Question Weird memory configuration.


Jun 30, 2016
I Have an old HP prebuilt bought way back in 2009 or 10 I think? It's got an old AMD Athlon II X4 640 processor running in it and a GT 730 video card. It's a 64 bit system running Windows 7 Home Premium. I know it's reaching the end of it's life cycle for Windows 7, but it has been a faithful workdog and will have to be retired soon. I have done various upgrades and repairs and added memory, replaced the power supply, (twice actually, if you count the one that failed) replaced the CPU cooler, and jury-rigged a second case fan which actually made a big difference on case temps.

As to the memory, I was looking at some of the specs on the system and realized it was showing 12GB of DDR3 RAM installed. 12GB?? Further checking showed I had installed 2 X 4GB sticks and 2 X 2GB sticks totaling 12GB. I don't remember how I did this. It doesn't matter that much to me as it is soon to be retired anyway, but isn't it usually customary to keep the sticks all the same size?

It does take forever to boot up and like I said,may soon be retired. Can this weird set-up cause any problems?


While mixed RAM in the PC isn't suggested due to the compatibility issues, it still can run safely. DDR3 RAM is far more forgiving in RAM mixing than DDR4 RAM though. Also, when you see that you have 12GB of RAM and you can use all that, most likely there are no big RAM issues within the system. Only issue you can have would be that one set of RAM is running at slower speeds to match 2nd RAM set speed. E.g 2x 4GB is rated for 1866 Mhz while 2x 2GB is rated for 1600 Mhz. <- With this, 2x 4GB will run at 1600 Mhz and not in 1866 Mhz. Performance difference between 1866 Mhz and 1600 Mhz is negligible.

Here's further reading about RAM and especially helpful if you have issues with RAM,

As far as slow boot up time goes, here i'd look towards the system drive. If it is HDD (which it most likely is in that old system), the HDD could be near the end of it's life. If that is true, you're looking towards new system drive (HDD/SSD). I'd go with SSD here since it offers far faster boot up times compared to any HDD. And with little as $29, you can buy brand new 240GB SSD,