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Compatibility for RAM replacement

Hello experts,

I have been using a decent PC for about 1,5 years which may still be considered as above average power/strength. Because I am using VM Workstation, RAM is an essential component of my system, which I currently have 12 GB. I have:
- Asus P6TD Deluxe MB
- 2 Sets of Corsair CM3x2G1333C9 (6 GB + 6 GB, 12 GB in total)

I would like to add more RAM to this system but I need to know if I can and what are my options.

First, my mother board claims to support up to 24 GB RAM. Based on my budget, I can do with 18 GB for now. This means I keep 1 triple set of Corsair RAM and buy a triple set of 4 GB RAMs in theory.

1. Do the new RAMs have to be DDR3 1333 also?
2. Do the new RAMs have to be a triple set of 4 GB (12 in total) or can I get 3 seperate 4 GBs?
3. Are there any compatibility issues I need to consider with the old RAMs, new RAMs and the MB?
4. Can I keep say 5 RAMs in place and add a 4 GB new RAM? (this action will split the triple architecture of the Corsair RAMs - will they still work?)

Thank you in advance. It's more than one question but they are all related.
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bozer
Asked:
bozer
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2 Solutions
 
nobusCommented:
check the models on the QVL or in the manual:  http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=P6TD+Deluxe&p=1&s=29
i try not to mix ram models - some boards are picky about it
also, veryfy if they have the same settings for latence AND voltage
asus also says in the manual page 2-13 to provide adequate cooling if you install 3x 4 GB
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bozerAuthor Commented:
Thank you Nobus,

Interestingly from the link, I've downloaded the manual (english) but there is no section after 2.11 - it continues to section 3
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nobusCommented:
that is very true - but please not i did not say SECTION -but PAGE
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garycaseCommented:
"... 1. Do the new RAMs have to be DDR3 1333 also? "  ==>  No.   You can mix/match, but it's best to stay with the same or higher speed modules, as the memory subsystem will run at the speed of the slowest reported SPD from the installed RAM.   And be SURE that all modules are rated at the same voltage.

"... 2. Do the new RAMs have to be a triple set of 4 GB (12 in total) or can I get 3 seperate 4 GBs? "  ==>  No.   There's no such thing as "triple channel memory" -- that's a marketing term.    You can install one 4GB module at a time as your budget permits ... although you can get a complete triple-channel set of DDR1333 1.5v RAM (see my later comment r.e. voltage)  for a very reasonable price:  [You can't buy from Newegg, but this is an example of what you should be able to get:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145332 ]

"... 3. Are there any compatibility issues I need to consider with the old RAMs, new RAMs and the MB? "  ==>  There could be, but it's unlikely with any name brand RAM modules.    As long as it's DDR3 at the standard voltage (1.5v) it should be fine.    Note that many modules (especially higher performance ones) run at higher voltages -- you'll need to adjust this in the BIOS AND it may be problematic with a fully populated set of 6 modules (due to bus loading).

"... 4. Can I keep say 5 RAMs in place and add a 4 GB new RAM? (this action will split the triple architecture of the Corsair RAMs - will they still work?) "  ==>   Yes, the memory will work with anywhere from 1 to 6 modules.    Note that if you don't have a fully populated triple channel configuration, the RAM will revert to either a less-than-optimal triple channel mode; dual-channel mode; or single channel operation, depending on what you have installed.    But it will still work just fine.



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bozerAuthor Commented:
My bad, figured it out and read the section. What does this note mean?:
'XMP DIMMs and DDR3 -1600 are supported for DIMM per channel only'


To sum up, as long as the latency and voltage for default and BIOS config matches, same vendor products are 'very likely' compatible? How about Speed? (1333 vs 1600) Will my triple set of XMS3 work with:

(Old) XMS3:
http://www.corsair.com/memory/intel-memory-upgrades/triple-channel-intel-memory-upgrade-kits/tr3x6g1333c9.html

(Candidates):
http://www.corsair.com/memory/intel-memory-upgrades/triple-channel-intel-memory-upgrade-kits/cmx12gx3m3a2000c9.html
http://www.corsair.com/memory/intel-memory-upgrades/triple-channel-intel-memory-upgrade-kits/vengeance-12gb-triple-channel-ddr3-memory-kit-cmz12gx3m3a1600c9.html
http://www.corsair.com/memory/intel-memory-upgrades/triple-channel-intel-memory-upgrade-kits/cmp12gx3m3a1600c9.html

Thank you
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garycaseCommented:
The first note means you can't populate all of your slots if you want to use high-performance modules -- this is a common restriction when using unbuffered memory.

r.e. your "candidates" ==>   No, Yes, and No     The 1st & 3rd use a higher (non-standard) voltage than your current modules (1.65v vs. the DDR3 standard 1.5v).    The 2nd will work -- but will run at DDR3-1333 speed, since that's what your current modules are (and if you wanted to run them at the 1600 speed the note you asked about above means you could only install 3 DIMMs in the system).

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bozerAuthor Commented:
Hello,

Thank you for both information. After the voltage info highlighted, I (almost) decided to go with Vengeance kit (http://www.corsair.com/memory/intel-memory-upgrades/triple-channel-intel-memory-upgrade-kits/vengeance-12gb-triple-channel-ddr3-memory-kit-cmz12gx3m3a1600c9.html) In fact, now I am thinking whether I should get 2 pair and make it a complete 24 GB RAM.

Based on Corsair's incredible tech support, I was able to see that this pair is tested and compatible with my MB.
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garycaseCommented:
The Corsair kit is certainly a good choice.
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bozerAuthor Commented:
Thank you for assistance. I wanted to wait until I have the RAMs in place and they are working fine so far. I might need some BIOS tuning but I am very happy with my choice (supported by your comments)
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