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New HP Laptop with mismatched memory

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#1 Gunjack

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:47

SO I bought a new dv6t Quad Edition Laptop from HP with 12GB RAM. This thing is a beast, esp after I put in a SSD. However I am wanting to max the RAM out since I do a lot of virtualization work with VMware and because I can.

I opened up the bottom and discovered mismatched RAM. I downloaded CPUID just hoping maybe someone got lazy with the RAM stickers and it confirms my suspicion.

My 8GB stick is PC3-10700 (667MHz) and my 4GB is PC3-12800 (800 Mhz).

Would it be in my best interest to replace both to 12800 or just replace the 4GB to match the 8GB stick? Or should I get a hold of HP and pitch a fit to see if they will correct this. I am not trying to get any upgrade for free, but when I took my A+ a long time ago 10+ years, I could have sworn that mismatched RAM works but it was an avoid if you can thing.

Mods please move this to Hardware hangout... Thanks


#2 abysal

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:51

I would just replace the 4 gig stick with another 8. I prefer my ram in matched pairs also, but in most cases it won't matter, they'll both clock down to their lowest common denominator speed and timings. You can run memtest86 to verify its all good.

#3 OP Gunjack

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:53

I was thinking the same thing but I highly doubt that HP was down to their final 2 sticks of RAM and just wondering why they would do something like that.

#4 giantpotato

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:15

It makes absolutly no difference that they're unmatched. I don't see anything for HP to 'correct'. If the laptop works at the advertised speed and with the advertised amount of RAM there's nothing wrong.

#5 watchthisspace

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:48

It makes absolutly no difference that they're unmatched. I don't see anything for HP to 'correct'. If the laptop works at the advertised speed and with the advertised amount of RAM there's nothing wrong.


Yes there is a difference, one set of ram is running at a higher frequency than the other. You also have to factor in the timings for each of the sticks too.

I had a quick look on New Egg: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231530 Just have to check your laptop will support the faster spec ram. With a price that cheap, buy two just for peace of mind.

#6 bigbas

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:01

I think for me it would boil down to what was advertised. If the higher speed ram was on what was supposed to be there I would give them a call and see what happens. If the lower speed was supposed to be there then don't worry about it because the higher speed will clock down.

No harm no foul in calling them if they screwed up. If they were wrong and don't do anything I don't think you will be out much because the I think the performance would be hard to notice.

That being said, I would probably replace the slow ram to match the faster....I like the illusion of more speed :D

#7 firey

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:06

my hp laptop has mismatched ram (a 2gig and a 4gig). My guess is they have a brand of 1's, 2's, 4's, 8's. Not surprising really. As long as both are set to run at the same speed (they seem fairly close even if not) it makes no difference if they are identical or not. At work we build a lot of computers out of parts and as such we always have different ram (as it's pulled from scrap computers) and it gets mixed and matched and the computers have 0 problems.

I'd replace the 4gig to go up to 16, close it up, and run with it, you aren't going to do any damage, and as you have said it works perfectly well as is. No need to complicate/overreact to something that miniscule. But that's just my opinion.

#8 sc302

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 13:34

Yes there is a difference, one set of ram is running at a higher frequency than the other. You also have to factor in the timings for each of the sticks too.

I had a quick look on New Egg: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231530 Just have to check your laptop will support the faster spec ram. With a price that cheap, buy two just for peace of mind.


No really there is not, one can clock faster than the other that is the only difference. The system, being as smart as it is, will slow down the faster memory to the slower memory and everything is now on an equal playing field. While one can go faster than the other, doesn't mean it is or allowed to by the system. This has been like this since way back in 286 and 386 computers.

#9 Mark

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:00

I bought a laptop that was advertised with having extra RAM. It was an offer from the store in which I bought it from and the ram was made by different manufacturers. No massive issue, it's compatible and it is the same timings/speed in my case.

I'd go with what others are saying, if some of the RAM is of a lower spec than what was advertised with the laptop, contact HP, if some of it is faster than advertised, that's a bonus and I doubt that they'll do anything about it. In that case, just buy some new ram that matches the fastest chip.

#10 Arceles

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:05

Faster memory does make a difference, see my sig.

#11 Aaron Trent

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 23:30

I believe with DDR3 the memory controller can handle mismatched RAM as long as the timings match up, but like was mentioned earlier the clock speeds are set at the slower speed. 667Mhz is a pretty low for a higher end laptop. My Compaq which was originally manufactured in 2007 is running at 1066Mhz(also DDR3). Personally I'd send them an email in the off chance it was an actual error and they send you a replacement stick at the 800Mhz. Else you could upgrade to 1066 but I believe that is the max(See PDF, link below).

Best practice recommends matching memory speeds as well as putting the larger size in the first slot for a reason. My laptop actually bugged out when I flipped the memory cards after doing a cleaning and replacing a broken LCD. They were both the same frequency, but one is 2GB and the other 1GB. It ran fine for a few seconds and then the colors went berserk. In an older Dell laptop I worked on someone had ran mismatched frequency RAM and the thing would boot and actually booted but it had so many glitches errors and random bluescreens. It was fine once I pulled wrong frequency RAM. Though it had more problems than just mismatched RAM.

http://h10032.www1.h...l/c01860375.pdf