Do I need to install RAM in matching pairs?

  Coupon 00:53 07 Nov 2007

I've just run the Crucial website system scanner to see what memory upgrades are available. One of the things they mention in the info for my PC is-
Q. Do I have to install matching pairs?
A. Your system requires that you install memory in pairs.
My PC runs Vista 32bit and has 4 available slots for memory. The PC originally came with 2x512MB modules. A few months ago I put in another 1x1GB module, which obviously isn't a "pair" and that leaves me with another free slot left.
PC runs fine with no problems.
So what's all that about having to install matching pairs of RAM?
Is my PC being hindered by not having another 1GB Ram to match the one I put in?
Cheers for any advice

  audeal 03:28 07 Nov 2007

I believe the only thing to watch out for is not to mix the different types. I have four slots on my motherboard which are two different colours and types and you must use either one slot or two of the same type.

If all your ram is showing up complete then I see no problem with it. If you have two different coloured slots then they are for different types of ram.

  topdude 06:42 07 Nov 2007

Hi, matching pairs of memory are not essential but if your motherboard supports "dual channel" memory then only matching pairs will run in dual channel mode ie faster.

  Coupon 12:43 07 Nov 2007

How would I find out if my motherboard supports dual channel memory?

  Poitier 14:20 07 Nov 2007

The motherboard manual should give details of all RAM configerations allowed. In the case of Assus it can be downloaded from Assus/support.

  Coupon 13:45 19 Nov 2007

So I bought another 1gb ram of exactly the same type as the one already in there (Kingston KVR667D2N5/1G). I now have 2x512mb and 2x1gb. There are 4 available slots in the pc (2 each of different colours). I've put both the 512mb modules in one colour and the 2 1gb modules in the other colour. CPU-Z tells me I am still running in single channel mode.
Tried swapping one 512mb and 1gb around so they were in unmatched slots and it made no difference.
Also my Vista experience RAM score has gone down from 5.9 to 5.0.
I'm not having much luck with this new memory.
One thing I noticed is the new 1gb module has chips on just one side of the stick whereas my other one has smaller chips on both sides.
Any ideas?

  Totally-braindead 14:27 19 Nov 2007

Different motherboards have different ways of using the slots. Mine for example has 4 slots and they are 2 different colours, if you want to use dual channel then you put the 2 matching memory modules in the 2 slots with the same colour.
Your manual should tell you about the configuration allowed by your board.

  Coupon 14:38 19 Nov 2007

Yes I've got the matching pairs in the same coloured slots. I don't have a motherboard manual.

  [email protected] 15:07 19 Nov 2007

Why not tell us what the motherboard is then someone may research for you to find the info you require?

  Coupon 15:42 19 Nov 2007

The motherboard is an ACER EM61SM.

  LABMAN 09:23 20 Nov 2007

Hi Coupon,

Although you have two 1GB ram sticks of the same make that may appear to be exactly the same, there may be slight differences in them.

Sometimes dual channel operation requires that they are exactly the same in all specifications, thats why you often see them sold in blister packs of two's, they came of the same production line at the same time and have been checked for compatability.

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