Currently I have 2 x 8GB 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM and I'm thinking of increasing it for working purposes, possibly gaming. I consider buying additional 2 x 16GB 3600 MHz so I'll have 48GB total. Is it ok for entire system performance to do such thing or is it better to buy just 2 x 8GB 3200 MHz?


1 Answer 1


Speeds greater than 3200 Mhz for DDR4 are considered overclocked, and some older 3200 Mhz sticks may also be overclocked (not the standard 3200 Mhz timings).

You can safely mix different speeds of RAM. Your BIOS picks the speeds and timings for the RAM modules automatically when installing any combination of RAM so it's OK to try and see what you get. Instability comes from forcing one of the sticks to run at a mode it doesn't support.

It will pick the common speed that all the sticks support so it is a waste of money to buy the faster frequency unless it all matches.

Mixing capacity on sticks is usually not a problem. You will need some very niche hardware to encounter limitations like that. (Like hitting the max number of ranks per channel)

If you find you are getting instability after installing the new mixed RAM you should do a BIOS reset to get your BIOS to re-pick default modes for the RAM.

  • When mixing capacity, dual-channel access only works right when the channels are balanced. One 8GB and one 16GB per channel works; 2x8GB on one channel and 2x16GB on the other will run at half the speed.
    – Mark
    Sep 14 at 22:17
  • It seems like the original question is primarily concerned with compatibility and stability, so even if all sticks have to run at a low frequency in single channel mode that is still "stable". The best recommendation would come from having more info about OP's priorities and system specs.
    – Romen
    Sep 15 at 14:00

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