RAM (Random Access Retention) is one of the basic components of a reckoner or a smartphone. But there are many misconceptions about RAM, like whether yous tin can mix RAM size or brands.




RAM’southward chore is to remember computations for a express amount of time then that your processor does not need to redo those computations each fourth dimension. But there are misunderstandings near using unlike sizes of RAM together. For example, does RAM have to lucifer? Should you use the same speed RAM?

In this article, nosotros’ll attempt to answer them all. Let’southward bust some myths virtually RAM.



one. “Y’all Tin can’t Mix RAM Sizes,” or “Yous Can’t Mix RAM Brands”



Most laptops or computers come with at least ii slots for RAM sticks, if not more. Nigh modern motherboards volition provide iv RAM slots. At that place’south a prevailing misconception you lot cannot utilize different RAM sizes together or that you cannot mix RAM brands.


Merely put, that’s not true. And then, tin you mix RAM brands or the size of your RAM sticks? The respond is
Yep, you tin can mix RAM sticks and RAM sizes and fifty-fifty dissimilar RAM speeds—just mixing and matching RAM modules isn’t the best for organisation performance.


For the best arrangement performance, it is advisable to utilize RAM sticks past the same manufacturer, of the same size, and of the same frequency. Just in that location’south a elementary reason behind why mixing RAM sizes is ordinarily not the best option to maximize organisation performance. This is considering RAM has several components that all come up together to make it perform well.


Friction match Your RAM for the Best Functioning

RAM works all-time when paired with matching hardware. For optimal performance, your RAM should employ the same voltage, and their respective controllers should play well with each other and the motherboard. That’south why it’due south all-time to use the aforementioned RAM model in all slots.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean y’all can’t employ different size RAM sticks together. For example, if your first stick is 4GB, you tin all the same add a new 8GB stick. Once you switch on dual-channel manner (also chosen flex mode), it will perform as 2 4GB sticks running side by side in optimal performance.


The remaining 4GB of the new stick will run in single-channel manner. Overall, information technology’due south not every bit fast as using two sticks of the same size, only it’south still faster than what you lot had before.


It’south the same with frequency or speed. Your RAM sticks volition work together at the frequency of the lower stick by default. So, do RAM sticks have to match? Must you use the brand of RAM in every slot? No, but it’south better if they practice.




2. “I Don’t Demand More than RAM,” or “My Organisation Has Enough RAM”


trident ram modules silver


“This amount of RAM is enough to run the software. You don’t need extra,” is common communication y’all’ll find. Yes, it might be plenty to run your apps, merely that doesn’t mean information technology tin’t be faster. More than RAM helps, even if yous use different sizes of RAM together. That’south because of how programs are made.

Most developers write their programs so that the app requests a certain percentage of the RAM bachelor. If y’all accept more RAM installed, the same requested percentage will mean more size for the programme.


But considering y’all’re using just threescore percent (or any small percentage) of your total RAM capacity, information technology doesn’t hateful yous don’t need more RAM. Your regular tasks might only request 60 percentage of RAM, saving the remainder for other tasks you might start in the hereafter.


As a general thumb rule for computers, 4GB is the minimum, and 8GB is the recommended size for best performance for regular users. Gamers, PC enthusiasts, and professionals who work with graphics, video, or sound should await for 16GB, while 32GB systems are becoming common. It all begs the question, how much RAM do y’all really need?




3. “RAM Size Is All That Matters”


ram module close up


Y’all probably know how much RAM your telephone or PC has. When someone says they take more than RAM in their PC, yous automatically presume their organization runs faster. But that’southward non necessarily truthful. The capacity or size of the RAM isn’t all that matters.

Among the determining factors of RAM performance are speed and frequency. Like with a CPU, RAM has clock speeds. The college the clock speed, the more functions it can perform in a second. You’ll oftentimes find RAM sticks with 2400MHz or 3000MHz frequency, while 3200MHz and 3600MHz are now the norm for loftier-cease systems.


1 upshot you can encounter here is mismatched RAM speeds, affecting you in two ways.


First, if your RAM runs at 2000MHz but your motherboard only supports 1333MHz RAM, your system won’t utilise the 700MHz difference between the ii speeds.


Second, if you mix RAM modules with different speeds, both sticks volition run at the slowest module’s speed. So, if you had one stick of RAM running at 2400MHz and ane running at 3600MHz, both sticks will run at the slower speed, wasting the faster RAM’s potential.


More often than not speaking, the regular computer user won’t come across much difference between 8GB and 16GB of RAM. Still, changing information technology to a faster RAM of the same 8GB can pb to a significant boost. Then, depending on how you use your machine, you should effigy out which is more than important for y’all: faster RAM or more than RAM?



