RAM Question

#1 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (542 posts) -

I just received the parts for my new rig that I ordered from Newegg. For the RAM, I bought 8GB Corsair Vengeance @1866 MHz. Unbeknownst to me, Newegg threw in an extra 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws @1600MHz. My question to you all is, should I throw all of it in my pc and have 16GB of ram? I know its overkill but I have it so I guess I should use it. One concern I had was would the different speeds cause compatibility issues? Would the slower ram bottleneck the faster? Am I just worrying for no reason?

#2 Edited by Icemo (642 posts) -

In best case scenario, if your motherboard supports both of those sticks, it will default to the lowest speed meaning 1600mhz.

Otherwise your PC won't boot up at all if the timing of those two different sticks of ram is not the same. Like the other one is 7-7-7-21 and the other is 9-9-9-24.

I don't know if you can set timing for each of your ram stick separately in bios or if you can even get to bios since I have never tried to put sticks of two different manufacturers in to my pc.

#3 Edited by John1912 (1833 posts) -

Yea, it will just default to the lower speed. I cant imagine it would cause your system to not boot. I wouldnt worry about it at all, just throw it in. Worst case you have to take it out.

#4 Edited by Icemo (642 posts) -

@Hippie_Genocide: I forgot to give you my recommendation for the situation. Only put 8GB Corsair Vengeance @1866 MHz in to your PC since you want more speed instead of 16 GB RAM since 8 GB is plenty enough.

#5 Posted by Chrjz (321 posts) -

If both sticks are supported by your mobo it will just slow the faster RAM down to match the slower. You should be able to set timings and speed in your BIOS.

It's up to you. You probably won't notice the difference between 8GB and 16GB anyway.

#6 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

I wouldn't mix and match, sell the lesser ram on eBay or Amazon. Buy another set of your current RAM if you wish. Otherwise i'd hold onto it and use it as back up RAM, incase something happens and you need it for troubleshooting.

It was also probably part of a combo bundle or a free gift with your motherboard. They do that from time to time.

#7 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2011 posts) -

@Hippie_Genocide: I was attempting to upgrade one of my older rigs lately and I learned the hard way that the motherboard+CPU combination wasn't going to work with 16GB RAM, unfortunately. The CPU on that rig was dual-core (it was i5, though!), but for some reason the mobo only worked with 16GB RAM if I was using a quad-core processor. Probably had to do with certain limits of the architecture, since even though the processor was i5, it is a pretty dated Sandy Bridge version. Nevertheless, try to look up compatibility between the architecture of the motherboard/CPU and the kind of RAM you're trying to put in it, some vendors make it easier than others...

I'm still cool with my 8GB of memory, though! It's just a shame there's nothing I can do with my 2x8GB sticks right now. Oh well!

#8 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (542 posts) -

Ok, so the consensus seems to be to stick with just the 8GB of faster ram. Thanks for the fast responses.

#9 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@Hippie_Genocide said:

Ok, so the consensus seems to be to stick with just the 8GB of faster ram. Thanks for the fast responses.

Well, like someone said, no harm can come with trying all four. Worst case, no boot. Second to worst, it defaults to 1600MHz (not bad at all). But, unless you're doing a FUCKTON of things at once, 16GB is overkill.

That being said, sell the g.skill :P that's still some good RAM.

#10 Posted by CornBREDX (4877 posts) -

Unless you're editting films, do photography, or maybe compile code- I don't think it will matter. 
 
Trying to use all of them wont hurt your computer- but it would be a waste as you currently would have no benefit (and unless you have a OS that supports 16 gigs of ram your computer wont even utilize it all). 
 
Second best option is to save the second pair for emergencies or if you end up building another computer or something.

#11 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

If I'm not mistaken, Dual-channel ram only runs at half the frequency advertised when there's one stick. So with a 1866, you're getting 933. If you drop the second one in (assuming it works), both are running at a slower 800, but are running in Dual-channel mode.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, or that's still a worse scenario. I'm always learning more about PC hardware.

#12 Edited by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@Hippie_Genocide: i bet your ram is running at 1066 or 1333 MHz at the moment.

you could try running all 4 sticks, there's no harm in doing so, especially after you've established that your computer runs fine with one set of sticks.

worst case, your computer wont start or might bluescreen, then you just remove those extra 8 gigs,

otherwise? you've just got twice as much ramz!

But as previous posters have stated, it wont really benefit regular usage.

@clstirens said:

If I'm not mistaken, Dual-channel ram only runs at half the frequency advertised when there's one stick. So with a 1866, you're getting 933. If you drop the second one in (assuming it works), both are running at a slower 800, but are running in Dual-channel mode.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, or that's still a worse scenario. I'm always learning more about PC hardware.

I'll explain.

the "half frequency" has nothing to do with the number of channels. DDR stands for double data rate. basically, it is able to do two actions per clock cycle, so the 1600 MHz ram is running at 800 MHz, but advertised as 1600 , etc etc. ( this is a pretty simplified explanation )

DDR2 and DDR3 are just the same, some think ddr3 is 3x for some reason, but they have just pulled that one out of their ass without looking it up.

the number of channels, is pretty much how many lanes you have on a freeway. if you have two sticks and only one channel, both sticks might be able to move 4 GB of data per second, but since they are sharing a channel, they will have to cut that in half, they're running 2 GB/s. if you had 4 sticks on one channel, they'd run at 1 GB/s.

two channels means that two sticks will have a major increase in bandwith over one stick.

3 channles means even more bandwidth if you have 3 sticks, etc etc.

the frequency of the sticks never change though.

to go back to the freeway, its like having 30 cars on one lane, or 30 cars on 3 lanes.

the 3 lane setup is obviously going to get finished 3 times as fast as the 1 lane setup.

#13 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (542 posts) -

@Devildoll: You were right. In the BIOS it says that ram is running at 1333 MHz. So, I've put my pc together and everything is working fine except for one issue. I built my pc with a SSD to boot the OS off of, and a 500GB mechanical drive for bulk storage. So I installed the OS (running Windows 7 Home Premium btw) to the SSD and it recognizes it just fine, whatever. However when I go into the hardware manager there is no HDD listed there. When I go back into the BIOS its there, so I don't know whats going on. If I were to want to start saving things onto the HDD, I don't know how I would do it at this point if Windows is not recognizing it. Curiously, there is some file management software that got installed when I installed the mobo drivers, and when I opened it up it does see the HDD. So, I'm just confused at this point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#14 Edited by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@Hippie_Genocide: is it a never before used 500 gigger? or should there actually be files on it ?

go to the controlpanel > administrative tools > computer management > storage > disk management > see if the drive is there.

if it is totally unformatted, windows wont show it under "my computer" im guessin this is the case.

if this is the case, just select the drive in disk manager and format it to ntfs ( if you actually have data on it, that will be erased! ) and make sure you dont accidently select some other drive and format that :D

#15 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (542 posts) -

@Devildoll: Yeah, its a brand new drive. I'll try that. I don't know why I didn't think to format it. Also, to clear something up, I'm using two 4GB sticks of ram, not one 8GB stick. Sorry, I forgot to mention that.

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