There’s so much to consider when buying RAM, from its size to who makes it. But should the brand of the RAM play a role in whether you buy it or not?
Does RAM Brand Matter?
RAM brand does matter because more legitimate and popular brands can afford to test their RAM more. This extra testing ensures that their RAM will work with more motherboards without any problems. You can mix and match RAM brands, but it’s not recommended as the specs would have to be identical.
RAM brand matters a lot because RAM is one of those things you don’t really want to take chances with.
There are cheaper, generic RAM manufacturers out there, but I probably wouldn’t trust them very much in my system.
There are plenty of trusted RAM brands out there (Kingston HyperX, Corsair, Crucial, etc) that make great RAM at decent prices.
With cheap, quality options available there’s no reason to take a chance on something as important and integral to PC health as RAM is.
Every motherboard has a Qualified Vendor List (QVL) that you can look up. This QVL will list out which brands of RAM have been tested on your specific motherboard.
If you want to be as safe as possible, then choose RAM that is on your motherboard’s QVL list. Otherwise, you can choose a “legitimate” brand, AKA an extremely popular brand that isn’t known to have problems.
Now, as far as mixing and matching goes, brand doesn’t technically matter. With that being said I probably wouldn’t mix and match two different brands of RAM because there are too many things that could go wrong.
If the specs of each brand of RAM are too different, it could lead to big problems and worst case scenario even damage your motherboard. So, it’s better to just not risk it in the end.
Is It Ok To Mix RAM Brands In A PC?
You can mix RAM brands in a PC. When you mix RAM brands, it’s important to make sure that each stick of RAM has the same voltage requirements and the same RAM-type (DDR3, DDR4, etc). You should try to match as many specs as possible and make sure they are both compatible with your motherboard and each other.
Personally, I wouldn’t mix RAM brand because it is a lot of effort. If you happen to have two RAM sticks laying around and want to mix them, you need to do some research first.
Some things to look for when determining whether you can mix RAM brands are:
- Both RAM sticks need to be the same type of ram (DDR3, DDR4, etc)
- Both RAM clock timings need to be the same
- The voltage should be the same on each RAM stick (otherwise clock speeds will be harder to determine)
- Both need to be compatible with your motherboard and each other (you can look up compatibility tables)
As you can see, there is a lot to consider and most of the time if you just happen to have two sticks of RAM, they’re unlikely to be compatible.
But it is definitely possible to mix RAM brands, even if it’s not always practical. If you mix your RAM brands, you will want to run them at the voltage of the lowest performing RAM.
You don’t want to run 1.65 V through a RAM stick that expects 1.5 V or you could permanently damage the RAM (and maybe the motherboard).
Does Any RAM Work With Any PC?
Any RAM will not work with any PC. The RAM needs to be compatible with the motherboard inside of the PC. There are different types of RAM (DDR3, DDR4, etc). Some motherboards are only compatible with DDR3, so DDR4 RAM won’t physically fit in them. Many modern boards are compatible with DDR3 and DDR4 RAM.
Life would be a lot easier if any RAM would work with any PC. Unfortunately we have to be very diligent with the RAM we buy and use.
Your RAM doesn’t just have to be compatible with your motherboard, but it also has to be compatible with your CPU.
The good news is that most of the time you’re only going to have to check on the type of RAM (DDR3, DDR4, etc) and not the size or speed of that RAM.
To know what kind of RAM is compatible with your PC, you need to figure out what kind of motherboard you have and what kind of CPU you have.
Once you know that, you can figure out whether you need to use DDR3 or DDR4 RAM in your PC. If your CPU and motherboard are both compatible with DDR4 RAM, then it will run much better than DDR3.
Can You Use DDR4 And DDR5 RAM Together?
No you cannot use DDR4 and DDR5 RAM together at the same time. Motherboards are generally designed for one type of RAM so most will not support both DDR4 and DDR5, let alone at the same time. If a motherboard were to support DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, then it’s highly likely only one type of RAM could run at a time.
It’s just not possible to run DDR4 and DDR5 at the same time. The RAM types are way too different, both physically and with how they work internally. You cannot even use DDR3 and DDR4 at the same time.
There are some boards that support DDR3 and DDR4 RAM, but they do not run both RAM types at the same time. On top of this, most PC enthusiasts preach against them (or just pretend they don’t exist).
Best RAM Brands
Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston, and Crucial are the best and most popular brands of RAM on the market today. These brands are all high quality and usually all offer lifetime warranties on their product. For the most part, these brands are also all made with the same chips, so they will perform about the same.
I’d highly recommend sticking to one of the brands above, or at least another popular brand.
Which exact brand you choose will come down to personal preference, though, because most of the time the differences between them will be mostly aesthetic.
Most of the top brands use the same chips in their RAM, then slap their own sticker, RGB, heat spreader, etc on top.
So you can pick whichever brand matches your aesthetics the best (or whichever one happens to be on sale).
Interested In Gaming? Check Out My Recommendations!
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