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Windows 7: Mismatched Ram Slow, will matched sticks fix issue?

06 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 Home
 
 
Mismatched Ram Slow, will matched sticks fix issue?

When I ordered my laptop from HP it came with 6 GB of memory. I realize now that they are mismatched sticks and the memory is only running at 533 MHz (7-7-7). The laptop has an i5 560M and the memory should/can run as fast as 667 MHz. If I buy a pair of matched sticks will they run at PC-10600 (667 MHz; 9-9-9) or am I stuck at 533 MHz no matter what I do? BTW, I cannot change the timings in the BIOS, I checked.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Mmm, possibly. But 533 memory at 7-7-7 may in fact be identical in actual speed to 667 memory at 9-9-9. ANd even if the data throughput was faster at 667 9-9-9 you would never notice it RL.

So it would more than likely just be a big waste of time and money :/

If you want your laptop to scream, replace the HDD with an SSD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

I'm not 100% certain, but I think you'll be restricted to 553 MHz as a higher clock speed may cause your computer to blue screen.

Your best bet is to download and run the Crucial memory scanner, which will offer advice on the best RAM configuration for your motherboard.

SDRAM, DDR2 and DDR RAM memory upgrades from Crucial.com
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06 Mar 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Your RAM is actually running at 1066, 533 X 2, in dual-channel mode. Replacing it with 567 (1333MHz), may help or not. OEM boards, especially in laptops have been made to the manufacturers' specs and almost always are locked BIOSes and have no settings for RAM.
Check the specs on HP's site for your model for what you rig can support.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 64 Home
 
 

Crucial does recommend 1333 (667 x 2) two 4 GB matched sticks for $45. I can get them for $36 on Newegg. It really is not much money to have it running at the best performance. This would add 2 GB of memory. It is the OEM thing and the not having any control over the settings that bothers me. Will it run at 1333 with matched sticks, that is the question? Seems to me the reason it is not is because they are not matched. CPU-Z shows the SPD memory as being able to run at 1333 (9-9-9), but it is not.

I have also considered an SSD, but not right away. The cost will go down in time and then I will consider it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

It's your money, but even if you get it to run at a memory clock that is 25% faster you will be incurring 22% more clock WAITS in the process. And again, even if they were the same wait states, you would never ever ever tell the difference. The entire memory bus speed/memory throughput thing has been the most worthless pursuit of anything in the improvement or OC endeavours on PCs. I mean if people literally have money to burn, then sure, why not. But otherwise...

I.e. if you had a game that got 45 FPS you might get 45.2 FPS out of it with the memory speed bump. And that's still a big maybe.

Save that $36 for your SSD

[Edit] I should point out that some time ago I bought a new computer (Well put together myself) that had the (then) new 1066 DDR bus on it with 4 sticks of quality 1066 RAM. The ram ran SO HOT that I decided to under-clock it to 800 and it made zero noticeable difference in anything I did, including Photoshop and gaming... [/edit]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2012   #7

Windows 7 64 Home
 
 

Thanks fseal for the insight. I will probably do both the memory and the SSD at some point. The memory is so cheap right now I hate to wait and a few years from now decide to upgrade and it costs much more to upgrade. The SSD is also on my radar to do and when prices get better I will jump at it. How would I transfer my OS to the new SSD though? Would I have to do a complete reinstall (I have the restore disk) or can I somehow do an image to the new SSD? Another option is I have an OEM Win 7 Home disk and just use my laptop product key with a clean install, might need a clean install by then anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Fseal has a valid point about RAM frequencies. The trade-off for higher speed is higher latency, how long the RAM takes to return info after a request is made. Unlees it would be possible for you to make a dramatic jump, sya to 1866 or 2133 you'll see no real-world benefit.
Example, I have been setting up a new motherboard and being new ti its UEFI BIOS, I had my RAM running at only 800MHz. After finally getting it up to a bit more than specs (1866) to 1880, I saw an improvement in how fast programs opened and performed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2012   #9

Win 7 ultimate x64 sp1
 
 

matched pairs may, depending on your MB & bios settings, allow dual channel use where unmatched pairs would not. it would be technically faster, but only trial will tell if you can notice it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kronckew View Post
matched pairs may, depending on your MB & bios settings, allow dual channel use where unmatched pairs would not.
Just a small correction, it doesn't matter whether the sticks are a matched pair or not as the ram itself has nothing to do with whether it runs in dual channel or not. It is entirely dependent on what the memory controller supports as to whether it will run dual channel or not, and almost all memory controllers today (all AMD since the first Athlon 64 and the recent Intel CPU's) have the memory controller (also known as the IMC) integrated into the CPU.

As far as matched pairs or not, as long as they are the same specs they should work no problem. The only reason for matched pairs is to rule out any possible compatibility issues. Even if they aren't the same speed/latency, if they work together the faster will just downclock to the slower speed and dual channel would still work.
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 Mismatched Ram Slow, will matched sticks fix issue?




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