How do I add more RAM but with different speeds? ?

I recently purchased a PC and it came with 32gb (16gb x2) RAM but only runs at 2400MHZ and I was looking at buying 16gb (2x8gb) at 3600MHZ. I don't want to waste my original RAM but I also don't want to buy the 3600MHZ one but it still primarily uses the 2400MHZ speeds if that makes sense. Hoping someone can help me out. 

5 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    For maximum stability, it's HEAVILY RECOMMENDED to keep all your RAM running at the same clock speed.  HOWEVER, as long as all your RAM is the same type (like DDR3 or DDR4), mixing RAM of different clock speeds will work.

    Please be aware that your system, for the sake of compatibility, will only run as fast as your WEAKEST STICK of RAM.  As you mentioned that your PC's current RAM is running at 2400 MHz, the extra RAM you're adding will get capped at 2400 MHz as well (instead of running at 3600 Mhz) to keep things in-sync with the system.  You won't get any speed benefit from running the faster RAM.

    With that said, 32 GB's of RAM is generally the most that MOST CONSUMER USERS would need in the majority of use cases, as adding more RAM won't necessarily improve performance.  Stuff that may require more RAM would be...

    * Editing massive amounts of video

    * Working on a massive, high-detailed image

    * 3D modeling, rendering & animating

    * Virtual Machine server w/ multiple users (which can easily split up those resources between instances)

    * Online server with a massive userbase

    While it's ultimately your choice on how to proceed (if you really need the extra RAM), but I hope this sheds some light on the subject.

  • 2 months ago

    Your RAM will run at the speed of the lowest sticks, so your 3600 MHz RAM would be stuck at 2400 MHz. Of course, that's assuming the timings match up as well and don't cause your system to become unstable.

    You can either buy another set of 2400 MHz RAM or replace the slower ram with the faster kit.

  • User
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    In addition to Keer's answer

    it IS also possible (unusual, but possible) that the faster RAM ***will not function properly at the slower speed***.

    It's unusual (extremely), but it CAN happen.

    Check with the company and make sure that the faster RAM will function properly at the slower speed.

    I expect that there would be no problem, but it doesn't hurt to make sure.

  • Barry
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    In your case I would just add RAM of the same speed.  See link for advice.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The computer will run all RAM at the speed of the slowest stick. Usually there's no harm done but sometimes that slowest one overheats more rapidly bringing it to fail sooner.

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