RAM that’s going back, is now my primary drive)
2.5” SATA SSD (still has Linux Mint on it from initial install 2 years ago)
USB 3.0 External HDDs

The RAM that’s going back in Patriot Viper Steel 2400mhz. It was rated very highly by pro reviewers and users. Intel said as long as the RAM size was the same (8gb/8gb, or 16gb/16gb) that it didn’t matter if the timings and other specs were identical and it would run in dual-channel mode. Still don’t know for sure if it was an issue for me at this point.


There are other things that might affect compatibility also. One is chip density. Vendors sometimes change what chips they buy so they can make their modules with fewer chips. These new modules are typically not compatible with the older ones.

Its always best to buy two of the same at the same time.
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