You might be thinking to upgrade RAM on your PC laptop or desktop if your computer runs slow. Increasing RAM on your device will make the CPU’s job easier and your computer faster. Throughout the post, we might refer to RAM as memory or vice versa.
Easiest way to upgrade RAM on your PC.
Below are websites of RAM manufacturers. The first website has a special functionality to test your computer and give the RAM suggestions. That would be the easiest and safest way to buy compatible RAM from one of the manufacturer.
When you should upgrade RAM?
On your PC, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete at the same time when your computer is on. Depending on the operating system, it should either open the Task Manager or give you an options window. If it gives option window, click on Task Manager.
On the Task Manager, click on the Performance tab, where you will see the basic specs of your PC. Click on Memory, and it will open the RAM information. Find out how much RAM you have. Depending on the operating system, it might be in different places, but it still will be under the Performance tab of your Task Manager. Then find the amount of available memory under Available label. If available RAM is less than 25% of the total, then you should add more memory to your computer.
How to choose the right RAM?
Task Manager will give you the most info to buy compatible memory, but you need to know more. Take a pen and paper, and write down the total amount (4GB), type (DDR3), and Speed 1333 MHz. You will also see how many memory slots you have, and how many are available. On the picture, there are 2 slots and only one of them available.
Your computer’s RAM is limited to not only the number of slots but also motherboard capacity. To find out the capacity, you need to find out your computer’s model first. Then go to the manufacturer’s website and find the documentation for your computer. The documentation will say the maximum amount RAM your device can work with. In my case, the maximum RAM amount is 8GB. That means if I add another 4GB stick, identical to the one I have, my computer will run faster and without any problems.
Operating system maximum.
However, your operating system also has a maximum capacity. First, you need to find out what operating system are you running. To do that, right click on My Computer or This PC, and click on Properties. Under Windows edition, it will show the operating system, and under System Type, it will if you have a 32- or 64-bit system.
Below are the RAM maximums for most common operating Windows versions.
- Windows 7 32-bit – 4GB
- Windows 7 64-bit:
- Home Basic – 8GB
- Home Premium – 16GB
- Professional – 192GB
- Enterprise – 192GB
- Ultimate – 192GB
- Windows 8.1 – 128GB
- Professional 512GB
- Enterprise 512GB
Since the computer that we are working with is running Windows 8.1, our limit is 128 GB. We are planning to upgrade to 8 GB, which won’t cause any problems.
One more thing.
However, there is one more thing that you should know: the bus specification. Some RAM labels show it, and it is better if you match it. To find it out, you should see open your computer and read the label on your RAML
- Turn off your computer.
- Unplug the power cable. Take out the battery if you have a laptop.
- Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds. Now your PC hardware is safe to touch.
- Find the RAM sticks and try to read the labels.
You might have to pull one out. Usually, you will see the manufacturer (Samsung), type (DDR3), size (4GB), speed (12800R). You should do your best to match those, otherwise, your computer might not turn on with incompatible RAM. The best and safest way is to search and buy by the part number M378B5773CH0-CH9.
Image credit: Superuser