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More memory, possible problems?


Howie666

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:confused:

I currently have this triple channel kit installed in my Sabertooth X58 motherboard: CMX12GX3M3B1600C9 - 12GB. I have acquired (for free by happy circumstance!) this kit: CMP6GX3M3A1600C7 - 6GB. I was initially thinking of fitting this in the empty three slots on the mobo, effectively installing two triple channel kits.

I have been doing a little research and (as usual given my advanced years) I have been finding out mixed facts and opinions, leading to some confusion. I have read that it is possible that mixing memory kits like this might actually damage either the motherboard, and/or the cpu's built in memory controller, or both.

Could some kind soul out there explain this to me, if it is in fact the case and how the damage might occur? And possibly what other problems or pitfalls there might be? I was only thinking of installing both kits because it seems a shame to have a perfectly useful set of memory gathering dust when it could be being put to use.

I have absolutely no desire to be seen as greedy, an idiot or stupid, I have been building and using computers since the days of the ZX80, and the mantra has always been 'you can never have enough memory or, for that matter, enough hard drive space'. I know things are changing all the time so if it is a bad idea to use this memory I'd appreciate the head's up. I do think the new kit looks much sexier than the humdrum looking XMS3 kit I have at present!

Thank you for your kind attention.

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Mixing memory won't damage anything. Now if you overvolt your system in an attempt to get it stable, that can certainly damage it. Feel free to try mixing memory, but you're mixing memory that haven't been tested together, are running at different speeds, and of different sizes. Stability is not guaranteed by any means. More than likely you'll have to try 1333 MHz 9-9-9-24 @ 1333 MHz (maybe 1066 MHz).
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Mixing memory won't damage anything. Now if you overvolt your system in an attempt to get it stable, that can certainly damage it. Feel free to try mixing memory, but you're mixing memory that haven't been tested together, are running at different speeds, and of different sizes. Stability is not guaranteed by any means. More than likely you'll have to try 1333 MHz 9-9-9-24 @ 1333 MHz (maybe 1066 MHz).

 

Thank you for your prompt and informative reply. I am now inclined to adopt a 'suck it and see' approach to this little experiment. If it's a failure I can always remove the extra memory after all! If I might ask, do you think I'd notice a negative change in performance with slowing the memory down as opposed to leaving things as they are, or possibly swapping the 12gb for the faster, sexier 6gb?

Thanks again :biggrin:

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It depends on what you do actually. If you're a gamer the 6 GB is probably the better option if it's faster. Tom's showed a while back that even the most aggressive games (crysis) don't show any performance improvements once you have more than 4 GB of RAM. If you don't believe me, run a very intense game and then check your RAM usage. It probably won't be using more than 2-3 gigs.

 

12 GB is more useful for photo/video editing or mathematical applications. Personally I use a lot of MATLAB and I can easily use 12 GB of RAM (my workstation has 52 GB of RAM).

 

try the 18 GB and run a memtest to check for stability and speed. That's really the only way to tell though.

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Thank you for all your comments thus far. I have decided to use the Dominator and to add the other (matching) 6 gig so I can use that nifty memory display LED readout thingumabob with the airflow fan! I have another project I can use the XMS3 for so it's all moderately satisfactory...
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So now I'm wondering if two Dominator kits (matching part numbers) will work ok together? I have two CMP6GX3M3A1600C7 kits, one is version 7.1a, the other is version 5.11b. Is this likely to cause much distress? Thanks once again kind people.
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So now I'm wondering if two Dominator kits (matching part numbers) will work ok together? I have two CMP6GX3M3A1600C7 kits, one is version 7.1a, the other is version 5.11b. Is this likely to cause much distress? Thanks once again kind people.

It's the same answer. Your trying to use two kits that were not tested together regardless of part and version number. All you can do is try . It is an supported configuration and Corsair can not gaurentee anything when you mix kits(yes same part , version number)

 

The only thing matching about those kits is the part number, after that they are hugely different. Corsair uses many different IC, PCB's and other parts that may be switched at any time during the process. Then they may test 100 different modules to find 2 that run the same. So if you factor that in ,your chances of adding another kit with no issues is pretty slim. Can it be done? sure, it has, and some get really lucky and the majority do not. At the very least you would have to reduce the frequency to get them to run together. So you may be limited to 1333mhz or even 1066mhz and have to bump your voltages some for the increased load on the memory controller.

 

Just flip through the forum pages here and you will find hundreds of posts all dealing with using multiple kits and having issues getting them stable.

 

If you do add another kit, make sure you run them through memtest to be sure they are stable. And dont be surprised if each kit runs fine on it's own, but not together.

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I think I see. As long as I'm not going to do permanent damage I'll still experiment with installing both kits, with the proviso that I can always pull one kit or the other to get a better result. Thanks again for your contributions and advice. :-)
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So the memory saga has now come to an end. I have capitulated and rather than cripple two incompatible fast Dominator kits I have gone and bought the 12gig Dominator kit that comes with the Airflow fan. The timings are slower than the individual 6gig kits but at least it's all designed to work together! I'm not sure I'll see a big difference in my real world experience using the computer anyway, regardless of the timings on the DIMMs...
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