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I have a 1*4GB RAM installed in my dell laptop. I am going to purchase 1*8GB RAM. So, my question is if the combination of one 4GB and one 8GB RAM, will both work or not? I am confused as I have never heard about different size combinations. Are there any major issues with such a combination?

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2 Answers 2

There shouldn't be any major issues with such combination given that your device supports that combination. Try to get them from the same brand and you should be fine. In fact, my ASUS N550JV, oddly tho, came with exactly that installation: 4GB + 8GB.

Considering dual-channel memory architecture, if you want to use it, it's recommended that the memory modules should be of same frequency due to operational conditions.

Modules rated at different speeds can be run in dual-channel mode, although the motherboard will then run all memory modules at the speed of the slowest module. Some motherboards, however, have compatibility issues with certain brands or models of memory when attempting to use them in dual-channel mode. For this reason, it is generally advised to use identical pairs of memory modules, which is why most memory manufacturers now sell "kits" of matched-pair DIMMs. Several motherboard manufacturers only support configurations where a "matched pair" of modules are used. A matching pair needs to match

Edit

Since your laptop (Dell Inspiron 15) specifications say that

Memory

  • 4GB 1 DIMM (1X4GB) DDR3L 1600Mhz
  • 2GB 1 DIMM (1X2GB) DDR3L 1600Mhz
  • 6GB 2 DIMM (1x2GB+1x4GB) DDR3L 1600Mhz
  • 8GB 2 DIMM (2x4GB) DDR3L 1600Mhz

1x4GB + 1x8GB will not be suported. Either get a 2GB or 4GB module for upgrade. In case your manual differs than this general Inspiron 15 one, if you don't see a 12GB there, do not upgrade to 12GB. I believe values between 8GB and 16GB are not intended to be supported given that the manual says the motherboard supports 8GB and 16GB.

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Hi, Thanks for reply. I thing I forgot to include in question is my Dell Inspiron 3521 laptop manual says "Configurations supported: 2 GB, 4 GB, 6 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB". Does it mean supported size of individual RAM's or their sum should match these values? –  user218521 Apr 23 at 14:01
    
@VarunAgw Hey, I updated the answer. I did not see the 16GB support tho. Can you provide me source to that manual of yours? I found a source I believe is the same with your device but we should check the consistency of the sources. –  Varaquilex Apr 23 at 14:10
    
Hey, Thanks for reply again. The manual I checked is at ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/… –  user218521 Apr 23 at 14:14
    
Since the "configurations supported" list doesn't contain 12GB, it's safer not to upgrade to 12GB. Just pick a supported configuration value using your manual and upgrade to that. –  Varaquilex Apr 23 at 14:16
    
@Varaquilex Assuming the BIOS limitation is real and wasn't lifted with a Flash upgrade; I would still expect it to work as 8 GB. That is 4 + 4. Also, it does support 6 GB. –  Elliott Frisch Apr 23 at 14:17

It depends on the type of RAM your system uses. Since it's a laptop, I would assume it uses SO-DIMM as opposed to SIMM (which usually had to be installed in matching pairs, or would treat the larger as a pair with the smaller memory). If your system operates with a single memory chip currently, then clearly you do not required paired memory. And yes, 12 GB should work in your laptop. However, if your system is running a 32-bit OS you may only be able to address 3.5 GB (depending on if your OS supports PAE).

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Hi, Thanks for reply. I thing I forgot to include in question is my Dell Inspiron 3521 laptop manual says "Configurations supported: 2 GB, 4 GB, 6 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB". Does it mean supported size of individual RAM's or their sum should match these values? –  user218521 Apr 23 at 14:02
    
According to this max supported is 16 GB. Are you relying on Dell support? –  Elliott Frisch Apr 23 at 14:06
    
Actually, I checked this PDF specs. ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/… –  user218521 Apr 23 at 14:08
    
Well, I will confirm it from dell support. Anyway, thanks for help –  user218521 Apr 23 at 14:15

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