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RAM of different capacities ?

Posted on 2012-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-04-25
Hi,

I have a quicky for you guys...

My boss has a Lenovo W520 with 2 x 4 GB of RAM, DDR3.

He wants to upgrade, I was suggesting buying 2 x 8GB, as the W520 offers 4 slots.

He challenges me about the fact that they aren't the same capacity. I was almost sure it wasn't a problem, since they were paired with another stick of same capacity/size/speed...

But he insists that I check this out. Now I have a doubt...
I tried to google it, but can't seem to find a way to have google spit it out...

Anyone knows about this ?
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Question by:maxalarie
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8 Comments
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 37834642
It depends on what the hardware will support. There is usually a memory configuration matrix on the manufacturer's website or in the documentation that tells you what you can and can't do.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 37834715
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 37834774
It's not an issue at all.   If you add 2 8GB modules, he'll have 24GB of RAM.

If you install them incorrectly, then you won't get the optimal synchronous dual channel mode -- but it's almost certain the original RAM is already installed in one pair of slots;  so all you have to do is populate the remaining two slots with the 8GB modules and everything will be fine.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 37834800
... if it'll make your boss feel better, download CPU-Z, click on the Memory tab, and confirm the current operating mode [Most likely shows Dual channel in Symmetric mode].

Then install 2 additional 8GB modules and repeat the process.

There IS one thing you should check before buying the additional modules:   the rated speed of the current modules.    Be sure you buy modules that are the same (or higher) speed ... otherwise the operating speed of the memory may be reduced (depending on whether it's currently operating at the max speed of the installed modules -- CPU-Z will show you this on the Memory tab).
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 37834831
He's got a 64 bit OS,right?
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 37834889
"... He's got a 64 bit OS,right? ..."  ==>  Considering he already has 8GB of RAM (and wants more) I'd say that's reasonably apparent :-)
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 37835018
I've seen systems with 32 bit preinstalled and 8 gb ram upsold as a come on.

Marketing people sometimes lack a sense of morality.

Remember the Vista compatible hardware fiasco?
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Author Comment

by:maxalarie
ID: 37838369
Thanks for your answers.
Yes, it is on a 64 bits OS :)

I will try that Garycase, thanks a lot !
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