Increasing RAM is one of the easiest ways to speed up any computer if there are problems with reloading pages in the browser, applications are running too slow or there are other symptoms of insufficient RAM. Installing additional RAM is a simple procedure that can be managed without contacting the service center.
However, it is necessary not only to install, but also to correctly select the new sticks for purchase. RAM differs in type, frequency and capacity. Before buying new RAM stick, you need to find out what RAM is installed in your computer, find the right one and purchase it.
Table of contents: 1. How to choose RAM 2. How to know what RAM is installed in my computer 3. Visual inspection 4. BIOS means 5. Windows means 6. Third party applications
HOW TO CHOOSE RAM
Selecting RAM for a computer is quite simple. Here will be only two cases possible:
- Your computer already has RAM and its volume needs to be expanded by installing an additional stick. In such a situation, it is desirable to acquire a stick that has its capacity corresponding to the one that is already installed in the computer. In addition, these two should not differ in type and frequency;
- You are going to install new RAM to replace the old one. If new memory sticks are going to be installed in place of the old ones, it will be necessary to pay attention only to the support of the selected RAM from the motherboard and processor side.
Most often, users are adding RAM to the computer, and they need to determine what memory is currently installed.
HOW TO KNOW WHAT RAM IS INSTALLED IN MY COMPUTER
There are dozens of ways to determine the main parameters of RAM installed in your computer. We are not going to discuss them all in one singe article, but let’s take a look at the most convenient and simple ones.
The easiest way to find out the main parameters of RAM installed in your computer is to inspect the RAM stick that is already there. To do this, you must first turn off your computer, then remove the cover and pull out the stick (to remove it, you will need to loosen the clips on both sides). It should have a sticker with all important information about the RAM.
Advantages of visual inspection:
- No need to turn your computer on and download third-party applications;
- In addition to the basic RAM parameters you can find out its exact model.
Disadvantages of visual inspection:
- If the sticker on a RAM stick was torn off, the information will not be obtained;
- Because of the cooling radiator placed right on a RAM stick some modern memory sticks do not have stickers with information on them;
- This method is not suitable for laptops, since disassembling laptop housing is a very time-consuming procedure.
Through BIOS or UEFI environment, you can determine the main parameters of RAM installed in your computer. To do this, you have to press Del before starting the operating system, that is, immediately after turning your computer on. It will let you to get to the BIOS settings. Then you have to act depending on the BIOS or UEFI version:
- If we are talking about old BIOS versions, you need to look for information about RAM in the Memory Information column, which is located in the Chipset tab. Please note: in different BIOS versions RAM information may be located in different places.
- If we are talking about modern BIOS, that is, about UEFI, you need to look for RAM information on the main screen. The Total Memory column indicates the frequency, type and amount of RAM installed in your computer.
Advantages of obtaining RAM information by BIOS means:
- You can receive data even if Windows is not installed on your computer or is not loaded;
- If you need to check several memory sticks in a row, this method is the fastest.
Disadvantages of obtaining RAM information by BIOS means:
- Since there are many BIOS versions, and most often they are not localized, it can be difficult to find information about RAM among the huge amount of parameters;
- The old BIOS do not always display all the necessary information, and often it shows only the amount of RAM.
Windows operating system has built-in utilities that allow you to find the minimal information about RAM – its capacity. This means that it is impossible to determine the type of memory and the frequency with the operating system utilities.
There is another important limitation. Windows will only show the amount of memory used, not the total size of the installed one. Attention should be paid to this aspect if your computer has 32-bit Windows, which does not support more than 3 GB of RAM. That is, if more RAM is installed in your computer, it will not be displayed in diagnostic utilities, and “extra” memory will not be used during operation.
There are several ways to determine the amount of RAM by Windows means. Here is the easiest one:
- Right-click on the “My Computer” icon in the explorer and select “Properties”. There will open a window where the amount of installed RAM will be indicated;
- Press the keyboard shortcut Windows + R and enter the msinfo32 command, then press Enter. You will see the “System Information” window, where RAM information is stored in the main tab.
THIRD PARTY APPLICATIONS
There are lots of diagnostic applications released for Windows, each one of them can be used to solve some certain problems. Most of them provide the opportunity to learn information about RAM. Below we will give you examples of programs that can be downloaded for free from their developer’s websites and they can help you find information about your RAM.
Information about RAM in the CPU-Z application is spread over several tabs:
- In the “General” column, the “Type” value will tell you about the type of installed RAM, and in the “Size” section you will find information on the amount of RAM. Also below in the “Timing” column you should be able to find information about the operating frequency.
- In the SPD tab, you can determine the number of installed memory sticks and detailed information about each one of them.
Another convenient application for viewing information about the components installed in a computer is AIDA64. In order to learn information about RAM through this program, select the SPD item in the “Motherboard” tab. The application defines all main RAM parameters.
HWiNFO64-32 is another handy application that allows you to diagnose the system and check its parameters. Unlike AIDA64, this application has a portable version that does not even need to be installed in your computer. All information about RAM in the HWiNFO64-32 application is displayed in the “Memory” column.