Conflicting Memory Chips?



so, im trying to fix some pain in the a$$ problems im having with my computer and ithink i may have found out that my 3 memory chips might be conflicting… i ran memtest86.exe, and it seems that i was getting different errors with all 3 in there…i got rid of 1 of the chips and the tests ran smooth…so, my question is… if i had conflicting memory chips would that cause the computer errors i was getting (crashing programs, bad cd reads, cds saying they are corrupted, slow downs, etc)… thanks for any help… 1


i\ll assume you are talking about memory modules, or sticks of RAM. Cause of all your troubles ? Possible. Likely cause if your issues have resolved now that you removed the dodgy RAM stick. Could be BIOS RAM options, CPU speed settings as well. Could also be the current phase of the moon, or that black cat you saw last week, staring at you, cursing you…


Try running your chips 1 at a time and testing. If they all run fine individually but not in certain combinations, it’s probably a conflict or compatibility issue. If it is, sometimes you can fix it, sometimes you cannot. Try some of the things that G)-(osters recomended and also try diffrent placment of the mem modules in the slots (not sure what your mods are or how many slots you have). If the memory modules are not matched, or even worse, are diffrent brands, speeds, and or latencys, check your motherboard manual about what configuration (if any) can run them all single channel (not sure if that is possible with three chips, I guess it depends on your motherboard). Also, if two are matched, double check that they are the ones in a dual channel config and the third is running by itself.


well, i tested them separately and they are test fine… but all together, they error out… so i got rid of one the chips and no errors so far… so i think that did it… so now i guess i need to buy another stick… any suggestions for compatibility issues?? the two im running now are 2 different brands (actually all three were different brands)… so from what i gather i should try to keep brands alike? makes sense… i just took these from 2 other computers and put em in… no issues up until a couple months ago… anyway… not sure about all that dual channel single channel config stuff… could you explain that alittle more… i can tell you the motherboard is pretty old… all 3 sticks are pc2100, just different brands… hope that helps… oh, and my motherboard is an azza p4x4-alh… thanks again


Hm, three different kinds of RAM is rarely a good idea, but at least they’re all the same speed. The combo of that and a off-brand motherboard (Azza? Never, ever heard of them) certainly isn’t working out in your favor. I’d try to standardize that as much as possible. CPU-Z from is a great way to find out exactly what you’ve got regarding RAM, try to match what you find.


The manufactures web site seems to be down and I cannot find info online. If you bought your motherboard retail, look for a page in the manual that has to do with memory configurations and see what it says. It is kind of hard to know what to recomend without knowing a little more about your motherboard (plus it is a p4 board and I am pretty much only farmiliar with amd).
Thier is a picture of it on toms hardware. It has three memory slots but they are all black (not color coded) so I cannot tell much from that. Here is the board if anyone more farmiliar with p4 boards can give some insight on what kind of memory controler it has.

Fyi the chipset is via p4x400. As far as I can tell, it is a single channel controler.


it’s most likely that the 3 different sticks from diff manufacturers need different timings to function without errors (e.g. one stick may be 2-2-2-5 another 2.5-3-3-7 and the last 3-4-4-8)…

you may be able to run all 3 sticks simultaneously by relaxing your CAS Latency, TRCD, TRP and TRAS in the BIOS to the least common denominators (i.e. 3-4-4-8).


PC2100 is pretty cheap right now. I would ebay the 3 you have, and buy two good matching sticks.