PC Components

How To Identify RAM

Ram

Are you considering upgrading your computer’s RAM to increase the speed but don’t know what type you are currently using? Fortunately, figuring this out is merely an effort.

Quick Answer

To identify the RAM in your computer, right-click on the taskbar and open Task Manager. Open the “Performance” tab and click “Memory”.

To help make things easier for you, we have written an extensive guide on how to identify RAM on your computer in a straightforward manner. We have also discussed why you should upgrade your RAM, some factors to consider, and how to do it. 

Identifying RAM Types

If you don’t know how to identify the RAM on your computer, our following 4 step-by-step methods will help you accomplish this task quickly.

Method #1: On a Windows OS

You can quickly identify the RAM installed in your Windows computer using Task Manager with the following simple steps.

  1. Right-click on the taskbar on your Windows computer.
  2. Open Task Manager.
  3. Select “Performance”.
  4. Click “Memory” to view the type of RAM installed in your Windows computer.
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Method #2: On a Mac OS

To identify which type of RAM is installed on your Mac, you can go to the “About this Mac” details in the following way.

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top-right corner of your Mac.
  2. Click “About This Mac”.
  3. Check your RAM size and type next to “Memory”.
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Method #3: Physically Identifying the RAM

Most of the RAMs have a sticker on them with their specifications; however, if yours doesn’t, the following are the signs you should look out for to identify them physically.

Sign #1: Notch Distance

The first sign that can help you differentiate between types of RAM is the distance of a cutout mark on its base, called a “notch”. On a DDR1, it will be present under the Integrated Chip (IC), whereas, on a DDR2 RAM, it’s a little farther.

If you have a DDR3, the notch will be the farthest from the IC. However, on DDR4, it will be almost in the middle, under the IC chip, like the DDR1.

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Sign #2: Integrated Chip

You can also try identifying your RAM by looking at the Integrated Chip (IC). A DDR1 has an IC that touches both top and bottom of the RAM, whereas in DDR2, it is comparatively smaller and present in the center.

Both DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs have a smaller and square-shaped IC, but the latter has two rows.

Sign #3: Number of Pins

With other advancements, the number of pins on RAMs has increased. A DDR1 RAM has 184 pinsDDR2 and DDR3 both 240 pins, and DDR4 contains a total of 288 pins.

Method #4: Using Third-Party Software

If you want to identify the type of RAM you have on your computer, you can do so with the help of third-party software called CPU-Z using these steps.

  1. Launch any web browser on your computer and go to the CPU-Z website.
  2. Download the latest ZIP file of the software.
  3. Unzip the file, complete the installation process, and launch the software.
  4. Open the “Memory” tab to check the type of RAM on your computer.
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Why Should I Upgrade My RAM?

Your computer would run painfully slowly without enough RAM for many essential tasks, such as browsing, gaming, editing, etc.

Increasing your computer’s RAM gives the computer the vital resources it requires to temporarily shuffle data from the hard drive to the CPU for processing. That’s why the average amount of RAM any modern PC should have is 8 GB.

Factors To Consider Before Upgrading Your RAM

When you’ve decided to upgrade the RAM on your computer, you need to consider the following factors.

Factor #1: Memory Slots

Before upgrading your RAM, you need to determine your hardware’s memory slots. Motherboards typically contain two to four memory slots. By distributing your RAM across several slots, you may lessen the strain on your network, enhancing its performance.

Factor #2: Operating System

If you upgrade to a higher RAM, verify that your current Windows or Mac OS is compatible with it.

Factor #3: Clock Speed

The clock speed of your CPU must match the speed of your new RAM if you intend to replace it. If the additional RAM’s speed differs from the existing one, it will take time for the processor to be provided with instructions, which will, in turn, slow and delay your device, wasting processing time.

Upgrading the RAM on Your Computer

If you want to upgrade the RAM on your computer by yourself, follow our simple steps to do it safely.

  1. Shut down and unplug your computer, laying it on a smooth, flat surface.
  2. Use a screwdriver to open the CPU casing and access the motherboard.
  3. Remove the RAM from the slot by pressing the clips at both ends and lifting it straight out.
  4. Insert the new RAM, align it with the slot and press it down firmly until the clips snap into place.
  5. Put the PC case back together, reconnect all attachments and turn it on.
  6. Open the Task Manager again to check if your computer can identify the new RAM.
Warning

Only touch the edges when handling your new RAM to avoid damaging the gold connectors or other components.

Summary

In this guide, we have discussed how to identify RAM. We have also discussed why you should upgrade the RAM on your computer, factors to consider before doing it, and how to complete the process.

Hopefully, your query has been resolved, and you can improve your computer’s performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you run a PC without RAM?

Your computer might switch on even if RAM is missing, but you’ll hear multiple beeps immediately to let you know. RAM is a component of every computer system that transmits data and commands to the CPU. 

Without RAM, your computer cannot proceed past the power-on self-test (POST) phase.

Can we use DDR3 and DDR4 RAM together?

DDR3 and DDR4 RAM can’t be together as a motherboard and CPU that supports one won’t support the other. The difference in their connectors prevents anyone from unintentionally installing the incorrect type of memory.

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