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Combining RAM Sticks


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#1 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:25 AM

Alright, here's the deal. My friend has a very odd box. She's running XP SP2 on a box with only 256mb RAM, meaning it's pretty slow and unresponsive at times. I told her that i had an old RAM stick from a dell i had thrown away previously, and that i could boost her memory a little by plugging that into it.

Here's the problem. The old stick i have is 128mb, and the one stick she has now is 256mb. I know you're supposed to only combine 2 RAM's with similar memory, but i don't know if that's REQUIRED or just RECOMMENDED.

Would it do any good to combine the 256mb with the 128mb i have now, or would it make no difference/harm the box in some way?

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#2 TEB

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:34 AM

It's possible to mix RAM of different speeds in the same system, but there's a problem: everything will run at the speed of the slowest module.

For example if your friends computer a 1 stick of 256 megabyte ram running at 333mhz and you add another stick of 128 megabyte ram running at 233mhz, then the entire computers memory will run at 233 mhz instead of the nicer 333 mhz you could be using.

To find out the speed of the ram look on the actualy stick next to the size indication.
It will look something like this:

512 megabytes, ddrsdram, 400( this is the ram speed), (random numberes here)

So all in all if you planon mixing ram make sure you find the right type.....theres really no issues with mixing different brands of ram.

hope this helps

#3 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 02:09 PM

It's possible to mix RAM of different speeds in the same system, but there's a problem: everything will run at the speed of the slowest module.

For example if your friends computer a 1 stick of 256 megabyte ram running at 333mhz and you add another stick of 128 megabyte ram running at 233mhz, then the entire computers memory will run at 233 mhz instead of the nicer 333 mhz you could be using.

To find out the speed of the ram look on the actualy stick next to the size indication.
It will look something like this:

512 megabytes, ddrsdram, 400( this is the ram speed), (random numberes here)

So all in all if you planon mixing ram make sure you find the right type.....theres really no issues with mixing different brands of ram.

hope this helps

Oh, that's a pretty big disappointment. The stick i have now (128mb) only clocks in at 133mHz... which is most likely less than what she has now. Oh well....

Thanx for the info Tech. Didn't want to slow her box down anymore than it already was, lol.

#4 Rimmer

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 07:58 PM

It might not be the amount of RAM which is making the computer slow and unresponsive try this -
Do some basic maintenance:
(These instructions apply to Windows ME and XP, other versions may not have the functions described)
  • Clean your internet cache and temporary files:
    Click Start and Run then type in cleanmgr this will start the windows disk cleanup tool.
    Tick the boxes beside Temporary internet Files, Recycle Bin and Temporary Files then click OK

  • Boot in Safe Mode and do a scandisk with the 'Thorough' and 'Fix' options checked.
    If you are not sure how to boot in Safe Mode there is a tutorial here:
    Safe Mode
    How to find scandisk:
    Start>My Computer. Right click the C: drive then Properties>Tools tab, click on Check Now

  • When that's finished do a defrag.
    Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
    They will take some time but at least you will know your hard drive is working correctly and tidied up.

  • Reboot and see if there's any improvement.

  • Check how much free space you have on your hard drive.
    Start>My Computer click once on your C: drive and look in the Details box on the left.
Consider cleaning out all the unnecessary files from your system using this free app:
Download CCleaner from here:
CCleaner
Do NOT use the 'Applications' or 'Issues' tabs, they are for expert users only.

hth :thumbsup:

Edited by Rimmer, 18 June 2005 - 08:00 PM.


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#5 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 06:00 PM

Ok, i just learned that they are the same clockspeed (133mhz). They are still different though. One is DDR and the other isn't. Will that have any effect on the performance?

#6 junkdk

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:35 PM

Dear Heretic,

Ah...aren't they different sizes and different amount of pins? If her motherboard has DDR memory that is the only type you can put in it.

Plus, unless her computer is a Dell, Compaq, Gateway, or eMachine that memory you have will not work correctly.

Best to buy another 256mb that works for her computer or better. Memory is cheap.

I would go to Corsair.com and plug the computer information into "The Ram Guy" to find out the exact memory you need.

Let us know,

junkdk :thumbsup:
Your Hardware Guide.

#7 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:30 PM

That forum is a little too advanced for me.... lol

So you can't mix and match DDR and SYNC memory types? That seems like an extremely n00bish question, but i wasn't sure, lol. Oh well, we're both pretty broke right now so her box will just have to stay slow.

Oh, and btw Rimmer, we tried your suggestions with cleaning out all the useless junk, and she kept having the same problem. It couldn't run over 3 programs without some major slowdown (programs meaning webpages, apps, AIM, and general stuff like that, not like hard-core resource suckers, lol).

#8 junkdk

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:50 AM

Dear heretic,

Find out the memory you need then go to Ebay. You would be surprised at what you can get a 256mb mem ram for.

Let us know,

junkdk :thumbsup:
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