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Upgrading My RAM - Best Option?


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#1 John-W-2013

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 07:29 PM

Processor:- 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7 960

Motherboard:- ASRock X58 Extreme3

 

Current RAM:- 3x 4GB - Consair DDR3 - http://www.corsair.com/en/cmx12gx3m3a2000c9

 

Is it best to just take out the old RAM and replace it with 3x8GB OR to just add in 3x4GB? Also can I just add in an 4GB or do I need to make sure they are the same spec - if so any recommendations?

 

Hope someone can help!



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:40 PM

The motherboard manual should be your first point of reference.  They also have a QVL (qualified vendor list) of memory for this model.  I would also check Crucial's memory upgrade adviser as another source of info.

 

I've had a quick look for you, and I can't see any evidence that the motherboard supports 8Gb DIMMs.  They were not common at the time that CPU/motherboard was released.  Therefore I would suggest adding a further 3 x 4Gb DIMMs as the only real option available.  They have to be of exactly the same type as already fitted (size, speed and brand) according to the motherboard manual.  Note that DDR3-1600/1866/2000 memory speeds are unavailable when 2 DIMMs per channel are populated due to a CPU memory controller limitation (as per the mobo manual), so you'll have to run them at 1333mhz.

 

Also note not all OS's can utilise all of the memory.  For example, Windows 7 x64 Ultimate/Enterprise/Professional can, but Home Premium will limit you to 16Gb.  Windows 8/8.1 non Pro x64 version will support up to 128Gb however.


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#3 John-W-2013

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 05:15 AM

@jonuk76 - Great reply! Thanks - The existing Consair RAM that is installed is no longer available - I was looking at this but I am not sure if it will work.

 

When you say run them at 1333mhz how do I do that - I was hoping it was as simple as ensuring I get the correct RAM and installing it.... I assume that is not the case?



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 06:26 AM

That's a shame. Taking the warning in the manual at face value, I don't think that kit will work with your existing memory. You may need to replace it all (and perhaps sell on the existing kit). Non matching memory can work but more often than not you will have problems. These can range from a system which won't boot at all, to stability problems that only show in certain circumstances.

Your existing memory is rated to 2000mhz. But it doesn,t have to run at that speed. It will probably default to 1333mhz for compatibility reasons, and increases over that have to be set manually. Memory speed is set in BIOS and it is set as a multiplier of the base clock speed. For example if your base clock is 133mhz, which I think is the default on your processor, to set to 1333mhz you set the speed to 10 x the base clock. Some times these higher memory speeds like 2000mhz are only achievable by overclocking the processor (by increasing the base clock speed).

The short answer is, if you replace your memory, if you clear the Cmos using the reset jumper, it will reset any memory speed settings to a "safe" setting which will probably be 1333mhz.

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#5 Kilroy

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 06:42 AM

I'd recommend going to the Crucial link that jonuk76 posted earlier and running the scan as it seems that the manual selection isn't clear on the maximum memory or if the RAM should be installed in sets.



#6 jasmeencress

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 06:38 AM

DDR266 would be the fastest for your chipset. DDR200 will also work but will lower the performance



#7 jonuk76

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 06:56 AM

DDR266 would be the fastest for your chipset. DDR200 will also work but will lower the performance

 

Confused.  What chipset are you referring to?


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