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Can I mix RAM of different speeds in my Dell 9150 desktop?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by SanduneCC, May 10, 2007.

  1. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    I have 2G (2 sticks) of DDR2 PC2-4200 already. I want to upgrade to 4G by adding 2 more sticks. Can I use PC2-5300 or PC2-6400? They will run at the slower speed right?
  2. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    I think thats what it will do, not 100% sure though. But I've had problems before with memory that was the same speed, just different manufacturers, so YMMV.


  3. chbix


    Apr 26, 2006
    Reno NV
    you shouldnt have any problem with mixing and matching ram, and yes you are correct that the ram will run at the lowest speed of the 4 chips.

    in my opinion 4gb of ram at 4200 is better than 2 at 5300 :)
  4. malkore


    Dec 1, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    it depends on your motherboard and BIOS. if your BIOS isn't up to date, I'd flash it.
    with Asus boards, they release new BIOS every month, and half the time the release notes indicate it is to fix RAM compatibility.

    also, if this is a 32bit Windows XP system, don't be surprised if you cannot get all 4gb of RAM to be visible to Windows, especially if your motherboard can support more than 4gb...meaning you have 4 DIMM slots and a max capacity of 8mb of RAM.

    THe problem is that XP can only address the first 4gb of addressable memory, and on an 8gb motherboard, that means ONLY the first two DIMM slots will be addressed.

    so you'd need two 2gb sticks in that scenario to get 4gb in Windows XP.

    64 bit OS's don't have these kinds of limitations.
  5. SDBettas


    Jan 7, 2002
    Miami, Florida
    Only the first two DIMM slots are recognized????LOL WHAT?
  6. lens


    Nov 24, 2005
    Sounds like you added some incompatible memory. Some machines require proprietary memory. BTDT
  7. kimigirl


    Mar 11, 2007
    Washington State
    This is not generally a good idea but if you have to do it, put the faster memory in the first 2 slots DIMM0 and DIMM1. The computer will not be able to fully utilize the faster speed if it recognizes them, Dells are notoriously picky. If you want to avoid the headache, I would say get 2 sticks of the same speed memory as the older stuff, you really won't be getting an upgrade in performance by mix and matching.
  8. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    Thanks for that tip kimigirl.
  9. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    I've had some motherboards where I mixed different speed dimms and had to put the slower speed ones first. These were PC66 (PII) systems to which I was adding PC133 memory.

    You're unlikely to hurt anything, so just try it one way, if it doesn't work, try it the other. If it still doesn't work, you may be out of luck.