Can I use a new RAM stick with the current memory in a new laptop?

Gina Casey February 17, 2013

I bought a Compaq CQ58 laptop for my daughter for Christmas. It has 2GB of RAM. I have purchased a compatible 4GB RAM stick to upgrade her memory. I have also watched a YouTube tutorial on how to put it in.

My question is, do I have to remove the 2GB that her laptop already has or can I use it along with the new one? The tutorial shows the man removing his old memory and replacing it with two new 4GB memory cards. The laptop is less than 2 months old.

  1. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    It's not well known but some special software can use the extra RAM that 32 bit Windows don't see,for example this RAM disk can use the extra RAM if you have 32 bir Windows and 4+2 GB RAM : (see the question-answer at the end of the page).

  2. Achraf Almouloudi
    February 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    If your operating system is 64 bit then you can add the other 4 GB stick to the existing 2 GB and get a fully working 6 GB of RAM but if you have only the 32 bit version installed then there's really no point in keeping the existing stick, so remove the 2 GB stick and put the 4 GB stick. You can store, use somewhere or sell your 2 GB stick (these don't lose value a lot and you can still get about its price) but don't forget to be constantly grounded while handling RAM or any micro-electronic components because they're very sensitive to static electricity.

  3. Dhaval Patel
    February 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    keeping it short
    you have two condition 1. both slots are full --- you can not install new ram. 2. one slot is empty you can install new ram.... but you will have total 6 gb of ram and 32 bit os will support only 3 gb of ram and if you have 64 bit os than only you will have fully functional 6 gb ram....

  4. Mark Silos
    February 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    You need to check your laptop what type of SODIMM is compatible with your unit. Usually you can see it on your manual.

    If both 2GB and 4GB is compatible you may run it together.


  5. Anonymous
    February 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Just use the free tool on and it tells you how many slots there are, and what modules can be put in the slots. Works for every PC and laptop around. I use it even if I don't buy the memory from them because it makes life so much easier.

  6. Joe Deluna
    February 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    If it came with 2 gb of ram I am assuming it is a 32 bit, as 64 bits need at least 4 gb of ram... so if you do decide to upgrade it the os may not be able to use all of it.. and from what I remember it is recommended to use the same type of ram in each slot for example 2 sticks of 4gb or 2 sticks of 2gb in order to have it run smoothly...hope that helps...

  7. Heruka
    February 17, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Hey Gina,

    Whether you can use the old 2 GB card along with the new 4 GB card depends on a couple of factors, namely:

    1) Are you on a 64-bit machine or a 32-bit machine (please Google how to find this information)? If you are on a 32-bit machine, it can only use less than 4 GB memory, so there is no point in keeping the old module!

    2) Are the two cards from the same manufacturer? It's usually not going to give you as much performance as it could if they are unmatched (due to variability between manufacturers).

    3) You would not want to have sticks unmatched in size as that doesn't exploit the full potential for performance. That is, go for two 2 GB sticks or two 4 GB sticks.

    4) If you still want to go ahead with both, see if there are enough memory slots. If there are, install the second module. Try booting into the system and playing a game or encoding a video or some photo editing. If the system keeps crashing or appears generally unstable, shut it down and remove the old module.

  8. Kenny Brannan
    February 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    As on any old machine first thing to do run
    determine exactly what upgrade you can do .

  9. Oron Joffe
    February 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    You can add the second SODIMM. To quote from the manual (p. 46): ". The memory capacity of the computer can be upgraded by adding a memory module or replacing the existing memory module in one of the memory module slots.

  10. Anish Parameshwaran
    February 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    It depends on whether you have available slots to put in the new 4 gb RAM stick. My guess is that if you got the computer with 2 gb of ram, they might just have 2 1gb sticks. therefore, you might have to remove one of the 1gb sticks and replace it with the 4gb stick, giving you a total of 5gb RAM

  11. DalSan Mack
    February 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    As long as there is an open slot for a memory stick then you don't need to remove the other one. The person in the video most likely was wanting to utilize what is called dual-channel mode and the memory purchased was a larger density (4GB instead of 2GB) and faster speed for better performance. Dual-channel mode needs matching density and speed sticks of memory in order to work and would improve the memory performance some, but isn't necessary.

  12. ha14
    February 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Check this manual

    you have two slots so you can add only two ram sticks, so you have to remove them and add the two new ones.

    Two customer-accessible/upgradable memory module slots
    DDR3-1333-MHz single channel support (DDR3-1600 downgrade to DDR3-1333) on
    computer models equipped with an AMD E2-1800 processor
    DDR3-1066-MHz single channel support (DDR3-1600 downgrade to DDR3-1066) on
    computer models equipped with an AMD E1-1200 or E-300 processor
    Supports 8192-MB of system RAM in the following configurations:
    ? 8192-MB (4096-MB×2; not supported on computer models equipped with a 32-
    bit operating system)
    ? 6144-MB (4096-MB+2048×1; not supported on computer models equipped with
    a 32-bit operating system)
    ? 4086-MB (4096-MB×1 or 2048×2; not supported on computer models equipped
    with Windows 7, 32-bit operating system)
    ? 2048-MB (2048×1; not supported on computer models equipped with Windows
    7, 32-bit operating system)

    go to Component replacement procedures chapter scroll to Memory Module (page 35) and follow instructions.

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