Sunday, August 14, 2011

Can You Mix Different-Capacity DDR Memory Modules?

Can you mix different capacity DDR memory modules? The simple answer to the question is yes. The biggest thing to remember is that the DDR memories must be the same type. Unless your motherboard specifically allows DDR2 and DDR3 mixture, you must use one or the other. If you have a 1GB DDR2 you can mix it with any size of DDR2 memory stick. But, if you have a 1GB DDR2 and 2GB DDR3, they will not mix. You can use the memory type that is compatible with your motherboard as a guideline.
Can You Mix Different-Capacity DDR Memory Modules?

When answering the question “Can you mix different capacity DDR memory modules?” you need to consider the speed of the memory modules. You can get various forms of DDR memory at different clock speeds. As long as you do not mix different forms of DDR memory, you can mix DDR memory with different clock speeds. You might have a DDR2 with a bus clock speed or 200 and another one with a bus clock speed of 400. They will work just fine. The only drawback is that the motherboard will use the lower clock speed to access memory. So, that means it will clock at 200 MHz, not the 400 of the higher speed chip.


Another consideration when answering the question, “Can you mix different capacity DDR memory modules” is can you uses old memory with new. The answer is yes, as long as they are the same type of DDR. The DDR specifications are the same no matter when the memory module came off the manufacturing line. So a DDR2 made two years ago will work with a DDR2 made today. Many people choose to swap out higher capacity memory modules as they come out on the market. This allows them to speed up their computers without doing a major upgrade.

What else should you consider when answering the question “Can you mix different capacity DDR memory modules?” You can mix and match DDR on your motherboard, no matter the manufacturer. However, it is usually better to keep the same manufacturer to optimize performance levels. Using different protocols can cause subtle differences in computer performance. When looking to upgrade your computer without purchasing a new one, upgrading the memory is a good place to start. But, you need to know your motherboard’s capacity and DDR requirements first. After that, you can mix and match DDR modules, as you need to.