If you’re buying or upgrading a RAM kit, one question that comes up is whether you can mix and match modules. Keeping a few things in mind will help you achieve memory compatibility and synchronicity. The best possible memory will be used for your system to perform at its best.
RAM, or Random Access Memory, is an essential PC component that can store data and computations indefinitely. The CPU can store temporary information in RAM that it needs while performing calculations. When you want your computer to run faster, you should get more RAM.
Every time someone chooses to upgrade their existing memory or purchases a new kit of RAM, there is a debate about RAM’s brand mixing. Besides RAM types, sizes, voltages, speeds, and latencies, other factors come into play when discussing different brands.
You must consider all of these factors to ensure your computer runs with optimal memory performance. First, learn how RAM works, then see if you can mix different RAM brands or not. Then you can buy RAMs according to your budget and work requirements.
The RAM type can only cause incompatibilities between RAM modules. Memory sticks of different generations, like DDR3 and DDR4, will not work together. However, ensuring a satisfactory result requires further consideration of many factors. These factors can be inherently luck-dependent in some cases.
Do I have the option of using two different RAM brands?
Yes, you can mix different RAM brands. After the upgrade, will your system perform well? It also related this question to RAM up-gradation. Of course, your computer will perform well by upgrading and mixing two different brands of RAM.
Generally, RAM sticks from the same manufacturer are recommended, and there are three main reasons for this.
- First, the brand itself is not solely responsible for the traffic. Other aspects of a computer often differ when you get different RAM brands. Several factors influence RAM stick performance, including speed, voltage, latency, size, and more. You can try to find another RAM brand with the same specs or work with dedicated software to change the settings, but you can’t be sure it will work.
- The RAM’s quality is the second reason. Although two RAM brands may have identical specs. The materials used in building RAMs may vary, resulting in different quality RAMs. A system with lower quality RAM will always perform to its limitations.
- Technical issues are the third and most serious cause of power outages or cycles. Depending on your RAM brand, your system might have a problem with memory retention in the startup and shutdown process. It is also possible to get the Blue Screen of Death error with such a setup, though it is rare. People who play video games or use their computers heavily, in general, are more likely to experience these issues.
What are some of the problems associated with mixing brands?
RAM sticks are developed differently by each manufacturer. In each of these products, the memory controllers, dies, materials vary, and the custom circuits. Ultimately, all of these variables may prove benign, but sometimes, conflict in these customizations can result in stuttering, crashes, or even boot problems.
Factory-tested RAM kits are designed to work with one another and not with other RAM models and brands. A system upgrade usually involves mixing different RAM kits. In other words, no less than five Dual In-line Memory Modules will be used. Inter-brand hardware conflicts are more likely to occur when more slots are occupied.
Is it possible to mix different RAM types?
“No” is the definitive answer to this question. Different RAM types should not be mixed. There is only one generation of DRAMs that a motherboard can support. All five generations of RAM have different pin placements, so you can’t change the type of RAM. DDR3 and DDR2 RAM chips cannot fit on the same motherboard.
Ideally, they should be the same type. Before buying RAM, make sure your motherboard is compatible with it. The DDR type is displayed in the Performance tab of Windows 10’s Task Manager. Inter-brand hardware conflicts are more likely to occur when more slots are occupied.
Additional Factors to Consider
The RAM modules can be affected by other factors and differences in brand-defining characteristics. Few are discussed below;
It is important to note that RAM modules have different voltage demands. A RAM module with a greater power demand will be given less voltage when it has two different voltage requirements. A higher voltage is necessary for a RAM module to function correctly. In other words, the RAM module may not operate at maximum frequency and stability, but it will still work.
Single vs. Dual Channel Memory
Configuring the RAM slots differently can also impact performance. Memory platforms that operate with a single-channel model and with a multi-channel model operate differently. While the differences will not affect most users, they will significantly impact some.
There is no real difference between single and dual channel bandwidths for those who use their PC only for gaming, browsing, and undemanding workloads. Some of the RAM may operate in single-channel mode if not paired with other equivalent storage devices.
As we’ve discussed earlier, the different sizes of RAM sticks can cause problems with the overall memory configuration. Memory channels will be asynchronous if a larger RAM module is paired with a small storage unit. Alternatively, this is called Flex Mode.
In this asynchronous dual-channel configuration, half of the larger module’s storage is paired with the storage unit with a lower capacity. The 8 GB RAM stick will be paired in an asynchronous dual-channel configuration with the 16 GB module if you pair it with a 16 GB RAM stick.
The frequency and latency of speed
As soon as different RAM kits of different speeds are mixed, things begin to fall apart. The odds of it working depend on whether or not you mix RAM kits of varying speeds. It is still possible to encounter problems even if the kits are configured to run at the rate of the slowest module. RAM latency and frequency determine a memory’s speed.
Do You Need To Buy Your Total RAM Capacity In One Kit?
RAM kits are collections of RAM models that have been factory-tested to work seamlessly together but not with other models and brands. RAM modules are developed differently by each manufacturer. These devices may be made from different materials and have custom circuits, RAM controllers, and PCBs, among others. Hence, it is better to buy a single kit for RAM.
We can conclude the discussion by saying that we can use two different RAM brands. The difference in RAM brands might not even affect your experience with light tasks such as browsing the web. You want your RAM sticks to work as well as possible together, so choose the same brand for all of them.