How can I find compatible RAM for my computer?

Gaurav A May 21, 2015
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Gaurav asks:

I have an Intel DH55TC motherboard with an Intel i3 530 and 2 x 2 GB of DDR3-1333 RAM installed. I want to buy an 8 GB DDR3 RAM stick but after doing some research I am thinking of buying 2 sticks of 4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM but will a 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz RAM stick support my motherboard or will it cause any problems? I want to buy Corsair Vengeance DDR3 8 GB but its is 1600 MHz so I think I would have to buy Transcend DDR3-1333 DDR3 4 GB (2 sticks).

Bruce’s reply:

Looking at the specs for your motherboard shows that it can use a DIMM of 4 GB per slot and the board is designed to use DDR3 1333 or 1066 DIMMs in each of its 4 slots.  Because of this, an 8 GB DIMM is out of the question.  The board simply isn’t designed to handle it.

Now, if you were looking at something like the CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8 which is the Corsair Vengeance DDR3 8 GB kit (2 x 4 GB DIMMs), this should work without a problem.  It is tested as 1600 MHz RAM, but its SPD speed is listed as 1333 MHz which is what you need for your motherboard.

I also took a peek at the specs for your processor and found that it is only rated for memory channels running at 1066 or 1333 MHz as well, so everything across the board with regard to memory is copacetic.

A couple of other notes regarding the memory in your system.  When installing the memory, you are much better off using matched pairs like you get in the kits.  These memory modules are tested as a pair and will perform better in general.  It is much better than buying two individual modules that were not tested with a mate.  If you were considering maxing out the RAM in your system, I would go as far as looking for a 4 x 4 GB kit instead of two 2 x 4 GB kits for just this reason.

Also, when you do add more memory to your system, you should put serious consideration into installing the same brand and model of memory that you have populating your currently used slots.  By doing this, you have a better chance of DIMMs that share the same performance characteristics.  If you are unsure of exactly what is in your system, you can use CPU-Z and look at the SPD tab to find out what is in there.

Whether an upgrade or buying a new system, the motherboard, processor, and memory should be evaluated as a single unit.  When you consider how these components work together in your system and how the performance of any one of them can impact the overall system functionality, it makes looking at only one or two of them without taking the remainder into account almost always leads to less than stellar performance of the system as a whole.

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  1. pankaj
    January 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    bro in my pc consist 1gb ddr2 ram
    i had taken a samsung 1 gb ddr2 ram card
    it is not configuring & my cpu is making sound

  2. Jaime Kumar
    October 28, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Hi anyone,

    I'm getting an old PC to sort of "do up". In the manual it says it take DDR2 RAM and in brackets it says "up to 2GB" - per DIMM socket. I was wondering if that means there is no way I can put a 4GB DDR2 RAM card into the slot? Will it not be compatible?

    Thanks

  3. Jairaj
    September 13, 2016 at 9:47 am

    hi man i really would like your advice as i look to upgrade my laptop lenovo y 50 70 from 8 gb to 16 gb and my laptop has a solid 1 x 8 ram and a free slot according to cpu z it shows 4 slots for some reason but as far i know its 2 so please tell me what ram is compatible to this one

    hmt41gs6bfr8a-pb

    max bandwith is pc3 - 12800 (800 mhz)

    hyundai electronics

  4. Gaurav A
    May 24, 2015 at 10:25 am

    ok now i have a new problem....i installed the rams as u said and now im not getting that bluescreen. but instead my screen freezes at the win7 starting windows screen. it doesnt get frozen when i remove the 4gb stick. and freezes again when i put the 4gb. i know that the stick is not faulty because i checked through kali linux and it shows me total 8gb memory (7.89gb usable). and also my DIMM slots are numbered as channel A1,channel A0,channel B1 and channel B0 .i ran memory diagnostics from windows while it worked on 2x2gb and found no errors but i ran the test with 2x2 and 1x4 sticks and den again the screen froze and it gave me no results i think i would have to return this 4gb stick and buy 2x2gb ddr3 1333mhz

    • Bruce E
      May 25, 2015 at 5:27 am

      As I stated in my reply above, most systems will work with either 1, 2, or 4 sticks of RAM. I have never seen a DDR2 or DDR3 system work with 3 sticks.

  5. Gaurav A
    May 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

    i installed 1x4 gb 1333mhz transcend ram. but now it shows me the blue screen of death.even if i remove that stick now it still keeps on showing me that. and even when i remove my 2x2 gb 1333 mhz transcend ram n keep the 4 gb one.

    • Bruce E
      May 24, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Double-check where you have the RAM installed. There is a specific installation order for RAM. Some boards have both blue and black DIMM slots and require that the blue be populated first with the larger DIMMs (if the banks will be sporting different size RAM modules).

      With your Intel DH55TC board, the slots should be populated by their number listed on the board. The blue slots are DIMM1 and DIMM2, the black are DIMM3 and DIMM4. For best results, use either 1, 2, or 4 modules. The modules should be a matched set in each color bank.

  6. Gaurav A
    May 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

    i installed 1x4 gb 1333mhz transcend ram. but now it shows me the blue screen of death.even if i remove that stick now it still keeps on showing me that. and even when i remove my 2x2 gb 1333 mhz transcend ram n keep the 4 gb one.

  7. A41202813GMAIL
    May 22, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    There Is A Site Where You Can Enter A Specific Part Model, And It Can Show You Only Compatible Hardware.

    Using Part ( A ), You Can Find Part ( B ).

    Using Part ( B ), You Can Find Part ( C ), And So On, And So On, And So On.

    It Gives You Prices In Several OnLine Stores, And Gives You Links To Those Parts In Those Stores, And A Lot More.

    It Is Called PCPARTPICKER.COM.

    If Your Motherboard Is Fairly Recent, I Am Sure It Will Be There.

    Cheers.

  8. Gaurav A
    May 22, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Thank you bruce for your elaborate answer.. gonna put 2x4 GB as you mentioned.. will remove the 2x2 gb sticks for now n see if it works fine.. thanks a lot again.

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