DDR Memory compatibility

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by wan2BTrader, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. I have a question about DDR Memory compatibility. Hope someone here can help.
    My PC has Samsung 512 MB PC2700 DDR memory. It have been running fine since I built it a little over a year ago. Last week, I tried to add 256 MB of Kingston Value Ram. Immediately, system did not work properly. It took itself 3 times to boot up (it boots, restarts booting and restarts booting before boot up). When computer is running, it suddenly rebooted itself (again took three tries) when I closed one IE window. Couldn't figure out what was the problem, I tried switching the slot position of two memory sticks and there was still problem, though not the same. Last, I tried taking out the Samsung memory and leave the Kingston memory alone, it looks fine ( I did not test long enough to know for sure). So my guess is that those two memory sticks are not compatible. Since memory is so cheap, I really want to add some additional memory just maybe this can improve my execution performance. Obviously, I'm worried that I'm not able to add any additional memory.
    Anyone has any advice? Thanks.
  2. nitro


    I have had almost the identical problem you are describing with Kingston memory, except that it was RAMBUS not DDR. I will not buy Kingston RAM again.

    I have come to the conclusion that it is _imperative_ that I get _all_ of my memory from the _same_ vendor/manufacturer. It has saved me countless of headaches. I even am willing to pay a little more to get stuff that I know works.

    Not all memory is the same, even thought it may be marked the same! For example, I use high end servers that require registered ECC RAM. I have found out that some motherboards are even sensitive to the number of layers that was used to make the breadboard of the memory (It can be 4, 6, or 8 layers. The best stuff today is eigth) even though the memory may be from the same manufacturer and has "identical" SPECS. The best stuff is the cetified INTEL specification memory, I forget the acronym for it...Ugh, getting old...

    I _strongly_ recommend that you find a strong vendor in your area and get your RAM from them. It is the _only_ part of the system that I will not try to squeeze every penny out of.

    I recently paid 50% more for registered ECC DDR 2100 RAM just to make sure it was the right thing. I could have chanced it over the Internet, but I simply cannot spend all this time dicking around with this stuff.

  3. Catoosa


    Is the original 512mb in one stick or two sticks. If in two sticks, try one stick of the original plus one stick of the new and see what happens. Many mother boards have three memory slots but will only work properly with two of the slots occupied even when all three sticks of memory are identical.
  4. Many motherboards are incompatible with certain brands of memory. Matching memory is much more important now than it was at old, slower speeds. I switched from '98 to XP and had to change memory before XP would install. Can't tell you why. I'd advise anyone buying memory to go through Crucial and match it to your motherboard. It's guaranteed compatible. Good prices, 2 day shipping included.

    If you're running a dual channel Motherboard, you must have identical sticks of RAM. Also it may help if you put one stick in slot 1 and another in slot 3 rather than 1&2. What kind of motherboard is it? Check your manual for tips on installing the RAM.
  5. pspr


    Make sure you read you MB manual for compatibility and configuration. It does also seem to be much more critical these days to get the exact same memory when adding, also.
  6. If you have one of the newer Pentium 4's with the Intel 865 or 875 processor chip, it is important to not only get matched pairs of memory, but also pairs of equal speed and power, otherwise you will lose about 25% of your speed.

    If you have 512mb of PCI-2700, then you need to get another module of 512mb of PCI-2700 RAM.

    Check out the article for specifics:


    You might also wish to check out the Crucial Memory website as well. They make quality stuff:


  7. tcosync


    These are classic symptoms of faulty RAM. I suspect your new Kingstons are bad or you may have zapped your Samsungs while fiddling around in your computer.

    I suggest you exchange your RAMs for new ones from where you bought them.

    Good Luck!
  8. Thanks all for advice/sharing. I'll stick with my original 512 MB memory (1 stick) for now. I hope I did not zap that one while trying out adding Kingston memory. The motherboard was from MSI, KT3 Ultra2 6380E.
  9. Catoosa


    MSI boards are my choice. I would write off the Kingston memory. Purchasing another stick of the identical Samsung memory should work great. Three sticks probably would not work. It is good that your original memory is a single 512mb stick. Like the recommendations of the other poster, I by the best Crucial memory except when I need to match existing memory.