4. “Clear Your RAM to Boost Its Speed”


two ram sticks close up


The adage that y’all should clear your RAM to make it faster is one of the well-nigh persistent RAM myths of all. The idea that immigration your RAM makes it faster came about at the aforementioned fourth dimension as snake-oil software similar “RAM boosters” and “memory optimizers.”


In short, don’t clear your RAM. You lot want your RAM full of useful information to help go along your organization processes fast.


The job of RAM isn’t to sit empty. In fact, your operating arrangement and your software should be using up every little bit of RAM available. Freeing up RAM with one of those booster programs does nix. If annihilation, it might really dull downwardly your system since “freeing up” means y’all are removing certain computations from the RAM’s retentivity.


RAM isn’t the aforementioned as your difficult bulldoze. RAM auto-manages the data it holds, adjusting to concur frequently accessed information. If you take 4GB of RAM, your arrangement constantly writes, erases, and rewrites frequently accessed data in those 4GB.


That’s not to say constantly filling your RAM is a expert thing. If you constantly fill up your RAM, it tin can lead to other speed issues. Most modern operating systems utilise what is known as a paging file, too referred to as virtual retention. Your calculator will brainstorm pushing some data from the super-fast RAM into the much slower regular memory.

Virtual memory is really useful as information technology stops your computer from slowing to a crawl. However, if y’all ofttimes run out of RAM, it’s unremarkably a sign that it’s time to purchase some higher-capacity RAM modules.


Back to the RAM clearing speed-heave myth. Don’t use RAM boosting or retentivity cleaning software. They don’t work. At best, they’re just a nuisance and a fourth dimension-waste material. At worst, you could introduce adware or scamware to your computer.




5. “You lot Must Apply an Equal Number of RAM Sticks”


motherboard with ram slots


The final myth is that you must always use an equal number of RAM sticks. Like the starting time department on different sizes, you don’t take to use two or four, or six RAM sticks. No, you tin use one stick of RAM—hence why manufacturers make and retail single sticks of RAM.


You tin also use three sticks of RAM if you want, but as to a higher place, information technology tin can come at the cost of overall performance. If yous have two matching 8GB RAM sticks, they will run in dual-aqueduct mode, providing the virtually efficient and effective organization performance.


Now, say you lot have three sticks of 8GB DDR4 RAM, boosting your total memory to 24GB. Great, right? Depending on your system configuration, the type of RAM you’re using, and your motherboard, introducing the third stick of RAM could disable the dual-channel RAM support for the first ii sticks of RAM. So, while you lot have a larger chapters, your overall performance may drop.

Y’all’ll notice a lot of debate online regarding using an equal number of RAM sticks. Of class, you don’t accept to use an equal number, but information technology can harm your overall organisation functioning if you determine non to.




6. “Yous Cannot Upgrade the RAM on a Laptop”


laptop ram so-dimm on table up close


While upgrading the RAM on your laptop isn’t e’er as clear-cut as on your desktop, you absolutely tin do it. However, this myth does come up with some caveats, namely that your success depends on the type of laptop you lot take. To salvage costs, some manufacturers volition solder the RAM into place, making it extremely difficult to supercede, enough so that most people just don’t bother.


As with upgrading the RAM in your desktop, replacing the RAM in your laptop comes with similar restrictions. For example, the RAM in your laptop differs in shape, using the SO-DIMM form factor rather than the regular DIMM shape yous’re likely accustomed to. The best way to figure out the RAM capabilities of your laptop is to complete an cyberspace search for the laptop model and “RAM upgrade” and see what is recommended. Alternatively, search through your laptop’s specifications, equally information technology may say something along the lines of “16GB RAM (Upgradable to 64GB).”



RAM Works Differently on Macs and iPhones

Apple has a unlike approach to RAM than PCs and Android phones, so many of the above rules get out the window. Only don’t worry, we accept excellent guides to explicate the differences.


The iPhone’s base of operations architecture is much different from Android. That’due south why you won’t observe Apple tree talking about how much RAM its iPhones have, while they’re still as fast as the best Android phones.


Unfortunately, not all Mac models allow you to upgrade your arrangement RAM. For many Mac users, this is never an issue, merely information technology can become an effect for some. If you’re running out of RAM, check out our guide on how to upgrade the RAM on your Mac.




Busting RAM Myths I at a Time

These vi myths are the most common ones you’ll read regarding RAM.


You can do a lot with RAM: mismatched sticks, dissimilar speeds, unlike sizes, and then on. For the well-nigh part, yous’ll just terminate up with a slower reckoner. Still, information technology is always all-time to match your RAM sticks. That way, you’ll receive the all-time operation available, and there is less adventure of corruption or other issues arising from mismatched memory modules.