Issues with Ram 4-4-4-15 timings to 4-4-4-12?

By HaMsTeYr
May 16, 2009
  1. Hey dudes (and dudettes),

    I'm contemplating adding another 2gb (2x1gb) kits to my setup. At the moment, i'm running only 2gb (2x1gb) Patriot Extreme rams on 4-4-4-12 and i was thinking of buying some OCZ rams at 4-4-4-15.

    My issue is whether i'll run any problems clocking the OCZ to 4-4-4-12 or should i fork out extra 4 AUD for Corsairs at 4-4-4-12?
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Hi Hamsteyr ,
    always a good idea to match the ram you currently have installed. they probably would work together, but you also have to consider that mismatched ram will not let it operate in dual channel fork out another 4 AUD lol

    oh yes, i assume you are running XP 32 bit, remember that if you add another 2gb to your system, its only going to let you use another .75-1.25 gb as usable 'working' memory.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,668   +1,871

    The modules need to match in voltage more than anything.
  4. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    Thanks for the information. The numbers i pulled out from the manufacturers of both was that the OCZ runs 4-4-4-15 @ 2.2 and the Corsair at 4-4-4-12 @ 2.1

    I should add that my Patriots are at 4-4-4-12 @ 2.2, but i'm running them at 2.1 because of some weird stability problem when i throw them to 2.2

    Regarding XP 32, yeah i'm dual booting in between XP 32 and 7 32 but i also heard that XP only displays a max of 3.25gb, but it actually uses up the whole 4gb.

    I would get my patriots again but i can't find them on the market anymore :X so what's the verdict now >_>
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,668   +1,871

    The Worst That Could Happen......

    I think that was in the chorus of an old song that only ancient people such as myself could remember.

    Still, there's truth in it. If you buy the new RAM and it isn't compatible with the old, you havent lost anything. Plus, you have a new matched pair should the installed DIMMs fail.

    The downside: if you absolutely, positively must have 4GB you woud need to buy 2 more modules to match.

    When 4GB is installed with XP 32 bit, some mobo won't boot, however some will. As Red has pointed out you won't get 4GB anyway.

    Perhaps the best (and cheapest) approach is to buy a matched set of 2/ 512MB sticks that are matched to your original.

    Whoever told you that XP only "shows 3GB", but "uses 4GB", is DEAD WRONG!
    A 32 bit OS only has 4GB of memory addresses in the first place, and then you subtract the hardware addresses from the total. Think about it, 2 to the 32nd is, whaddya know, 4GB. Older boards, (perhaps from Intel 915 back), are 32 bit also, and they won't even show 4GB to the OS. or (!!!) but that seems a bit pushy.
  6. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    regarding that, i've ran my mobo with 4gb of ram before when i was testing ram for another build. I tested my mobo with that same OCZ ram i'm contemplating on getting, just that i clocked it to 4-4-4-12 on 2.1v

    Booted well into windows, recognized 3g and worked fine. I'm running the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P and that seems to be fine recognizing 4gb in bios, 3gb in windows. Thats why the only thing that bothers me now is choosing the right pair to go with my patriots.

    I already have a 2x1 kit in there, and my mobo has 4 slots, so i'm thinking of putting another 2x1 so that way they're a matching pair and hopefully can Dual Channel just fine.

    That was my only concern, whether there'd be side effects of 4-4-4-15 to 4-4-4-12.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,668   +1,871

    Consider yourself lucky. If it were me, I'd match the timings also. So I guess I'd spend the extra 4 bucks. Just to be on the safe side.

    Other thought/ wild, wild guess. "15" is a "looser timing" than "12". So it might be that the "12" modules will work at "15", but not the other way around. Again, wild guess here, just something to consider.
  8. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    Hmm alright... though the OCZ ones do look aesthetically cooler, would there be drawbacks of using it at 4-4-4-12 as opposed to advertised 4-4-4-15?
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    let me put it like this Hamsteyr, the manufactures always recommend that you match existing ram with identical ram when you upgrade. I have seen some really crazy combination's work (different speeds,timings, voltages, 1&2 sided etc) and it may very well work for you, however $4 is a pretty cheap insurance policy to be sure that all of your ram will work,and work in unison. as for the 'memory mapped I/0 reservations' that is an old os architecture decision. you will only have 3gb (+/-) as working memory, and if you get into an intense program or application it will not give it back for you to use. the memory gets reserved for things like pci bus, installed hardware etc.
  10. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    AH... a sad life... no matter, thanks for the advice ;) i might just hop on the corsair rams after all then :)
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,668   +1,871

    There is one other issue. XP will only allow 2GB of memory to a program. This can be resolved in >XP Pro< ONLY, with what is called 3 Gigabyte tuning. It's also referred to commonly as, "3GB switch". in XP home Nero 6 will use memory up to the 2GB limit, then return an "out of memory" error, when it "hits the wall", so to speak. Another wild guess is they may have recitified in later versions. This is the only program I've seen that does this, but it's also the only program I have that wants to use that much memory.

    Spend the other $4.00, be happy, and Google "3 Gigabyte Tuning"
  12. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    good point Cap, i believe they did address it in later versions. I did not ever have to remedy the 2gb problem manually when i used XP. I know this because i used Google earth a lot when it had its monumental memory leak, and it would use all three gigs i had available.
    on another note, i have no idea what I would have said to sway Hamstyer into mixing up his ram, oh well, c'est lavie, and the ocz is prettier than that blue stuff. :p:haha::wave:
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,668   +1,871

    No way in h***!
  14. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    lol Corsair rams aren't as pretty as the OCZ ones and the OCZ ones blend into my metalltic grey patriot rams XD what can i say.

    ah well, i'll just block the ugly corsair xms's with my patriots :(
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157


    Hamstyer, let me know how that's works would you? i am curious as new motherboards get pickier about the ram they will work with.
  16. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    Really? i've never had issues with ram ever and i've built from ground up quite a few systems hahaha...

    Anyway i'll let you know how that goes ;) no worries
  17. Brigham

    Brigham TS Rookie

    I have all of them enabled once more...I still have most of the things in the startup tab disabled.....the computer starts and seems to open all programs etc..
  18. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    UPDATE: Just installed 4-4-4-12 Corsair rams and they're working like a charm :)
  19. deer212

    deer212 TS Rookie

    is this true? I thought it shows 3.25gb but actually only uses 2.95gb...
  20. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 376

    Well i heard otherwise... anyway Windows 7 is showing me a 3.5gb usage. Better than nothing i suppose.

  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,668   +1,871

    In a 32 bit OS, there are only 4GB of memory addresses in total, (2 to the 32nd equals 4GB). The hardware addresses are then subtracted from the 4GB, and what's left is, "available RAM. So, the more hardware, the less RAM is reported.

    The OS uses the RAM also so that is subtracted also, but those processes are visible in task manager.

    Task manager reports "available RAM" in >kilobytes< not >megabytes<. the conversion ratio is 8 to 1, not 10 to 1 as we're accustomed to in decimal math. Hence the number in MB is going to appear smaller when the conversion is made.
  22. SineSurfer

    SineSurfer TS Rookie Posts: 46

    4,4,4 12 speed is very similar to 4,4,4, 15. The most important numbers in cas latency are the first 3. Make sure you run your ram modules at the right voltage. Sub timings can also make an impact.
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